Wet First Look

Sierra introduces a new, over-the-top action game with a sultry heroine and a lot of attitude.

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Sierra is making it a point that its 2008 lineup will consist almost entirely of original intellectual properties, and the newly unveiled Wet certainly fits the bill. However, while this third-person action game represents a brand-new series, its gameplay borrows heavily from many sources. Basically, Wet feels like Kill Bill meets Tomb Raider meets Prince of Persia. It's a game that's so heavily stylized and full of attitude that it's purposely over-the-top in many ways.

Wet is about the adventures of Ruby, a sexy, fearless "problem solver" who lives in the middle of an airline junkyard in the desert. She'll take any type of job as long as she likes it and the price is right. These jobs can range from stealing something, protecting someone, assassination, smash-and-grab, and more. The way she solves problems is pretty violent, given that she's skilled in acrobatics, gunplay, and swordplay, and Wet is designed so you can go effortlessly from one to another in a heartbeat.

Ruby is as agile as Lara Croft and the prince in the Prince of Persia games. She can pretty much negotiate any environment by climbing, ledge-running, wall-running, leaping, and more. At the same time, she has numerous ways of taking down opponents. She can run into a room, slide, and target two opponents simultaneously with the guns in her hands. Or she can get up close and use her sword to dispatch them, which also has the possibility of letting you use a special kill move. In one example, she runs up to an opponent, leaps up and knees him in the jaw, then flips over him, lands, and finally backstabs him with her sword. Because the game models her upper and lower halves independently, Ruby is able to do all sorts of crazy, acrobatic combat moves. This is a woman who can leap across a gap while firing her pistols at the same time. Perhaps the most audacious move that we saw is her ability to actually hang upside down from a ladder and shoot opponents while sliding down the ladder inverted.

The game is early in production, so only a few environments were available to show. One involved a giant ice room in a freezer, with enemies amongst the giant blocks of ice. Another was in the guts of some kind of factory or warehouse, and a third showed off a fancy Chinese theater. Developer Artificial Mind and Movement (A2M) out of Montreal is working on the game, and the team boasts a pretty impressive number of veterans from Ubisoft Montreal, arguably one of the top game-design studios in the business. We're told that there are a number of developers who were leads on the Splinter Cell, Assassin's Creed, and Prince of Persia games. Meanwhile, Sierra turned to Hollywood writer Duppy Demetrius for the script. Demetrius is a long-time veteran of the hit television show 24, so we wonder if that means we'll see plenty of spectacular betrayals and double-crosses in the game.

It isn't just the combat that makes Ruby special. It's also the game's sense of style. The visual approach of the game seems to be in the vein of directors like Quentin Tarantino, Guy Ritchie, and Joe Carnahan. Not surprisingly, the audio direction also seems to borrow a lot from those moviemakers. Wet will have a soundtrack that wouldn't seem out of place in a Tarantino movie, and while details are yet to come, we're told that one inspiration for the soundtrack is the way the song "Stuck in the Middle" became almost synonymous with the ear scene in the movie Reservoir Dogs. Given that the game is still relatively early in production, Sierra is keeping many of the details mum for now, though we're sure to learn more about Wet in the coming months. Still, the game looks incredibly promising, as it seems like the first game to capture the style and excitement of some of the best pulp movies out there. Wet will ship for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 sometime in 2008.

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