Some games are very solid, innovative ideas that lend themselves to much replay and many new experiences each time they are played. Others, when you boil away all the glitz and multimedia effects, are truly simplistic games trying to hide behind a barrage of glitter and gold. Wetlands is such a game.
The graphics are wonderful. The cut scenes are well rendered in an animated, Full Throttle type method; they flow smoothly, and help to keep the storyline moving. The sound effects are solid as well, with good voice acting and appropriate sounds during the action sequences. Control can be handled by the mouse or the joystick, although I recommend using both for different action sequences.
The storyline, although only just something to tie the sequences together, is well thought out. To summarize it: you are a bounty hunter out to hunt down an escaped fugitive that has the technology to turn any world into a water world, as he had demonstrated on Earth. Earth is now under water, and is a haven for intergalactic fugitives and other trash.
But the truth of any game is its game play, and this is where Wetlands falters. If you take away the storyline and the cut scenes, you're left with a pure shooter, Cyberia style. The action sequences are pretty much all alike. You're in some kind of vessel hurtling forward, and you must kill all the enemies coming at you before they kill you.
It also appears, at times, that Wetlands tries to make up for its simplistic game play by making some the sequences ridiculously hard. For example, in one of the missions you ride on a subway train, and you must shoot your way out of the tunnels. But there are so many confusing turns and twists that it becomes an endeavor of luck to get through it, even at the easiest levels. And there are literally no hints, nothing at all, that will put you on the right track.
It is good at what it does, though. You get the impression of moving forward, taking out enemies as you go. And there are a variety of locales in which you do shoot it out. For instance, you are attacked on an Earth underwater station and must shoot your way back to your sub. Or you are trapped in a power station that is going to self destruct and you must shoot a certain number of generators to escape. This variety offers some interest, but hardly masks the truth of the game play. There are difficulty settings involved, allowing you to make your quest harder or easier. In my experience, changing this setting just increases or decreases the number of enemies you must destroy.
If you liked Cyberia's action sequences, then by all means, go get Wetlands. It offers good graphics during the action sequences, fast and furious play, and excellent cut scenes. But if you are looking for something more, something with depth and a variety of game play, look elsewhere.
This game is very like Cyberia; the moving path is predictable, and all you have to do is shoot at anything that moves, and enjoy the animated sequences in between every mission. The time is set somewhere in the near future, and there is a major war active on your planet. By the time war is battling, the infamous and most dangerous international prisoner was rescued, and the prison guards were killed. As much as you don't want to participate in that action (since you're more interested in winning the war), you, as a great undercover agent are sent to bring the prisoner back. No matter the cost. As you can guess by the title, most action is taken under the water, and a few rare are battled in the space above. Bring him back commander!
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Who Shot Johnny Rock?, WipEout, Witchaven, Witchaven II: Blood Vengeance, Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior, William Shatner's TekWar, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, XIII
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