The start the game with a quick look over the city map, which apparently is the starting sequence to get you into the game…. Your Milo (Vin Diesel) you’re in a car at the traffic lights and about to be the wheelman for a robbery, yep that’s how it starts you don’t get any reason why your there or what you’re doing, apart from the cops eyeing you up obviously giving away that you’re a undercover operative, this is all that it gives you, no introduction, no nothing.
Your first mission is to get away from the scene and evading the cops, you learn how to drive and how to combat other veicles. This is the fun bit you can bash other vehicles by pressing the analogue stick right, left or up into vehicles slamming them into side barriers and other objects which is fun and also easy to pull off, You’ll find this game very easy to play in fact you don’t need any ability or talent as its repetitive and not a challenge until you hit the bad spots in this game like the driving style is very hit or miss, with narrow roads and the fact you tail spins right out when you brake and as your trying to control this the A.I speeds past you without drifting out which is frustrating and the only view point I found tolerable is the second view point further away from the car.
Nice surprise was the bikes, after I drove the cars round I thought the bikes would be even worse but there not they are quick and nimble enough to get round traffic, very fun but a quick bump or hail from police and you’re dead which is fair really.
After the first mission other mission becomes available, you have to retrieve three stolen cars back for a newly recruited friend, some generic American character, after that a few more different style missions become available and the game becomes a bit more tolerable. As you play through the missions you will noticed bad and cheesy dialogue which doesn’t help this game, it would have been more acceptable as their fans of that sort of thing out there along with Vin Diesel fans but this game has no substance to make up for it, who cares about dialogue if you can blow stuff up right? But even for people who played the demo and liked it I don’t think the full game will live up to the expectations the demo and other trailers had made it seem as this game disappoints badly in important areas.
After each mission your given a pointless RAI dossier on the people who you meet which is useless as these don’t tell you why your chasing/working with each person or in fact why you are there yourself, you just know you have got some chasing and shooting to do.
There are good point about this game, not all is lost like the crazy taxi style missions, they are fun for awhile but this feature along with a few other good bits, can’t support this game on their own as this title falls in other essential areas often, which is a shame I enjoyed flying around town to get to my destination, they are also graded as well which just finishes the mission of nicely.
As your cruising the streets you will notice the fact this city is dead rather quickly, with few cars on screen and lack of detail it has a average look but the fact the city lacks in any small or large detail means that it all looks the same and with shortcuts to learn this makes it virtually impossible to navigate round missions as you find yourself making mistakes that you wouldn’t normally make costing you the mission which made me very frustrated.
The A.I in Wheelman is very hit and miss and will get you frustrated, they are ways round this like evading police for a certain time for an achievement, you can basically cheat the A.I by spinning round roundabouts for five minutes which is just pointless and annoying they can ram you off the road or bombard you will bullets but can’t get you spinning round a roundabout, you shouldn’t have to ignore faults and play round them just to enjoy some of the original features and points that this game has to offer.
This game also strays into on foot missions which they really should have stuck with either a GTA feel or a Driver feel and focused more on one they tried to get a mix of both but haven’t accomplished it because of the size of a game like this, it was almost like they took too much on and with a huge city to map and cars, people and buildings to create and model it has effected game play, big shame.
The on foot missions consist of waves of enemies which are easily slaughtered and no challenge, this time and energy could have been spent on other driving features and better in car missions as this is just a waste of your time, you can clear a whole alley of enemies and check for any red dots on the radar then move forward and more magically appear in front of you, no you won’t die it’s just annoying and this just repeats over and over, yes it’s nice to shoot people for awhile but it grows old.
Graphics don’t help either as again they average and dull apart from the odd nice action scene and rampage through the park it looks tolerable and the character profiling is basic and lacks detail to bring characters alive. The dialogue is poor with Vin getting all the best lines and seems to be the only one with a personality the rest of the characters are boring and for around 39.99 I was expecting a lot more for your money.
On that note I wasn’t expecting anything ground breaking from Wheelman but I was expecting something, the trailers are miss leading and I’m a fan of Vin Diesel and loved Babylon A.D even though it got panned but this I can’t even force myself to play longer than I need to.
The game almost has potential with its original look at the basic fun features of the games like GTA and Driver but with major flaws it makes for hard frustrating gaming and not in the good way, with many faults in basic and important parts of the game play and the lack of detail in just about everything it leaves you angry and disappointed, maybe a one to rent if you want it that bad or in fact wait till it appears in the bargain bin in your local games store as I’m sure it will be there soon, big shame as I myself was expecting a good little game.
Originally posted at www.xboxliveaddicts.co.uk