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Wheels of Destruction Review

If you are interested in the concept of a driving game spliced with a multiplayer combat game then you may have your eye on Gelid Games' PSN Exclusive, Wheels of Destruction, which aims to deliver classed-based multiplayer carnage to the comfort of your own living room.

Wheels of Destruction

Wheels of Destruction features online multiplayer over three different available modes – deathmatch, team deathmatch and capture the flag. Anyone familiar with online gaming over the last decade will be more than familiar with each of these game modes so I will not go into detail explaining them, save to say that it is disappointing that there is nothing of any originality available in these choices.

Five different vehicle types are available to select from, each handles differently and has different ratings in terms of speed, health, shields and boosting/jumping abilities. For example, the Heavy is the slowest but has the highest health and shields while the Engineer has low health, but decent speed and the best boost/jump ability.

Wheels of Destruction

The vehicle choice you make does not affect the weapons on offer, as all vehicles spawn with the default Gatling gun and other weapons are picked up in-game via power-ups. The variety of weapons on offer is extremely limited, with only three additional weapons on top of the default.

The weapons are also very unbalanced. The default Gatling gun is around as powerful as a pea shooter in primary mode, but its shotgun secondary fire option can one shot most vehicles at close range. Rockets are the best all round option for mid-range combat, but their mortar secondary fire ability only serves to catapult the enemy out of your firing line while doing seemingly minimal damage.

Controlling the vehicles is not much fun. Rather than going for 'traditional' vehicle controls' Gelid Games have opted for the 'vehicle moves in the direction the camera is pointing' approach. This is fine the majority of the time, but is awful in certain situations such as tight turnings in enclosed corridors or correcting your bearings after being spun around by an explosion.

However, the main issues caused by the camera control are not those affecting driving and movement. The fact that the camera can only be moved on the horizontal axis causes two significant problems in aiming.

Wheels of Destruction

Firstly, the inability to look up and down means you are unable to precisely point at a target and means the game has to feature an auto-aim feature to allow you to shoot at enemies on different levels. Unfortunately the auto aim is way too generous, taking away virtually all skill requirements from aiming.

Secondly, sometimes if enemy is too high or too low your auto aim will simply refuse to target them despite you having a clear line of sight and being within weapons range. This is made doubly worse in situations where they are not suffering this problem and can happily shoot you with impunity.

There are 5 maps available to play in Wheels of Destruction, each being a post-apocalyptic version of a real world location. Unfortunately here too lie significant failings, with poor map design significantly impacting on enjoyment of the game.

A couple of the maps are extremely claustrophobic and degenerate into a constant massacre. In these battles you are in the fighting from the moment you spawn and have no chance to pick up shield boosts or decent weapons, so choosing the either the Heavy or Soldier class is the only way to survive more than a few seconds. By contrast, the rest are so large that it can take far too long to actually drive to where the action is going on and you can spend long periods of time just searching for an opponent. On both types of map, spawn camping can be a significant issue in team deathmatch and capture the flag when one team gets a significant upper hand on the other.

Wheels of Destruction

To say Wheels of Destruction has a slight emphasis on its online multiplayer would be like saying that the Pope is 'slightly' religious, or that the universe is 'fairly' large. This is not to say that there is no offline option available, just that I can't imagine anyone would want to play it. There is no single player story available here and offline mode consists solely of playing the same multiplayer experience against AI controlled bots. AI controlled bots from hell.

Bots in Wheels of Destruction are supernaturally accurate and can blast you from half way across the map with seemingly no trouble whatsoever. However, that doesn't mean they are difficult to kill in a deathmatch as they are also so monumentally stupid they are unable to grasp the concept of collecting the powerful shield and health upgrades littered around each level. All you need to do is grab some power ups to get your shield up to max, hit and run a couple of bots, then retreat to refill your shield meter.

Capture the flag offline is woeful. The AI bots have a tendency to camp at their team's flag spawn – which is a viable enough tactic I suppose. However, considering the rest of the bots act with absolutely no coordination there is really no chance that the flag will get picked up as the lone attacker will almost inevitably get picked off by the multiple defending vehicles. Having played a few games offline I only managed a couple of flag captures and the AI never managed one for either team.

Wheels of Destruction

The soundtrack of the game deserves special mention, featuring as it does loud thrashy rubbish which sounds like 5 seconds of actual music repeating on an infinite loop. The music in this game was enough to give me a headache after around 15 minutes of playtime. Thankfully, it can be (and was) turned off separately from the sound effects via the options menu.

Wheels of Destruction is an interesting concept sadly ruined by bad controls, uninspired game modes, poor weapons choice and badly designed levels. Unfortunately there is little to recommend here to either driving fans or players of online shooters.

4.00/10 4

Wheels of Destruction (Reviewed on PlayStation 3)

Minor enjoyable interactions, but on the whole is underwhelming.

If you are interested in the concept of a driving game spliced with a multiplayer combat game then you may have your eye on Gelid Games' PSN Exclusive, Wheels of Destruction, which aims to deliver classed-based multiplayer carnage to the comfort of your own living room.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Ross D. Brown

Ross D. Brown


Ross has been with GameGrin since February 2012 and acted as Site Editor until late 2014. He is also a proud Northerner.

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