Timing is certainly not on Wheels of Destruction’s side. Being released so close to the highly anticipated vehicular combat genre leader, Twisted Metal, Wheels of Destruction is put in a horrible position of comparison. And it simply can’t compete.
Wheels of Destruction offers very little content. Six vehicles make up the roster, with each belonging to a different class. However, distinctions between the classes are primarily aesthetic. Larger vehicles are on offer for the more direct combat focused classes, such as the Heavy or Assassin, but manoeuvrability, armour and weapons strength only receive minor , almost indefinable, differences. Additionally classes lack any class specific traits or abilities. It’s a very shallow system.
There are also only four available weapons: minigun, rockets, flamethrower and shotgun. However, the secondary fire button does extend each weapon’s use, with, for example, the rockets turning into mortal shells. Variety is certainly lacking, as is creativity, but as tools of destruction and mayhem they do their job admirably.
Combat takes place over only five maps, however, they are well designed. Each offer different levels of elevations and large areas to battle and escape from foes. They looks great too, showing off the Unreal Engine to great effect. Once again though, there’re far too few locations and your attention is quickly lost. Additionally, other than bot battles, there’s no singleplayer content. Wheels of Destruction is designed entirely around multiplayer, and with such a small player-base currently involved as well as some technical issues and further content limits, it’s a struggle to find and enjoy any online competition.
If you do find a match online, lag is frequent nuisance, and other than leaderboards there’s no persistent goal or reward for continued play. No levelling system, perks, or unlocks to be found anywhere. It’s another example of the bare minimum of content being offered. It’s a real shame, as it’s inherently fun destroying other vehicles and players, and the fast pace makes for a frantic, party atmosphere. Unfortunately with no local multiplayer option, however, you’re at the mercy of online play only.
Indeed, Wheels of Destruction’s premise is solid but it’s execution is far too superficial. As such it’s a facsimile of the vehicular combat genre and nothing substantial. Additionally an archaic control system where the camera and turning mechanics are mapped to the same analogue stick, makes controlling your vehicles sluggish and clumsy. It does help focus the action on firing your weapons but being unable to perform precision driving feels like a missed opportunity.
MLG Rating: 4/10 Platform: PS3 Release Date: 03/04/2012
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a digital copy of Wheels of Destruction by the promoter for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of one week on a PS3. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.