There is a huge problem when it comes to reviewing on an on-line only game before its release. There is no-one to play it with. Thankfully ‘Wheels of Destruction’ offers an offline mode which means I can explain the various modes, vehicles and weapon types.
Once you have started the game you will be presented with one of the best looking start screens known to man. One of the options, ‘Garage’, details the various weapon and cars available. It is also home to the rewards page. None of which I have been able to access because they are only given in on-line play.
When you select either ‘Online’ or ‘Offline’ mode you are asked to chose from five maps, three game modes and two modifiers, These can be automatically selected for you if you wish. Your areas of destruction are; London, Paris, Rome, Seattle and Tokyo. As you frantically drive around any one of the five arenas you are left questioning how these are related to any of the famous cities, For example, The Paris map quite simply has the Eiffel tower on it’s side in amongst some scrap metal in the background and that’s it. The rest of the map feels like it could be from any other generic shooter.
The three game modes are ‘Death Match’, Team Death Match and Capture the Flag’. I can only hope there are some more modes in the rewards menu. ‘Team Death Match’ and ‘Capture the Flag’ have a tactical element to them because of the classes of vehicles available. They are; Assassin, Scout, Soldier, Heavy and Engineer. I predominantly chose the soldier class because it was easier to start with.
Once you have chosen your map and match type you can choose from a wealth of two modifiers; ‘Random Car’ and ‘Firefight’, or play without them if you wish.
Once the game starts the first thing you will notice is that you don’t really control the car. You look at the aiming reticle and point towards your destination and accelerate. It takes a few minutes to get used to. Even worse still is the fact you can’t look up or down and you have to wait for the targeting reticle to lock on to a near-by enemy before you can fire your weapon.
When it comes to weapons you have four at your disposal. A Gatling Gun, Flame Thrower (Sole weapon in ‘Firefight’), Rockets and a Rail Gun. It looks like there is another weapon of untold power available but again you need to play on-line to unlock it. When it comes to weaponry you can be sure there is a shield and this one has been ripped right out of the grid from Tron. In its defence the shield is automatically visible and you become aware when it has been destroyed because your car no longer has neon lighting all over it. The shield can be recharged by performing flips in the air and successfully landing them. That’s right your car is capable of tricks. Your vehicle can boost for a short period of time and if done off a ramp you can catch some air and bust some tricks like Tony Hawk.
Wheels of Destruction is really hard to recommend offline. I have played it for sometime now and have only felt frustration because I cannot reap any of the rewards which may have unlocked some interesting weapons or modes. To detract further from my enjoyment, the A.I. controlled cars had a tendency to group in one area making the games predictable.
I will be playing this again as soon as it is released because I want to be able to try the on-line mode of the game but I have a feeling the core concept is ultimately too shallow and no matter how it is played it will still feel like it should have been better. Score: 4/10