Wheels of Destruction: World Tour Review
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On 05/02/2012 at 11:46 PM by Vic Roman
There’s almost nothing good in this Twisted Metal wannabe.
Don’t buy this one. If you really want inexpensive vehicle destruction just wait for Twisted Metal’s price to drop.
Following in the footsteps of Twisted Metal and Vigilante 8, Wheels of Destruction attempts to bring a fun, vehicle-driven car combat to PSN. As a budget downloadable title it seemed like Wheels of Destruction would be able to deliver, but the final product doesn’t have much to gloat about.
The graphics in Wheels of Destruction are definitely the high point. Influenced by Halo 4’s futuristic aesthetic, the game looks great and visually seems like it could fit in the Halo universe as a spin-off title. The simple and well-organized menus are also pleasing to the eyes, making everything easily accessible.
If you’re wondering why I started this review with a nod to the graphics and menus, it’s because it’s one of the only redeeming factors of the game. I could not find another aspect of Wheels of Destruction that I enjoyed at all.
Wheels of Destruction is clearly meant to be played online, but it still offers a single player campaign. This mode does little more than allow you to face off against AI opponents – and the AI is atrocious. Your opponents will often just drive around aimlessly, not fight back while you shoot them to pieces, and some opponents never shoot back at you at all. I tested this by sitting idle in a spot and of the course of the match only one of my opponents attacked me.
However, this isn’t consistent behavior - every once in a while it seemed like everyone only attacked me. This issue reaches into all aspects of the game, making none of the modes fun to play.
While the poor AI destroys the single player experience, the lack of modes, tracks, cars, and weapons don’t help either. You only have a few of each, which doesn’t provide the necessary variety for a car combat game. Absolutely none of the maps are interesting – they don’t offer any sort of functionality that adds depth or strategy. These static playgrounds only further detract from the already boring experience.
The few vehicles you can select range from a quick driving car that is easily destroyed, to a slow tank with durable armor. The only thing that feels different between each vehicle is how quickly you die and how fast you accelerate. Every car has the same weapon load out, and no matter what weapon you use (be it a machine gun or rocket launcher) they all feel identical.
Even if the game had better maps, vehicles, and weapons, it wouldn’t matter because the controls ruin any hint of fun that would have existed. Awkward steering is the main offender. Pressing left and right doesn’t truly turn your vehicle. Instead, it shifts the focus of your camera and then the vehicle starts to turn in that direction with a bit of delay. This makes steering completely disconnected from your reflexes.
Despite the game forcing you to drive around as if you’re a camera, the camera is not allowed to shift vertically. It’s a strange restriction and it’s frustrating when you can’t aim at an opponent who is slightly above you. Though, you can’t really aim at anything anyway. There is an auto-lock system that very randomly and unpredictably locks on to enemies. Absolutely everything about controlling Wheels of Destruction is terrible.
Online multiplayer, the apparent highlight of the game, is plagued by allof the same problems as single player gameplay. Once again, let’s pretend that the game did have some redeeming factors; the online multiplayer would still be bad. This is because it’s ridiculously tough to find a match to join. Even when I found a game to join, it was often just a map with two or three people aimlessly driving around trying to find each other.
It took a long time, but I was eventually able to find multiplayer matches with full player capacity. In each and every match the lag ruined the experience.
Wheels of Destruction gives off a very misleading first impression. Nice looking menus and slick graphics make you think you’re in for a decent ride, but everything quickly falls apart once you start playing. There are some good ideas present, but all of the technical problems stop this title from ever being fun.