Wheels of Destruction
Developer: Gelid Games
Price: $10/7.99 £
Platform: PS3 (PSN)
Remember my Smash N Survive review a couple weeks back? Remember how it sucked and it is a car combat game that shouldn’t be played? Well I’m glad to say that Wheels of Destruction is nothing like that. WoD is actually worth checking out.
After my run in with SNS I was a bit worried about reviewing another downloadable car combat game. However after starting it up and playing a few sessions, I quickly realized that Wheels of Destruction wasn’t a lazily designed mess, but actually a pretty fun little game.
To give a basic rundown, WoD is a car-combat game that focuses on firearms, meaning that you’ll be using long-range weapons to take your opponents down. It plays very much like an arcade game, the goal of the game modes is to get the highest score and win, nothing more, nothing less. It’s designed for competitive play, which is evidenced by the leaderboards and one other, very important thing: there’s no story mode.
Yes, if there was one thing that bothered me, it’s the fact that there’s only multiplayer in this game. Well, to be more accurate, you can play against bots alone offline, but there’s not a whole lot of point to that. This is essentially WoD’s biggest flaw, it’s strictly for players who like to play competitively online and doesn’t offer anything more. Whether this is a problem or not depends on the player: if you’re looking for a fun car combat game to play online with other people, you’ll like WoD. However, if you want some sort of campaign mode to play with actual storyline and objectives, you won’t find any of that here.
The game offers three different game modes: deathmatch, team deathmatch and capture the flag, with five different maps to play on. As far as modes go, this is pretty standard stuff and it left me wondering if there couldn’t have been more. There’s also other settings, such as firefight, which will leave you with only the starting weapon and random, which will start you off with a different car each time you spawn. Speaking of weapons and cars, there are four weapons (each with a secondary fire mode) and five cars to choose from. The cars themselves have different stats and ability and are built with different preferences in mind. The Heavy can take a lot of hits, the Engineer can jump higher, you get the idea. Also, all of them are destructible which is a very important asthetic for a car combat game. As for the weapons, I found myself using the rocket launcher as much as I could and ignoring the rest, as there isn’t a whole lot of point in using the weak gatling gun or the flamethrower, when you can use the heavy hitting rail gun or the homing rockets. I suppose the gatling gun is the starting weapon and has infinite ammo, but there are plenty of weapon pickups you can find to get your hands on better weapons.
The controls can take some time to get used to. Particularly the aiming. Oddly enough, the right analog stick doesn’t control the camera or lets you aim. Both steering and aiming has to be done with the left stick, which can take some time getting used to and can be very jarring at first. However it’s really not that big of a problem, thanks to the semi auto-aim.
As you have probably already figured out, Wheels of Destruction lacks variety and replay value. No campaign, three game modes, five maps, five cars, it’s small numbers all around. While some of it is understandable, (for example the cars are all unique and different) it still leaves you wanting a bit more. The gameplay is fun, you drive around, destroy other players cars, pick up weapons, shields and health wherever you find them, and just generally enjoy the fast-paced action the game brings. But how long can that last? If you like the genre and you’re looking for fast-paced, simple online play, this game is for you. However, if you’re not into that, you really shouldn’t bother, WoD’s simplicity is both its strength and its weakness: if you don’t enjoy the gameplay all that much after playing a session or two, you’ll have no reason to continue playing.
The Final Word
Wheels of Destruction is not a bad game, it can be quite fun for what it is, and one can see the effort that was put into the game. However its lack of variety and overall simplicity ends up becoming its biggest flaw, which keeps it from being anything more than a nice distraction to play when you’re bored and have nothing better to do. If you want a simple and cheap car combat game that is worth the price, Wheels of Destruction might just be for you. Just don’t expect it to hold your interest for more than a couple days.
MonsterVine Rating: 3 out of 5 – Average