Review: Wheels of Destruction – World Tour (Sony PS3)

Wheels Of Destruction – World Tour
Developer: Gelid Games
Publisher: Gelid Games
Genre: Online Car Combat
Release Date: 03/27/2012

Car Combat games have been back on the rise since the release of Twisted Metal for the PS3, and online arena FPS games are a dime a dozen these days. Wheels of Destruction: World Tour attempts to merge these two genres into one title but fails to live up to either standard.

Games like Twisted Metal are already a far step ahead because right out of the box, it includes a full, story driven single player campaign. Wheels of Destruction’s single player amounts to little more than a handful of what are essentially tutorials against braindead AI drivers on the same five arena style maps used in the multiplayer, using the three different match types. In other words, the single player experience on hand here is just a bot filled training mode for the multiplayer, and nothing more. Hell, at least Unreal Tournament 3’s single player experience had a story to follow.

The game’s developer, Gelid Games, has been very vocal about comparing their new release to Unreal Tournament, talking up the supposed class system. But if you think you’re going to head out onto the field in a towtruck with guns to act as a “medic” for the team, think again. The “class” system amounts to nothing more than selecting your car type. There are five available, with the only discernable differences I could find being speed and durability. The acceleration and top speed vary, and the amount of damage it can take varies. And that’s it.

Controlwise this game seems to have been designed before the advent of dual analog sticks. Bucking the trend of the “steer with the left stick, turn the camera with the right stick” mechanic that has been in place for racing games for over a decade, the developers for some reason decided to merge the two into the left stick. Wherever you turn the camera, that’s where the car goes, which instantly causes anyone who has played a racing game since the PS1 came out to become quickly disoriented as their car seems to want to bash into the nearest wall while the camera angle turns sideways. Adding to the disorientation is the fact that the game tends to want to auto correct the camera angle to behind the car, but there is a good two to three second delay before this happens. So you’ll smash into a wall, the camera will turn to look at the side of the car, you try to right yourself, and the camera is still looking at the side of the car for three seconds before finally moving back behind the vehicle.

Because of these rather glaring issues, there is no way to accurately aim at your opponents, regardless of which weapon you are using (and yeah, there are only five to choose from, so they screwed that up too.) So rather than fix the steering/camera control problem, the developers seemed to have just thrown up their hands and said, “Ah, f*** it” and put everything on autolock aiming. Yeah, I want you to read that again. This is a title purporting to be inspired by the skillbased shooting of arena FPS titles like Unreal Tournament, but has autolock aiming. That’s like making a game inspired by the 3rd person melee combat of God of War but then making it 75% quick time events.

..Oh wait, someone already DID make that game. It’s called Asura’s Wrath.


The graphics are decent for a downlodable game running on Unreal Engine 3, but still overall manages to look like something that should have come out four or five years ago (in fact, one of the maps seems to have been directly inspired by a map from Halo 3.) And since the poor steering mechanic will have you staring at walls more than the rear bumpers of your opponents anyway, that’s not really saying a hell of a whole lot.

The music only has a small handful of tracks, if that, none of which are memorable at all. The music does nothing to get the blood pumping, which is a must-have in this style of game. Additionally the sound effects lack oomph. The gun sound effects make the gun sounds from the first Uncharted game sound deafening by comparison, and the engines sound little better than those of the most recent Hot Wheels title on the Wii.

I can think of no reason why anyone who spends more than five minutes with this game would find it in any way appealing. It’s marketed towards fragheads and Twisted Metal fanatics, and both are going to play one round, give their TV the finger, and go back to Twisted Metal or Modern Warfare 3 before this game has even finished being deleted off their hard drives. Hardcore fragheads will hate the lack of gameplay types and the absolute joke of a class system, and car combat fans will rage over the horrible controls, lack of manual aiming, and utter lack of car customization features. Nevermind the fact that it would seem most PS3 owners out there have been smart enough to avoid this joke of a game and have saved their money for more worthy titles, as it would appear that barely anyone is playing it, thus relegating the majority of anyone’s gameplay experience with this title to the empty, anemic wasteland of the single player mode.

The Scores
Game Modes: Worthless
Graphics: Mediocre
Sound: Mediocre
Control and Gameplay: Worthless
Replayability: Worthless
Balance: Worthless
Originality: Worthless
Addictiveness: Worthless
Appeal Factor: Worthless
Miscellaneous: Worthless

Short Attention Span Summary
There’s no nice way to say this. Wheels of Destruction – World Tour is a derivative, undercooked mess of halfbaked ideas that tries to be many things but fails at all of them. It tries to be Unreal Tournament and Twisted Metal, but gives the player the thrills and tight, responsive gameplay of neither. It is a complete and total waste of money. Six months down the road, if this pops up as a freebie for Playstation Plus members, I would still advise against downloading it. This game should be steered (poorly) directly into the junkyard where it belongs.


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