Wheelman Xbox 360
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Wheelman Product Details
Released on 27/03/2009
Combining spectacular Hollywood-style stunts with a gripping storyline, Wheelman on Xbox 360 provides an adrenaline-fueled, cinematic thrill ride guaranteed to leave you breathless. Vin Diesel stars as an undercover agent and highly skilled driver who must infiltrate the Barcelona underworld to gather intelligence surrounding a covert heist. Posing as a driver-for-hire, he ends up caught in a crossfire of corruption and chaos while trying to stay one step ahead of local law enforcement and rival gangs.
Wheelman on Xbox 360 Features:
- Vin Diesel is The Wheelman on Xbox 360 - Action film megastar Vin Diesel and his Tigon Studios are again blurring the lines between entertainment mediums, this time collaborating with Midway in the design and production of Wheelman on Xbox 360 to ensure an edge-of-your-seat gaming experience. Diesel's voice and likeness will appear as the game's main character, expert Wheelman Milo Burik.
- Cinamatic Thrill Ride – Wheelman on Xbox 360 delivers rubber-burning, asphalt-churning excitement that will take gamers on a white knuckle thrill ride that unfolds throughout the streets of Barcelona. Featuring car chases inspired by Hollywood's most famous action-sequences, Wheelman on Xbox 360 will deliver powerful cinematic moments throughout the game's compelling storyline.
- Supermove Stunts – Survive death-defying feats by performing pulse-pounding maneuvers that only an expert Wheelman on Xbox 360 can pull off. Pull off a Cyclone and spin the vehicle 360 degrees while precision firing at your enemies.
- More Than Just a Driver – Sideswipe pursuing enemies to get them off your tail, execute devastating maneuvers for maximum motor vehicle carnage, or grab your gun and start blasting right through the windshield.
- Maximum Mobility – Commandeer a semi truck to leave your mark on the city. Escape down a narrow alleyway on the back of a tricked-out motorcycle. Hop behind the wheel of exclusively licensed vehicles and make your getaway in style.
- Hit the Pavement - Even the best Wheelman sometimes needs to get out of the vehicle. Take to the Barcelona streets for on-foot action – but make sure to remember your guns.
- Living, Breathing Barcelona - Set in the exotic location of Barcelona, Spain. This classic European city is densely populated with traffic and pedestrians that react intelligently to your actions as you roam around realistic environments filled with massively destructible objects.
"Venga Venga Venga!"
The Wheelman announces its intentions early. In fact, they're pretty much there on the box: Vin Diesel; cars; bikes; explosions. Seven and a half out of ten. There you go, review done.
In all seriousness though, turn on the game and in just a few minutes you'll know what Wheelman's all about. The opening credits unfold to an evocative Spanish guitar, the menu and intro see a camera swooping through Wheelman's wonderfully rendered Barcelona gameworld, and then you're instantly behind the wheel, speeding away from a bank robbery with cop cars in close pursuit.
New in town
The titular wheelman is Catalonia newcomer Milo Burik – played (if you hadn't guessed) by Vin Diesel. Or rather, the Madame Tussauds waxwork of him, such is the Uncanny Valley look of Wheelman's oh-so-shiny character models. Milo is the latest hotshot driver to break into Barcelona's crime-ridden underbelly… or so his new gang contacts think. In truth, he's undercover for a group known as The Agency, looking to foil a plot which could potentially be, quote-unquote (and we're still not exactly sure what this means)… "nation breaking."
If you want to bomb down cobblestone alleyways, tip over tables then handbrake turn into a highway of traffic, Wheelman's the game for you.
Wheelman's plot won't win any awards for scripting or acting, but as a pretext for the setting and some insane high-speed action, we couldn't have asked for much more. Barcelona is a colourful, buoyant metropolis which lends itself perfectly to the types of real-time driving action you'd find in classic films like The Italian Job. If you want to be bombing it down cobblestone alleyways, tipping over tables, dislodging boxes and generally causing havoc before handbrake turning into a whole highway of onrushing traffic, Wheelman is definitely the game for you.
One of the most pleasing things outside of Wheelman's main story is how much gameplay it actually offers. It's no GTA IV, so there's little of the customisation or focus on minigames of RockStar's title, but there are an absolute ton of side missions to unlock as you progress, and these are where Wheelman's real longevity lies.
Fast and furious
There's several sorts of these side-missions on offer, all of which can be found on the overhead map, accessible via the Back button. Yellow arrows represent Taxi missions (ferry someone to a goal), turquoise means Made To Order (steal and deliver a certain number of cars), red are Rampage (destroy targets within a time limit), purple are Fugitive missions (escape a gang and get to a safehouse) and orange are Fast and the Furious style street races.
All have an in-depth ranking system, there's associated Achievements too; and successfully completing them gives upgrades to your vehicle attack power, performance, health and your focus gauge, which grants you your nitro powers. Plus, you can walk around Barca at your leisure or fast-travel to side-missions using the abovementioned map screen, so Wheelman presents a pleasing split between immersion and accessibility.
Wheelman goes for over-the-top action and awesome set pieces to keep enthusiasm high and pulses racing.
That would be for nought though if Wheelman wasn't fun when you're behind the wheel. Luckily, as mentioned in the preview, it proves an explosive nitro-fuelled riot that plays not unlike Burnout Paradise. Being able to shunt left, right and forwards with a simple flick of the right stick when you're going at full speed is a great idea, and the crash cam makes for cool cinematic moments when you send enemy vehicles careering out of control. The Air Jacking feature meanwhile is as ridiculous as it is handy, meaning the momentum rarely lets up – and the slow-motion bullet time bits on the D-pad add a degree of John Woo gunplay flair which is never a bad thing.
Out and about
About the worst aspects of Wheelman take place outside of the car, in the third-person shooting missions which feature their own unusual cover system. You can't snap to a wall here, instead requiring you to duck under cover, pop Milo's head up, shoot, move forward, and progress like so. It's fun, don't get us wrong, but out of the car it's no Grand Theft Auto.
But then, Wheelman isn't trying to be. Like Ninja Blade which we reviewed last week, Wheelman is a more immediate, less overtly serious take on its genre which goes for over-the-top action and awesome set pieces to keep enthusiasm high and pulses racing. And like Ninja Blade it's no Game of the Year contender, but what it is, is solid, addictive arcade fun that'll keep you smiling for well over 20 hours.
- Insane high-speed car combat.
- Lots of addictive side-missions take the duration to the 20 hour mark.
- Wheelman's Barcelona gameworld is colourful, busy and beautifully realised.
- On-foot missions aren't in the same league as GTA IV.
- The story and characterisation aren't going to win any awards.
- Not the game for you if you don't like lots of driving.
Sometimes I feel as though I'm in Barcelona...
Eons ago when I was a wide-eyed University fresher, my friends and I decided to take off abroad for a well-earned rest from our 'studies' (cough). The destination we chose was Barcelona – a brilliant blend of cobblestone streets, age-old architecture and contemporary Catalan culture. And yet, despite being in one of the most diverse, beautiful cities on Earth with student overdraft to burn, my games-mad brain just kept thinking one thing: How cool would it be if someone used this as a videogame setting?
Well, now someone has. Wheelman on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC is the first game in living memory that's modelled modern day Barca as a fully free-to-roam virtual world – and on first impressions, it's worth visiting every bit as much as the real-life location.
The setting may be a bit different, but on first play Wheelman is likely to remind you of some of the more famous games of recent years – with a few cool features taken from one or two of the lesser-known ones.
Using the right stick to basically barge into cars driving next to you creates countless instances of glorious on-the-fly carnage.
Wheelman's first point of comparison is the hugely popular Burnout Paradise. Kicking off the demo of Wheelman currently up on Xbox Live, you find yourself in control of a car, weaving between traffic and blitzing through highways, alleys and even office blocks of the fully, painstakingly rendered city. There's nitros to burn, shortcuts to take and even a slow-mo crash cam when you send chasing cop cars soaring through the air – and it's all so hi-octane that you can't help but feel a bit blown away.
Stepping out of the car, Wheelman's instant second comparison is RockStar's Grand Theft Auto series. Like GTA, Wheelman features on-foot sections with third-person gunplay, where you're free to thieve any passing or parked vehicle and enjoy joyriding to your next objective – marked in green on the overhead map in the screen's bottom right corner. There's a main story running throughout Wheelman, but as with any game in the genre, there's also a host of side missions, ranging from things like street races to capturing cars for cash within a time limit – meaning you're likely to be playing Wheelman for a good while before you can say you've seen everything.
Jack of all cars
Then there's the neat little touches. Air Jacking is a feature that's reminiscent of underrated PSP driving action game Pursuit Force, seeing you steer behind a car you're looking to take control of, holding B, releasing it when an icon above your target turns green, and literally catapulting yourself onto the roof – and from there into the driver's seat – of your new ride.
For anyone who likes the idea of careering around Barcelona at insane speeds, Wheelman offers a whole lot of fast and furious fun.
There are also two really quite badass Bullet Time moves on the d-pad: press up and you'll zoom into an over-the-shoulder view for some slow-mo shooting; press down and you'll activate the Cyclone, which is basically the same thing with your car being sent into a manic spin. It all reminds us of John Woo's stylish Stranglehold, although there is some GTA style lean-out-of-window lock-on shooting, too – and the rather unique option to use the right stick to basically barge into cars driving next to you, which creates countless instances of glorious on-the-fly carnage.
Put all of these different game features together, and Wheelman is really quite immediate. Prolonged play throws up a few concerns about the car handling; it's a bit… elastic band-like, really, with your motor cornering one way and then drastically tail whipping to the opposite extreme. It certainly won't be for physics-worshipping Gran Turismo fans, then, but for anyone who likes the idea of careering around Barcelona at insane speeds, Wheelman offers a whole lot of fast and furious fun.
And of course, there's the unmistakable Vin Diesel factor. His picture is prominent on the box, and his presence in Wheelman as main character Milo Burik bodes well for gamers. His movie career may not exactly be Oscar-renowned, but his appearances in the Riddick games have been nothing but well received, and his performance here as a gravelly voiced, musclebound man of few words puts Jason Statham's role in The Transporter to shame.
I've compared Wheelman with a lot of other games already, but there's one more that can't escape a mention. In many ways, Wheelman is shaping up to be the game that the Driver series always tried to offer. With badass action, insane stunts, high-speed thrills and one of the world's finest cities as a setting, I'd bank on this being a bit of a surprise hit.
Wheelman Review (03/04/2009)
"Venga Venga Venga!"
The Wheelman announces its intentions early. In fact, they're pretty much there o…Wheelman Preview (20/03/2009)
Sometimes I feel as though I'm in Barcelona...
Eons ago when I was a wide-eyed University fresher, my friends and I decided to …Wheelman User ReviewsTop review7 months agoVin DieselCant kill the cops, apart of that cool game.1 year agoWheelmanGreat fun game easy to use and would recommend the game to others3 years agoWheelmanwow!4 years agoWheelmanthis game is great but the only bad thing i no online play such a shame4 years agoWheelmanlike driv3r i would pay £50 brilliant!Configuring your price alert
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