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PS3 Game Review

Wheels of Destruction


Format: PS3
RRP: £8.00
Age Restrictions: 7+
Available 04 April 2012

In a post-apocalyptic dystopia, with the cities in ruins and sunken under the rising waters, what’s most on peoples mind is not survival, but driving around like loons trying to blow the poggies out of each other. Ah well, no one said console games had to make any sense, so long as they are fun...

Wheels of Destruction: Class Warfare, is not the game involving the proletariat regaining the means of production and thereby freeing themselves from the various opiates of a feudal system - that will probably be in Class Warfare II - no, it’s a team driving game, with a limited number of cars which can be played on or off line. It is also infuriatingly addictive.

The basic premise is that you drive around blowing up your opponents and often playing capture the flag. Anyone who has played a team game based on the Unreal Engine will know what they are getting into.

When the game starts up, it initially looks as if you have many options for modifying your vehicle, this is deliberately not true. Most of the menus which deal with your vehicle are there for information only. The reason behind this is that Gelid Games has tried to move the game away from other online experiences, which are often intimidating for new players as more advanced players generally have upgraded everything and you die rather quickly. The idea behind Wheels of Destruction is that this part of the game remains a level playing field, making the gamers fall back on skill alone and not any fancy enhancements.

From the main menu you can choose to play off line, which is really a practice mode. The game supports trophies, but all of these are awarded for online achievements. Off line you are restricted to the choice of playing area. At present there are only five, Paris, Seattle, London, Tokyo and Rome, although, apart from the inclusion of a few landmarks, the maps seem to little resemblance the actual locations.

You can also choose the number of players as well as your vehicle - which comes in five flavours, Scout, Soldier, Heavy, Engineer and Assassin, each with their own speed, weapons and shield attributes. One nice touch which the game does have, is the ability to change vehicles mid-match, with just one click of the right stick, these will be equipped with either a Gatling gun, flamethrower, rail gun or rocket launcher, though these can be changed or obtained during battle as the arena is strewn with repair, shield, ammo and weapon icons, for easy pickup.

So what’s it like to play, given the amount of restrictions? The first thing you notice is the controls. You only get a choice of two schemes and I found the car almost uncontrollable with the first, switching over to the second improved matters, but the choice to slave your direction of travel to your gun sight, means that in order to shoot behind, you have to turn your whole vehicle in that direction. Nor is there any option to move the aiming up or down, so there is no point in hiding on a bridge attempting a stealth kill, if it isn’t directly in front of you on the same level, then your out of luck. The only acceptation to this rule appears to be the use of rockets, but only just.

The environment is acceptable, although you cannot blow it up, which given this is a game based on wanton destruction, seem to be a little odd.

Whilst playing against the bots is instructive, in the off line game, it certainly teaches you to keep on the move and keep an eye out for opposing team members, it can be frustrating that there are no rewards. The real power of the game will be in the on line game and here we hit a snag.

Having gotten my hairy mits on the game early, there was no on line experience to be had, nor could I find any active servers, presumably this will be rectified by the time the game is commercially available, because it will be the on line community and its various clans which will make or break the game. If it does take off and people engage, then, given its relatively low price, this could make for a pretty good gaming experience.

So, some reservations about the controls and environment, but overall the game impresses, especially as it will allow a generation of gamers who prefer to rely on skill, rather than fancy upgrades to win the day. At this time, there is no support for the PS Vita, which is surely a mistake. The fast pace, but relatively low time commitment, would make this an ideal platform for the game.


Charles Packer

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