Copyright Adam Schlosser

Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser

Posted by Pip

MF25- Alton Brown Probably Disapproves

Children: Taste great AND less filling! Really, if you have identical twins, itís like having an extra toaster. Sure itís nice to have two, but you certainly donít NEED two, so you may as well give one away. But Gluttony pushed her buffet a bit too far and messed with Lust. You donít bother people with prehensile hair.
And yes, I donít have kids and never plan to either.

Quick Review: The Wheelman- The game has hideous character models, awful dialogue, by the books characters and story, and you'll be able to pick out the final bad guy within seconds of meeting it, but with some tweaks it could have been one of the most brain-dead and fun action driving games ever made. It doesn't just hate physics, it straps a load of dynamite to it and then jumps away in slow motion. You can make your car strafe and do melee attacks, that is how insanely fun this game is. Not only can you jump from car to car, but you can jump from several meters BEHIND the other car while driving at ludicrous speed, land on the roof, and hijack it. The cars in the game are fantastic and have amazing handling, so unlike GTA4, the driving sections are a blast to play. The gunplay is the standard GTA-esq kind but with a pretty lousy lock-on that gravitates towards the least threatening opponent instead of the one standing in front of you. It's amazing that a cheesy, bad game like this could so many things right that GTA botched though. There are mid-mission checkpoints! That alone is an enormous improvement over most GTA games. You can instantly warp to missions and restart them in a snap as well. You move from testosterone injected mission to testosterone injected mission in a matter of seconds (plus some rather lengthy load times despite a required full installation). My only gameplay related gripes are kind of major and sap the replayability and make the later missions incredibly frustrating. The side missions where you earn your upgrades and new weapons are just too hard to be fun. You're under strict time limits or the enemy racers are just too good so I wound up ignoring them, which meant I was stuck with a crappy character and weapon through the whole game. The other major gripe is that there are unlimited enemies. When you take down an enemy, another one almost instantaneously takes its place. There's literally no point in fighting opponents because of this and you can't outrun them or shake them because the game uses rubberbanding so severely that enemies will actually pop out of thin air if you get too far away from the pack. You can boost your car (apparently every single car in the city has nitro burners on it, go figure) but the enemies increase in speed when you do it too, so there's really no point in using it. If Wheelman embraced how cheesy and ludicrous the action is, the story could have been a lot of fun; instead it takes itself seriously and the cutscenes are boring, trite, and thankfully skippable but the gameplay is the pure mindless fun that would be at home in any summer blockbuster.