The vehicle combat/racing title genre is one that tends to have a dedicated but fairly small fanbase. With franchises such as Wipeout and Twisted Metal raising the bar for smash and race fans everywhere, any new entrants into the genre have to be pretty damn special if they’re to make their mark and capture audiences’ attention. Wheels of Destruction will certainly be remembered by anyone who plays it, but not in the way developer Gelid Games was surely hoping for.
The game’s clearly been designed with multiplayer combat as its priority as evidenced by its woefully lacking singleplayer component – you can set up any of the three match types across the five available maps with bots, but that’s it. Unfortunately the multiplayer mode on which the game’s success hinges is a dissapointing and unimaginatve experience that brings nothing new to the table and feels more like a step backward than forward.
It’s a straight up ‘destroy all other combatants’ affair, a simple concept made frustratingly difficult by an archaic control system in which the camera and steering are combined – wherever you point the crosshair is where you’ll go.
Worse yet, the combat lacks any sense of challenge or fun. Each of the five weapons you can pick up use the same autolock system to target your opponents, making fights a case of simply pointing your vehicle at the opponent and hitting the fire button. At best there’s no sense of satisfaction or achievement and at worst it’s outright boring.
There’s an admirable attempt at introducing a class system via five different types of vehicle but the differences between them are practically non-existent. There are no real distinctions between their abilities or weapons so the differences essentially come down to shield strength and speed.
It’s not all bad though – the game looks great and its loading times are impressively swift. It’s just a shame there are only five levels to look at.
At £7.99 there are certainly worse things to spend your money on, but even for a download-only title, Wheels of Destruction is too devoid of variety and imagination to warrant its asking price for all but the most hardcore of destruction racing fans.