A dumping ground for things i think are cool :)
This was originally going to be a review for Driver San Francisco however, I did feel that a 7 word long rant that just says "I really like this game. Buy it." would be a tad boring. So, wheelman. Everybody's favourite 2009 open world rooty tooty point and shooty game featuring everybody's favourite unfathomably deep voiced muscly man, Vin Diesel. Developed by Midway, Wheelman is one of the most unforgettable forgettable videogame experiences. I had previously played this game when I was approximately the age of child because it was like GTA but not rated MA15+. That was a while ago so it was inevitable that I would have forgotten a bulk of the game but in actuality, I had forgotten more or less everything about it.
So, starting the game up there is a really flashy and cool introduction mission where you drive and absolutely destroy other cars. You might as well stop playing now because this is like, ¾ of the game. The driving physics are really arcade and "direct" so it takes some time to get used to it, if you can get used to it at all. The car combat is quite interesting as you can just ram and sideswipe cars without any effort, simply flicking the right stick to destroy everything in your way. Throughout the mission there are explosions. Throughout the game there are explosions. This sounds cool in a Just Cause sort of "wow this is so over the top and fun" way but the action film presentation of Wheelman wears thin quickly.
You might of noticed how I haven't mentioned the story yet. This is for good reason as the game's main plot doesn't make any sense. It's convoluted and really easy to lose track of, even if you don't skip a cutscene and read the game's emails before every mission. The TL;DR version of the story is that you are Milo Burik (although you may as well just be Vin Diesel himself) and you are in Barcelona. There are 3 gangs in Barcelona and this is very obviously not good so to solve this issue, Milo drives and kills people. There are supporting characters, probably, that help Milo along the way. There are also antagonists that hinder Milo along the way. It's overall really forgettable, just like the rest of the game. Apart from driving, there is also shooting too. The game copies Grand Theft Auto 4's generous lock-on which makes aiming trivial. You are equipped with a pistol that has infinite ammo by default but you can find/pick up other side-weapons throughout the game which can make the ordeal of shooting other people a bit easier. You also have a lot of health which means that you can just power through an entire building filled with enemies without much difficulty.
In terms of graphics and sound, Wheelman sure does have those things. Powered by unreal engine, the game looks just ok. Lighting and explosion effects look as you'd roughly expect them to look however, the games 3d models and overall world are rough and re-used too often to be distinctive. On the topic of asset re-use, there is only a tiny amount of cars in the game with two of them being licensed. You got the Pontiac g8 and the Opel Astra and everything else is just a lidl offbrand, with many of the cars looking almost exactly like their real life counterpart. Sound is also just ok. Vin's voice has been bass boosted to hell and back and the soundtrack is just sorta there. There may or may not be cool licensed songs or neat original music but it doesn't matter too much because of how it'll get drowned out by everything else.
At this point I am running out of things to say. The game has side activities which you can complete in order to upgrade yourself but given how not difficult the game is, you can completely skip past these. Actually, in terms of difficulty, Wheelman is never hard, only just frustrating. Your opponents have some of the most blatant rubber banding and in the case of missions where you need to chase someone, painfully obviously scripted patterns that don't allow you to get close even if you are in a faster car than them.
Overall, Wheelman is a game. You can play it. I'm not too sure why you would want to play it other than because it's a funny haha meme game but really, you can do better than this. It's a game that you will forget about 30 minutes after completing and a game that you won't really feel anything for the duration of it. Wheelman can be found for over $18 on ebay which, for that much, is not really worth it unless you collect bad games.