Wheels of Destruction: World Tour|
Wheels of Destruction: World Tour sounds great on paper. A class-based car combat game that promises to put a Team Fortress spin on the Twisted Metal franchise, all using the Unreal Engine – how could you go wrong? Well, somewhere from concept to delivery Gelid Games dropped the ball…blew their engine…got a flat…(insert your own clever term for epic fail here).
Designed primarily for online play, there is no real single-player game other than some competitive bot-challenges that serve as your Drivers-Ed before you are thrust into the real world, but don’t start thrusting just yet. First, you will have to adjust, overcome, or simply adapt to the clunkiest control scheme in the history of racing games. With so many car combat games that have gotten it right in the past, how in the hell did the Warthog steering model from HALO (arguably the most hated driving mechanic in driving history) ever become the standard for Wheels of Destruction. But it’s even worse than HALO because the lag in you aiming the targeting cursor and the time it takes your car to actually turn to follow is insufferably long. It’s like driving an RC car with a dead battery.
Since racing and car combat games live and die by their controls the game is pretty much a complete failure from the launch screen, but for those willing to stick with it you can try to milk some fun from the somewhat interesting dynamic of class-based combat. Prior to each event you can choose from Scout, Heavy, Assassin, Soldier, and Engineer. Each has their pros and cons with the solider being the most well-rounded of the bunch. All the other classes have just enough weaknesses that they will probably need to be part of a well-balanced team to succeed.
Game modes are the traditional DM, TDM, and CTF and support up to 12 players. In my several days of testing the game exhibited terrible lag in most every game I tried, even with only 3-4 other players and bots turned off (you can optionally have bots fill in to make a 12-car roster). Some cars would warp around the play area making them impossible to target. I can only imagine how much worse it gets with 8 or more players but honestly, I could never find enough humans playing online to reach that number. Admittedly, this is the first week after launch but I can’t see this game taking off, and with nobody playing, that kinds of takes the wind out of your online-multiplayer sails. I even tried to spectate a match on launch day and there was NOBODY playing online.
Events take place on five multiplayer maps including Paris, London, Rome, Tokyo and…Seattle?! Seattle is keeping some pretty good company these days. All these cities have a futuristic spin on them along with unique color pallets and city-specific scenery. The Unreal engine is perfectly capable of creating fantastic visuals and these cities are certainly above average – some are even quite good. The audio is merely average; at times laughably bad like the one weapon that quite literally sounds like somebody is spitting at you. The music is merely okay and there is some nice direction sound that lets you track the position of the enemy cars. Explosions are nice.
I was really looking forward to Wheels of Destruction: World Tour, but with no real story or campaign mode for offline play, and not enough competition to fuel the laggy and limited online modes, this game is in dire need of a complete overhaul. In a world where Twisted Metal exists; this game doesn’t stand a chance.