The latest, TV-advertised game from the Vin Diesel-powered Tigon Studio, Wheelman opens with an adrenaline-spiking cinematic car chase that makes Bond and Bourne's behind-the-wheel antics look like a driving lesson.
As the titular driver-for-hire, you're immediately thrust into a blockbuster-worthy scenario that sees you weaving through oncoming traffic, blasting down too-narrow back alleys, and hitting top speeds as you leave twisted metal, shattered glass and fiery explosions in your wake. It's a seat-of-your-pants opening that adequately sets the stage for what's to come in this GTA-meets-Burnout romp.
Wheelman: better buckle-up
As Vin Diesel - I mean, undercover agent Milo - you'll infiltrate all corners of Barcelona's crime syndicate through a series of missions and side quests.
You'll spend much of the game in the driver's seat, and that's a good thing as Wheelman's at its pulse-pounding best when you're behind the wheel, engaging in car-to-car battles, or simply turning a sidewalk cafe into a sea of overturned tables, flying umbrellas, and fleeing pedestrians.
The driving mechanics are accessible and tight, allowing you to pull off slick stunts with ease; you'll never have to worry about being stalled by accidents or obstacles either, as not even a head-on collision with a brick wall will keep you from the action for more than a few seconds. Realistic? No. Fun? Absolutely!
The vehicular chaos only gets better when you factor in the game's Focus Meter which you fill by destroying objects, speeding, and generally driving like an a-hole (although, running down civilians will deplete the meter).
With a brimming Focus Meter, players can unleash a pretty standard temporary speed-booster, but my favourite focus powers let me combine my rubber-burning skills with some good ole' fashioned gunplay. One ability slows time and shifts the perspective to your vehicle's interior, while a reticule allows you to get an accurate bead on the road-blocking baddies up ahead. Even cooler, though, is the aptly dubbed "cyclone" maneuver that lets you pull a 180 while popping rounds at tires, gas tanks and driver's heads.
NEXT PAGE: get back in the car