XboxGameZone Review: Wheelman

As the game industry has grown over the years, more and more games are coming out that are movie tie-ins, with almost every major film release having a game released alongside it. Then there are occasions when a game will be so good that it will inspire a film to tell the story, such as Doom or Hitman. Rarer still are the games that are seen as sequels to a previous film, such as John Woo's Stranglehold (with Hard Boiled being the film prequel). Wheelman starring Vin Diesel doesn't fall into any of these current categories. It hasn't used a film for inspiration, and there is currently no film being done about the game. Instead, the game is set up to play out like a film, with a Hollywood star in the leading role and a storyline that they hope will grip you and pull you in. Unfortunately however, following the story can be as difficult as trying to follow a foreign film that doesn't have any subtitles.
Wheelman feels like a huge missed opportunity for me. While the driving side of the game can be quite fun, the way the rest of the game lets it down is bordering on unforgivable. With a much tighter story, better on foot action and a greater variety of side missions, Wheelman could have been an enjoyable and over-the-top experience. As it stands, it finds itself outgunned at virtually every turn by the rest of the games in the sandbox genre. With a story that's near impossible to follow for the 8 hours or so that it lasts, I find this very hard to recommend to anyone except the die hard Vin Diesel fans who are desperate to play another game starring the big man.

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