Wheelman (video game)
Midway Studios - Newcastle
John Zuur Platten
|Composer(s)||Jorge & Guillermo Badolato|
|Engine||Unreal Engine 3|
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360|
Wheelman is an action-adventure video game developed by Tigon Studios and Midway Studios - Newcastle and published by Ubisoft in conjunction with Midway Games for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows. The game was released in March 2009 and stars Vin Diesel.
The game is set in an open world environment modeled after Barcelona, full of destructible objects, alleyways, shortcuts through office blocks and a total of 31 story missions and 105 side missions. While most missions are driving-oriented, there are also foot missions which are played from a third person perspective. A wide variety of weapons are available to the player, such as pistols and RPGs.
Among the vehicles used by Milo Burik in the game is the Pontiac G8, shown in released trailers for Wheelman. Reports also indicated that the Opel Astra is a drivable vehicle. In the demo, his license plate says MRTL KM8T which is a reference to Mortal Kombat, Midway's popular fighting game.
The protagonist, Milo Burik (a digitized Vin Diesel, but also voiced), is an undercover agent from Miami posing as a wheelman for a female bank robber and former dancer named Lumi in Barcelona while walking out of the front door after stealing some important documents. She is caught by the police, however, Milo arrives to pick her up and a lengthy police chase ensues until Milo manages to evade the police. Lumi arranges a new car to avoid being spotted by the police in Milo's car, as soon as they arrive to drive the new vehicle. It explodes, they steal a car from the street before the police can arrive.
Meanwhile, after dropping Lumi off. Milo meets Anton Gallo, an assistant bureau chief for Milo's agency, the R.A.I. Gallo tasks Milo to infiltrate Barcelona's gangs to find a "package" that is a potential "nation-breaker". Gallo leaves Milo's car and Milo goes to meet Miguel Delgado. An African gangster working as an enforcer for his brother's gang, to ask for Felipe Lial, another gangster. He hires Milo to get back some cars that Miguel was planning to use for illegal street races. After this, Milo is given directions to Felipe. He meets Felipe in a street alley with some other thugs. He asks Felipe to hire him, however, Felipe just mocks him in response. Milo steals a thug's gun and demands Felipe's keys. Felipe complies and Milo steals his prized car. Angered, Felipe chases Milo to a construction site where Milo sets up a trap. After being trapped, Milo forces Felipe to call his uncle to hire him. Milo meets Paulo, uncle to Felipe. In the middle of a torture, he hires Milo to drive Felipe to a deal. Milo instead interrogates Felipe. Felipe tells him that the Romanians showed up a year ago with weapons deals, car thefts, and extortion. After the interrogation, Milo drops Felipe off at a subway only for Felipe to shoot the gang members and orders Milo to chase them to finish them off. Milo complies and chases after them for Felipe to finish them off. After that, they arrive at a location to kill the last guy, however, Felipe turns his gun on Milo and begins to threaten him. Lumi arrives to pick Felipe up and they drive off, leaving Milo behind.
Milo goes to meet Adrian, a Scottish undercover spy. However, a thug escapes on a scooter, Milo gets on a bike to chase him down. Milo knocks off his scooter and begins to interrogate the thug about Felipe. He tells Milo that Felipe is playing many sides of the criminal underworld. Milo meets Sordin Teodor, he hires to assassinate Benito. However, Adrian warns that Benito has some serious connections to the criminal underworld and strongly advises against killing him. Milo rescues Benito and refuses to kill Benito. A disappointed Sordin warns Milo for going against his wishes. He still hires Milo to do his jobs.
Milo later meets Che, Miguel's brother, agrees to help Milo to find Felipe. They rescue Miguel from a rival gang in the subway. After this, He meets Lumi again who betrays him, while after Lumi. He is interrupted by Gallo, to ask on Milo's progress. He reminds Milo about the package. After raiding a Romanian stronghold. The Romanians capture Miguel and leave for dead and force Milo to get Miguel. It turns out that Miguel is in a wanted car and a bomb vest on Miguel. Milo saves Miguel and gets back to a garage where his fellow gang members try to remove the bomb vest with some successful luck. After doing some jobs. Milo meets the gangs who are fighting over the plans. Sordin comes in and steals the plans. Milo steals back the plans only for Che to steal them. After a car chase and a fight, he defeats Che and recovers the plans. He meets Lumi's gang made of Javier and Felipe. Felipe turns out to be working with the Romanians. Milo kills Felipe and rids of Barcelona's gangs. Milo discovers that there is going to be an exchange soon. Milo and Lumi's gang kidnap a buyer and steal the package from the political rally. The remaining gangs ambush and fight for the package which contains a weapon of mass destruction. Javier is killed in the attack, however, Milo and Lumi escape from the gangs and go to see Gallo. It turns out Gallo is looking to invest in the briefcase and sell it to the highest bidder. Milo distracts Gallo and kills his guards. Milo chases after Gallo and manages to kill Gallo and secures the Briefcase. Milo meets with Lumi for one last time before he has to exit Barcelona and head back to America to meet with the CIA. Which Milo says is "going to be a long drive."
Wheelman was announced in February 2006 by publisher Midway Games as the second of three titles in a joint collaboration between Midway and MTV Networks. Midway Games collaborated with Tigon Studios to design the game. After multiple delays over the course of around three years, Wheelman was released in March 2009.
Simultaneously with the announcement of the video game in February 2006, a film adaptation was announced with Vin Diesel in the lead role and Rich Wilkes, who worked with Diesel on xXx (2002), was hired to write the script. Paramount Pictures and MTV Films were announced to collaborate on the project. Production of the film, with no script written yet, was estimated to be 18 months away from February 2006. The film will be a sequel to the video game, which will establish the background. As of 2018, no additional news of a film has ever been mentioned leaving the project presumably dead.
The game has received mixed reviews, many of the reviewers criticising the game for falling short of story mode and lacking multiplayer functionality. Giant Bomb's Jeff Gerstman said "Wheelman has some great ideas that are executed well, but a lot of the peripheral stuff is underwhelming." GamePro, however, gave the game a high 4/5, calling the game "a GTA-meets-Burnout romp." GameSpot gave the game a 6/10 saying "Wheelman offers plenty of movie-style thrills, although it's hamstrung by terrible on-foot gameplay. Hyper's Darren Wells commends the game for "cool and useful special driving moves [and] genuinely new locale". However, he criticises it for "meaningless vehicle handling, cheating AI, poor on-foot level design [and] bland graphics".
|Reviewing Site Address/Name||Rating|
|Game Informer||8.5/10 |
|That Gaming Site||8.8/10|
- "Midway and Ubisoft announce strategic relationship to publish Wheelman". Midway Games. Archived from the original on February 21, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
- "Pontiac G8 GT Featured in Wheelman - New Video Game and Movie with Vin Diesel". g8nation.com. April 17, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-27.[dead link]
- "Midway's Simon Woodroffe on Wheelman". Play.tm. December 16, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
- ""Wheelman" To Come to Life as Video Game Property and Feature Film; Vin Diesel to Star and Produce". Midway Games. 2006-02-22. Archived from the original on 2008-01-20. Retrieved 2007-12-26.
- Winda Benedetti (2006-12-07). "Almost all that has been produced when video games go Hollywood, and movies become games, is a series of bombs. The first trailer told the new game engine with realistic graphics and car and foot missions. The successful blockbuster formula gets... lost in translation". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
- "Vin, Midway put pedal to metal". Chicago Tribune. 2006-02-28.
- Gamepro Wheelman Review https://web.archive.org/web/20110607134542/http://www.gamepro.com/article/reviews/209369/wheelman-ps3
- Gamespot Wheelman review http://www.gamespot.com/xbox360/driving/wheelman/review.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=gssummary&tag=summary;read-review
- Wells, Darren (April 2009). "The Wheelman". Hyper. Next Media (187): 52, 53. ISSN 1320-7458.
- play.tm Wheelman review http://play.tm/review/23912/wheelman/
- Wheelman Gane Informer Review http://www.gameinformer.com/NR/exeres/CECF4961-9C80-42BF-81C7-C8ECDB96C4CB.htm
- Wheelman That Gaming Site Review http://www.thatgamingsite.com/id58-Wheelman-Review.html
- Wheelman Push Square Review http://www.pushsquare.com/1094/vin-diesel-wheelman-on-playstation-3-review/
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