Wheelman (video game)

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The Wheelman.jpg
Developer(s) Tigon Studios
Midway Studios - Newcastle
Producer(s) Joe Neate
Jemma Harris
Writer(s) Flint Dille
John Zuur Platten
Composer(s) Jorge & Guillermo Badolato
Engine Unreal Engine 3
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • NA: March 24, 2009[1]
  • AU: March 26, 2009
  • EU: March 27, 2009[1]
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

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,[2] shown in released trailers for Wheelman. Reports[3] 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.


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.[4] Midway Games collaborated with Tigon Studios to design the game.[5] After multiple delays over the course of around three years, Wheelman was released in March 2009.

Film adaptation[edit]

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.[4] Production of the film, with no script written yet, was estimated to be 18 months away from February 2006.[6] 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."[7] GameSpot gave the game a 6/10 saying "Wheelman offers plenty of movie-style thrills, although it's hamstrung by terrible on-foot gameplay.[8] 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".[9]

Reviewing Site Address/Name Rating
Edge Magazine 4/10
IGN 4.8/10
play.tm 82/100[10]
Game Informer 8.5/10 [11]
That Gaming Site 8.8/10[12]
Push Square 3/4[13]


  1. ^ a b c "Midway and Ubisoft announce strategic relationship to publish Wheelman". Midway Games. Archived from the original on February 21, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  2. ^ "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]
  3. ^ "Midway's Simon Woodroffe on Wheelman". Play.tm. December 16, 2008. Archived from the original on February 14, 2009. Retrieved January 27, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b ""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. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ "Vin, Midway put pedal to metal". Chicago Tribune. 2006-02-28. 
  7. ^ Gamepro Wheelman Review https://web.archive.org/web/20110607134542/http://www.gamepro.com/article/reviews/209369/wheelman-ps3
  8. ^ Gamespot Wheelman review http://www.gamespot.com/xbox360/driving/wheelman/review.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=gssummary&tag=summary;read-review
  9. ^ Wells, Darren (April 2009). "The Wheelman". Hyper. Next Media (187): 52, 53. ISSN 1320-7458. 
  10. ^ play.tm Wheelman review http://play.tm/review/23912/wheelman/ Archived 2009-03-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Wheelman Gane Informer Review http://www.gameinformer.com/NR/exeres/CECF4961-9C80-42BF-81C7-C8ECDB96C4CB.htm Archived 2009-03-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ Wheelman That Gaming Site Review http://www.thatgamingsite.com/id58-Wheelman-Review.html
  13. ^ Wheelman Push Square Review http://www.pushsquare.com/1094/vin-diesel-wheelman-on-playstation-3-review/

External links[edit]