Wheelman - hands-on

Melee attacks fill up the bonus meter, which powers up a supermove. We were able to experiment with the Cyclone, launched by pressing down on the d-pad. Cyclone causes the car to spin 180 degrees. Everything goes into grainy, black-and-white slowmo, and you’re shown targets on your pursuer’s vehicles. Hit the targets to detonate gas tanks or blow out engines or tires. It feels alot like those showdown moments in Stranglehold where everything slows and you whirl around shooting and dodging.

Below: Don’t miss the Mortal Kombat easter egg in this “Making Of…” video!

The supermove wasn’t the only thing reminiscent of Stranglehold. Midway’s been talking up their streamlined technology sharing pipeline, enabling them to leverage code and assets easily between developers working on different titles. Indeed, Detective Tequila’s fingerprints are all over Wheelman in its highly destructible environments, third-person run-and-gun gameplay, and the aforementioned Tequila-timey supermove. But rather than a simple knockoff using the same game engine, Wheelman may actually tap into some of Stranglehold’s unrealized potential.

The first mission ends with a dramatic chase down a narrow alleyway, followed by an awesome office building set piece. We gleefully blasted through flimsy cubicle walls, scattering plants, computers and shards of plate glass in a whirlwind of devastation. And all this after jumping a burning oil tanker.