Wheelman screenshot
Wheelman screenshot

Speaking to VideoGamer.com at a recent press event in London, Wheelman creative director Simon Woodroffe revealed that Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto IV has changed what gamers expect from an open world action title.

"Our game was already quite different, but GTA 4 moved the bar in terms of what people expected from an open-world driving game," said Woodroffe. "Before GTA 4, open-world driving games generally had more accessible, more arcade-like, handling. Even the previous GTAs were like that. But GTA IV moved the bar towards realism - even super-realism, you know?

Woodroffe noted that this change from easy Arcade-style vehicle handling to something more realistic dramatically affected the feedback he was getting on his game.

"At first I found it fairly frustrating, in comparison with Wheelman, but it was different enough to make us say, 'Look, people obviously want a more realistic experience. They don't want to be given things for free'. They want to feel like the ultimate driving hero, but they don't want to feel like they're being given it for nothing - otherwise there's no sense of accomplishment," Woodroffe explained. "We started to get feedback from our focus testers, within weeks of GTA 4 coming out, that the basic driving was dropping in popularity. It had gone from being the most highly rated element, to one of the lowest on the list. And I'm looking at this and thinking, "There's only one reason for this. GTA 4 has changed gamers' expectations"."

He continued: "... our job is to be up-to-date with current expectations and to manage them well. I'm very big on choice, and I'm very big on design and control systems. All the physics stuff stays very close to me and the design team, so it was work for a few hours or so, and polishing things up for a week or two, to change the way Wheelman felt to be a little more realistic and a little more grounded, based upon the feedback we were getting, based upon the impact of GTA 4."

Woodroffe now feels that Wheelman has been adapted based on feedback from testers and is "right on the money in terms of what people expect from an open-world racer".

Check back later this week for VideoGamer.com's interview with Simon Woodroffe in full.

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User Comments

XTad's Avatar
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That´s great. First trailer looked so unreal and i like big action explosive games with bit of realism. And driving model in GTA was realistic.
Posted 19:08 on 26 February 2009
MAATOHA's Avatar
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Ha! Ha! Ha! Realistic driving model in GTA4? You kidding? Shoe-box on four springs going to skid even in 5mph not being able to turn around in a wide street without reversing... I call that stupid, not realistic. And if Wheelman is going to be like this than thanks, no.
Posted 13:53 on 03 December 2008
ThePissartist's Avatar
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I personally thought the game was dull and frustrating, but whatever.
Posted 11:48 on 02 December 2008
jzjz's Avatar
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It's not that people want realism, or lack of in a game, but rather a balance that gives them a feeling of realism balanced with some less than real elements that give the feeling of adventure, fun and superiority that can't be had in real life. I think GTA4 will pull this off wonderfully. It's not that they make it too real either, but driving a car that handles like a cartoon is not great either. It just feels a bit stupid in san andreas. Plus the collisions will seem more realistic. Making it more realistic in terms of physics (crashes etc) will be more rewarding as well. Also in real life you could grab a gun and shoot someone's wind shield out and demand their car. But you hopefully wouldn't, yet you can in the game. Because it seems more realistic, it will seem more like it happened, even thought it's not. And that too is exciting. While it can't please everyone, I look forward to it.
Posted 08:12 on 02 December 2008
blake's Avatar
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if people wanted realism, they would drive and kill people in real life...not in a game, isnt that what most games are about anyways, being able to do things, you cant do in real life, while keeping your attention
Posted 23:29 on 01 December 2008

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 27/03/2009
Developer: Midway
Publisher: Midway
Genre: Action
No. Players: One
Rating: BBFC 15
Site Rank: 5,339 257
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