This is a make or break game for Midway, and it seems they may well be safe with this release. The long time game developer has been in financial troubles for some time now and have some pretty hefty debts, so this game is a must-sell for them.
One thing that has been so often heaved onto PC gamers are badly ported major releases that are very poorly optimised. This usually results in very poor performance on machines more than capable of running them. Recent ports in this genre, like GTA IV and Saint's Row 2 have left many PC gamers with a bitter taste in their mouths, having to delve deep into forums for days on end in an attempt to try and find user created 'fixes' just to get them to run, and having to wait months for proper patches, some of which never come. Wheelman, is not one of those games...
I wasn't expecting much when I got this game, and my PC is now just an average gaming PC, with a OC'd to 3.0 ghz Q6600 chip, a trusty 8800GTX card, 4GB ram running on Vista x64 SP1.
I was pleasantly suprised to find the game ran really well at 1920x1200 with average framerates at 80+. I forced AF on in control panel and it was fine. However, trying to force AA gave it a real downer, with it plunging the frames down to about 30-40, which for say, GTA4 on PC would be considered good on my machine. So, I left the AA off which didn't spoil the look of the game much anyway. Also, it should be noted that there are no real graphic options other than resolution, but you wont need any.
As far as graphics are concerned, this isn't no GTA4 and nor does it try to be. But given the overall concept of the game is one where it doesn't take itself seriously, the graphics are fine. The game focuses more on fun and unreal 'movie type' action instead of trying to take itself a bit too seriously, which GTA4 did, and resulted in it being somewhat of a disappointment to the long standing fanbase it has.
If you are looking for a bare knuckle ride, masses of open ended gameplay, and at the same time want to support a long standing game developer like Midway - then you really should buy this game. It has had some mixed reviews in the 'pro-magazines' but those who have given it low marks really need to step back and look hard at what this game is, and isn't trying to be and rescore it.
In an age where PC gamers are treated as an after thought when it comes to optimizing ports from consoles, Midway should be given a pat on the back from all self respecting gamers worldwide.
Three cheers from me, and five stars for what is an enjoyable driving PC game (at last) which doesn't need hours of fiddling about with to get running.