Get ready for some nostalgic fun. Hot Wheels Unleashed brings a bit of excitement back to arcade racing. The experience can be compared to classic racers that didn’t emphasize the sim elements of the genre. However, the most recent experience I have with a Hot Wheels racer was Hot Wheels Turbo Racing, so I’m glad to report that it retains much of what I enjoyed and more.
Hot Wheels Unleashed is a thrilling arcade-style racing game with vertical layered tracks, challenging obstacles, and unique boosts for each vehicle. The game features a few deep mechanics, but it also has varied difficulties for players of any skill level. The idea here is to pick any car you want and hit the track without very much standing in your way.
There will be over 40 official tracks in 6 unique environments set in real-life locations such as a college or skyscraper at release. The track pieces perfectly resemble the legendary blue and orange tracks from our childhood. Man, I’m not even sure if Hot Wheels are still cool. Anyway, the set pieces and interactive elements are all here, including loops, closing snakeheads, and mechanical spiders that can stop you dead on the track.
I was able to play as 28 of the over 60 vehicles available. From sports cars to dump trucks to tanks and even dinosaur cars, everyone is sure to find their favorite in the bunch. These vehicles are beautifully modeled and realistic; each one has its own unique handling and boosts. I found each car to have its own strengths depending on how you want to play. Faster cars typically have fewer boosts, while slower cars have tighter handling and braking.
The tracks can be challenging in a good way; some have missing side barriers or fans that blow you right off the track. Breakable objects that obstruct the track can slow you down if hit. Magnetic tracks hold you to the track when you are driving upside down. Boost tracks and chargers help you get around loops and vertical curves. All of this while racing against 11 other players.
Hot Wheels Unleashed is a blast to play. Races weren’t taxing and provide a more streamlined level of challenge that tests your skills just enough if you’re trying to get into first place. Available game modes are Career Mode, Quick Race, and Time attack. Offline split-screen multiplayer is available along with online modes that support up to 11 players.
There will be a track editor with cars that can be upgraded using coins earned from all the game modes. Thankfully, there already a promise of no microtransactions. With all its unique tracks and cars, Hot Wheel Unleashed is shaping up to be a fun and nostalgic ride.
Hot Wheels: Unleashed releases to consoles and PC on September 30, 2021.
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