Since 1968 Hot Wheels
have been huge in the toy industry. I owned a lot of them. I traded them with my friends. I built the tracks. I played my first Hot wheels
game on my Nintendo 64
called Hot Wheels Turbo Racing.
There wasn’t a game out there like it in the 90’s
at that time. As I got older. Got married to my wife. Of course I wasn’t thinking about Hot Wheels
at that moment in my life. Then came 2021 and I saw where Hot Wheels Unleashed
was released. I was going back and forth on rather to buy it. Or if it would be too much of a arcade
children’s game. Man was I wrong.
Gameplay and Visuals- It would be easy to just end this review early and just say, if you enjoy all of the Mario Kart games, and I will throw in Trackmania Turbo developed by Nadeo owned by the great Ubisoft company, then you will enjoy Hot Wheels Unleashed. If you don’t enjoy Mario Kart or Trackmania Turbo, then you may not enjoy Hot Wheels Unleashed. Even though they are 2 different games. While Trackmania Turbo is similar other then your racing RC cars in Trackmania Turbo. The track designs are similar to Hot Wheels Unleashed (If you want a knock off Hot Wheels style game, check out Trackmania Turbo) but with Mario Kart and Hot Wheels Unleashed, the grind to unlock new vehicles and car parts, are very much the same. While Mario Kart is more on the family side of a arcade racer and more forgiving to the player. Hot Wheels Unleashed is not, in my opinion. If you have played Mario Kart since Mario Kart 64 up to Mario Kart 8 on the Switch.You find yourself wanting to be almost perfect by finishing 1st in all 4 of the races in each of the cups. You want to go 4 for 4 and while you may accomplish that goal in Mario Kart, Hot Wheels Unleashed, will make you happy you just got 4th place instead of 8th place.
Hot Wheels Unleashed is a very demanding and unforgiving arcade racing game. Maybe I just suck, I don’t know. But I am that type of gamer that I won’t cut a game off until I figure the game out. It took me about 8 races to accomplish. I felt dumb to admit it. Until I saw others opinions also. While it sounds frustrating. Hot Wheels Unleashed is a game that you don’t mind the grind it takes to be good. You have fun while you improve on the game. The 4 difficulty levels are, easy, medium, hard, and extreme. I found easy being a bit too easy, but still a little challenging. I found that medium was the best level of difficulty as it offered a more balanced Ai to race with. Extreme or hard, well if you like a good challenge. A good handling car, and better car parts would be required to win against the Ai your racing against in extreme and hard.
This game gives you options for what is called gears, to be traded in for car parts. You earn gears by finishing certain challenges. You unlock unique cars as you progress through Hot Wheels Unleashed. There is an option where you can go into the custom livery and create your own paint jobs for your favorite car. There is a campaign mode called City Rumble. It’s not a story driven campaign. It allows you to do certain races where you encounter time attacks, quick races, to unlock secret cars. And ultimately do boss races that gives you access to more items to unlock. There is so much to do in this world of Hot Wheels.
There are different environments to choose from. Basement, skyscraper, track room, skatepark, garage, and college campus. All environments are unique. All have awesome lighting. Neon lights bringing the environments to life. Each environment having different style tracks that you can unlock through winning races as you progress through the game.
I found it satisfying to not just fight your way up to the front. But to be forced to drive with a strategy while racing. Hitting certain parts of the tracks, gives you boost without using the boost you have built up. Drifting builds up your boost meter. It’s a blast (literally) to be in 3rd with 2 corners to go, and to drift through those corners to build up boost, and to use it all on the last stretch to pull off the win. It forces you to use a strategy and patience to use your boost at the right times. I found my hands sweating after races. It’s intense and fun to play each race. Each boost counts!
Almost endless customizing- If your a fan of the games Coster Tycoons or Planet Coaster. Then you will enjoy the mode where you customize your own tracks. Almost endless customization options. It allows your imagination to run free like Plant Coaster. Allowing you to race on other players tracks as well is awesome. It’s fun to see others ideas and thought out into each track.
Milestone- The developers at Milestone hit home again. They have brought us a lot of PC racing games from the 90’s and early 2000’s but the most well known are the Moto GP games, WRC racing, Gravel, Monster Energy Supercross games, MXGP racing, the Ride series. These were all good simulation racing games besides Gravel being the only one on the arcade racing side. But Hot Wheels Unleashed, is a great addition from Milestone. They really hit home on this one. I feel like the Hot Wheels games needed a kickstart from the mediocre games that have been released over the past decade. I feel like it’s a fresh new start for the Hot Wheels games in my opinion. Just what I needed to help bring back my childhood memories from the older Hot Wheels games I loved playing as a kid.
Final thought- With the challenging, demanding, and competitive racing Hot Wheels Unleashed has brought to this iconic toy company. It’s a fun game that requires a little grind. Don’t go into this thinking it’s your average arcade racing game. The content along with what the DLC’s leaves us. Means there are hours and hours of gameplay to be discovered. The amount of customizing in this game is good to see as well.
The good news is that it’s a clean game as well!! We have been through it as gamers, with the releases we have dealt with since the pandemic put a halt on a lot of games being developed in the past 2 years. Some games not being ready at all. We have had Cyberpunk, NASCAR 21 Ignition, that needed a little more time in the oven. A lot of games with bugs and glitches. But I can say that Hot Wheels Unleashed is a clean game from what I have seen. I honestly haven’t seen any bug or glitches during my playing time.
If you have experienced any glitches or bugs. Feel free to leave a comment just for future reference for myself.
But overall, this game I would recommend especially for the asking price of 49.99$ and maybe on sale through the holidays. I would buy for full price. But maybe you can catch a deal like I did, and it will make it a easier decision.
I hope this helps someone trying to make a decision to buy this awesome arcade racer. I can tell you that it would be a great game to play with family and friends. Hopefully more reviews coming soon. Thanks for those who read to this point. Glad I can help. Again these are my opinions. I’m a honest person. So I try to be as honest as I can.
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