Milestone S.r.l is back with another racing game with a very familiar license. Hot Wheels Unleashed takes you back to your childhood, racing your hot wheels cars across those bright orange track pieces trying to jump over objects in your room. Or maybe that was just me? Milestone S.r.l attempts to bring back that sense of nostalgia with their latest release Hot Wheels Unleashed.
The campaign for Hot Wheels Unleashed is called Hot Wheels City Rumble and places you in a top-down view of a fictional city. Your goal is to complete events to unlock adjacent squares that allow you to traverse the city. Events include various time trials along with races. If you find it difficult to make it to the podium or win any of the races, simply go to options and set your AI difficulty down a level. Completing an event will reward you with both gears and coins. Gears are used to upgrade your cars while coins are used to purchase cars and blind boxes that contain a random vehicle. There are also secret events that are unlocked by using a particular car in that race. However, it’s not always obvious what vehicle to use to unlock the event.
In addition to the campaign, additional game modes are included such as Quick, Race, Time Trial, and Multiplayer. When playing in multiplayer, one nice feature I noticed is that the track used for the race can be determined by community voting. However, I did notice that at times it did take a minute or two for enough players to join the lobby to start a race. Minor but worth noting.
Customization options in Hot Wheels Unleashed are available throughout the game. The game includes a Track Editor where you can create your dream track in one of the included environments such as the basement, a skyscraper, and a college campus. Additional track elements such as spiders and scorpions, each with their unique features, can be added to your custom tracks as you unlock them in the game. One downside to the track editor is that these custom tracks are only available in certain multiplayer matches.
Hot Wheels Unleashed gives designers the ability to create their own car liveries for each of the cars unlocked. You can add stickers as well as change the color and material of various aspects of the car including the body, rims, wheels, and glass. Once you’ve created your masterpiece you can upload it to the Community for others to use. One thing that bothered me was that in order to use the livery I just created, it had to be shared and I needed to download it. It would have been nice to just create and use it locally on my system.
There is also a basement designer that lets you create your own unique environment including floor and wall textures and deciding which art is on the wall. As with other customizations in the Hot Wheels Unleashed additional pieces for your basement are unlocked as you complete events in the game.
The audio of the game is good. The music wasn’t overwhelming but personally, I’m not sure I even paid much I heard as my focus was on the racing and hearing the screeching of the tires as I drifted around corners watching to see if my boost meter was full so I could blast by my opponents.
Hot Wheels Unleashed Review Final Thoughts:
Hot Wheels Unleashed is a fun racing game that, at least for me, brings back some of my childhood memories. It’s worth checking out if you are a fan of racing games or the Hot Wheels brand. Hot Wheels Unleashed is available for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PC and Switch for $49.99.