Hot Wheels Unleashed Review-Almost a powerful force

I like to do some powersliding around the corner. You haven’t seen enough in the game these days. There was a time, before this site existed (I expect before some of you were born), you couldn’t see a cover-based shooter in a dense forest of arcade racers. They were thicker and faster than the shadow of TV Dad in the afternoon, and then disappeared. Kazunori Yamauchi Thanos-snapped his fingers and most of them disappeared. I am very sad.

Therefore, I’m very happy to report to you that Hot Wheels Unleashed from Milestone, a game developer now known as a simulation racer, but first emerged in a series of huge arcade racers, he succeeded . Use it correctly in Hot Wheels Unleashed, watching the mini car of your choice slip perpendicular to the apex of the corner, and then stand upright as if driven by Jason Bourne. This is a wonderful thing. On its own, there are enough reasons to try Unleashed.

Well, Milestone provided the highest score for this most outstanding racing game mechanic. But what about the remaining experience? In fact, I am a bit confused about the direction the developer chose, although it makes perfect sense considering the license it is using.

If you are not familiar, Hot Wheels is a small toy car. I used to buy them for my son from Poundland (a store in the UK, despite its name, everything is not a pound), and he has built a considerable collection. They are cute, small things, and often have really great design variants, such as toilets with wheels or gorgeous combinations with other attributes such as Star Wars or Mario Kart.

Collecting cars is part of the whole Hot Wheels scene (a fancy name for what I do, buying cheap toys in discount supermarkets), but track construction is the other side. The brand is synonymous with bright orange plastic runways, usually with peculiar designs such as loops or giant dinosaur heads. Are children who haven’t even built the rails from the kitchen to the living room? Well, yes, of course it is, but building such a thing is a classic of Hot Wheels.

In terms of cars, Hot Wheels Unleashed has done a great job. There are more than 60 iconic designs that can be unlocked through the single player mode of the game. The map must be completed by completing events, mainly single lap or track races, and time trials. Sometimes you can unlock the vehicle directly through the capsule-style blind box, but the coins earned can be used to buy vehicles in the store or buy more blind boxes.

There are many types here, although unfortunately most brand vehicles are stored in the DLC, which will add extra costs. You can only find a small part of them here, including Batman, Back to the Future, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and so on.

Sadly, having every car released will eventually cost a lot of cash-this is not surprising in modern video games, but it is a bit regrettable in games aimed at younger players. Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled has received quite a lot of negative reports due to its microtransactions, but in this game, you can more or less buy everything with the game currency, even if it is troublesome.

Well, the car with DLC imprints is great. Orbit is another matter. It was decided to make the crawler almost exactly like a plastic crawler and related accessories. This is a good nod to authenticity, but it leads to an aesthetic that feels a bit the same in a short amount of time.

These plastic runways were built in six different areas, including skyscrapers, basements, garages, university campuses, skate parks and runway rooms. These positions are the background of the track itself, occasionally out of plastic, and race along part of the environment itself. It’s neat, but I can’t help but think it kills the appearance of the game. In any case, Unleashed is not a terrible-looking game, but it rarely has dazzling visual effects.

On the one hand, these environments are completely based on reality, so as the location evolves, they are not particularly exciting. Second, when you focus on the orange track that is running, it is easy to almost completely ignore the background. I set my sights on games like Re-Volt, which use real-world locations in more exciting ways, even the old Micro Machines games.

The track building is part of the package here, for me it is extreme but fully functional. If you invest time, you can almost design a track that is comparable to the track created by the development team, but this will only highlight the lack of sparkle. With this excellent control model, I would love to see a more exotic creative scene. but it is not the truth.

The 12-player online multiplayer game and the split screen for two people (four would be better) make this game a fun game to play with friends or create new competitions online, although the implementation is very basic and has a nice painting The installation editor allows you to customize your rides. You can also customize your basement with items unlocked through career mode (the Hot Wheels collector’s idea of ​​having a luxurious underground entertainment cave is great).

I like playing Hot Wheels Unleashed very much. Because the first-class handling model really makes full use of some impressive dynamic sliding mechanisms, the car becomes very interesting. But I can’t help wondering what the result would be if we didn’t have a game full of DLC and bundled it with an uninspired track environment.

Disclaimer: Tested on Xbox Series X, and a copy of the game provided by the publisher is attached. It can also be used on Xbox One, Xbox Series S, PS4, PS5, PC and Switch.