Hot Wheels Unleashed Review (PS5)

After years spent fine-tuning its numerous motorbike racing titles, developer Milestone has taken a big detour with Hot Wheels Unleashed. As a substitute of striving for simulation-style dealing with and practical tracks and areas, this new undertaking takes Mattel’s ever-popular die-cast autos and brings them to life in a contemporary recreation. Whereas it is actually a change of tempo for the studio, its racing experience and penchant for high-quality visuals has led to an arcade racer that appears and feels fairly improbable.

The automobile fashions specifically are great. There are dozens and dozens of Scorching Wheels autos to gather within the recreation, and every of them has been painstakingly recreated. They’re frankly a pleasure simply to take a look at — the supplies are brilliantly rendered, even right down to the imperfections, just like the joins the place the plastic meets within the mould. We spent no small period of time simply spinning the vehicles round on the choice display screen.

They very a lot appear like little toy vehicles, and that is how they really feel to drive, too. Driving alongside the traditional brilliant orange tracks (although considerably wider than in actual life), that is extraordinarily arcadey racing. Sweeping turns enable for some large powerslides, and so they really feel nice whenever you pull them off easily. It’d take you some time to determine the sport’s dealing with, however when you’re acclimatised, you will spend much less time bashing into the boundaries and extra time boosting and drifting like a champ. The racing is quick and chaotic — vehicles can knock one another round, and the numerous tracks included have a number of twists, turns, and jumps to take care of.

There are physics at play too, that means you would possibly want increase to get you thru a loop-de-loop, and it’s also possible to use mentioned increase to manage your self within the air, doubtlessly course-correcting for those who hit a ramp at a wierd angle. The ability ceiling is surprisingly excessive, all instructed; it appears like there’s undoubtedly room to seek out some super-technical manoeuvres with the mid-air controls. Milestone appears to grasp that this recreation could have a broad viewers, and the physics give hardcore followers one thing to chew on whereas youthful or extra informal racers could have an excellent time simply drifting round bends and gathering vehicles.

Scorching Wheels Metropolis Rumble is the meat of the single-player expertise, providing up quite a few fast races and time trials throughout the sport’s beneficiant number of programs. You may achieve in-game forex, new components to customize your Basement, and a automobile or two as you fill out the map. Slowly working your method by means of the overworld, you will additionally come throughout Boss Races. These are key occasions that function a number of the recreation’s extra attention-grabbing hazards and longest tracks, and also will reward you with probably the most stuff. Secret occasions require that you simply fulfil sure standards earlier than they unlock. It is a enjoyable thought, however they appear to principally depend on you successful races in sure vehicles, which is just a little difficult when most of your assortment might be unlocked randomly.

Sure, the sport’s Blind Containers are your essential method of getting new autos. When you do unlock some particular Scorching Wheels throughout the Metropolis Rumble marketing campaign, the overwhelming majority of your vehicles will come from these lootbox-style gadgets. Earned throughout the aforementioned single-player occasions or bought with forex, you will be popping open this stuff pretty continuously. Vehicles have rarities, so as soon as your assortment has crammed out, you would possibly end up getting some repeats, which is not very enjoyable.

The excellent news is that duplicates could be dismantled or bought in trade for gears or forex respectively, permitting you to then improve your vehicles or buy one thing else. A Restricted Affords part within the Store rotates a handful of autos, so you’ll be able to both look there to see if a favorite seems, or you’ll be able to hold attempting your luck with Blind Containers. It is kinda enjoyable opening them up and getting one thing cool, however we think about if you wish to fill your storage with each automobile, you may be grinding away for some time.

Nonetheless, there’s loads of different methods to fill your time between gathering the Scorching Wheels themselves. Cut up-screen for 2 gamers is in and works a deal with, with no noticeable impact on the sport’s clean, 60 frames-per-second efficiency. On-line multiplayer enables you to tackle as much as 11 different racers, both on Milestone’s tracks or community-made ones, that are clearly hit-or-miss.

Talking of which, a strong monitor editor enables you to go to city in your very personal circuits and programs. It is a surprisingly in-depth mode that the developer apparently used to construct its personal phases. Monitor items click on collectively, however you may have a whole lot of freedom within the form of every piece, and may throw in particular modules to present your race some hazards, cut up pathways, anti-gravity sections, and extra. It is easy sufficient to make use of when you be taught the way it works, and the necessity to validate tracks earlier than you share them means you’ll be able to’t troll others with inconceivable circuits. It is a very nice inclusion, and together with a equally deep livery editor, means you may have a whole lot of choices to customize your personal expertise.

The difficulty with the sport’s tracks, whether or not user-made or developer-built, is that they will all really feel very related. There are a handful of surrounding environments that offer you a change of surroundings, however they’re very static and do not add an terrible lot to the gameplay. Hazards, such because the spider which shoots out webs to lure you or the snake that opens and shuts its mouth, are extra annoying than they’re entertaining, and a whole lot of the tracks find yourself blurring collectively.

We would additionally say that, except you actually care about getting all of them, gathering vehicles turns into moot when you discover a good one. You probably have one or two autos with which you’ll constantly win races and time assaults, there’s little motive to spend power getting others. The bumper automobile is cute, but it surely’s not going to check to a slick speedster with stats larger in each class. As we have mentioned, it is nice enjoyable gathering the vehicles, however you solely want a pair to see you thru the sport itself.


Scorching Wheels Unleashed is a rock strong arcade racing recreation that will get a whole lot of issues proper, however does not fairly measure up in some areas. The drift-heavy dealing with and physics-based mayhem create tremendous enjoyable motion on the monitor, and the vehicles themselves are nearly as good to take a look at as they’re to drive. Whereas the tracks are inclined to really feel a bit samey and the random nature of unlocks could result in some frustration, the tip consequence is a strong racing recreation that’ll enchantment to followers younger and previous.

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