If you've ever been young (and we hope so... because otherwise, it would mean you're clones, androids, or worse), chances are you've played with "strollers". Who are we kidding, age has nothing to do with this: if there is a miniature car at hand, few people are able to resist picking it up and racing while saying "vroom vroom". We would, of course. And within miniature cars, one of the best-known brands (not to say the most) is Hot Wheels. Their ads featuring vehicles racing at full speed and making impossible loops on plastic tracks are legendary, not to mention that the sheer number of different models makes them a highly prized item among collectors. In our analysis of Hot Wheels Unleashed, we tell you if the video game version is worth it.

Hot Wheels Unleashed Review

Full speed!

True to the carefree style of the brand, Hot Wheels Unleashed is committed to an arcade driving style. This means that if you are looking for a true-to-life driving simulator, you should look the other way... But if you are looking for pure and simple fun, Hot Wheels Unleashed is your game.

In fact, control is one of your greatest strengths. We're talking about a hilarious title, the kind of game that even someone who hates driving games can enjoy (and believe us, we're talking here from personal experience). All you have to do is get to the controls and, after a few minutes, you'll know everything you need to drive and finish on the podium.

In addition, if you play it on PS5 with DualSense, the implementation of haptic vibration allows you to feel the texture of the different sections of each circuit, the speed at which the vehicle moves, the braking, the skidding ... It is very successful, to say the least.

The key to achieving such a satisfactory control mode has been to take certain popular game mechanics within the genre, and specifically from certain Nintendo sagas (you know which ones we mean). The main mechanics is undoubtedly the use and management of the turbo: all Hot Wheels have access to a speed boost that we can use whenever we want and that recharges after a while.

But we can also perform certain actions so that it recharges earlier, the skidding being the most notable (along with accelerating at the exact moment before starting the race).

In this way, Hot Wheels Unleashed invites us to dominate the skids from minute one, taking each curve with the wheels screeching and then shooting off with the turbo obtained. Simple, but very effective.

In addition to this, each route has elements that we can take advantage of, such as bands that give us a momentary boost, bands that recharge the turbo ... And this leads us to talk about the circuits. Because given the size of the "protagonists", the circuits are adapted to the circumstances, both visually and playable.

Game rooms, skateparks, buildings under construction ... There are a large number of different locations in Hot Wheels Unleashed, but the fun is that they are just that: locations.

The circuits, made up of the usual Hot Wheels plastic rails, are found INSIDE these places, so while we drive we can see toys, chairs, tables, and other items of gigantic size.

To make racing even more entertaining, each circuit also has magnetized areas, traps (damn spiders ...), jumps, fans, and, of course, loopings, one of the hallmarks of the Hot Wheels brand. In short: not everything is driving; you also have to know how to take advantage of the elements that each circuit leaves us while we manage the turbo.

In terms of game modes, Hot Wheels offers a good variety. On the one hand, we have Hot Wheels City Rumble, which is the main mode. Presented as if it were aboard, we have to overcome different types of races to advance and face the five "bosses": special races and more difficult than usual.

Most races also have secondary objectives, such as finishing in the first position or within a certain time, which invites us to do our best to get all the rewards.

And what about the vehicles?

As expected, Hot Wheels Unleashed presents a huge number and variety of miniature cars based on real models, with different visuals and statistics: sports cars, ordinary cars, impossible vehicles, garbage trucks ... Everything is possible here.

Having so much variety is a plus, there is no doubt about that, although there are some what-ifs. The first is that the progression when it comes to obtaining them seems somewhat slow. To get new vehicles, we must buy surprise boxes in the store, which, as the name suggests, contain a random vehicle.

The store also has limited-time offers that allow us to source specific vehicles. The problem is that getting the necessary coins (500) to buy a surprise box requires participating in a few races (it depends on the type, but expect that it will take you five or more).

And since we are talking about a game with a collector's character, we think it would make more sense to reward the player with more assiduity.

But this is a "minor" problem within the progression; The most serious is found when we take a look at the aggressive post-launch content policy: three different content passes have been announced that will give access to new vehicles, locations, customization objects ...

For example, the first pass, which will be available from launch day, includes 10 vehicles from brands such as Barbie, Street Fighter, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, three customization packs, three modules, and a Batman expansion.

Hot Wheels Unleashed will allow us to drive the DeLorean, the Fantastic Car, or the "Van"

There will be free content every month, yes, but finding three passes with DLC before launch (and one of them the same day!), Is, to say the least, doubtful.

Graphics & Soundtrack

Regarding the graphic section, Hot Wheels Unleashed maintains a good level. It is not the most cutting-edge game on the market, but it intelligently takes advantage of the "toy" style to bring very striking scenarios before our eyes (reflections on the track look especially good). And it keeps 60fps constantly, which is always appreciated in this class of games.

The soundtrack is mainly composed of electronic themes, all very "busy" and in tune with the style of the game, although a greater number of musical tracks would not have hurt. It should be noted that they are dynamic, so if we use the turbo or get caught in a spider web, the song reflects it. A very cool detail.

And for more guides and impressions on the best games, stick around at GamesAtlas.

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