Hot Wheels Unleashed Review – Toybox Drift

Combining fast arcade racing with nostalgic plastic, Hot Wheels Unleashed aims to give players the white-knuckle toy car racing experience the brand’s commercials always promised. Complete with a mixture of real cars, licensed vehicles like the DeLorean from Back to the Future, and iconic Hot Wheels originals like the Bone Shaker, Hot Wheels Unleashed embraces the brand, letting you speed through creatively constructed plastic raceways in diminutive toy cars. Guiding these plastic vehicles through vibrantly colored race tracks housed in oversized rooms very effectively evokes the memory of setting up the original toys in my own living room when I was a kid, and that, along with stellar driving mechanics and feel, makes Hot Wheels Unleashed a joy to play.

Hot Wheels Unleashed’s City Rumble mode takes the place of a single-player campaign, offering up an overview map filled with quick races, time trials, secrets, and five boss battles that can be selected. Completing an event allows you to advance further down a particular progression path, either making your way towards the next boss battle or finding an extra reward in the city. Each mission offers up rewards in the form of upgrade materials, coins, and unlockables that are either new tracks for the quick play mode or new items to decorate the basement environment. All of this keeps the single-player mode relatively simple, limiting the barriers between you and the next action-packed race.

The driving in Hot Wheels Unleashed hits the sweet spot of arcade-style racing, offering simple controls that still offer enough depth to feel rewarding. The game features only a gas pedal, a brake pedal, and a boost button. The brake can be used to drift, and that’s as complicated as the racing gets. However, with each car having different handling and speed, mastering corner drifts and boost-timing is a challenging and rewarding experience. Learning the best timing for using boost on a loop or when to lay off the speed coming into a tight corner changes from vehicle to vehicle, delivering the necessary depth to give the game some longevity. Heavier vehicles like food trucks don’t have as much speed but control more easily while racing and drifting, while lighter vehicles move faster, but can be more difficult to control. Lighter vehicles also have a higher chance of flipping over if you take a turn too hard or if another car boosts into you, so there are strategic considerations to be made, too.

Continue Reading at GameSpot

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