Have you ever thought to yourself, “gee, I wish I had a Hot Wheels version of TrackMania”? Well if you have, then you’re in luck! Milestone has released their very own Hot Wheels racing game called Hot Wheels Unleashed, and yet it feels eerily similar to another track-building racing game that is beloved by many… Trackmania.
The Presentation of Hot Wheels Unleashed
There are a few intriguing features like seeing your collection of Hot Wheels cars and their funny names like Roller Toaster. Or how about the basement? Because they have a basement for some random reason… Seriously what is the point of this? To show off your trophies? it just feels completely meaningless.
You also have the Hot Wheels City Rumble which is actually done rather well… For the most part. You first start on a map, which instantly reminded me of my childhood. Then you are instructed to complete several types of races: Quick Races, Time Attacks, and Boss Races, all while finding secrets as well. This works relatively well… for a while, but because the gameplay is relatively simplistic there isn’t much in the way of variety. You also get to make your very own Hot Wheels car and track. It immediately becomes apparent that Hot Wheels Unleashed is very similar to TrackMania Especially when it comes to the gameplay.
Oh, That Drifting!
The first two aspects that become apparent about the gameplay are 1. the game looks incredible and 2. The drifting is on point. The sad part is that there isn’t a lot in the races. Everything Hot Wheels Unleashed does “in a gameplay sense” is fantastic. The boosts work great, refilling your boosts by drifting, going off track to make the race harder. However, it doesn’t take long for you to realize that all the tracks look eerily similar to Trackmania. I mean the way the tracks change, the different speed pads, the way you can explore the map when you fall off the track. It’s uncanny.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love Trackmania, especially with creating your own tracks. But am I the only person who remembers the old Hot Wheels Games on the PS1 and PS2? There was a sense of craziness in those games that I never got in this title. Yes, everything in this title works great, fantastic in fact, but it really does feel like a Hot Wheels copy of Trackmania. Maybe I went in wanting too much from this title, I honestly don’t know. But what I do know is that even if it didn’t give me everything I wanted, to say there are only two problems with the gameplay; in getting stuck to the railing and being pushed around too easily by the other cars is actually pretty good.
The Catchy Tunes of Hot Wheels Unleashed
The only other part of Hot Wheels Unleashed left to mention is the music, and it is rather catchy. Whether you’re flicking through the menu, drifting around a corner, or modifying your basement, the catchy tunes just keep coming. Although I have to say the best moment is when you try to race past the spider, only to get caught in a web trap and for the music to suddenly end with a record scratch sound, only to continue playing once you’re free of the web.
Almost everything in Hot Wheels Unleashed works incredibly well, especially the drifting. The only problem is the lack of variety. Yes, the tracks differ, but playing race after race with not much change in scenery and having none of the craziness that we got in the previous titles means it can become tedious, very quickly. Although I’m sure people will enjoy the game, it’s just not my cup of tea.
Hot Wheels Unleashed has a well-constructed base, as each aspect Milestone has implemented functions exactly the way it should. However, given that there are too many obvious similarities to a certain other track-building racer, it ultimately doesn’t do enough to set itself apart. Couple that with a serious lack of variety and a litany of added “gimmicks” that serve no real function, and there’s very little incentive to play continuously.
This game was reviewed using a download code provided by Milestone. The Beta Network uses affiliate partnerships, however, this does not influence reviews or any other content published. The Beta Network may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links that are on the website.