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Post by Steve Farrelly @ 02:36am 25/06/21 | 0 Comments
You could be forgiven for thinking Hot Wheels Unleashed was more or less a bit of a kiddy-style outing, but you'd be dead wrong. Instead, what this gorgeous game serves up as an incredibly fun and fast game that utilises the toy-base and license to full effect in one of the most fun experiences I've had the privileges of playing this year.

I also made sure to capture said gameplay to serve up a video preview of proceedings behind the tiny steering wheel(s) on offer. And if remember just how cool Hot Wheels cars were when you were a kid, they've only gotten crazier and now seeing them in action from a videogame perspective is bliss.

Here's a snippet from the written portion of our hands-on preview:
Era-snobbery aside, there’s something special about the presentation here that transcends the “make the toys a videogame brief”. For one, while this is a racing game that follows a few racing game rules, the devs have played with the premise in unique ways -- you can smash about the place, go off track, ram other cars, launch and more, but the weight of the cars the whole time you’re doing this feels toys. But not at all to the detriment of the experience. In fact, it amplifies it.

And that lightweight approach to the game’s physics does play into those racing game rules I mentioned earlier. You have a Mario Kart-esque timed grid ignition bonus that fills a portion of your boost to electively use off the line right away, while the same boost as you race fills more quickly when you’re attacking the track with aggression, be it drifting or slipstreaming. It will fill regardless, but the game promotes a more proactive push for the player to juice themselves up as often as possible.

It’s also important because these tracks and races, so far in Quickplay-only preview form, are long. Really long. It’s not a bad thing, and I always felt like I was a chance to get back into any race I’d come unstuck on, but this did highlight that there might be some rubberbanding issues here, and possibly predicated by my own position on the track. This might just be a preview thing, but it’s definitely something I’m keeping an eye on as we close in on the game’s full release finish line.
Click here for our full Hot Wheels Unleashed hands-on.

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