Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged Review
Hot Wheels, the beloved toy brand that has captivated audiences for over half a century, has made its mark in the world of video games. Since the debut of the first Hot Wheels video game in 1984, there have been numerous releases that cater to the fans of these iconic miniature cars. One of the standout titles in the franchise is 2021’s Hot Wheels Unleashed, and its successor, Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged, lives up to the hype.
In Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged, the core racing experience is flawless. Players can reach mind-boggling speeds as they navigate the tracks with ease. Compared to other racing games on the market, Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 is forgiving, so players won’t face harsh penalties for going off track. This encourages them to push the limits and go all out in each event.
In addition to racing and drifting, players can also jump and strategically collide with other vehicles. However, it is worth noting that jumping is tied to the boost gauge, which can be inconvenient in certain situations. Jumping doesn’t provide a significant advantage in most races, making it seem unnecessary to link it to the boost gauge.
Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 offers five different event types, including Standard races, Time Attack, Drift Master, Elimination, and Waypoint. Each event type brings its own entertainment value, with Waypoint events benefiting greatly from repeat attempts. However, there is a small flaw in the waypoint system as the arrow guiding players to the next waypoint fails to consider changes in elevation. This can often lead to confusion and disrupt initial runs.
The game features five distinct areas where players can compete: a backyard, a mini golf course, an arcade, a gas station/diner, and a museum. While these areas add visual appeal, they don’t impact gameplay significantly. It would have been more immersive if players could interact with the environmental objects beyond just knocking golf balls around. Unfortunately, running into a salt shaker in the diner level simply halts the cars. Despite this, the stages are beautifully designed and visually stunning.
Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 introduces a story mode that incorporates the five different areas and events. The story mode is a great source of XP, coins, and items for track creation, rewarding players with each successful race. However, it falls short in terms of longevity and variety. The limited environments and event types become repetitive quickly. The narrative itself lacks depth, relying on comic book-style images to tell the story, which may leave players desiring more immersive storytelling.
The boss fights within the story mode are the weakest aspect of Hot Wheels Unleashed 2. These fights are simplistic, requiring players to smash objects on the track to reduce the boss’s health to zero. The bosses themselves have minimal impact on the races, with their presence only triggering an instant game over when their meter is full. Although the boss fights are relatively easy, the inconvenience of restarting the entire race from the beginning can be tedious.
Despite these shortcomings, Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 compensates with its extensive customization options. Players have the freedom to build their own tracks from scratch, which can add substantial replay value if a dedicated community of players forms around this feature. Furthermore, Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 offers over 100 cars to unlock and customize. Players can upgrade their vehicles and modify liveries. The potential for custom liveries to be shared and downloaded from the community could enhance the overall experience and provide additional creative options for players.
The online features of Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 allow players to share their creations and participate in online races. Offline players can also enjoy the split-screen multiplayer mode, competing against friends and AI racers across all game modes, areas, and tracks. Split-screen multiplayer is a rarity in today’s gaming landscape, making its inclusion in Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 a commendable move.
Some racing game enthusiasts might overlook Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 due to its toy car premise. However, this would be a mistake. The game offers a wealth of content for racing game fans to enjoy, with a wide range of cars to unlock and no microtransactions in sight. The progression loop is satisfying, as players are constantly rewarded with new unlocks. Both hardcore Hot Wheels enthusiasts and casual racing game fans will find an exciting and engaging experience in Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged.
In conclusion, Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged delivers an exciting arcade racing experience that will captivate fans of all ages. Despite some minor shortcomings, such as repetitive environments and lackluster boss fights, the game’s core racing mechanics and extensive customization options make it a must-play for racing game enthusiasts. The inclusion of a track builder and split-screen multiplayer sets Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 apart from its competitors. If you’re craving high-speed action and nostalgic fun, don’t miss out on this exhilarating racer.