2020 was a tough year for many, and now 2021 has continued that theme so far. But, with light at the end of the tunnel now Hot Wheels Unleashed is here to brighten your day.
Announced in February and releasing in September across PC, PlayStation, Xbox and Switch, we know that the Milestone developed racer will see Hot Wheels diecast cars and giant orange plastic tracks recreated in video game form with a single-player career, online multiplayer and even a track editor.
We had some in-game screenshots recently too, but earlier this evening was the first time we got to see the game in motion.
The tracks look surprisingly wide, which can help prevent the player bouncing from one wall to another. This is an arcade racer through and through where accessibility should be paramount.
There looks to be a slick drifting mechanic around corners, the ability to boost and power pads to drive over like in wipEout or Pacer. Your boost level increases over time thanks to drifting, so you will have to time your use appropriately and try not to fall off the track. Oh, and there are massive jumps and sweeping banked curves.
A recurring theme of the reveal was talk of the handling being “easy to pick up but hard to master”.
Over 60 cars from the real Hot Wheels toys line-up will be in the game and there is a ‘rarity’ system in the game that “brings out the spirit of collecting Hot Wheels in real life” – for now, we await how that translates into the game.
There will be an “extremely powerful” livery editor included. Much like Milestone’s other games, such as Ride 4, you will be able to upload designs and search for other people’s creations to add to your vehicle.
There will also be ‘boss fights’ in the career mode, for which we will see more at a later date. Some elements of the tracks look to be interactive of sorts too. In this reveal, a giant toy spider shoots out webs and you need to boost past it to avoid getting hit. The levels are based in locations grounded in reality, for example, in an air conditioning duct or a garage.
At launch, there is the promise of more than 40 tracks within six different environments and it sounds like car and track DLC will be coming post-launch too. This will be a mixture of paid and free add-ons.
As for the track editor, according to Executive Producer at Milestone, Michele Caletti, all the tracks you see in the game were created using the same tools users can create their own tracks with. This reminds me of ModNation Racers in that respect.
In the post gameplay trailer, there was a Q&A session where Federico Cardini, Lead Game Designer, revealed some additional details such as there being circuits and also point-to-point events, one of the locations being editable and some secret 2021 Hot Wheels vehicles being included in the game.
You can watch the gameplay reveal trailer below and as always, let us know your thoughts on social media. This is shaping up to be the perfect antidote to serious racing titles.