HomeNewsPCHot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged Review – Challenge Accepted... Again

    Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged Review – Challenge Accepted… Again

    Developed By: Milestone

    Published By: Milestone

    Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Switch & PC

    Reviewed On: PlayStation 5

    Review Code Provided By: MIlestone

    After having success with the first game, developer Milestone and toy maker Mattel wasted not much time in releasing its sequel, Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged. With new tracks, new tricks and new vehicles, Hot Wheels has returned to make kids (and a few adult collectors) dream race come true.

    Creature on a Rampage

    Time to roll out

    This time around, the game has a story called Creature Rampage. Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged introduces Professor Tanabe who releases 5 creatures to the city and it is up to the tag team of Darla and Robert with the help of a Power Ranger-like Alpha robot called XR046 to clean up the mess.

    All roads lead to a challenge

    Story mode cutscenes are told in a comic book-style animation which I felt made it look low-budget but serviceable. The gameplay is a linear route of races and challenges players have to complete to advance until encountering the boss creatures which you must take down by breaking target boards placed around the tracks. Sadly there is no difference in gameplay between each creature boss so that is one big downside which will make these boss battles repetitive.

    In Mint Condition


    The game looks excellent with how the cars and environments manage to maintain the toylike look is amazing. Cars are detailly scanned into the game with even the legal markings with the date code on the undercarriage. The art follows the same as the previous game and I think that is alright since we are technically playing with toys. I do think there could be more happening around the track but seeing as this game caters to previous gen, there might be some limitations being placed here.

    The game did nothing much on the audio feedback from the last game with a generic soundtrack but the engine sounds I must say take the cake with how almost every car felt different with either the sound of a muscle car or the turbo kicking in, add on with the inclusion of monster trucks and motorcycles to give some variety in the audio department. There are also random noises which can be heard on the track from the environment which helps to make each track setting feel more immersive.

    New Cars, Tracks and Tricks

    An Octopus in a canyon?

    Speaking about tracks, the game has expanded the environments and taking races outside of the home somehow gives a bigger sense of scale to the game. There are a total of 130 Hot Wheels license and fantasy vehicles to choose from with the entry of Hot Wheels’ own Monster Truck and motorcycles with more to come through DLC.

    Customization has also been enhanced compared to the previous game where you can add skills which affect how your Hot Wheels will perform. You can now modify the car’s Speed, Acceleration and even braking which you are unable to do before.

    A little tuning goes a long way

    The vehicle also has a few new added tricks on top of the existing boosting. Now players can jump, double jump and side dash to ramp opponents off the track. This helps to create more variety of gameplay during races where you must, for example, jump over obstacles or gaps, using the side dash to knock other drivers off the track during crucial moments. All these new movements consume the boost gauge, so players have to manage it as missing a jump because an empty boost bar can push you to the back of the line in a race.

    Not as Simple as a toy car

    Getting stuck underneath a pillow never felt so stressful

    Now as a game itself, Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged pulls no punches as a racing game. Each vehicle now drives differently, and they also modified how the vehicle works on different surfaces. Given that tracks now can go outdoors, players will be driving over gravel and even carpets which I could feel makes a difference in handling which gives the game another layer of technicality.

    This all gives the game a high difficulty ceiling compared to the previous game and with new events like drifting and elimination, those who are looking for a challenge will be pushed to restart events over and over again to clear them. Thankfully, the difficulties of AI drivers can be reduced but I found time attacks and drift events still provided a challenge even for veteran players. If you are planning to get this game for your kids, they will have a lot of fun with other events like Monster Truck Derby or Event with Split Screen so do not worry, there is something fun to do with the whole family in this game.

    Crucial Upgrades

    Always visit the shop to see what is on the peg

    I remember playing Hot Wheels Unleashed and once I reached the max level, I was left resorting to farming credits by playing online to unlock new vehicles. It is great news that now developer Milestone has fixed this issue with an excellent solution. First, there is now a shop in which you can directly use credit to get the vehicle you want without going through the loot box opening trick before.

    Leveling Up Goodies

    Next, players who reached the game’s max level of 30 will now be upgraded to a ‘prestige’ rank. This will reset your player level to 1 and give a diamond indicator beside your level to indicate how many times you have ‘prestige’. This helps solve the endgame loops as almost doing anything in the game gives you experience to level up and once you level up you get more credits and items.

    Community Driven

    If you’re into artistic features, this game has a lot of options. You can edit your livery and new to Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged, a much-requested sticker editor. This will allow you to share more design not only for a certain car but also sticker which can be used on other vehicles which other player chooses. All this is also boosted by the ability to cross-play between PlayStation, Xbox and PC communities which makes more content accessible. Sadly, Switch users will be missing this cross-play function.

    Do not forget the awesome track editor which has been updated with all the new environments. I have seen some awesome community tracks like one track where you have to use your boosters to control your landing in the air like Rocket League which took me a while to figure out but blew my mind. The only issue is that you are unable to select which community track to play as it turns up randomly on the track playlist before a race but it is still something cool that feels in brand with Hot Wheels and is always appreciated.

    Playing online is still fun and chaotic no matter how skilled you are, things can happen. Now with the ability to push people off track, drivers will shove their way into the front and if they are not contested, that is where they will stay for the rest of the race. Like in F1, once you are left behind, it will be difficult to get in front unless the other players screw up big time.

    There are also other events like drifting competitions and Grad the Gears mode where the player who collects the most gears wins. So not everything is just about reaching the finish line first this time around.

    Needs a Little Wax On and Wax Off

    made in Malaysia

    Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged does suffer for feeling a little like a generic race game with the Hot Wheels brand slapped on it. The soundtrack, which is poor, the lacklustre storytelling on the campaign and the UI which feels underwhelming do make me second guess if this game is really worth its selling price. There are also a few crashes which I can replicate over and over again with a certain car around a certain track which make racing with these car impossible. Although it is game-breaking for that certain car, the issue could be fixed with a patch hopefully.

    Some loading issues are present on the PlayStation 5 where loading the game and moving between the menus do take some time which I think should not happen. It just feels funny that other games like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 can load an open-world map so fast but some games just have issues moving between menus. This shows how important game optimization is.

    What I Really Loved

    • The Vehicles – The game will please everyone with its wide variety of vehicles. With a better way to earn credits and spend them, collecting all the vehicles can be an additive experience.
    • Toy Details – How each vehicle is scanned into the game is amazing. With some of them having uneven paint and moulding limitations, it just makes you feel like you are really driving a toy
    • Insane Community – The Hot Wheels community has always been amazing and the amount of content that they create in-game and share is some of the best I have seen from any other game

    What I Wished Was Better

    • Not so Hot Story – The story felt uninspiring and I wished it had more impact on the gameplay like having different ways to fight different bosses.
    • UI – I still felt the map is a little useless and there are issues in moving between menus
    • Bugs and Crashes – Game crashes can be random or reproduce easily.

    All Hot Wheels on The Ground

    Starting from somewhere sticky

    It is without a doubt Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged is an improvement of the previous instalment and with all the additional features, in my mind, the game is on track to becoming one of the best arcade racer games in modern times but there is a lot that can be improved upon.

    But at its current state, the game manages to keep all the fun and is still one of the best games you can currently enjoy as a family, an adult, a kid or as a Hot Wheels passionate collector.

    Final Score – 8/10

    An old school gamer who plays every genre of games. Prefers games which are unique and innovative instead of just pretty looking. All he wants is content, content, content..... The more the better.

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