Hot Wheels Unleashed is worth watching for arcade racing fans


The first gameplay makes a good impression

Whether or not you have strong ties to the Hot Wheels brand in 2021, I’d say that based on the first gameplay trailer for Hot Wheels Unleashed, Milestone’s upcoming arcade racer could easily still click.

The cars look suitably cool, the winding plastic tracks look fun to drift across, and that surprising leap-of-faith shortcut at 1:27 helped establish depth beyond the pick-up-and-play exterior.

Depending on how varied the stages and hazards are (I like the web-shooting spider obstacle that can stick players to the course, but I’m less into the warehouse vibe in general), Hot Wheels Unleashed could end up being one of the fondly-remembered video game tie-ins. Did you ever play Hot Wheels Turbo Racing on PS1 or N64? I never rented it, but refreshing myself now, I’m starting to wish I had.

In terms of cars, the currently-known roster includes Night Shifter, Dragon Blaster, Sharkruiser, Rodger Dodger, Twin Mill, Bone Shaker, and Rip Rod, but there will be more than 60 cars at launch on September 30, to say nothing of alternate skins. That whole side of the game could get out of hand with DLC. There’s also going to be a livery editor, a track editor, and – heck yeah – two-player split-screen.

We’ll keep an eye out and see how the game progresses from here. This was just a surface-level look today – a chance to figure out if Hot Wheels Turbo Racing is worth following at all. I think it will be.