Hot Wheels Unleashed tested on PC

Hot Wheels Unleashed tested on PC

That of Hot Wheels is undoubtedly a success story: born in 1968, the line of metal cars produced by Mattel has thrilled kids of every generation, introducing new things every year and keeping its charm intact until today: a something absolutely not to be taken for granted, in a fickle and dynamic market like that of toys.

It is probably for this reason that the announcement of the new Milestone title immediately generated positive feedback, creating a certain type of related expectations to the mix of a talented team and a franchise with so much history. All aspects that we have given due consideration when we tested Hot Wheels Unleashed on PC.


Hot Wheels Unleashed, a car tackles the curves with drifting strokes. The Hot Wheels Unleashed demo that Milestone provided us is pretty dry in terms of content, with only the Quick Race mode accessible from the main menu, six cars and four tracks available. However, we can see the contents that we should find in the full version of the game, due out on September 30 on all platforms: PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

In addition to quick mode, the game promises a substantial career in which we will be able to compete within over forty tracks, driving more than sixty cars, with the possibility of using a Track Builder to create our dream tracks and an editor to customize each individual vehicle. Further details, however, are not known at the moment.

Hot Wheels Unleashed will try to convey the thrill of sequences like this. What we tested is also a pre-alpha build, therefore a real "work in progress" compared to what we will find in stores in a few months, with a lot of missing features both from a technical and a technical point of view. gameplay, still lacking the balance and adjustments that could make the difference in characterizing the experience and its real arcade vocation.

Let's go back to the contents that we were able to try: the four tracks are called Speed ​​Vault, Spider Trial, Dragon's Den and Attic Troubles, and that already gives an idea of ​​the kind of experience they aim to offer. In fact, we move from the simple lines of a "normal" track to the most extravagant elaborations of the Hot Wheels tradition, between giant spiders and dragon-shaped caves.


Hot Wheels Unleashed, some of the cars boast an out of the ordinary design. The idea behind Hot Wheels Unleashed should be to combine the charm of racing within a miniaturized context, as happened in the classic 1991 Codemasters Micro Machines, with the frenetic stunts, immediacy and customizations of Trackmania. During our tests we found both of these aspects, albeit in a somewhat vague way.

The six cars present in the demo, numbered to verify the correspondence with the real Hot Wheels, as happened for the toy line at starting from the late 1980s, they have the traditional differences in terms of final speed, braking capacity, acceleration and turbo slots, but once on the track the approach to the race tends to conform. Unleashed includes magnetic sections to traverse the tracks in defiance of gravity. In fact, a Ridge Racer skid system allows you to tackle hairpin bends without having to lift your foot off the accelerator, acting on the brake to start the rear axle and manage the position of the car until you exit the curve, perhaps along a ramp at the same time. of acceleration.

However, at the moment the driving model does not completely grant itself to the arcade dynamics that can be expected from a product of this kind, often requiring trajectory adjustments to the limit, braking not at all convenient from the point of competitive view, "wedges" between the sections and an unbalanced level of difficulty upwards.

Technical realization

Hot Wheelss Unleashed, one of the drifting cars. On the technical realization front, for now Hot Wheels Unleashed is not entirely adhering to the atmosphere promised by the debut trailer, which you can review below. It is also the fault of the absolutely non-definitive build that was given to us on trial, in which temporary assets and solutions not yet implemented are used.

The feeling is that the Milestone title lacks a bit of personality, the settings external to the circuit are generic and the peculiarity, in our fundamental opinion, that the cars that compete are actually metal cars a few centimeters long is not fully transmitted. However, we have only seen one in action, so we are waiting to get our hands on a more content-rich version to get a more structured idea.

The Hot Wheels Unleashed demo runs on our RTX 3070 at 4K and Stable 60 fps, which is a good starting point, but we hope to see some graphical improvements introduced between now and launch.

We particularly want an emphasis on effects (there really would be need ray tracing!) that can make the surfaces more appealing and a series of more imaginative ideas regarding the visual rendering and the variety of the scenarios.

The Hot Wheels Unleashed demo we tried is a clear and evident work in progress, a small taste of the experience that Milestone is trying to develop. There is still a lot of work to be done for the Italian team, the goal is to rediscover the spirit of the origins and focus on lively solutions to enhance the toy-like nature of its new racer licensed by Hot Wheels.


The full version will boast respectable numbers The collectible charm of Hot Wheels is already beginning to perceive The Track Builder promises great things DOUBT At the moment the experience seems a bit generic Gameplay not yet in focus There is a lot of work to do on a technical level Have you noticed any errors?

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