Hot Wheels Unleashed hit me by surprise. I’ve always loved racing games, from Need for Speed to Forza to Simpsons: Hit and Run to Mario Kart. But Hot Wheels Unleashed seems like something totally different and special. It’s not just nostalgic with its tracks inspired by classic toys and their giant monsters. It’s built on a truly winning formula. the Hot Wheels Unleashed multiplayer, in particular, has become a surprise contender for my favorite multiplayer game of 2021. Read on to find out what makes this game so popular.
A simple system that works
Hot Wheels Unleashed has no fancy modes, objects to throw at enemies, or complicated driving mechanics. It’s just drive, drift and boost around turns, over gaps and through loops. And that’s perfect. Without the trappings of more complicated driving simulators, like shifting or anti-lock braking systems, or even distinct weather conditions to contend with, you’re only left with the basics. But these basics are so, so satisfying. Mastering drifting in this game is more enjoyable than any racing game I’ve played, thanks to the subtle rumble of the controller, the boost meter it fills, and the precision of those turns. Additionally, the tracks have several gimmicks, including giant web-spitting or fire-breathing monsters, giant fans that try to push you off the tracks without bumpers, and magnetism that lets you drive upside down. without falling. As a result, every race is exhilarating every time.
Hot Wheels Unleashed the multiplayer is very special because there are an unlimited number of possible tracks to race on. Each race has contestants vote between five tracks, an easy, medium, and hard pre-made track, and two custom tracks uploaded to the servers by random players from the track builder. While most of the pre-built tracks in the game are a lot of fun and honestly don’t feel repetitive even when played repeatedly, the custom tracks are where some of the most fun happens. Unfortunately, there are no real rules governing what can and cannot qualify to show up online. Sometimes they’re total misses – they’re 10-second test tracks with no competitiveness whatsoever.
But sometimes they are absolute places of chaos. As long as the creator was able to complete it once, it is valid. So the tracks can have impossible jumps, ridiculous turns, or wacky gravity. Sometimes it doesn’t work well. But when it does, which it often does, it’s one of the best races. I once got a last-second photo-finish win on a custom track using a short jump to jump just part of the track around a downhill turn to get ahead of the player who was ahead of me both previous rounds. Mastering the quirks of the game’s gravity is something that might not seem like a feature, but turns out to be one of the most fun parts of the whole game.
It’s always right
While it’s not always easy to manage your speed and gravity on custom tracks, or even when you’re on pre-built tracks, the game still feels fair. There are dozens and dozens of cars you can collect, each with their own speed, braking, acceleration, and other stats. Many of these cars can even be upgraded to make them faster, drift better, or retain more excess boosts. But in the end, it feels like with a car that’s at least good enough, any race is winnable. Maybe not literally true as some cars are just better than others but I’ve raced dozens of online races with just a fully upgraded starter car that took me maybe an hour to put fully upgraded and have a lot of wins and podiums under my belt. belt. Unlocking more cars is never so difficult either, eliminating any pay-to-win issues.
But really, the great equalizer is simply skill. Even if their car is technically not the best in terms of stats, better racers have a better chance of winning. Avoiding obstacles, including other cars slowing you down, takes skill, not luck. And sometimes bad luck with weird collision physics or bad jump timing will work in your favor or against you. Missing the starting boost never does any good, but it doesn’t mean defeat either, as you can always catch up with sharper skills and a bit of luck. Fun mechanics and the joy of mastering drifts, shortcuts and jumps keeps me going Hot Wheels Unleashed multiplayer, but the fairness of each round is really what kept me hooked.
Unlimited hot wheels is my favorite multiplayer game of the year. It’s incredibly fun, fast-paced, skill-based, and totally fair. Check it out now on Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam.
Pop culture is cool, but have you ever tried to analyze it through a historical and cultural lens so you can not only understand the content more deeply? When Jason isn’t editing the podcast or thinking about the effects the media has on our lives, I’m working to develop sustainable food systems.