Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 Turbocharged

Geek Preview: ‘Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged’ Races Towards Fun, Swerves From Risks

With over two million units sold since Hot Wheels Unleashed launched in 2021, it is clear to developers Milestone and publisher PLAION that a sequel can build on some strong foundations. The sequel, Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged, is set to race onto consoles and PC later this year on 16 October, and in our preview, we are definitely revving up for more mini-racing goodness.

Once the wheels start spinning, the experience definitely feels familiar. This is still the same tiny racer that brings detailed toy vehicles to life, set up for success on interesting tracks that make use of the environments around them. However, there are a few additions that spice things up.

A Stocked Garage in Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged

Geek Preview Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 Turbocharged

For starters, players are getting more vehicle types to choose from, with motorcycles and ATVs now part of the mix in Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged. With varying stats when it comes to acceleration, handling, and more, the garage of more than 130 vehicles will make the most ardent of fans giddy with excitement.

What makes racing more interesting, other than your choice of vehicle, is the new skill tree system introduced in the sequel. Players can add various perks to a favourite vehicle, enhancing its performance on the tracks, while Upgrade Kits can be used to level up a vehicle from the Casual category to Rookie and finally Pro, allowing for more improvements.

It won’t be possible to create a monster of a vehicle that’s great with everything, so players will have to find the right combination that suits their driving style and hopefully take home the win.

Burning Tracks

While we did not have much time to mess about the skill tree or check out too many vehicles, we did manage to get some time in both the Backyard and Mini Golf Couse tracks. Tracks feature different surfaces such as grass, sand, and more, and vehicles will handle differently when on these surfaces, which wasn’t something we were able to test fully with the limited time we had with Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged. Chances are, the full game will make this an interesting conundrum for racers to take into consideration.

Driving through the various tracks and environments and it’s clear that things look better, even if it’s marginal compared to the first game. And the world feels more interactive now, with plenty more jumps and obstacles to navigate past or use for your own purposes. Speaking of which, racers will have a few new moves to add to their arsenal beyond drifting and boosting.

Strafe allows players to bump into other vehicles or avoid obstacles in a pinch, while jumping can lead to new shortcuts that veterans will be keen to exploit. How that will all play out once the game is in the wild remains a question, but the potential fun is there for those willing to try.

More Ways to Have Fun

Geek Preview Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 Turbocharged

Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged also adds more game modes for players to jump into. Waypoint has players clearing checkpoints as fast as they can in any manner they choose, Elimination is a race to be the last one standing as every vehicle in last place is eliminated after a certain time period, while the drifting mode is a big favourite for those that want to master turning and get that smoke going.

The fun online will see the new ranking system take effect, with cross-play available on all platforms save the Nintendo Switch. The track editor will be getting new special modules and improvements as well, so for those with creativity to spare, this is a space for things to go well. The improved livery editor will do the same, further enriching the community.

While we had hoped to see more of the closely-guarded single-player campaign, this preview stopped short of revealing anything more. In fact, the many additions were not given enough time to shine, nor felt substantial enough to revolutionise the genre, then again, perhaps that isn’t the point of the sequel.

We will just have to wait until Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged arrives on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC to see what it’s all about.