Hotwheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged PS5 Review – As a kid I remember being addicted to collecting toy cars; the majority of which were made by Hotwheels. Setting up racetracks and letting the cars go at furious speeds was so much fun and being lost in a make-believe world.
Now, Milestone have captured that nostalgia and brought it back to the world of gaming following on from 2021’s release which was certainly well received by gamers and critics alike.
Hotwheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged PS5 Review – Under Starters Orders
Turbocharged features a whole new campaign, Creature Rampage. Here we focus on the brands iconic beasts that have appeared in toy form over the years. The simple idea is that you must race for first position to stop them from destroying the city. With every track designed in one of five new locations -Backyard, Mini Golf Course, Arcade, Gas Station Diner, and the Dinosaur Museum – you compete over a huge array of levels incorporating drifting, time trials and everything in between. Definitely enough to keep people busy for quite some time.
Those of you that have played the original like me could be easily fooled into thinking that there really isn’t much of an improvement over the original game. I felt the same way at first thinking that there really wasn’t anything terribly different. On the surface that is possibly the case but stick with the game and you will see the improvements come through.
Turbocharged modifies its core components with the addition of a jump, double jump, and sideways dash, switching things up drastically. Jumps are used to avoid obstacles on the track such as track gaps, rings of fire etc but it can also be used to find sneaky little short cuts helping you gain the advantage over your opponents. Sideways dash can be used to bash other cars off the track. These are simple things that the original game was missing.
The improvement doesn’t just stop there; a huge amount of time has been taken with the tracks and terrain. In the original it was easy to get bored rather fast with the tracks starting to get over repetitive without changing things up too much. This time around tracks have incorporated a lot more variation in surfaces with grass, concrete and sand making up small parts which keeps you on your toes as these changes in surface also impact on the cars handling.
Hotwheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged PS5 Review – Selections
It was easy to criticise the original game for being able to complete the game with just one or two cars and not putting the selection of cars to full use. With a much wider range of vehicles on offer this time around including licenced vehicles from franchises such as Fast and Furious and Batman your vehicles have to meet certain criteria to compete.
You have your pre-set types of vehicles; heavy duty, off-road, balanced, drifter, swift, and rocket. On top of these though you have Tiers which change when using skill points to upgrade your vehicles, from Stock to Powered to Ultimate, each tier unlocking more abilities to equip to your ride. Each one adjusts boosting, handling, or obstacle immunity. This means that you’re now able to obtain duplicate vehicles, each with slightly differing stats to meet entry requirements.
Split screen and multiplayer obviously make a return to the game giving you the ability to play any of the games core modes online where you can vote for the next track you want to play. Once you have completed the 10–15-hour campaign this will also unlock several new races with more challenging objectives giving you more of a reason to come back and continue playing.
Hotwheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged PS5 Review – In the Pits
When you’re not racing you can access the garage to view and edit your vehicle collection. Want to create your own liveries for the cars? Not a problem. OK, it is a little limited compared to the likes of Need for Speed games, but it is still fun none the less.
This is also where you can spend your hard-earned money from the game in the shop but also create your own tracks to play and share online with a really easy to get to grips with editor. I spent ages here creating numerous tracks!
I’m glad to say that it is easier to get cars that you want. In the original cars were dropped in crates that you didn’t really have much of a choice to what vehicle you were going to get. This has been dropped and instead this time round we are presented with a shop with stock changing every hour as well as a daily spin wheel. Now it is much easier to grab the cars you want or need within the game.
I am so glad to say that what was already a fantastic game with the original has been made better. The first felt so polished as a whole and that has definitely returned this time around. Car models are detailed, and the environments are out of this world. So much attention has been taken to these environments that they are easily overlooked in the background but take some time out and take in the marvel and you won’t be disappointed.
Hotwheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged PS5 Review – Taking the Chequered Flag
In the time that I have been playing the game (which according to my PS5 is 27 hours currently) I am happy to say there was no frame rate issues at all. Neither was there any bugs that I could find or crashes other than on the racetrack. Add in a great soundtrack which keeps the heart pumping whilst playing and you know you’re on to a winner.
Hotwheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged is a highly polished racer that has built on the original well and in all the right ways, Milestone has created a sequel to be proud of.