When I was little, we played Majorettes, engaging in crazy races, stunts, impossible jumps, and loops… 😀 Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 Turbocharged invites us to relive those moments, racing with ‘little cars’ (official Hot Wheels, obviously!) in a very arcade driving style, reminiscent of Ridge Racer and Trackmania! Strengthen your fingers and get ready to drive. 🚗
The principle is as simple as it is effective: circuits built in different environments (the garden of the house, an arcade room, a museum, etc.) using the natural setting + Hot Wheels elements (roads, turns, ups/downs, loops…). At our disposal: a boost, a jump, and an attack allowing us to push competitors. All of this recharges while skidding.
And that’s enough to have fun. 🙂 Getting started is immediate, even though it can vary enormously from one vehicle to another. Mastering skids will take a few laps. The circuits include a few traps (hello spider that spits webs!), a few surprising passages, and it is important to remember the route so as not to lose a few precious seconds because the enemy is never very far behind.
In short, the gameplay is cool, the core of the game works really well. This is where things get a little stuck: the interface is based on that of free-to-play with things to unlock all the time, every day. Do tasks to get XP and money to buy the little tu-tures (there are over 130 of them; of course, you can raid to unlock them more quickly!).
There are several game modes, but ultimately, with a few rare exceptions, it always comes down to simply racing. 🙂 The adventure mode offers us a small scenario and challenges to complete in a certain order, but it’s not great: the story is frankly bogus, only made for children, and we go through the tests without any real motivation. Unless you love collecting. 🙂
We can play with two people in split-screen! We would have preferred 4, but that’s already nice. 🙂 The online mode is pretty cool and works well, with cross-platform (except for the Switch). Since we unlock things all the time, we can be jacky and personalize our cars and our profile a little, like any self-respecting modern online game. Quite addictive. Ultra cool: Hot Wheels 2 offers a rather well-designed circuit editor, and it is even possible to share your creations with the community (still cross-platform)!
Frankly, it’s a good little game, with neat and interesting gameplay (arcade driving + management of its boosts, etc.), it could have been excellent but it’s the coating that fails, wanting to do too much. I would have preferred a basic system, with tournaments/cups to win, circuits/cars to unlock without an XP and money system. I therefore give it a very correct score of 7🚗/10!
NOTE: the game loses a big point on the Switch version, which is 1) much less pretty and readable, 2) which finds itself excluded from other online platforms (sniff, not many people), 3) suffers from slowdowns which sometimes spoil the pleasure of the game.