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The gameplay reveal stream for Hot Wheels Unleashed has come to an end, and it did not disappoint. From a look into the inspirations behind the game to an all-new gameplay trailer showcasing a bunch of pre-alpha footage, the live event was packed full of info from start to finish, and we’ve got all the details.


Beat that


At the beginning of the stream, developers at Milestone shared that their inspiration for the gameplay was in trying to capture the feeling of being shrunk down to the size of a Hot Wheels car, and experiencing the excitement from the perspective the cars would have had as a child played with them. As such, the gameplay is high-energy and chaotic, with an emphasis on drifting, boosting, knocking competitors around, and pulling off all manner of jumps, stunts, and mid-air shortcuts. It’s not all orange tracks and loop-dee-loops, however, as races will regularly see players going off the track and onto table tops, floors, and through air vents.



Another core inspiration behind the game was the collectible nature of Hot Wheels cars, and the legacy of the brand over the years. To honor this legacy, the game will launch with over 60 cars — with more on the way via post-launch DLC — each painstakingly detailed down to the mold lines along the cars’ various bodies and engines. The developers at Milestone have promised that each car will be competitively viable, so if your favorite Hot Wheels car is the legendary Twin Mill, like me, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to ride that die-cast beauty to victory throughout the whole game! To further riff in the idea of collectibility, the stream teased a rarity system that promises to “bring out the spirit of collecting.”


Gotta drive ‘em all


Throughout the different modes, players will acquire rewards for winning races that will allow them to unlock more vehicles, and each vehicle will be customizable from the color of the body all the way to the casting of the car itself. The customization isn’t limited to the cars, however, as there will also be a track editor in the game that allows players to bend, stretch, loop, and twist track parts just like they would in real life. The track editor is actually the same editor that the developers have used to create the 40+ tracks within the game. Custom cars and tracks can both be shared and downloaded online, with and then played with friends either online or locally via two-player split-screen.

On the single-player side of things, the Career mode was referred to as being the “heart of the game,” with cars to unlock, boss fights to take on, and a Home Base environment to customize. Two of the game’s six environments were shown, including the garage from the game’s first trailer and a teaser image for a college dorm room. These environments will serve as the backdrop for the various races throughout the game, offering different aesthetics and obstacles to build tracks and hazards around. 



While the game is set to launch with an incredibly dense amount of content, Milestone has plans to support the game for quite a while after its release, promising “hefty new content” throughout the game’s life with a combination of paid and free DLC. These DLCs will include new tracks, cars, and full expansions. The game will indeed have paid add-ons, but The Devs made it absolutely clear that there will be no loot boxes whatsoever, and any paid content for the game will be a “what you see is what you get” transaction. There will be aspects of the game where you can unlock items at random, yet there will be no real-world money exchanged within these unlock systems.


A Hot Wheels fan’s dream


With 40 tracks, 60 cars, a career mode, customizable cars and tracks, and online and local multiplayer, this arcade racer is shaping up to be an absolute beast of a game; and as a lifelong Hot Wheels fan, I had a big smile on my face for most of the reveal stream. When I was a kid, I couldn’t leave the house with at least one of Mattel’s die-cast speed machines in my pocket, and from what we’ve seen of Hot Wheels Unleashed, the team at Milestone is creating a game that seems to faithfully capture the way my little six-year-old brain imagined playing with toy cars all those years ago. 

I’m personally hoping this game lives up to everything it’s promising to be, and you can be sure that we’ll keep a close eye on it here at Nintendo Wire! To see more of the game, you can find the archive of the full developer stream over at Milestone’s official YouTube channel, or check out the gameplay reveal trailer below.



Hot Wheels Unleashed will speed onto Nintendo Switch and all other major platforms on Thursday, September 30th!


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Written by Marcus Ramirez

A writer and dreamer who loves all things tropical, bright, colorful, and shiny. Marcus is obsessed with Kingdom Hearts and patiently awaits its triumphant return to Nintendo hardware. He has a (totally real) court order that requires him to always have a 3DS or Switch on his person when leaving the house for more than a few hours.