Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged

Another delve into the toybox.

Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 Turbocharged

Hot Wheels Unleashed was a fan’s dream come true, as it brought the world of the iconic die-cast cars and gaming together in an almost perfect blend.  Serving up arcade racing thrills in the best way, as you boost and drift your way around a never-ending mix of over the top tracks, made up from some of the Hot Wheels most renowned track pieces.  Developed by Italian studio Milestone – best known for all things two wheels in gaming, this was what you would call a true sleeper hit.  Well they are back for a sequel that looks to turn everything up to 11 with more tracks, cars and challenges with Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged.

Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged takes the solid foundations of the first game and builds on them, which means it’s very much a case of “if it’s not broken, don’t touch it” on the core gameplay front.  Which isn’t a bad thing given the target audience will likely be youngsters based on the license and this decision will see them able to jump back into the thick of it right away.  What is new, however, is that the career mode now has… a story behind it.  It is light hearted and 100% aimed at youngsters, but is OK, and unfolds new zones on the map as you complete the mix of races, so it never gets in the way of the racing thrills.  Gameplay-wise there are a few tweaks to mix things up; like if you jump or ram your car it drains your boost gauge, so there is a light layer of tactics to how you best use it.

The tracks this time around are a bit wild, featuring more jumps and inverted sections than the original game.  So you never know when you might need a bit of juice to make a crucial jump.  There are also more race types this time around (out with the standard race and time trial offerings), as there is now elimination, drift, check point and even boss races to spice things up. That’s only half the game though, as a HUGE part of the past game was the cars you get behind the wheel of, and trust me this instalment will not disappoint as well.  Milestone have truly opened up the toy box because out with cars – there are now bikes, monster trucks and ATVs available to take for a spin, with there being an eye watering 130 different vehicles to collect.  Plus like the first game there are a few more famous rides to have fun with too: like K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider and the Delorean from Back to the Future, which all adds to the fun.

A HUGE improvement from the past game though is how you unlock cars, as gone is the blind bag system and instead you get a shop that rotates stock daily that you can spend your hard earned coins on new motors with.  Plus, you can spend a few coins to refresh the shop if you don’t see anything that takes your fancy.  There is also a new upgrade tree for each vehicle that will give you boosts and buffs to get the upper hand during races.  It has just enough options to make you feel like you’re making a difference with your skill points, without getting bogged down with stats and figures.  Fan favourite features like the livery and track editor return, that lets you create endless custom designs and tracks to then share with your mates and beyond.  Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged makes both feel as good as the first game’s offering.  Though if you’re looking for a real challenge, you can head online and throw down in a race or two, with the best in the world across a number of different modes, most being lifted from the career mode.

Visually the game looks great once again, from the larger than life settings that the iconic orange track weaves around, to the textures on the cars themselves… plastic and metal has never look so good.  Sound-wise it’s irritating at best, in particular the soundtrack can begin to grate after re-starting a time run or drift race for the 15th time.  Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged doesn’t come close to reinventing the wheel, but instead it’s a race ready, low profile, sticky tyre that takes what fans love and gives them more.  Bigger and better in almost every area, this is a sequel that understands what made the first game a hit and grows on that, delivering a treat for fans and a delight for newcomers of all ages.

An Xbox review copy of Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged was provided by Milestone’s PR team, and the game is out now for PC, Xbox, Switch and PlayStation for around £45.

The Verdict


The Good: Improved gameplay | New modes | Upgraded system works | More and different vehicles

The Bad: A few odd difficulty spikes during the career mode | Soundtrack grates after a bit

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Stuart Cullen

Scotland’s very own thorn in the side of the London gaming scene bringing all the hottest action straight from The Sun… well… The Scottish Sun at least, every week!

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