A sequel to Hot Wheels Unleashed will be getting released on October 19th 2023 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Nintendo Switch and PC. Publisher Milestone made the announcement, possibly because of the recent leak which outed the games existence.
The official press release delves into what we can expect in the follow-up to the surprisingly good Hot Wheels Unleashed, stating that players will be getting 130 vehicles at launch, including motorcycles. You’ll be able to race these lovingly recreated toy cars in five environments which Milestone promises will feature different road surfaces that will change vehicle handling and performance.
The other new feature they are touting is the ability to jump or perform a lateral dash. According to Milestone, lateral dashes “will allow for tactical impacts against opponents, obstacle dodging, and daring overturns.” Tactical impacts may be the best description I’ve ever heard for ramming into cars like a psychopath and using them as mobile brakes. Meanwhile, jumps should hopefully make for some fun overtakes, especially if the sequel retains the first games mid-air controls.
On top of that, Milestone also says they are focusing on a new story-driven career mode, which could be a complete disaster or something excellent. The first game’s singleplayer was a very simple mode where you bounced from node to node doing races so a more meaty experience does sound very tempting. On the other hand, trying to make a racing game more story driven can really bring the cringe, as seen in Need for Speed: Unbound.
A sequel isn’t too surprising, really. Hot Wheels Unleashed sold 2 million copies within 18 months, making it Milestone’s biggest game ever. The company also crowed about it managing to get over 8 million players, largely due to it coming to Xbox Game Pass.
Honestly, the success was deserved. Hot Wheels Unleashed is heaps of fun. The drifting feels excellent, there’s a good bit of room for actual skill and the cars are beautiful recreations of their real-world plastic counterparts. I hope they ditch the annoying idea of getting new cars by opening random loot boxes, though, because getting yet another copy of the same car for the 10th was bloody annoying.