Hot Wheels Unleashed, the brand new arcade racing game from the team at Milestone, is full of high-octane action. Over the past week, I’ve spent time with a preview build of the game, getting to sample some of the cars and tracks that the whole game will offer in September.

Hot Wheels Unleashed Brings The Heat | Hands-On Preview 

While the build I played was only limited to Quick Race, but there was still plenty to dig into with the various Hot Wheels cars to check out. These cars are the real stars of the show, each one lovingly rendered and not a hair out of place. The sheer amount of detail and craft in each of these cars are impressive. 

Each car in the selection screen has different stats, aesthetics, and there is even a note on each car that signifies which year and series the Hot Wheel was a part of when it was released. It’s clear that this is a labor of love. 

The Hot Wheels themselves retain their toy quality while being elevated by the real-world backgrounds of the track. Each level is set up just as you remember setting up that icon orange track throughout your house. The bright orange track against the backdrop of different environments like a Garage, Colege Campus, and various others.

Each of these main areas has a few different tracks around the environment. So there are plenty of tracks that stop the levels from feeling stale. Maybe one track is set up to be heavy on drifting, while another is full of loops and sharp turns. 

There will be a Home Base area in the full release that lets you customize your own environment for your ace against friends. Make it your own and have fun with it. I look forward to checking this feature out in the full release but did not have the option to do so in the preview. 

As far as the actual racing goes, it’s a pretty straightforward arcade racer. Use a copious amount of boost, hit the speed boosts on the track, and crush loops and other crazy Hot Wheels-inspired track obstacles. 

The build I played did not have the career mode, time attack, or track builder in the game, which is where the real meat of this game lies. I don’t have a sense of the progression and cadence of unlocking cars or what will keep players pushing forward in Hot Wheels Unleashed.

I did not get to test out the Split-Screen mode, but its inclusion is great for racing against friends or family on the couch. So often, we see Split-screen fall by the wayside, and it’s fantastic to see it brought back here.

However, the racing is tight, responsive, and aesthetically pleasing. If the full game builds out around this I think Hot Wheels Unleashed will surprise and delight fans of all ages. 

Hot Wheel Unleashed is releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.