It’s no secret I love Hot Wheels Unleashed. What I felt was going to be some sort of children’s racing game turned out to be an absolute love letter of nostalgia and, surprisingly, one of the most difficult racing games in years.
Over time, Mattel and Milestone have added more and more expansions to the game. The DC Superheroes pack added many cool cars based on famous DC heroes and villains giving us such gems as a Penguin car complete with monocle and umbrella. There was even a Batman pack that not only gave us some really cool-themed cars but an entire Batcave you could actually drive around in. Many of these packs will even add new track creation elements as well, giving you a lot of different things for one expansion.
Hot Wheels Unleashed’s most recent expansion though is not only a huge wealth of new things but, unfortunately, also a problem.
The newest add-on is the Monster Truck Expansion. Like the name hints at, this adds monster trucks to the game. Big wheels fellas that, as the game will tell you, are immune to certain track elements because of their immense size.
And you see that handling stat? Oh boy, is that a problem. These boys handle like a drunk in high heels stumbling down a flight of stairs. Not only do they LIVE to do sudden 90-degree turns but you know how, normally, monster trucks are known for their big tires and their big tires are known to climb over practically anything? Well, guess what these fellas absolutely suck at doing.
Check out this gameplay where I was bringing one of these slow boats to the lead position in a race only to be absolutely thwarted by the track itself.
I mean, that’s a big problem. At the beginning of this clip, I remember being kinda frustrated that driving into the smaller car didn’t do a damn thing to it. I could see how that could break the game. But this is the game itself being broken without our help. For me to hit that spot several times and just come to a dead stop? Argh.
The expansion isn’t a total bust, however. There’s also an entirely new map area as shown here in the official trailer.
It adds an area called the Stop Motion Studio which is several tables, each with its own environment equalling tracks that can send you from a desert to a glacier in no time flat. The tracks can be confusing though, as they branch off in all sorts of different directions with no clear indicator on where you’re supposed to go. The first several times I did some of these races I found myself well outside the realm of the race because I didn’t realize I was supposed to have turned down a barely visible cavern.
It also adds a really cool obstacle which is a swinging boulder. I’ve wanted something like this from the jump.
Hopefully, there are some patches in the very near future that fix the tracks to give them more cones so we can see where we’re going as well as fixes so that the monster trucks don’t get caught on any bump bigger than a slightly uneven sidewalk. But until then, there’s still a lot of really cool fun to be had with this. Just…probably stick to the regular cars for now.