After much speculation, Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 has finally been announced. Coming with the tagline "Turbocharged", the sequel to 2021's well-received arcade racer is set to bring all the childhood joy of Hot Wheels rushing back into our lives.
With a solid foundation to build on, what innovations are Mattel and Milestone making to the game? And when can we play?! Let's find out as we explore everything there is to know about Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 - Turbocharged!
Latest news - Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 gameplay trailer reveals new game modes
As we get closer to release, Milestone has released a new Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 gameplay trailer showcasing new game modes including a demolition derby with monster trucks. We also get a first look at the story campaign through animated comic-book-style cut scenes.
Skill System detailed
One of the new headline features in Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 is the Skill System. As requested by players, the Skill System lets players focus on upgrading boost, speed, or handling to create unique car builds suited to different racks.
In a blog post, Milestone has revealed new details about Hot Wheels Unleashed 2's Skill System as well as the new vehicle categories and how the rarity system will change in the sequel.
Ahead of its October release, we've been hands-on with Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 - Turbocharged to find out how Milestone's new toy racer. With new game modes, more vehicle types, and more intricate courses, it's shaping up to be another huge hit.
You can find out our initial impressions in our Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 - Turbocharged hands-on preview.
Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 release date
The reveal announcement has come with a confirmed release date, which is simply lovely to see. Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 - Turbocharged will be racing onto platforms on 19 October 2023.
The first game came with the option of three days early access, and that is again an option, but only for the Legendary Edition. Speaking of editions...
Platforms & editions
You can play Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 on basically any platform. The game will be available on PS4 & PS5, Xbox One & Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC via both Steam and Epic Games Store.
There are also three editions of the game; Standard, Deluxe, and Legendary. There are several additional items for the Deluxe & Legendary editions, along with that early access for the Legendary Edition.
There are a lot of incentives to get the Legendary Edition, and it also looks like the game will be at least partially live service too with the mention of Season Passes.
The announcement of Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 has included confirmation of Season Passes in the game. Those that purchase either the Deluxe or Legendary Editions will automatically have the Volume 1 included in it.
In total, there are 25 exclusive vehicles and two environments to enjoy in the Season Pass Volume 1. These will be released from October through to February 2024.
There are some very interesting packs in here, such as the Fast X cars in December and February's "Made In Italy" pack.
Season 2 will run between March and June 2024 and will be available to players that have purchased the Legendary version of Hot Wheels 2. 24 exclusive vehicles and 2 more environments are on offer here.
April looks like being a huge month, with both Monster Trucks and Fast and Furious packs due for release in this month.
Pre-ordering the Deluxe Edition of Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 - Turbocharged also earns you four in-game cars when you load the game up for the first time.
The Legendary Edition goes even further than that though, as eight cars are included for those that pre-order this version. This includes the four from the Deluxe Edition and four more on top of that.
So what can players expect from the sequel? Well, there should be tweaks and improvements to the core gameplay, but given that the racing loop was great fun in the first game we hope that hasn't changed too much.
However, there are a few additions. A dash and a jump ability are being added, allowing for lateral and vertical movements that can be defensive dodges or opportunistic attacks on your rivals. They will also allow for the discovery of hidden shortcuts and new track sections, opening up the possibilities for victory!
Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 is set to launch with more than 130 vehicles, and includes motorbikes and ATVs for the first time. Categories will differentiate by performance, while players will be able to further customise their driving style by using skill points to purchase perks and assemble custom builds!
There will be five distinct environments in Hot Wheels Unleashed 2, taking the racing out of the enormous home settings we saw in the first game.
A new part of the game that should be enticing to everyone is a new story-driven career mode.
Starring four original characters, with immersive cut scenes and a captivating narrative, the new single-player mode should add a nice element to the game.
The story follows protagonists Robert and Darla, alongside their robotic assistant XR046. They're called to save the day and restore peace to the city after a series of creatures are mistakenly released by Professor Tanabe.
You'll need to take on five bosses in an effort to secure the fate of the city and its inhabitants.
New modes + cross-play
That's right, cross-play is coming to Hot Wheels. After being absent from the first title, Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 will allow players to link up with friends on other platforms and go racing online together.
The exception to this is Nintendo Switch, which won't be able to connect with players on other platforms.
There are five new game modes on offer, including Waypoint, where you'll need to get through checkpoints in the fastest time. The twist is that you're free to roam around the environment to find the fastest route to each checkpoint.
There’s also a new Elimination mode where the car in last place is eliminated every few seconds as well as a dedicated drift mode.
Grab the Gears mode comprises of a mix of racing skills, strategy, and a touch of frenzied action as players will engage in thrilling online battles to collect as many Gears as possible within a certain area.
Finally, there's the Clash Derby mode which is the ultimate online duel for Monster Trucks only, where players will seize supremacy of the arena by delivering powerful hits to their opponents.
Online multiplayer will feature a new ranking system as well as cross-play for all platforms except for Nintendo Switch. Conveniently, you can now create a party of friends before joining lobbies unlike in the first game. Split-screen multiplayer is also included but only for up to two players.
The big appeal though, like the toys themselves, will be getting creative. A refined track editor will bring new modules and features to increase the diversity of tracks, while a livery editor update will introduce a sticker editor.
This will let players create, save, and share original patterns and shapes, meaning you can truly unleash your creativity on the world of Hot Wheels.
Last but not least, all creations will be shareable across platforms from day one in Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 - Turbocharged.
For more articles like this, take a look at our Hot Wheels page.