After becoming Milestone’s most successful game of all time, Hot Wheels Unleashed is getting a sequel later this year. Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 – Turbocharged is racing onto consoles and PC later this year, and one of the new headline features is the new Skill System.
In the first of a series of developer blogs dubbed “The Inside Track”, Milestone provides new details about how Hot Wheels Unleashed 2’s Skill System will add more depth to the toy racer, discussing upgrades, vehicle categories and the game’s Rarity system.
In response to community feedback for the first game, Milestone has added an in-depth yet accessible Skill System to Hot Wheels Unleashed 2. Effectively a skill tree, it allows players to customise their car and focus on specific upgrades affecting speed and handling to suit different tracks.
“Looking back, we realised that what we did was good but maybe not flexible enough to let them fully customize their vehicles to fit their ideal builds. Just as every Hot Wheels is different, so are our players: the Skill System is that little RPGish feature that allows them to experiment and potentially create multiple useful builds for each vehicle,” explained game producer Domenico Celenza.
To prevent every build from being identical, Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 introduces six new vehicle categories, each with different strengths and weaknesses.
Racecars in the Rocket Category emphasise straight-line performance, while Speed Cars in the Balanced category offer a sweet spot between speed and handling. Street Cars and Bikes fall under the Swift category and are lightweight and agile with fast acceleration.
Drifter cars are easy to slide around corners, while Off-Roads such as quad bikes are built to tackle various terrains. Finally, Heavy vehicles cover Vans and Monster Trucks and can barge into opponents that get in your way.
Skill System perks
Up to six perks can be applied to vehicles in the Skill System depending on the level unlocked. A seventh unique perk is automatically added to your build if you use four perks of the same type.
There are three types of perks: Handling, Boost, and Obstacles. This adds a new layer of strategy when creating vehicle builds as every perk has pros and cons and has an impact on the gameplay.
Handling perks are better suited to Off-Roads and Heavy Duties but less useful for Swifts and Drifters. Boost, on the other hand, improves boost charge, boost capacity, and boost speed at the expense of handling, speed, and acceleration, making it ideal for Swifts and Drifters.
Obstacles, on the other hand, are designed for new players, enabling invincibility against different obstacles.
As for in-game currencies, skills can be purchased with Skill Points while vehicle categories can be upgraded with Upgrade Kits. Vehicles can also be purchased with coins. And no, there are no microtransactions – everything is earned with in-game currency.
Finally, the rarity system from the first game returns, but no longer affects vehicle customisation. Instead, it’s tied to car collecting, with rare vehicles less likely to appear in the shop. Depending on the player level, the number of vehicles available to purchase ranges from six to 25 and refreshes every 30 minutes.
Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 – Turbocharged is set to release on 19 October 2023 for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC. Pre-ordering the Legends edition gives you three days of early access starting on 16 October.
For more on Hot Wheels Unleashed 2, check out our recent hands-on preview.
For more articles like this, take a look at our News page.