Now, don’t get us wrong, we love a bit of Hot Wheels Unleashed, and are deeply grateful to get the whole kaboodle of DLC to play (it could so easily have been the vanilla edition arriving on Game Pass). But you have to question that ‘Game of the Year’ tag, right? Are we just slapping that term on any old thing now? We might have to pop to the shops with a Game of the Year nametag.
Putting all cynicism aside, this is rather a fancy bundle. It will certainly keep us going while we wait for Atomic Heart to pop onto Game Pass.
Of course, you may not have played the base game at all. Well, we have you covered there, as we gave it a verdict on this very website. We gave it a 3.5/5, saying “on the whole, Hot Wheels Unleashed is a decent effort at bringing the iconic brand into the video game scene for real. It’s able to deliver a wide variety of cars and tracks to gamers in a way that is fast and frantic, seeing it occasionally verge on being a really great arcade racer. Physics issues and little minor annoyances stop this from reaching the very highest step of that podium, but if you’re a Hot Wheels fan, Unleashed is well worth a visit – and should continue to grow with the promise of a huge amount of post-launch content”.
Which is a neat little segue to all of the post-launch content that VERY much is included in today’s release. Let’s just admire that list, shall we? You get the base game, Hot Wheels Pass Volumes 1, 2 and 3, the Sportscars Pack (which includes the Track Manga and the GT-Scorcher), the Beefed Up Pack (which includes the Armoured Truck and Baja Bone Shaker) and the Street Beasts Pack (featuring the Shark Bite and the Tomb Up). Not bad for a simple Game Pass subscription.
Let’s not forget that Hot Wheels Unleashed has also had over a year to fix some of the more jarring bugs and gameplay quirks. It has also had over a year’s worth of community-created tracks. We can only imagine what the Hot Wheels community has dreamt up in that period.
The rest of the month is admittedly looking slight for Game Pass additions, but there’s a likely announcement of more games midway through the month. We at least have the reassurance that Atomic Heart (TBD) will come on February 21st.
Unfortunately, while few games are being added, quite a number are leaving. Departing are Besiege, Edge of Eternity, Skul: The Hero Slayer, The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom and Infernax on February 10th; Total War: Warhammer III on February 17th; Wreckfest on February 18th and Galactic Civilizations III on February 24th.
Is Hot Wheels Unleashed truly a Game of the Year? Let us know in the comments or on social media.