At the risk of sounding like a meme, if you played with Hot Wheels then you had an awesome childhood. For those of us who came up during the golden age of pretty much everything from toys to video games, Hot Wheels were one of the favorites. In Hot Wheels: World’s Best Driver you’ll approach the most interesting concepts brought forth by the original toy franchise as well as some of gaming’s best racing game mechanics in a journey to become the world’s best driver.
The first step you’ll take on this journey is selecting a color-coded team, each with their own primary focus (for example Green Team = Speed, Blue Team = High Tech) and then the racing begins. You’ll be able to switch between teams at any time and also unlock special abilities using tokens earned through in-game challenges. Hot Wheels: World’s Best Driver is expectedly focused on fun factor rather than realism and will see players chaining together drifts for miles, drifting on two wheels for hundreds of feet, performing deadly neck-breaking jumps, driving up and drifting across walls, and even more across a variety of locations that does a good job of preventing any amount of boredom normally associated with racing titles.
Gameplay: Racing and drifting are the most fun parts of the game by far. Precision driving events can be very frustrating at times, but also rewarding, and will eventually mold you into a better drive throughout the game. Stages such as tracks that become more and more narrow as time goes are easier to appreciate than the events that see you tediously navigating through complex precision courses with lots of stopping, jumping, and turning around.
There are also some really interesting events that have you doing things like stopping a 200mph speeding vehicle as close as you can to a finish line using a parachute and perfect timing. Overall the gameplay is very smooth, easy to get into, and most of all fun. The variety of so many different things to do in the game make it an experience that doesn’t get stale, and you’ll probably get more enjoyment than you might have expected from the brand we all grew up as kids playing with. There’s over 50 challenges in the game as well as a multiplayer mode and you can customize 24 different vehicles. Medals are earned and tracked in addition to stat-tracking across the four different teams you’ll play as with various ways of completing each event.
Controls: Hot Wheels: World’s Best Driver handles really well. You don’t need to be an expert at driving cars in order to enjoy this game. While the racing genre is heading towards a hyper-realistic standard, even for arcade racers, Hot Wheels brings it back to the pure enjoyment that all gamers can appreciate with the added bonus of over-the-top gameplay like riding up a wall or going through crazy tracks reminiscent of the actual Hot Wheels toy tracks. There’s nothing to really complain about in terms of controls, players of all skill levels should have no problem picking the game up and eventually mastering it.
Graphics / Art Direction: There are a number of different tracks in this game and each one has a different look and theme to it. Throughout this racing title you’ll be treated to a high production value in terms of graphics and vibrant, refreshing displays with attentive art direction delivered. Firebrand Games has definitely surpassed expectations in this department showing their mastery of current gen console hardware.
Soundtrack, Audio, Voice: The soundtrack in this game is the upbeat tempo stuff you’d expect to find in a racing game but what’s really cool is that often times the music has samples and sounds that are familiar to the video game industry. The audio of the vehicles sounds clear and appropriate, which is great since audio is important to the feel of a racing game. The voices can sometimes be annoying but they are also an important part of this game since they inform you of what’s going on and what you’re supposed to be doing. Thanks to the voice-overs provided in this game, you’ll never be confused or stuck wondering what’s going on, which enables you to enjoy the game in a streamlined manner and worry about your gameplay not reading instructions.
Multiplayer Aspect: Up to 4 players can take part in local ‘Hot Seat Mode’ multiplayer on one console in a pass-the-controller style fashion.
Replay Ability: High
Engine Performance, Physics, Glitches: The physics in the game is loosely based on that of real life racing but takes many liberties in pushing it more towards the arcade / fantasy side of things. You’ll get a good balance which leans mostly towards fast driving, easy to master drifting, and also enjoy ridiculous feats that could never be accomplished in real life such as driving sideways across walls, over insane ramps, and more. There were no glitches encountered in our play-through of Hot Wheels: World’s Best Driver and the game engine performed quickly and with stability.
Final Verdict: Hot Wheels: World’s Best Driver is a great game, there’s really not much you can complain about with this racing title. We would have liked to see a full story mode / campaign added, and that led to a less than perfect score, however we definitely recommend this game to anybody that is looking for a pick-up-and-play experience capable of providing a good fun factor. The title is also age appropriate for all members of the family with the ‘E for Everyone’ rating by the ESRB. The graphics, sounds, game engine, and fun factor all come together to make a well polished product from Firebrand Games and Warner Bros. Interactive earning it an impressive 9 out of 10 making it a Gold Game on the RealGamerNewz Rating Scale.
Overall Score: 9/10
RGN Rating: Gold Game
Developer: Firebrand Games
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Available On: Wii U / PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC
Handheld Version Available On: DS / 3DS
Played On: PlayStation 3
Review Copy Info- A physical copy of the game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20130923 and was last modified on 20131006 .