We got an early look at 'Hot Wheels Unleashed' | Gaming roundup

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This week in racing game news:

We got to try a preview build of "Hot Wheels Unleashed" and so far, we're loving it

This past week we were lucky enough to receive a preview build for the upcoming "Hot Wheels Unleashed" game, releasing Sept. 30 of this year. The work-in-progress build didn't include all the content planned for the final version, but it did let us explore two game modes, Quick Race and Split Screen, on nine tracks (out of 40+ planned for launch) in four environments (out of six planned for launch) with 28 cars (out of 60+ planned for launch).

Right off the bat, the first thing you notice about the game are its beautiful visuals. The designers clearly wanted to be sure they replicated each Hot Wheels racer in exhaustive detail and it really shows. The cars look so good that it's easy to get lost on the select-a-car screen just scrolling through and checking out the details on each vehicle. Past that, the environments are impressively rendered as well. In this build we got to see the College, Skatepark, Garage and Skyscraper environments. Within each environment, there are multiple configurations of Hot Wheels race tracks to choose from, most including boost pads, loop-de-loops, obstacles and jumps. In the final build, you'll even be able to create your own courses with a track builder feature.

In addition to the visuals, the gameplay is super solid; it feels exactly the way you'd want a kart racer to feel. The vehicles themselves can vary pretty significantly when it comes to the handling, making it a fun experience to find which one you click with the best. In general though, regardless of your chosen car, if you've played a kart racer before you'll feel right at home with traditional boost starts, drifts, tight controls and even the great addition of being able to maintain full control of your car in the air during big jumps.

After playing this build, September can't get here soon enough. If you're interested in seeing the game in action, check out the livestream replay of our experience below. Already sold? You can pre-order the game right here.

"Forza Horizon 4" will stop adding new cars after Series 37

In sad but not unexpected news, "Forza Horizon 4" will no longer be adding new cars and features after its upcoming Series 37 update, in order to give the developers more time to focus on "Forza Horizon 5," due out later this year. This doesn't mean that there will be no more series updates, though. Basically, starting with series 38, the game will start recycling content from series 7 through 32, giving players the opportunity to experience things they may have missed over the years. While it's always a bummer to see a game put a pause on new content, we're excited enough for "Forza Horizon 5" to give this one a pass.