Name: Gear.Club Unlimited 2
Developer: Eden Games
Reviewed on: Switch
Acquired: A copy of this game was provided by a publisher for review purpose
With my newly acquired Switch, I was excited to play racing with console quality on the go. I did get a chance to try Gear.Club Unlimited 2 during Gamescom 2018, but I wasn’t enough to get a feel of the game. So what does this Switch exclusive have to offer, with the competition racing games has these days?
I will disclude score on the story/campaign, with the game’s small focus on it. It’s not a big part of the game either, but rather the red line that moves the game forward.
You are a car tester which just have tested a car, a racing team is missing their driver and asks if you can step in for one race. They are impressed by your skills and wants you to keep driving for them. From there you race to climb the leaderboard, winning championships to earn more money for new cars.
Gear.Club Unlimited 2 is a mixed bag graphically, and also it’s hard to know what to compare it to. It isn’t as detailed as its console rivals, but on the Switch itself, it isn’t many games in the same genre. The cars look pretty good, with a great amount of detail. But the environments could have been better, feeling a bit static. The surroundings are a bit bland, and the lighting could also be a bit better. Overall, it felt like some of the handheld racing games that the PS Vita had some years back, which it kinda actually is being a portable console. My expectations weren’t as high, thinking it’s unfair to compare it with games like Forza on Xbox and Gran Turismo on PlayStation. It could have been better, I’m not sure how much is possible with the hardware but seeing other games being ported from console to Switch, looking pretty good it should be possible to make it a bit better. It also suffers from some drops in frames, not when actually racing but rather during menus and in the garage. Loading times were often very long, it could at times take over one minute to transition from race to the menu. Both issues were the same in handheld and docked mode.
Gear.Club Unlimited 2 is the closest we get to a full racing game on the Switch. Gameplay fits the handheld part, being easy to pick up and play in small portions. Racing is divided into Sprint, Circuit and Time Attack. You race in championships in different car classes to win the prizes to buy upgrades, customizations and, of course, new cars. You have a garage that you buy new “stations” which unlock new stuff, you can change and tweak your cars. Gameplay feels more arcade rather than simulation, but with the addition of the customization gives it more simulator feeling. Some of the elements from its day as a mobile game is still a part of this Switch exclusive sequel, with mixed results. Navigating the menu in the garage could have been made a bit easier, trying to set it more apart from it’s mobile-focused big brother. It isn’t a very hard game to play. The AI aren’t too difficult and if you screw up you have the rewind feature that you can use any time with a press of a button. There are also different weather effects, but except for winter and dirt, they don’t change much more than the look of the map.
How the game controls really depend on the car, how they handle changes drastically for some of the cars. This is pretty obvious since it is a racing game, but rather than physics based it’s pretty pre-set how the cars maneuver and behaves. How much they actually feel like their real-life counterpart is not easy to say. But it was difficult at times to get a feel of the cars, knowing how they would handle in corners. But some of them felt pretty good also, Porsche, Nissan and Bugatti Veyron is some worth mentioning. Although the stick is small on the joy cons, it wasn’t too bad to use in a racing game either. But the braking was an annoyance at times, it was hard to brake since the buttons are digital not axis triggered. Even with upgraded brakes, they feel too weak, and the racing line isn’t always correct. So coming too fast into a corner or braking to almost a stop happened frequently.
Apart from the career mode, there are multiplayer elements. You actually have the traditional split-screen, that I have missed in recent racing games. You and a friend can use one Joy Con each and play on the go or comfortably on the couch behind the TV. There is also an online multiplayer, but at the time of this review, it hasn’t arrived yet, so I can’t go in detail what you can do in it or how many modes there are. You do have the campaign with over 250 races, or you can race in quick races. Online races I think will be the mode that will get players to return the most (when it arrives that is.) Or if you are on a trip and want to do some split-screen with a friend. If the online contain different modes other than the traditional racing, it’s going to be a plus and bring more fun gameplay to the game, but I can’t know that at the time. Plus points for split-screen.
Replay Value 7
Gear.Club Unlimited 2 delivers a game in a genre currently lacking on the Switch, which doesn’t give it much competition. It is the most realistic racer that you can get on the go, on the Switch that is. It might be a bit too arcade for some, but what it gives might justify it. Personalize your cars to your suiting, and test or buy new and better cars. There isn’t the biggest selection of cars, but there’s enough mixed to give different car types for you to choose from. But my biggest arguement that justifies some of its shortcomings, is what type of game we get to play on the go. A full-fledged racer, that you often only get on home consoles. Some of the mobile roots, from the previous installment, is present but altered to fit the Switch. Then again – SPLIT-SCREEN!!!
User Review( votes)
- Car customization
- Sense of speed
- Racing on the go
- Split-Screen (Last time I mention it.)
- A mixed result with graphics
- Loading times
- Difficult car handling
- Weak Brakes