GearClub Unlimited Brings Serious Racing to Nintendo Switch

first_imgStay on target Controller Patent Teases SNES Games on SwitchPlay These Nintendo Switch Games Before ‘Pokemon Sword and Shield&… Even if I’m not a fan of the realistic racing genre, lots of folks are. The Gran Turismo games were some of Sony’s biggest titles on the mega-popular PlayStation 2, and the Forza franchise is one of the only cornerstones Microsoft has left. Being the whimsical company it is, Nintendo’s flagship racing series is the bonkers Mario Kart series, definitely not a racing sim. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t folks who own Nintendo consoles who would prefer something a little more grounded than anti-gravity blue shells.Eden Games is known for its racing games like Test Drive Unlimited and V-Rally. And this holiday they are filling a niche on Nintendo Switch with Gear.Club Unlimited, a serious racing game for the console/handheld hybrid. We got to check it out!While the game’s roots are in the mobile game Gear.Club, Gear.Club Unlimited is a full-on, microtransaction-free console game. In fact, the game’s initial DLC packs will be free of charge. And the game also performs like a console racing game, typically a visual showcase for the hardware. While it’s locked at 30fps as opposed to smooth 60, it runs at 1080p on the television at 720p on the handheld. That applies to both single player and split-screen multiplayer modes. It took some work, but the developers said they were able to implement some technology from higher-end consoles, shaders and whatnot, onto the more modest Switch.AdChoices广告But before we even started racing, the developers showed how they want Gear.Club Unlimited to represent the “entire automotive experience.” Along with test driving new cars, players can do neat little things like open the hood, trunk, and all of the doors on their potential ride. Each player can visit their own Performance Shop, a nifty little diorama to enhance and display your vehicles for others. You can give your shop swanky themes like posh penthouse or neon bowling alley.The Performance Shop is also where you upgrade and customize your cars. Construct new stations like a wind tunnel or paint shop and drag your car into them to increase aerodynamics or just change colors. These stations themselves can also be upgraded into more effective forms. Here you can see really granular data that the game’s physics engine produces, like traction coefficient, but it’s also easy enough to just know whether or not a change will make your car go faster.While real-world car brands like Nissan and Porsche and Dodge can be a little touchy about how video games deform their cars, you can still customize your cars with things like new spoilers and bumpers. But stock models are a fine option, too. The Performance Shop could have just been a glorified menu, but turning it into a little car sandbox is a fun touch. The developers compared it to The Sims.Sooner or later you’ll want to start really racing, though. The team considered making a Gear.Club Unlimited an open-world game, and a future entry might use that model. But this game instead has 400 individual races (rally, derby, single lap, etc.) set across different fictional locations inspired by locales like the Mediterranean or American deserts. Compared to some past racing sims, the team wanted more natural colors in the environments.To see all of those races, you’ll have to progress through several tiers of tournaments and championships, and for that you’ll need better cars. Each car belongs to a certain category, A being the lowest and D being the highest. With the right upgrades, an A car could actually out-perform a low-end B car. But eventually you’ll still need to trade up to something totally better to keep moving forward. Besides, you’ll want to drive all the cars the game has to offer.As for the driving itself, it’s more Forza than Forza Horizon. You can rewind but you won’t be boosting over helicopters or making spectacular crashes. Still, there are plenty of accessibility options like racing lines, auto-braking, turning A.I. and so on. These assists helped me stay competitive with the developers in multiplayer, which definitely shouldn’t have been possible given my casual racing talents. And it feels great using either the Pro Controller or in handheld mode, even if I couldn’t necessarily fully appreciate the unique handling of each car I drove.Along with 4-player splitscreen multiplayer (currently the only local multiplayer mode), Gear.Club Unlimited will roll out several online multiplayer modes after launch. The first one, available day one, is arcade. This mode is asynchronous, matching players against each other’s ghosts. However, because the data is stored in Eden Games’ own servers, you won’t need to pay for Nintendo’s still mysterious Switch online service to play. We’re curious to see if any other Switch game opt for a workaround like this.There’ll be a lot in Gear.Club Unlimited when it launches December 1 on Nintendo Switch, but from there the developers want to keep building on it, treat it like a real platform. Here’s hoping Nintendo fans have room in their hearts for non-Mario racing.Want to learn more? Here’s everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch.Buy it now!The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildNintendo SwitchProtect Your Nintendo Switch With These Awesome CasesLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img

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