When it comes to racing games on the Nintendo Switch, there really isn’t that big of a line up available. There’s even less if you’re looking for realistic racers. While games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe might be super fun and acclaimed, not everyone is keen on arcade style racers. I for instance love racing sims in which I can drive actual cars I know of in real life using actual skill without having to worry about a rogue turtle shell or a banana peel wrecking my fun. So what game is like that on the Nintendo Switch if you’re looking for a realistic racer? Look no further than Eden Games’ latest, Gear.Club Unlimited 2. Published by Microïds, Gear.Club Unlimited 2 offers more than 1800 miles of tracks, on the mountainside, through a nature park, in the middle of the desert or along the coast, as well as 250 races, including championships, missions and challenges.
Let’s start this off by saying that Gear.Club Unlimited 2 includes both solo modes and multiplayer modes (online and local). What’s great here too is that online multiplayer does not require a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on to the rest of the review.
Gear.Club Unlimited 2 really is the most realistic racer on Nintendo Switch. While not quite up to par with games like Gran Turismo Sport or the Forza series, it still looks pretty darn good especially for a Nintendo Switch game. The car models all seem to look hyper realistic and accurate while the environments also have that real to life look to them.
What isn’t realistic are the character models mainly because Gear.Club Unlimited 2 uses anime style representations for people. It’s pretty good though and adds character to the game, differentiating it from other realistic racers.
There is another aspect of Gear.Club Unlimited 2 that seems really unique is the Performance Shop. Unlike some other games where upgrading your vehicle is based off of a menu system where you don’t really see any real upgrading going on, the Performance Shop give you a visual representation of it all. It’s an actual shop where you can move your car around, upgrade parts, and tweak settings. You can even customize the look and layout of the Performance Shop as you progress. While it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it is certainly different. On that note, there are certainly tons of things that can be upgraded and customized on your vehicle, including the look.
On the negative side of things, load times can be quite long.
Here’s the one area of Gear.Club Unlimited 2 that I have mixed feelings about. If you’re using the Joy-Cons to play the game, you’re going to find the controls a bit frustrating, mainly when it comes to accelerating and braking in the game. Because of the way the triggers are on the Joy-Cons, you’re either fully accelerating or fully braking. There is no in-between because the triggers are digital, not analog. Also, controlling your vehicle also feels a tiny bit sluggish. Turning left and right can sometimes be a bit twitchy with you often times slamming against walls when you clearly shouldn’t be. After a few races though, you should get used to it and adapt to the quirkiness of the controls.
Career mode is probably where you’ll spend most of your time. It’ll teach you a lot about how to race, how to set up your vehicles, how to upgrade them, and most importantly, how to drive them. Career mode will also get you acclimated with all the different types of races you can play in the game. It is a really deep career mode and presents itself as a story that you progress through.
Earning money in this mode doesn’t seem hard at all which means you’ll be able to buy vehicles and upgrades with relative ease.
On the multiplayer side, online races are asynchronous races against ghosts in Leagues. If you want to play against real people in real time, you’ll have the option to play local races, up to four players in split screen. Of note, online races do not require Nintendo Switch Online subscription.
While far from a perfect racer, Gear.Club Unlimited 2 isn’t that bad at all. I’m the type of racing fan that loves using real world vehicles and this game certain delivers on that front. The racing itself though might need getting used to if you’re accustomed to playing games like Gran Turismo or Forza. It’s not as precise as it needs to be and could really be tightened up.
In terms of presentation though, I think the game looks pretty good. Environments look very good and the car models themselves look very accurate.
On the fun side of things, fun is subjective. I know there are people out there who hate racing sims and people out there who love them. I personally love them because I love cars, but I know racing sims can be very hard to play and unforgiving if you’re not used to playing them. In that respect, Gear.Club Unlimited 2 isn’t for everyone. Those of you who do love these types of games though should have a great time with it.
Received game from developer and/or publisher for coverage purposes.
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