Riding through the Alps is truly what I truly desire this December.
The splash that the original Gear.Club Unlimited made on Nintendo Switch was staggering. With more than 400 racing challenges, it was one of the most uniquely put together packages on the system. Naturally, they used the framework of a mobile game to get there, but the end result can't be disputed. A sequel seemed like a no brainer, so Eden Games went to work on a follow-up that was exclusive to Nintendo's hybrid console. Gear.Club Unlimited 2 can be seen as a pretty standard next step in creating a new product. Do a little more with the physics, add some new modes and embrace what the first game did right. While Gear.Club Unlimited 2 is certainly that and more, the developers didn't shy away from making a stronger package.
The essentials are still the same with Gear.Club Unlimited 2. As far as the gameplay is concerned, I didn't notice many major changes. Depending on how you ask, that is either a good or bad thing. Some found the controls problematic, while I quickly accepted that this felt different than others in the genre. The car feels far more realistic than the games I usually play, and your time to react is simply a tad shorter. For those seeking a ''do whatever you want'' game, Gear.Club isn't the thing you are looking for. In reality, the game tries for a more straightforward approach that I certainly appreciate. It stops pulling punches pretty quick after starting, forcing you to keep your head in the game.
This became obvious when I started playing around on the four demo tracks. The big focus of Gear.Club Unlimited 2 are four different terrains and how they affect your car. One of the terrains showcased was the Alps, where snow and ice could make you lag behind easily. The variety of tracks is also much larger than before. The demo switched between one way and multi lap tracks quite often. We fought against the clock in Time Trials, pulled ahead in various races and became the sole survivor in elimination battles. From what I've being told, the focus was purely on increasing Unlimited 2's horizon. Because of this, there will be slightly fewer events than before, but fear not. There are still a ton to go through, with even a grander story to boot.
With races on the Mediterranean coast or in the lush Yellowstone Park, it is easy to forget that this is a game about cars. Players can enjoy more than 50 licensed ones, including from brands like Lotus and McLaren. What impressed me the most in my short time with Gear.Club Unlimited 2 is the increased detail. Not to say that the original looked bad, but it is clear that this entry is made with Nintendo Switch in mind. The models look sharper overall, making for one really clean looking racing game. There are more options to personalize the cars with various stickers, type support, upgrades and so much more.
According to the folk I spoke to, another important factor remains the various multiplayer components. For example, you can manage your own club and run it together with your friends. There are leaderboards, exclusive content and much more to keep players engaged for quite a while. You will see your club rise on the ranks, and become the best Gear.Club Unlimited 2 team out there. For those more into a casual experience, four player splitscreen can also be enjoyed as you duke it out in the various events of the main game. All of this together makes for a brisk and fun package. At least, that is what we hope.
Gear.Club Unlimited 2 seems to be building on the path set by the original. That is a good thing as the first game did a number of things perfectly well. This title, however, seems to be more built for Nintendo Switch. Without its mobile roots dragging it down, Unlimited 2 feels much more like a standalone experience that raises the bar. With more variety in the campaign and multiplayer, there is a lot of hope for the game when it releases this December. I, for one, can't wait to cruise around the Alps in style.