Skidding into retail and the eShop today is publisher Microïds and developer Eden Games’ Switch exclusive sequel, which is the sole licensed racing game on the console following the success of the original Gear.Club Unlimited (which has gone on sale on the eShop for a limited time). The sequel offers more than 1800 miles of tracks, over 50 cars, 250 races, including championships, missions and challenges, enhanced upgrade and customization features and more. A review copy is on the way, so keep an eye peeled for an upcoming post. I did really like the hands-on time I spent with the game, so feel free to check out those impressions here.
“Key in the ignition, pedal to the floor, open road around the bend, headed down Highway 10…”
For whatever reasons, games with licensed cars have been a bit (okay, REALLY) underrepresented on Nintendo’s home consoles for far too many years. The sole good game with licensed cars during the last generation was 2013’s Need For Speed Most Wanted U, a stellar conversion/update that got overall excellent reviews but didn’t sell as well as it should have. I won’t even mention that Fast & Furious game from the same year because it was memorable for all the wrong reasons.
With the Switch doing so exceptionally well since its launch as a home/away hybrid system, you’d think that at over 1230 or so games in we’d see more and better licensed racers filling up retail and the eShop, but nope. Other than the still delayed rally-focused V-Rally 4, and the upcoming truck sim Spintires: MudRunner – American Wilds, pickings are slim for those who want a more authentic racing experience with branded foreign and domestic cars.
Only a tiny portion of the map is revealed here. All those other courses unlock as you go.
Thankfully, last year, veteran developer Eden Games stepped to the plate with Gear.Club Unlimited, an enhanced upgrade of their popular mobile game that removed the mobile-friendly microtransactions and added more cars and game modes. While well received by racing fans and some critics, there was some negativity about shorter than expected race sessions and some elements that seemed too close to the mobile game’s roots. Still, the game did well enough (and is still moving units at full price) that Eden set out to make a sequel that addressed the issues in the first game while adding improvements guaranteed to make the sequel even more impressive.
Oh, I’m kind of mad at myself as a new-ish Switch owner (well, it’s been a few months already) who had NO idea there was a decent (and huge selling) racer using licensed cars on the system. Of course, I blame ALL those people going on and on about Mario Kart this and Mario Kart that, which is fine and dandy, as yes, it’s a ton of fun for all. But I didn’t realize that one of my favorite racing game developers (Eden Games) had made a mobile to Switch port last year of Gear.Club Unlimited and I still haven’t picked it up. Oops.
I did poke at some reviews that noted it’s not perfect, but I’m on the hunt for a inexpensive copy just to see for myself because Eden’s other racers have been quite good (I’m looking at you, Test Drive Unlimited 1 & 2, V-Rally 3 and a couple of others I still own and occasionally play when I find the time.
Anyway, Switch owners are getting Gear.Club Unlimited 2 this December 4 worldwide from Eden and publisher Microïds and if the trailer is any indication, it looks to be an even better followup. Take a peek:
Press release with that tasty car info below the jump if you’re up for more reading today.
If you've never had the chance to play the original Test Drive Unlimited on the Xbox 360*, you missed out on one of the more addictive pure driving games on current generation consoles. While you could in tons of events in offline or through the innovative M.O.O.R. (Massively Open Online Racing) system, the real thrill (for me at least) came in hitting the road in any car and just driving around Oahu for hours. Uncovering every inch of highway for one of the tougher Achievements was a blast and it was pretty cool to see lots of people played the game in the same way. With Test Drive Unlimited 2 hitting PS3, PC and Xbox 360 on February 8, 2011, here's a look at some of Eden Games' nicely rendered cars from a few angles. I'll add older screens to this gallery sometime next week.
TDU2 takes place in Ibiza and an upgraded version of Oahu from the first game (accessible once you've “leveled” enough), so it's going to be a must-play for me, as I'm insanely curious to see what's new, what's changed and how well the overall game experience has turned out.