Nintendo consoles aren’t particularly known for being the best platform for realistic racing games. While there have been a few over the years, it’s definitely never been on the same level as that of PlayStation and Xbox. On top of having third-party racers, those systems also have their own exclusive franchises: Gran Turismo on PlayStation and Forza on Xbox — both have which have new entries this year.
Since Nintendo doesn’t have an exclusive realistic racing franchise of its own (unless you want to count F-Zero since it has real humans), the folks over at Eden Games have stepped up to the plate to provide an experience in the form of Gear.Club Unlimited.
Based on a free-to-play mobile game, Gear.Club Unlimited has been brought over to Switch with new features that take full advantage of the system’s hardware. Some details were released during a recent interview with Pascal Clarysse from Eden Games conducted by Red Bull.
Gear.Club Unlimited is a rather large game, featuring 200 unique tracks. On top of that, there will also be a variety of licensed (real-world) cars to collect, drive, tune and customize.
Clarysse made sure to mention that players should not be skeptical of Gear.Club Unlimited despite its mobile origins. He proudly described Unlimited as being a “premium experience” and made sure to note that the game will feature no microtransactions on Switch:
“First and foremost, there is a major economic difference: the game will be premium, which means you get the full experience after purchase – no micro-transactions.” (DLC is planned in the future)
The developer didn’t stop there. He also shared some details on what the team has done to utilize Switch’s power. Unlimited on Switch will feature enhanced graphics over the mobile edition. On top of that, the development team is targetting a resolution of 1080p when in docked mode, and of course 720p in handheld mode. As for the framerate? It’s described as being a “minimum of 30FPS across the board”. Seeing that the game will feature four-player split-screen, perhaps that’s what Clarysse was referring to when it comes to the framerate. If the main game ends up being 60FPS, that would be swell:
“We also capitalize on the machine’s power to deliver higher definition of graphics and visual effects. Then, from a gameplay perspective, you’ll be able to enjoy local multiplayer, playing in splitscreen between up to four friends – or foes! – at once, using the Joy-Con controllers.”
While it’s great to have a racing simulator on the Switch, there’s one issue that sticks out compared to that of the other systems: none of the Switch controllers have analog triggers. While this isn’t an issue in every game, realistic racers such as Gear.Club Unlimited definitely benefit from having them due to the gradual input being similar to that of an actual gas pedal. So, how has Eden Games gone about tackling the issue? The team found a workaround! Here’s what Clarysse had to say:
“We are simulating analog on the digital triggers by converting pressures through a software gauge that is progressive.”
Eden Games may not have the financial backing of Microsoft’s Turn 10 Studios (Forza developers) or Sony’s Polyphony Digital (Gran Turismo developers), but it does have two decades of experience under its belt. The team has worked on a variety of racing games, such as the Test Drive Unlimited series. With that said, it’s only fair to give this team a chance to prove themselves. There are currently no other realistic racing games on Switch, and neither has anything else been announced as of yet. Instead, Switch users have only been asked to beg for one to be brought over without the guarantee of that actually happening coughcoughProjectCARS2coughcough.
So, let’s see how Gear.Club Unlimited turns out. Who knows, if it ends up being a speeding sensation, perhaps this could be the start of Nintendo actually having an exclusive realistic racing franchise of its own…
Gear.Club Unlimited will be racing its way onto the Nintendo Switch eShop on November 21st. The physical edition will be available exclusively at GameStop.