A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Gear Club Unlimited is a racing game. Players take on the role of a new racer trying to become established as a prominent driver across a wide variety of leagues and contests. There's no inappropriate content to be found in the game, and while crashes sometimes occur either by player or computer error, no damage is ever shown to the cars and no injury is caused to the drivers. The game does feature logos and vehicles from many top car manufacturers, such as Alfa Romeo, Lotus, BMW, and McLaren, for players to purchase with earned winnings from races.
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What's it about?
GEAR CLUB UNLIMITED is a racing game that introduces players to the challenge of driving rally, luxury, and supercars through a variety of contests. Players will take on more than 400 individual races as they attempt to become the best known racer in the world, and will collect vehicles from prestigious manufacturers to add to their garage. Thanks to the help of your manager and tech advisor, you'll tune up your vehicles, build out your headquarters, and challenge computerized racers across a large variety of environments. Up to four players can play competitively on the same screen, or you can attempt to take on other racers in online leagues and post your best times in daily challenges. Racers of varying skill levels can also adjust their challenge with driving assists and settings.
Is it any good?
While this racer has lots of tracks to test your skills on, the short, repetitive nature of each contest and the limited competition turns it into an average time behind the wheel. One of the major highlights of Gear Club Unlimited is the cars themselves: The game features more than 30 cars from 18 official manufacturers, each with its own distinctive look, engine noise, and handling that's modeled after the actual machine. On top of this, players can choose to further custom-tune these cars to their own specifications in their garage, working on their over- or understeering or car handling, or simply tweaking parts to make the vehicles better on the track. These cars look beautiful, and in your garage, they almost feel like little die-cast model cars that you can play with before taking them to the starting line. Another plus is that there are a lot of races to take part in: more than 430 races and 200 tracks to speed across, giving you lots of territory to test your skills on.
But after a while on the track, Gear Club's flaws start to let the air out of its tires. For one thing, the competition isn't particularly challenging for moderate or experienced racers, even with the game's assists turned fully off and settings adjusted. If you've played other racing games and have a sense of taking corners, correcting oversteering, or drifting, you'll probably take the checkered flag most of the time. The computer racers aren't a threat either; if you wanted to crash your way through the pack, you could, but there's no rivalries that are made or strategies taken based on how you drive. As a result, they're really more like additional obstacles on the course for a fast time than a true test of skill. Finally, most of the races are incredibly short: You can fly through many of them in under three minutes, and that's including some of the lap trials. After a while, this becomes a short sprint of repetition. Playing against other people may give you a bit of a challenge, but even this peters out after a while. This isn't to say that Gear Club Unlimited is a bad game, but it's probably best played in short, controlled bursts.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about road safety. Does this game show you why it's important to obey the rules of the road? How about when they show you a car crash in slow motion?
Talk about good sportsmanship. If you need to behave badly and make people upset in order to win a competition, does the end justify the means?
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