Here at TeamVVV, we like to cover the racing genre as extensively as possible – from arcade to sim, to Triple-A and indie. If it has wheels and an engine, we'll cover it. But here's something that went completely under our radar thanks to its stealthy release on Steam.
The game in question is Motorcycle Club, and it looks like an interesting take on the bike racing genre. 22 licensed bikes from the likes of BMW, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki and Yamaha are featured, spread across three different classes spanning Superbike, Roadster and Custom ranging from 125cc to 2000cc. There are 40 challenges in the single player Tournament, you can race online with up to four players, crate clubs (note the 'club' in MotorCycle Club – the bike equivilant to DriveClub, anyone?) and customise your rider. So far, so standard fare.
Except there's a gimmick: you can switch to any bike class in real time mid-race, Driver: San Francisco style to tackle the varying track conditions. This of course implores you to think tactfully: a sports bike will give you an advantage on the long straights, whereas more twisty sections require something more nippy.
It's certainly an innovative idea, but early reports suggest that the rest of the game isn't up to scratch. The physics apparently leave a lot to be desired, particularly for keyboard users, while the visuals are decidedly underwhelming. Shame, since bike games are in short supply. Motorcycle Club also seemed like an ideal arcadey alternative to Milestone's simulation titles such as MotoGP and Ride.
It's also worth noting that Motorcycle Club was developed by French studio Kylotonn Entertainment and published by BigBen Interactive – the same teams reportedly responsible for the next installment of WRC. Hopefully this isn't an indication of the quality we can expect from WRC 5.
Motorcycle Club can currently be picked up on Steam for the discounted price of £27.92, which is surprisingly steep. It's also slated for release on PS4, PS3 and Xbox 360 – Amazon currently has the retail version listed for release in March, while the digital version will apparently be available on PSN at "the end of January 2015" according to PSU.
Edit: Just to add to the confusion, I've since discovered that Motorcycle Club is actually already available on the EU PSN Store for the, er, modest price of £54.99…