Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Club Review

The Racing game developer Bizarre Creations have made there 3rd person arcade shooter 'The Club' The game is available for PS3 Xbox 360 and PC, the PC version is 10$ less so I picked that up. I really liked the Demo and gave that an 9/10 so we will see how the whole game plays.

The Club is about a secret club that organises a bloodsport were the main goal is were you need to kill a enough enemies in a record time.
Rich and influences people will give money to 'The Club' to organise these bloodsports, these rich people will bet on who will survive, this is just the plot though and it's only shown in one videoclip at the beginning in the game after that only some introduction for levels are shown via videoclips.

You can choose between 8 different characters every character has there own stats defieded between strength, speed and stamina.
The story isn't very deep, but it doesn't have to, and besides have you ever seen a good story in a racing game?

The Club's gameplay looks the most like Gears of War except it's missing the hiding system, instead it's the idea you rush through levels shooting as much enemies as you can and make it in time to the end of the game, you can shoot skullshots and secret skullshots to earn more points, these 'shots' are just plates that hang around all over the level, there also bonus enemies who give bonus points if you shoot them if they run past you.

The big feature in The Club is the combo system, if you shoot an enemy after a few seconds after you shot another enemy you get and combo point, the higher the points the more points you get for every kill, the time in what time you need to shoot the next target will also shorten so you have to be fast if you want to keep your high combo, if your combo time runs out you will lose your combo and you will need to start over, You can also shoot normal Skullshot to lengthen your combo.

There 3 different singleplayer events: Tournament Mode, Single Event and Gunplay.
In Tournament Mode you play the main 'campaign' which is 8 different levels and a dozen of modes, you play it in a racing game style with ranking and points in which you compete with other players. In Single Event you can play any level you unlocked in any mode you like. In Gunplay you can play a set of modes and levels in a playlist you can compose. In all these events you can pick a different mode, differentiating from fast speed run to survival mode.

The weapons in The Club are all good but aren't all that special, you can also have a few grenade types but that's it. You can also use special moves like kick open doors and such to gain bonus points if you kill someone directly after you did such an much.

You can control 'The Club' in two different ways, with the gamepad or with mouse+keyboard.
But it seems the game is more meant to played with the gamepad, all the buttons are even all those of the xbox 360 version on the PC (the ironic part is, I can't get my 360 controller working though) Even though there 2 control types there very similar but the gamepad is a bit better to use since everything is just a small stretch away.

Shooting is done with the right trigger and aiming with the left trigger, you can move with the left analog stick and move your camera with the other, you can also run and crouch. All standard stuff so anyone could pick it up and play. I do thing the PC version is a bit hard to play with and since I can't get my xbox controller to work it should be fixed.

The Clubs looks alright it isn't doesn't have the best graphics around but the game runs smooth and the explosions look nice and if your rushing trough an level you most likley won't notice much of it. The bad thing is that my computer can't really run it on max but the demo on the xbox 360 looked quite nice and the running in the game is nicely done. Also all the menus look very good and ever mode and level has there own cool looking icon.

The music is alright but it's the same track over and over again but it does work if your rushing trough levels. The gun sounds are good sounding and the voices of your enemies will change if your in a different land, so I was quite amused when i heard German shoots out of my boxes And every time you do a extra bonus filled move a cool voice will say wait move you did, so when you shoot a headshot it will say 'HEADSHOT' quite a cool feature.

Replay Value
The Club has quite some replay value there is a tournament mode which plays in all levels and modes, there is a Single Event mode which let you replay those levels separeted and there is a Gunplay mode which lets you pick your own levels and play them in your own playlist. All these modes have 4 different difficulty settings, these challenge you to earn a set amount of points.

There is also a big mulitplayer feature with some variation in modes and levels. There also Achievements which are quite hard to get. But the best part of The Club is the highscore competivity, since every difficulty has there own goal you are really triggert to finish every game on a high difficulty and why you are at it owning your friend's highscore so he can try to beat you, just like in Pacman: C.E. it's very addicting.

The Club is a fun game but not everyone can enjoy it, the game isn't your average shooter but more a highscore rushing game, but the thing is I like those kind of games and I find it fantastic that a full game is based around such an cool expect. Even though there some minor flaws with the game, the game is still very fun and is atleast worth a rent, or try the demo first.

Score: 8/10

Main Site
PC Demo


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