The Club Review

I was pretty pumped for The Club as the demo struck me as an entertaining romp that easily fueled my appetite to shoot and blow things up. The game’s developer, Bizarre Creations, took a step outside its racing games routine to make a crack in the packed third-person shooter genre and I commend them for doing so. But a rusty, bare bones port to PC and a less than enthusiastic presentation left a sour gaming experience; definitely play the game on consoles instead if you want to try it out.

The premise is straightforward: you have control of six initial characters (two are unlockable) and it’s a dash through extreme action-packed mayhem. Picture this: all of these radically different characters brought from all over the world to participate in a firearms gladiator match to the death overshadowed by a mysterious billionaire; sounds like the plot to your straight-to-DVD action flick but thankfully, The Club doesn’t take itself too seriously and it works well in the game’s favor.

Part of which is shown through the game’s presentation, especially through the over-the-top announcers, swooping cameras through levels and focus on the flashy kills. I don’t know about you, but I got pumped before my first round through the first level, it was a pretty entertaining feel, especially since these gladiatorial-like battles use guns instead of melee weapons. All of you twitch shooter gamers will enjoy the presentation.

After the bell rings, you’re let loose. The key is to score kills as quickly as possible before the timer runs out. Points are awarded for quick kills, which also pumps up your combo meter. Your combo meter is pretty important since your score can be multiplied numerous times, so the trick is to keep killing and running, or else the meter will run out. Other than potential points, the combo meter doesn’t affect anything else.

Little neat gameplay additions include using the environment to your advantage. Ricocheting bullets off of doors to hit someone around the corner will award you extra points, the same with shooting at some explosion barrels which take out two nearby foes. Also you can do little moves before making a kill to get some extra points too. Ultimately though, this boiled down to just flipping or rolling before making kills, which can look silly after awhile.

But the lingering appeal is where The Club stalls. The presentation is great and flashy and the gameplay is fast-paced but other than lighting up scoreboards and a few different gameplay modes, that’s as far as The Club goes in terms of its arcade-shooter roots. The only thing that keeps you going is just to get more points. I’m not sure about you, I enjoy my mindless arcade shooters, but it gets old eventually. The Club supports Games for Windows – Live for additional multiplayer support but only to the extent of just four-player multiplayer.

A shoddy port job makes The Club less enjoyable to play on PC, period. There’s nothing that makes me smile (sarcastically) more than seeing the game refer to A, B, Y or X when I’m playing the game on PC. Playing the game with a keyboard and mouse felt a bit clunky at first, but it got smoother as I progressed. I was a bit anxious regarding mouse sensitivity since The Club is very centered around precise kills and despite adjusting the sensitivity in the game itself, it was still a bit sluggish.

The Club, despite having some good presentation and offering an entertaining and briefly-thrilling arcade experience, falls short in its bare bones and transparent gameplay. It’s visceral yet shallow; there’s no appropriate lasting appeal.

The lack of a suitable Windows – Live population and a poor port job will hurt the game’s longevity, too. There’s really no ultimate responsibility, as a gamer, to continue to play The Club after a run-through its offered levels and modes. Bizarre tried, but for the PC crowd, The Club is a dud.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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