Video Game Rentals Delivered

The Club

David Yun (Xbox Live Gamertag - Vawce) David Yun (Xbox Live Gamertag - Vawce): (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2008-05-22 22:44:06

The Club - Rank D

Developer: Bizarre Creations
Publisher: Sega
Date: 2/19/08

Also available for PlayStation 3 and PC

Bizarre Creations is the studio that brought us the slick Project Gotham Racing series. Those games not only required you to race well, but to also drive stylishly by chaining tricks together. It spliced in a sort of arcade mentality into a game that would otherwise have been a fairly straightforward racing sim. They've taken that same concept and applied it to the third person shooter.

The Club not only requires you to shoot people, but to also shoot them stylishly by chaining kills together. The focus is score based. Every kill yields points based on factors such as the toughness of your enemy, the range from where you shot him, and if it was a headshot. After you kill a target, a timer begins ticking down. If you manage to chain another kill before it runs out, you'll earn a combo multiplier. The goal is to keep building this combo and max out your score.

That's really about it.

You can finish the main campaign in just a few hours. The real intent of the game is to improve your point totals. The level layouts and target placements don't vary, so you can gradually memorize them over repeated play and develop routines to maximize your high scores. I have to admit, this did sucker in my obsessive-compulsive personality for a bit, but this gameplay is ultimately quite shallow.

The actual gunplay is unsatisfying, with discharges that sound and feel flimsy. The character models carry around intimidating bladed implements like machetes and axes, but the only melee option is a generic butt of the gun stock. There's no cover system - I wouldn't really expect one in a twitchfest like this - but it's difficult to use any structure as a tactical shield.

All of these shortcomings are even more apparent in the tacked on multiplayer. Most of the modes strip away the combo point system, revealing how generic the shooting mechanics are. There's an interesting idea behind The Club, but the actual execution failed to flesh it out into a meaningful experience. For a simple, pure arcade experience, you'd be better off downloading Bizarre Creations' XBLA shooter Geometry Wars.

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