The Club, Out This Week

By Jim Rossignol on February 6th, 2008 at 10:46 am.

If your name's not down, you're getting minigunned to death.
The much-hyped shooter by racing game masters Bizarre Creations is out on Friday. It’s a gun game with a difference: the action is a little closer to fighting games or racing games than your traditional kill ‘em up. The Club is where the hi-score table is what matters, and your ability to get flick headshots dominates everything else. It’s a little closer to the arcade cabinet rail shooter than your traditional third-person shooter, and it throws a bunch of different characters and challenges at you, like a fighting game, rather than any kind of story or campaign. These short gunfight are about getting a continuous stream of headshots, flick-shots, and combat-roll-to-headshots to pump up your score multiplier. The more consistently you kill, the higher you’ll rank on the score tables of The Club.

Past the jump: a developer video and the RPS opinion on The Club.


We’d like to join YOUR club, Gametrailers!

We’ve had a bit of a play with the game on PC and 360 and we’re a little disappointed. It’s one of those games that becomes a memory test: play through a couple of times and remember where all the bads come from and you’ll ace it. The dudes that you pump bullets into might as well be wooden pop ups, they’re just so characterless and bland. Whether you “get” The Club is probably going to depend on whether you get a buzz out of precision shooting, and like the challenge of scrambling your way to the top of a scoreboard in an event where your nearest rival *always* comes top of his event. The Club is a fun idea, but it just feels a little too hollow to be worth bothering with. If the game had offered a little more breadth in the ways and means you have fight, move, and use scenery, it might have been interesting. Instead, just play Stranglehold. We really haven’t come very far from Operation Wolf with this one.

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18 Comments »

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  1. Joonas says:

    Based on the PS3 retail version (presumably identical to the others), I was expecting shmup sensibilities (enemy patterns, getting considerably better with experience, hunting the high score) and got them. I’m not disappointed in the slightest, although obviously it’s not for everyone. I’m wondering whether Bizarre has overestimated the size of the market for this kind of thing.

  2. The_B says:

    Hmm, I was considering this week to get Conflict Ops or The Club this week, although judging on inital thoughts I’m hearing this week, I might be better off with neither. You guys have any thoughts on Conflict as yet as well?

    Also: I didn’t realise until last night it’s going to be on Steam as well. I worry the price point is going to be too high on there compared to say Play, who are selling it almost at a budget price due to (I assume) the lack of depth, as it were. (I’ve noticed more arcadey sort of games seem to get a lower price on Play anyway)

  3. AbyssUK says:

    Is there a PC demo or am I once again going to have to resort to piracy to test this out on my system ??

  4. Leelad says:

    I assumed from this that it was 360 only. Just discovered that it’s PC as well.

    Yes please!!

  5. Phil says:

    From what little I’ve played, it reminds me of Outtrigger without the anime styling and with the funky points system. Maybe it was just the five minute burst, as opposed to the hours long drenching, but it seems pretty good to me.

  6. Nallen says:

    /me plays Mile High Club for the 200th time

    Sounds like I could get on with it…

  7. RiptoR says:

    I got both the preview and reviewdisks for X360 for this game, and I rather like it.

    The game’s a lot of fun to play with a couple of friends, some beers, and try to beat each others score on a certain level.

  8. Dan (WR) says:

    I played the 360 demo and felt confounded by what an undercooked game it is. I like the basic concept and it would provide something a little different to the market, but it is remarkably basic.

    If it were heading the route of ‘Project Gotham with a gun’, then you would expect style to play a factor in upping your score significantly – with a suitable risk and reward element to pulling off a stylish kill. A game with greater freedom of movement and some outlandish moves or scenery-based kills would have been a hit.

    Instead, you can… roll. Ponderously. In fact, all of the movement is ponderous. It just feels bizarre to lumber into low walls and bollards that you can’t jump over, particularly when cover gives no real advantage to the player. Moreover, the weaponry is vanilla and unsatisying and the grenades seemed rather un’splodey to me.

    Of course, I’m just basing that on a demo, but I find it weird that they really seem to have been happy with producing a game that really is so Operation Wolf.

  9. Ben says:

    It’s a racing game except that you are shooting instead of driving. And you have to worry about getting lots of combos and that. The closest equivalent is something like Excite Truck. Despite Excite Truck being really good, I didn’t like the demo of The Club, because ultimately the reward in a shooter is supposed to be defeating your enemies, not defeating your enemies slightly faster than before while doing a roll.

  10. Jim Rossignol says:

    Our recommended buy this week would be Sins Of A Solar Empire. If you’ve got it or you’re looking for action games I’d save your pennies for a couple of weeks.

  11. Radiant says:

    Did any of you guys check out the grip of trailers for this game?
    They had one for each of the characters which all followed the same formula: Character intro then gameplay.

    Trouble was that all the characters were unimaginative stereotypes [black guy! with dreadlocks! from africa! ancestors!] and every character had THE SAME gameplay.

    Just from that you’d think “is that it? is that the best they could come up with for characters? why do they all play the same?”

    Also I don’t understand that Euro Gamer review.
    The reviewer seems to be in love with the highscore table ignoring the rest of this ridiculously shallow game [albeit this is from what I can tell from the demo].

    If it was on the xbox marketplace at a reduced cost I’d look at it but there is no way I’d pay full whack for this.

    But saying that if this kind of thing floats your boat you’re better off playing Outtrigger on the dreamcast.

  12. Stew says:

    At least this is a step in the right direction.

    If this is the PGR of shooters, I want to see the Burnout. Keep the score mechanic, but to hell with combos: you get points solely for style, replete with location-specific death and truly insane acrobatics that feed a big risk/reward scoring system.

  13. Okami says:

    Just wanted to point out that you forgot the cheesy caption below the gametrailers video.

    Don’t get lazy!

  14. Freelancepolice says:

    I really enjoyed the demo and for £20 in game (when bought with anything else in the store) I think it’s a definite purchase for me!

  15. Jonathan says:

    I guess it’s like all racing games. Memorise the level (course) learn where the enemies come from (traffic) and shave off a second here and there until you qualify and then go on to the next. It’s a system I’ve never liked in racing games and I only really like the Carmageddon freeform style or the dueling style of Burnout where being a innovator/git is more important than memorising every inch of the map.

    All in all I’ll wait for the demo, if it requires as much memorising as RPS say I’ll give it a miss.