Have You Played… The Club?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I feel a bizarre affection for The Club. It was the first time RPS ever did one of its group chat/verdict pieces, and as such was also this site going “OK yes let’s be really, really serious about a b-list shooting game.” Only with jokes, obv.

None of us loved the game itself, particularly, but we were enamoured by the idea of a shooter that tried to do something beyond ‘get to the end / get all the weapons’; a shooter which wanted its own identity rather than someone else’s. I feel like DOOM picked up The Club’s dropped mantle (and it was one it never really had a grip on the first place), in terms of understanding the importance of momentum, the difference between keeping going, making the most of every heartbeat rather than ever pausing to recover and resupply.

But it was hollow and it was too much about memorisation rather than response, and it couldn’t take its foundational idea anywhere near as far as it needed to go. Despite this, in hindsight it feels like a relic of a more experimental age, before the big brand lockdown we see around so much of today’s pretend gun games.

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  1. Baines says:

    Console version was a staple of game night with friends for a while, as it hearkened back to more hectic and less serious shooter times. Even there it was clearly flawed, it just didn’t have much (then) modern competition in that specific area.

  2. Sin Vega says:

    A fun and novel little budget shooter, not sure how well it’s aged but it was a go-to game for multiplayer whenever friends came round for several years. Odd really, since the multiplayer is the least unique part of it, a fairly standard deathmatch. The weapons were quite fun to use and the characters had different ratings in speed and health. Other than that I’m not quite sure why we loved it so much.

  3. Floor59.5 says:

    This was a great couch game, it had one feature i’ve never seen before or since that more games need…

    You could switch the y axis in game using a simple button combo. Wish more shooters had this for when you’re passing the pad over a few beers.

  4. HumpX says:

    I really enjoyed The Club. It was a real challenge using a gamepad.