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.