Friday, 12 October 2007


'The Club' by Bizarre Creations/XBOX360, PS3/Expected: January 2008

There's no denying that only a decade ago, we lived in a much simpler era for games. You could be forgiven for thinking that those days of getting your initials in the number 1 spot of you local chippy's Street Fighter 2 cabinet are long gone. Whilst it may not manifest itself in the style that we remember, the old-school thirst for such one-upmanship still exists. Online leaderboards and XBOX 360's achievements system are more that testament to this fact. So, why is it that Bizarre Creation's upcoming shooter, The Club, seems so refreshingly nostalgic?
Our new-generation leaderboards come simply as by-products of otherwise entertaining games, but it seems that The Club has this breed of high-scoring, 'be the best' gameplay at its very core.
On the surface it looks like simply another 3rd-Person shooter, but the gameplay details reveal what Bizarre hopes will define it amongst the likes of Gears of War, Kane & Lynch and Army of Two. Perhaps the best way to understand what this game entails is to look at what came before it. Imagine, the old-school stock of SEGA, head-to-head with the minds behind Project Gotham and Metropolis Street Racer. Much like with their racing past, Bizarre are keen to point out that The Club is very much about style. Style in PGR and MSR was directly awarded with 'Kudos'. Drafting, drifting and overtaking, amongst other manoeuvres, helped you build your high score, forcing you not just to simply win, but win with the most style and panache. In the case of The Club, drifts are replaced with headshots and barrel-explosion kills take the place of crafty overtaking.

The highest scores can be attained by linking together your stylish kills in chain combos. You have a combo counter similar to the one present in Skate, where you have to quite simply, keep the combo alive by piling on the stylish attacks one after the other. Expect to memorise the position of each and every enemy, much like you would memorise each and every corner in PGR. This is old-school gaming with a modern twist, you might even say, that it is a distinctly post-modern game.

It seems inevitable that The Club will have a niche audience, but we can hope that solid battle mechanics and a distinct character will set it apart from the competition. As it stands, the Fight Club-esque, killing-for-sport storyline seems very interesting, but the combat looks slightly repetitive and underwhelming. On the surface, it seems the guns lack that satisfying chugging that makes Gears of War so pleasing to play. However, a distinct aesthetic, some nice-looking character design and a refreshing concept should see The Club become, at the very least, a firm fan favourite.

The Faux-Bot

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