The Club Review
Every game created by Bizzare somehow includes points. The PGR series had Kudos points, which involved you drifting, speeding and over taking people like a person who’s late for work. Geometry Wars was all about points. Shoot things, earn more points, shoot more things, earn a big multiplier, take over the world leaderboards with your square and diamond killing antics. People didn’t used to get annoyed when they died simply because they lost the game, they got annoyed because they lost their huge combo multiplier, spurring people on to get as many points as possible next time around. Nowadays, games don’t care about points. Remember the days when you spent your money on trying to achieve the high score on your local pubs Space Invaders machine? Now it’s all about realistic environments and realistic gameplay. The Club is a step backwards in time, but is this step for the better or for the worse?
So what is The Club? In simple terms, a run and gun. You run around a selection of courses shooting as many men as you can with a variety of weapons. However, with each kill you earn points. Each kill you make adds to a combo multiplier, which slowly empties until you make your next kill. How do you keep racking up multipliers then? The easiest solution is to kill faster and to kill better. You need to learn the layout of the levels. Learn where every enemy is, where you need to aim to crack a headshot and boost your multiplier, where to run so as to waste less time. You gain more points for stylish kills such as headshots, rolling into a kill and multiple kills.
The Club is all about practise. Improving yourself with each run of the level you make. The layout soon becomes burned into your memory as well as the position of the enemy and when to shoot. With each practise, more points are earned. On my 3rd practise of the first level on Time Trial, I managed to double the target score. I felt a huge sense of achievement, even though the game is very repetitive. I didn’t care. I kept running through the levels, amassing more points with each turn. Boosting your score is what keeps you playing, not gameplay or graphics, just plain old fun.
The game is very, very easy to pick up and play, but it takes a long time to master it. You need to be able to remember where the enemies will pop up, when to shoot and where to shoot. Skullshots are littered around the levels. These keep your combo multiplier going. You need to be able to know when to shoot and when to leave them, especially during Survival mode where you are stuck in a small space with enemies attacking from everywhere. The killing of one person isn’t that exciting, but as you sprint through a level taking down enemy after enemy with precise shots and you watch your score rack up, that’s when you realise that this game is one huge adrenaline rush.
People who don’t enjoy games that are based around points will definitely not enjoy this. It has no story as such, no background to the characters and it is very linear. But, to be truthful, a story would only distract you from the overall fun it is to play this game. This is a game of racking up points, not getting deeply enthralled in an amazing story. People who are fans of tactical games are not going to enjoy this either. You must keep moving. You can’t plan a strategy to win, you just need to remember what to do and where to do it to get those points you so cravenly desire.
The graphics are not very realistic, but more in the quirky style of Team Fortress 2, just with less of a cartoon feel. The environments are quite drab, but it becomes etched into your brain so you mainly focus on the enemies you need to be taking down. Im sure if it looked nicer, then more people would be attracted to it, thus becoming hooked.
Multiplayer is just there to fill some space really. It’s nothing exciting. Mainly, it comprises of the types of events seen in the single player such as Team Siege, where one team have to attack the defending team, who try to stay alive for as long as possible. It is fun, but the main fun is in the single player game which, in itself, is a multiplayer game as you are competing over Xbox Live to get the best score possible.
The Club is sort of a marmite game. You either love it or you hate it. This is a game that, although there isn’t a lot to do, is best spent being played a few hours in a row, perfecting your skill instead of just coming home from a night out and having a quick bash before bed. [Accidental innuendo is great, eh? -Ed] The Club is a fresh change from all the serious games out there and brings you back to the good old days where points mean prizes… I mean everything.