|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Bizarre Creations||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sega||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 19, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4, 8 online||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The visuals of the title are pretty good. HD is only supported up to 1080i, but the frame rate shows no sign of sluggishness so only true snobs will complain. I really didn't like the silly camera interference that the developers put into the cutscenes. I absolutely hate that convention and hope that it dies soon. That technique was cool in 2002. Give us a clear image; interference is wholly played out effect. Before I totally digress, let me just say that I would have liked to have seen more gruesome kill animations. Unfortunately, that's not the case. The game has a clean arcade look, but it would have been great if they had employed ragdoll physics and melon popping head shots that fueled your desire to kill stylishly. Overall, the game is easy on the eyes, but a bit more stylized, over-the-top images would have made the game that much more enjoyable.
The music and sounds are mediocre. The weapons all sound real, but no time was spent on track selection. Luckily, music isn't imperative to the simple gallery shooter style of The Club. It's not as if there's a story where the mood or tone needed to be set by a dark original score. Furthermore, I did like the voiceover work and occasional in-game comments. The guide of the game has a soothing English accent that just smacks of a pompous, elitist nature that fits in nicely with the overall feel. The quickly dropped comments of Great Shot, Head Shot, Crack Shot, and Last Bullet, etc. are really gratifying and add to the tournament feel.
Controls and perspective are big issues. Everything is done well, but if you're used to games like Call of Duty and Halo, then you'll find that the third person perspective does not lend itself to pinpoint control. In other words, shooting from the hip is something you'll have to get used to. This is not really the game's fault, however. The developers have tried to make a gun slinging romp that has you hopping over obstacles and rolling in and out of combo kills. It's just that fans of the genre have become accustomed to a certain feel, and it is not replicated by this game. It makes single player very fun and unique, but at the same time it makes multiplayer controls feel clunky.
The Club is a fresh take on the shooter. It has a core concept that is truly engaging; it just feels as if it needs to be fleshed out a bit more. The single player Tournament mode is an absolute blast that will keep you occupied for a few hours. Unfortunately, the multiplayer features, though varied, are poorly executed. That means there isn't a whole lot of replay-ability in the title. After the first few days with the game, you'll soon grow tired of it. That's why I suggest picking it up on the cheap and waiting for a sequel to do away with some of the less refined aspects.
CCC Lead Contributor / News Director