The Club: Hands-On Video Game Preview

Bizarre Creations is famous for developing the Project Gotham Racing series on the Xbox systems. The Club, a fast-paced third-person shooter, marks a radical departure for them. Were they able to translate the success from their racing franchise to the new action title in The Club? Find out in this hands-on preview.
Story
The Club is a secret organization run by the rich and famous. They recruit people from all over the world to come compete in their deadly underground gun-shooting sport. In order to stay alive, participants of the tournament will have to kill their targets and earn high scores.

Graphics
The Club looks exactly what a next-generation title should look like. Not only are the characters (although the designs are generic) and environments are super detailed, but the game also has a nice cinematic feel and slickness to it.

Sound
The voice acting in The Club is decent while the music will keep your adrenaline pumping when the action starts.

Gameplay
The Club is a third-person shooter in the same veins of Resident Evil 4 and Gears of War. In fact, The Club even has the same “dramatic run” camera angle as Gears of War.

What separates The Club from other shooters is that its gameplay is more arcade-like. Whereas most shooters have you go from point A to point B, The Club will have you earning high scores. Because of this, the game is more intense than other shooters as you need to worry about the time and your score in addition to surviving.

Points are earned from kills. The amount you earned will depend on the difficulty of the enemy, the distance between you and your enemy and how stylish you were with your kills. Killing consecutive enemies within a set amount of time will net you combos that will multiply your points.

The game has up to eight characters; each of them has their own unique speed, strength and stamina. To add to the variety are eight different locations with six different events each. For multiplayer, you can play split-screen (a forgotten feature for many next-generation games) or online.

The Club controls in the following ways:
Left Analog: Move
Right Analog: Aim Weapon
L1: Melee attack
L2: Aim Mode
L3: Crouch
R1: Hold to sprint
R2: Fire Weapon
R3: Scope Zoom
Up Directional Button: Previous Grenade
Down Directional Button: Next Grenade
Left Directional Button: Previous Weapon
Right Directional Button: Next Weapon
Circle: Throw Grenade
Square: Reload
Triangle: Quick Turn
X: Context move/ roll

The controls have a steep learning curve, especially when aiming your gun.

Final Product
The Club has a couple of issues that need to be addressed before release. The biggest of which is the camera. Not only is it too close to the character, it is also permanently position behind his back, making it hard to see your enemies.

If Bizarre Creations can iron out the issues, than they have a potential sleeper hit on their hands given that The Club provides a fresh take to an oversaturated shooter market. The Club is scheduled to be released in February for the PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.


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