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Review: The Club - PC, PS3, Xbox 360 - 7.6

17 kwietnia, 2008

The Club is little more than whack-a-mole with gangsters...

The Club is an oddball in today\'s gaming market. Emphasizing gameplay that resembles old-school classics, SEGA set out to create a nostalgic and fun game that adds some diversity to the marketplace. However, as a game, it fails to severely offer anything that\'s out there.

The Club is a powerful collection of sadists who run their own gladiator-like blood sport. Eight contestants compete against one another all over the world. You can choose to play as any one of them and must try to win the most events in each locale. The differences between characters are mostly superficial, with only slight differences in strength and speed

Each match essentially plays as a point competition, and you get points for kills. Every kill adds a temporary score modifier, so the game rewards you for fast reflexes. There\'s bonus points for style and finding hidden skulls. Surprisingly, there\'s a bit of tactical consideration to the gameplay, as you can approach situations with the intention of racking up the most multipliers.

There are five "event" types. There\'s sprint, where you need to get from one end of a course to another while scoring as many points as possible; Run the gauntlet, which has a time limit; time attack has you running two or three laps of a course, killing enemies and collecting items to add time to your clock, survivor and siege, where stay in one area and simply have to survive until the timer runs out.

The levels are varied, and each of the event types takes place on different, slightly modified slices of a level. They look distinct, but the game still boils down to the same exact fast shooting action.

While there is some variety to the weapons, 15 in all, the game makes the machine guns too overpowered. Everything else is ok, but simply not as effective for getting headshots.

The actual combat doesn\'t impress. There\'s no cover mechanic, and some of the events would be much easier and more fun with one. Melee combat boils down to extremely simply clubbing, seemingly at odds for the game\'s emphasis on killing with "style."

The single player should be the focus of anyone who plays The Club, as multiplayer is a total mess. The maps are too large, there\'s noticible lag (probably thanks to Games for Windows - LIVE) and weapons stay unbalanced.

Technically, the game doesn\'t offer surprises but manages to not look mediocre. Sound quality is worse, with terrible gun sounds and merely decent voice acting.

If you\'re into old school, point-based shooting, The Club might be worth a look. But its unusually high number of questionable design choices and inconsistent quality make it hard to recommend.

Presentation: 7 - Story is barely there, inconsistent audio and sluggish menu system.
Graphics: 8 - Graphics are merely average, but they don\'t exhibit any real weak spots.
Sound: 7.5 - Weapons just sound too weak and muffled, voice acting doesn\'t stand out.
Gameplay: 8 - Lack of a cover system and other modern mechanics hurt this otherwise fun, old-school experience.
Value: 7.5 - We guess that you could keep trying to improve on your campaign scores, but after a while, the game will start to grow old.

Final Score: 7.6 - Should be fun for old-school shooter fans, will be underwhelming for those who are into games like Crysis or Call of Duty 4.

Marcin Skok
"The Gaming Corner"