By Philip Dunkley
[ed]We are running a little behind on this one, there was a slight mix up that has now been rectified[/ed]
This review was also a particularly difficult one to do, because at points in the game, I loved it, and at other points, I really disliked the whole experience.
Let’s get to the nuts and bolts of the game. It an old style shooter, simply put, with a story revolving around a Syndicate of very rich people running their own moral lacking tournaments of killing and maiming for their own personal pleasure and financial gains. You are thrust into a tournament using a specific character, one which you choose at the beginning. Initially there are six to choose from, and 2 more are unlocked throughout the game.
You then take part in a series of tournaments which involve running through certain levels and racking up as many points as possible, using all sorts of weapons to achieve this, in as short a time as possible. This is where I initially believed that it was a rather pointless exercise, as this kind of gameplay does not generally appeal to me at all. But as you realise the there seems to be a lot more strategy around this idea, it becomes a little more addictive to try and beat that High Score. You see, for every kill that takes place, your multiplier stacks up, and you get scores for different types of kills and the more stylish, the better. You also need to keep the multiplier ticking as this runs down quickly. You can do this one of 2 ways, keep the killing going or shooting skulls which are positioned around the levels. This all seems good and well, but it does bring some serious strategies into play, like taking out low scoring targets first just to rack the multiplier up, and then take out the heavy guys who give you more points. Cool idea, but does get very frustrating at times.
The control system in the game works fairly well, except for a cover system that does not work, which in this kind of game I really strange, as it really would have added a new level of strategy. Also, the level designs in this game are pretty good, but they all seem a little too familiar after a little while, but at least add some variety to the game. Some of the level are really cool though, notably the Old mansion and Cruise liner levels.
From a graphics point of view, this game looks good, and they seem to have captured the different environments really well, but it’s not going take any awards for best graphics, but they are solid. Some places seem to have been rushed though, but it does not distract from the overall experience.
On the audio front, the game does not particularly shine. You know how you get that feeling of really shooting a gun in Call of Duty, or rockets whizzing past your head in Unreal? This game does not feel like that at all, and although it’s not bad, it’s just a bit flat all around.
From a Multiplayer point of view, this game actually caught my attention rather well. I enjoyed the fast pace of the levels in multiplayer, and it kind of reminded me of the old Quake LAN’s I used to get myself involved in. The two problems I had with the multiplayer was the fact that sometimes the LAG was so bad, it was unplayable, so you really have to find a server which works for you, and then it become fast paced and furious. The other problem was the weapons, sometimes they just feel like they have no power, and the other guys just blow you away in two shots with a pistol, and I had just pumped 4 rockets into the guy’s ass. This feeling came about in the single player campaign as well, and they really could have done more on the weapons side.
In conclusion, The Club is not a game for everyone, and it lacks any real story to tell, and has numerous issues and frustrations as a game on the whole, but it also has moments of brilliance and action that blew my mind, so purely on that, it needs to be credited. I’d love to see what kind of feedback SEGA get’s on this, and what they will do with the second outing, as this does have the potential to become a franchise. If you like old school shooters, you’ll get your kicks out of this, if you’ve never tried them, try a rental first, but do try this game, you might just fall in love with the genre.
Graphics – 75%
Playability – 65%
Originality – 75%
Tilt Factor – 70%
Overall – 70% (Just Just)
Last Updated: April 25, 2008