The Club ReviewJason Leyanna
What does it take to get into this exclusive club?
Excellent shooting skills and accuracy as well as speed and style.
What does it take to stay in the club?
Remaining Alive, Combos, and High Scores.
What extra perks does this club have, you might ask?
Well… the Xbox 360 version of the game comes with a free 48-hour trial of Xbox Live for those few that aren’t already a member.
The Club is the polar opposite of the typical stealth-based shooter, which happens to be quite refreshing. Coming in with the 3rd person perspective, Bizarre Creations has brought us a distinctive action experience. The Club is akin to the movie Fight Club, except the weapon of choice is guns instead of fists. Levels are generally based on either staying alive for a certain period of time, or finding the exit similarly to the old Gauntlet games (while remaining alive). All this is done while trying for combos and shooting “Skullshots” for extra points (which are just metal signs with a uniquely colored skull on them).
Finn is one of the more balanced characters that is available from the get-go, who also happens to be an American. It may be easier to start off with him and then once you get the gameplay mechanics down, give the others a try. Seven other characters are available with 2 being unlockable. Their stats vary... so you may want to try each one out before deciding which one you like best.
You can play in tournament mode or once you unlock the individual levels you can play them singly. The Tournament pits you against the other club members in a fight for the best combos and most points. If you end up in the top three you get awarded, not a medal, but a bullet (gold, silver, or bronze) that shows your achievement. The Tournament has eight different locales, from Prison to an Ocean Liner, to a Warehouse, to a Warzone. Each level has either arrows pointing you in the direction to go or barriers where you are supposed to stay put. Some levels can end up being a bit short, but replay value makes up for it.
Enemies range from the average goon to big guys with huge muscles and large guns that are harder to take out. There are also the heavily armored guards that slowly move in on you and are best taken out with head shots when their shield is moved and they are aiming for you. Weapons include 20 high-powered assault weapons. Once you take out enemies you can pick up their weapons and alternate between weapons that you have. Watch out for volatile barrels that can explode as well. There are places in some of the courses that contain weapon ammo and health pickups when you are in desperate need. The right trigger shoots whatever gun you have selected, while the RB button allows you to pick up the pace. Running is especially crucial during the timed levels.
The Club is fresh in that it diverts from your average first-person shooter, gives a unique perspective and throws in replay value in a very nostalgic way. Players will keep coming back trying to beat the scores of their opponents, both real and virtual. They will also replay levels to find hidden rooms and all the Skullshots. The Club is an outstanding overall experience with superior replay value. Be sure not to let “The Secretary” keep you from joining The Club.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.