The Club PC Games and Downloads
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Released on 22/02/2008
From the developer behind the critically acclaimed racing series, Project Gotham Racing, Bizarre Creations brings a whole new breed of third-person shooter known as The Club. The Club mixes the best elements from action shooters with fast-paced run and gun gameplay, destructive environments, lethal weapons and an in-depth story structure. Players will fight to survive in a shadowy underground blood-sport controlled by a faceless, obscenely wealthy and influential elite who place their bets on who will survive as the bloodbath ensues before them. Take control of up to eight unique trained killers motivated by greed, driven by pure insane bloodlust, and hell bent on earning respect on a global level.
The Club Features:
- Rise Through the Ranks of The Club. As one of eight fighters, players will blast their way through five single player game modes including: Standard Mode, Time Attack, Survivor, Siege, and Run the Gauntlet.
- Earn Respect Online. In over nine cut-throat multiplayer modes, players will shoot their way to the top of the leader boards. Players will face off with 15 real-time opponents online or battle with their friends offline in 4-player split-screen action. (not on PC)
- The Club is Global. Gamers battle in eight unique real-world locations from around the globe, including war-torn cities, abandoned factories, steel mills and many more.
- Extreme Gun Battles in Hazardous Environments. A motion blur camera system intensifies the adrenaline rush in both open range and close quarter firefights. Players can destroy and manipulate objects in the environment to their advantage.
- Build up the Highest Score. A unique score-based accumulation system creates even more competition among players; the faster, more efficient and accurate that players are, the more points they will earn to unlock weapons, characters and maps.
- Select from an Arsenal of Weaponry. There are 17 high-powered assault weapons tochoose from and customize, including Automatic Weapons, Sniper Rifles, High Caliber Pistols, Sub Machine Guns, Mounted Weapons, and many more.
- Each Character has a Story to Tell. Choose from eight different characters to rise through the ranks of The Club and uncover each person’s true motives and intentions.
Our December-published preview for The Club made one thing clear: this was a game unlike any other shooter out there. And after a visit to Sega HQ to play The Club, a lengthy chat with two of Bizarre Creations' best, and time with the final version, it's clear that The Club is a highly original, heads-down, adrenaline-pumping Project Gotham Racing-style take on the third-person blaster.
It's also a bit Marmite, with gamers divided on The Club. A lot don't appear to 'get' The Club – its linear, high-score-based,time-attacking, run-and-gun nature – while some others simply seem put off by the idea of a shooter which doesn't feature an epic story, massive missions, vehicle combat or diverse gameplay challenges a la CoD or Halo. Their loss.
A highly original, heads-down, adrenaline-pumping Project Gotham Racing-style take on the third-person blaster.
Compared to said shooters, The Club is much more focused on a single type of gameplay; namely, legging it around, killing as many identikit bad guys as accurately and consistently as you can in order to get the best time and/or score.
That's not to say The Club is one-dimensional, however. It's actually a lot like Bizarre's other big title, PGR. Where 'Gotham gave gamers varied vehicles, tight controls, kudos bonuses and courses set in fenced-off city streets, The Club presents eight characters, each with their own backstories and gameplay pros and cons, diverse firepower, and eight painstakingly detailed levels chopped up into over a handful of routes ideal for The Club's five different modes.
The Club's modes are deviously addicting. Whether you're sprinting to the exit in a race against the clock or gunning down foes with precision, running laps, picking up timer bonuses and picking off foes, defending a base area from waves of gun-toting bad guys or simply darting to avoid bullets in a spot of human target practice, there's enough different five-minute blasts in The Club to keep you coming back many times over.
A competitive crowd puller
Whatever the mode, the central conceit behind The Club boils down to the idea that running and gunning in specially designed levels with next-gen graphical bells and whistles is going to be a crowd puller – especially when you make it highly competitive.
Thus, the main incentive to play The Club lies not in narrative, nor in cinematic set pieces, but in repeated play; memorising levels, learning enemy, ammo, weapon and health placement, and chaining together kill after stylish kill by rolling, quick-turning and no-scoping your way to high-scoring combos with the maximum number of consecutive headshots and bonus target hits with the least shots spent.
The Club is really trigger-finger zen gaming for the FPS-fanatical twin-stick generation.
Getting an amazing score in The Club is akin to racing that one perfect PGR lap where every powerslide, corner and overtaking manoeuvre falls magically into place. In that sense, The Club is really trigger-finger zen gaming for the FPS-fanatical twin-stick generation.
This makes The Club incredible fun with a group of mates. Indeed, The Club is the perfect post-pub pass-the-pad game. But taking it online offers a literal world of longevity as you scour the 600 leaderboards, or team up with friends to indulge in multiplayer adopting the singleplayer mode's core principles; emphasising skill and score over kills and raw deathmatch ability.
Add this to the Beat 'Em Up style attributes of its character roster – some insanely quick and puny, others huge and slow, but able to withstand more punishment – and you've a third-person shooter which plays a little like Gears of War, minus the cover system,and with more options to specialise in the way you want to approach the objective-based team modes.
The Club has its drawbacks. The backgrounds,while detailed, are a bit bland on the colour palette – all browns and greys; its gameplay can get a bit repetitive, it's oft frustrating as you go through the difficulties; and with no story to speak of it will appeal more to completists and hardcore shooter fans than casual players – but for those into that sort of thing The Club will be the HD revival of the score-attacking retro shooter they didn't even know they were missing.
- A highly original, brilliantly designed hybrid of shooters, racers and Beat 'Em Ups in one addictive high-score based blaster that's unlike anything else you'll have played.
- Over 600 online leaderboards create a compelling reason to fine-tune your skills and return time and time again.
- Online modes, style-based scoring and a balanced character roster make The Club an inventive multiplayer offering.
- No story or mission structure; you'll be gunning for high scores here, meaning The Club won't appeal to some players.
- A little repetitive, sometimes frustrating.
- Blandly coloured backgrounds and samey art direction.
Mark gets chatty with two of the guys behind Bizarre's new blaster...
Right, first off, Names and job titles, if you will please gents?
Pete: Pete Collier, Level Designer for The Club. Been at Bizarre Creations for four years now.
Ben: Ben Ward, Web and Community Leader at Bizarre Creations. I deal with web community, PR and marketing.
What have you two been working on in The Club specifically?
Pete: I was one of four level designers, each assigned two levels. I made the level design and gameplay for singelplayer and multiplayer aspects of the Steel Mill and the Manor House.
Ben: And I've been working out how to describe The Club. It's easy when you've got videos and demos to present, but in text it's difficult saying 'it's like Tony Hawk's / PGR / Street Fighter' … people are just like 'what?'
Pete: You really need to play The Club to understand it.
Ben: It's been one of the most challenging things; getting across that The Club isn't your Gears of War story-based game – it's something completely new.
And how would you define The Club?
Ben: A score-based third-person shooter would be the best way of describing it.
Pete: I like to think of it as an Arcade Shooter. The Club is arcade-based, you're trying to beat your mates scores; it's not a story game in any way really.
Ben: Fundamentally, The Club's a racing game with guns; the bad guys are corners and you're the car, running around; taking these guys out in the most stylish way possible just like corners in PGR. But we've got a roster of characters to play as like in a Beat 'Em Up.
Pete: The Club is essentially about getting through the level, but to get the top scores you need to be really, really strategic.
Racers of course are what you're famous for – so why a shooter?
Both: We sat round the table, and everyone agreed they wanted to do one! [laughs]
Ben: Racing games are great and we're going to continue making them, that's our bread and butter – but it's healthy for a company to branch out.
Pete: It was also to prove we could do; everyone was labelling us Bizarre Creations: Racing Studio, but we're gamers too and we were all like 'yeah but, we like shooters as well!' So it was to prove that we could do that really. Our last stab was Fur Fighters, but that didn't really see as much of the world as we'd wanted.
Ben: We know we can do shooters, but we wanted to bring that triple-A experience that we have to it – even down to sharing technology like weather effects and pooling technology to prove we can do something other than a racing game engine.
The Club's a racing game with guns; the bad guys are corners and you're the car, running around; taking these guys out in the most stylish way possible just like corners in PGR.
What's the difference, the switch, between making racers to making shooters?
Ben: It wasn't really a switch. Internally we've got two teams, and the team that worked on The Club have been working on a lot of concepts, but only a few of the Project Gotham team have come over to The Club. It's been more about sharing than switching.
Pete: I was one of those that came from 'Gotham across to The Club. There's been a lot of cross-discipline.
Ben: It was when we signed for Sega that we started to swap coders and artists about, but we've continued two separate streams working on different projects with a lot of shared tech – so that our games can all use the same weather effects, lighting, etc. It's a lot harder than it sounds. We've been working on our shared tech since PGR3 and making it all fit together is really difficult, but it's done now. Hopefully it will bear well for our future projects.
We'll get to future projects later. First I wanted to ask what you think are the problems with the shooter genre in particular?
Pete: We need more decapitations! [both laugh]
Pete: I think one of its biggest problems are its successes. Pretty much all shooters are story-based, and they're great – BioShock is awesome – but we wanted to do something different with The Club's whole addictive point-scoring arcade element. You can't go back after the pub and play BioShock with your mates; it's much better to have a pass-the-pad game.
Ben: I don't think there's anything wrong with shooters, we've just carved our own niche, in the same way we did with 'Gotham. We looked at racers and thought 'how do we do our own thing?' We've done same sort of thing with The Club and shooters, looking at Gears of War and Halo and the like.
Pete [To Ben]: Do you think maybe there's an underdog element to us? So many companies producing these big epic shooters and then there's us, trying something different and just wanting to produce something cool?
Ben: I think you can only call yourself an underdog when you win – let's see how it goes! [laughs]. It's really about finding something new. If we were trying to compete directly with Call of Duty, I'd be a bit nervous.
Funnily enough that goes right into my next question. How was making The Club different to another developer making a normal shooter?
Pete: Other games are very linear. With shooters there's a timeline, dialogue – you start with the story. With The Club we started with gameplay and then built everything else out from that.
Ben: We used our racing game expertise to build things how we build them from a racer and then took it across to The Club. We built the levels before the story. It's not necessarily how other people would build game environments.
Pete: It's not like with 'Gotham in copying a city, it's been more about us level designers collaborating closely with the artists to take environments like a real-life Manor House and make them fun to play.
Ben: I don't know if that's the best way of doing it, but it's the way we knew how, so it's how we went about it. The Club is out first massive shooting game and we've learned a lot from it, so next time maybe we can do something different, but with The Club it's been good to stick to what we know.
Apart from Gotham, what titles would you say have been your inspiration – and competition?
Ben: We don't really think of it in terms of competition, we just think 'how can we make our game the best it can be'.
Pete: There's tons of inspiration though. For instance the bonus target you have to shoot is based on the little guy from Space Invaders...
Ben [To Pete]: I thought he was based on the guy from Virtua Cop?
Pete: Ah, but maybe the Virtua Cop guy was based on Space Invaders! [laughs]
Ben: The one I thought was pretty cool was Doom speed runs – all these guys trying to get through the level as fast as possible – that's what The Club is all about.
Pete: The Club's entire premise is based around that male competition thing; wanting to beat your mate's score. There is story, but it's not the reason to play.
Ben: It's the flavour, not the lollypop! [laughs]
The Club's entire premise is based around that male competition thing; wanting to beat your mate's score. There is story, but it's not the reason to play.
Speaking of wanting to beat your mates… multiplayer. Loads of huge shooters out there… CoD4, Halo 3, Gears of War with a similar third-person perspective… what makes The Club stand out?
Pete: The Club's got very unique modes. We've got our own take on standard ones, killmatch is deathmatch, but we've introduced our own team foxhunt and team siege, which are loosely based on popular FPS gametypes, but the scoring system puts our own spin on them.
Ben: In most multiplayer games you play for kills, not score – you don't worry about getting head shots too much because you've still got a kill.
Pete: You get more points for headshots in The Club. There really is an emphasis on not just killing someone, but killing them with style.
Ben: The other thing is that we've got eight different characters who all play differently – some are fast, some absorb bullets...
Pete: It adds a strategic element to teamplay too. Dragov goes in front, a weaker character cowers behind and fires off rounds...
Ben: There's certainly a lot of originality there; we've added a lot of game modes and gameplay elements to make it interesting for multiplayer.
Pete: A lot of it is based around us being gamers and wanting to put in modes that we'd want to play. Team Siege is just really good fun holding off the other team.
The Club sounds a pretty complete package!
Pete: We'd like to think so!
Ben: That's what the marketing people would say! [laughs]
So what next for Bizarre?
Ben: We've just signed for Activision, which means we've gone from being the independent developer, working with Sega and Microsoft, to being the favoured internal developer. Doesn't sound like much, but for us it means we get first dibs on things we wouldn't have been considered for before, from technology to marketing. It's really exciting.
Pete: It means getting back to just making games rather than business. We want to make good games and not worry about the bottom line.
Ben: Activision will worry about the money side of things and let us get on with making quality games, so everyone's happy. There's not been much change, we've just got more support. We're working on a racing game which hasn't got a name or been finalised, so it'll be some way off. The team behind The Club are working on something else, but we can't talk about that yet – and we've a few other small projects which we can't go into detail on, but hopefully we can soon.
Pete: They'll be expanding on the skills we've learned already.
Ben: So no beat 'em ups! [laughs] It's a bit frustrating not being able to talk about it, but exciting at the same time. We think you'll all be pleasantly surprised!
Interview by: Mark 'Shoot First, Think Later' Scott
Interview Published: 21.02.08
The Club is not your typical third-person shooter – and to see why, you only need look at its developer. Bizarre Creations are responsible for the Xbox 360's critically acclaimed Project Gotham Racing series, and as such are famed for fast-paced automotive arcade gameplay, and an inventive way of modelling a city in-game, then fencing off different areas to make tons of different, iconic, and cunningly challenging courses. It's a principle they're bringing wholeheartedly to The Club.
The titular Club itself is ran by an underground elite of wealthy investors, who enjoy nothing more than a spot of Running Man-style blood-sport. It sees contestants enter (or in some cases, entered against their own will) to run a gauntlet of gun-wielding foes in a deadly race to the end of level exit, winning glory, fame and wads of moolah for their death-defying troubles. It's not the most original or gripping premise around, but makes for an entirely unique spin on the genre.
The Club takes the humble shooter and gives it an adrenaline shot directly from racing and fighting games.
In gameplay terms, The Club takes the humble shooter and gives it an adrenaline shot directly from racing and fighting games. It boasts firepower aplenty, but presents a distinct problem-solving slant. It has story, style and character, but is not your typical run and gun epic. And though boasting real depth, The Club is designed with short-burst play in mind.
Let's focus on the beat-em-up angle first. The Club, like 1v1 fighting titles such as Virtua Fighter, gives you a selection of characters to choose from, all with their own stories, plus benefits and drawbacks in the way of strength, stamina and speed. Playing The Club will be a different experience depending on the character chosen, and like a beat-em-up you'll want to finish the game with all eight characters before you can say you've gotten your value for money.
And, in the same way that fighting titles are easily pick-up-and-play, The Club's approach to shooting renders it ideal for players who want their games to be an explosively enjoyable time sink, not an evening-long commitment. Modes are quick-dip affairs, from a straight run through a level called Sprint, to Time Attack earning you extra seconds for kills, Siege where you hold a location, and Survival, where you simply have to survive hordes of bad guys, it's all delightfully accessible stuff.
For the most part, levels in The Club are linear, five-minute affairs where the object is blowing away enemies, who appear in pre-scripted fashion like in lightgun games. The objective soon becomes to memorise level layouts and enemy placement, learn the best times to reload, chain together kills, shooting for other environment targets to improve score, and generally maximise your trigger finger efficiency to achieve the fastest time with the best possible points total. We've seen racers with shooting elements before, but The Club looks set to be gaming's first successful shooter/racer hybrid.
It's all helped by Bizarre's refusal to abandon their unconventional approach to design. Where most shooters have their levels designed with gameplay in mind, The Club's eight environments take on the same principle as the courses in Gotham, so the likes of a steel mill, manor house, a prison, an ocean liner and a run-down Venice are all modelled in their entirety first, then chopped up into six or seven small sections played through in sequence. It should give The Club's environments a really believably quality, helping further immerse players in its bombastic, ballistic and oh-so-bloody fiction.
The Club, then, might not be entirely like anything you've played before – and this is undoubtedly an industry where new, brave ideas fail to sell as well as more conventional, safe releases. Yet the shooter genre itself is practically overflowing, so this could be the type of originality that the gaming masses can get and enjoy.
Bizarre seems to think so, with eight-person online multiplayer in mind, as well as over 600 leaderboards for the various game types. So with modes from a fighter, design from a racer, gameplay from an old-school shooter and the longevity brought by a broadband net connections, this should be a club new year next-gen gamers are eager to join.
Preview by: Mark Scott
Preview Published: 14.12.07
The Club Review (22/02/2008)
Our December-published preview for The Club made…The Club Interview (21/02/2008)
Mark gets chatty with two of the guys behind Bizarre's new blaster...
Right, first off, Names and job titles, if you will pl…The Club Preview (14/12/2007)
The Club is not your typical third-person shooter – and to see why, you only need look at its developer. Bizarre Creations are responsible for the…The Club User ReviewsTop reviewPrev
Next4 years agoThe ClubOne of the best games of the nex gen console era. I love it. I did have doubts at first whether the Club is a good game but boy was I wrong. This game is brilliant. Definitely check it out!4 years agoThe Clubgreat game love every minute of it i would recommend the game to everyone5 years agoThe Clubits a good game but you have to have a good computer to play it, i would recommend the game to everyone, just make sure you have a good pc.Prev
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