Every shooter ever made shares a set of common principles: Moving from point A to point B, trying not to get shot, and placing the sight at the center of the screen over various targets as quickly as your eyes and thumbs will allow. The only real difference between them all is how they’re dressed up with story and graphics. In The Club, however, things are different.
Taking place in a handful of different locations, from an ocean liner, to warehouses, steel mills and prison blocks - The Club puts you into a series of tournaments and sets you different types of challenges, none of which last longer than a few minutes at most. Your task for each is to rack up as many points as you possibly can to improve your standing against the other competitors - something achievable by taking into account some simple rules.
Every kill gives you a few precious seconds to kill again, and killing inside this window will increase your score multiplier. Keep killing and killing without too big a gap between enemies, and your combo will continue to increase - giving access to higher and higher scores. Speed is of utmost importance, but this is balanced against the kind of kills you execute. For example, a kill over distance is worth far more than a kill up close. Likewise, a single bullet to the face is going to be far more valuable a kill than if you emptied your entire clip into an enemy’s elbow or kneecap.
This (with the exception of each individual challenge’s specific rules) is pretty much The Club’s core concept: be as accurate as you can, as quickly as you can. Developer Bizarre has crystallized all the good bits, stripped the humble shooter back to its essential components and then chucked away all the pointless bolted-on bits - what’s left is a barrage of short, neat hits of tightly designed action. The result, it’s safe to say, is surprisingly compelling.