The Club is dirty and gritty, and has definite charisma - helped in no small part by some mean character design and the filthy industrial beats laid down by Richard Jacques. Likewise, all the extra presentational touches are well implemented - like the satisfyingly chunky lettering and score data puncturing the screen with every kill, or the booming voice of the announcer accompanying every award. It gives the whole package a certain energy that you don’t often find these days. So… it’s a crying shame that some aspects of The Club, unfortunately, fall a little short - the main offender being the game’s woefully unimaginative level dressing.
Without exception, every stage in The Club looks dull, bland and bleak. Last time we checked there were a couple of million different colours out there - and apparently people are inventing new ones all the time. So why does every single bloody surface have to be coloured in new and uninteresting shades of brown?
The problem is, while every area is different, thematically speaking, they’re just not distinctive enough; they’re not memorable enough and they don’t provide any real feeling of variety. The consequence of all this is that The Club can, at times, feel dour and drearily unspectacular - and given the repetitive structure of the game itself, some people are going to find it tough going to motivate themselves, particularly if agonising over leaderboard standings isn’t their idea of fun.
The Club feels unlike anything else. Neither Halo, nor even BioShock, has the ability to make you feel like this game does. But you’ll either love it for the adrenaline rush or hate it for the lack of compelling story and boring brown levels. For those wanting something new, it's definitely worth a go.
Feb 7, 2008