May 10, 2007 - The easiest way to wrap your head around The Club is to think of the third-person shooter as a forced-labor Fight Club. A group of hard-as-nails types have fallen into the world of an underground fighting federation, and they can't get out. Rich folks watch the damned shoot the crap out of each other and foot the bill to keep them stabbing people on different continents.
SEGA was nice enough to give the gaming media a look at the title today during a gameplay demonstration by Nick Davies, design manager for The Club's developer Bizarre Creations.
"It's everything that Splinter Cell and Gears of War isn't," he said. "It's kind of the anti-stealth game as we call it."
Renwick for life.
For his demonstration, Davies picked Renwick, a decorated cop who is trying to take down the organization from the inside, from a pool of eight characters and interjected the machine gun-toting investigator into the prison level. There were eight locations for Davies to choose from -- locales such as Venice, a bunker and a warehouse -- and once he had his setting, Davies chose from several challenges for the arena. See, rather than having one long level, each map is broken up into a handful of "bite-size challenges." Once Davies picked the prison setting, he had the option to defend the area from a siege, perform in time-attack mode and race to the exit. Davies chose the race.
As Renwick darted down the filthy hallways of the pen that is loosely based on Alcatraz, Davies displayed just how different The Club was from the Splinter Cell and Gears of War franchises -- there was no hiding or popping out from behind cover. Clad in his trusty bulletproof vest, Renwick ran at enemies with his guns firing and text exploded onto the screen tracking the number of headshots.
Killed by the man in the yellow coat.
Repeatedly, Davies said The Club had an arcade-feel to it. Crucial to racking up the points needed to make it through a level successfully is the combo meter that is constantly running in the top-right corner of the screen. As Renwick shot up barrels and blew rusted-out school busses into the air, the combo meter filled, recorded the new score multiplier and went back to building to the next multiplier. However, after Renwick wasted all his opponents and had to run to the next occupied area, the combo meter began depleting and losing those precious score amplifiers.
In short, you need to be killing to be winning.
Davies only had 15 minutes to give the room a rundown on The Club, but he did let on that each character will have rankings for speed, strength and stamina; levels will contain skull signs that can be shot to boost the combo meter; each character will have his or her own story; and there will be three gameplay modes that include tournament, gunplay and multiplayer.
No details were announced for multiplayer, but expect to hear more here on IGN before The Club hits stores this winter for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.