What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this game rewards killing by using a unique scoring system for hits made. The more enemies you kill, the higher your combos and, thus, your score. You also earn special bonuses for head shots and other extraordinary feats. None of the deaths look gory but are definitely bloody. Players mostly use a series of firearms from handguns to shotguns and rocket launchers to take out enemies. This game is playable online, so prepare for potentially harsh language from competitors.
What's it about?
THE CLUB is a frenetic, arcade-style shooter that blends racing facets to create a unique-yet-violent experience. You control one of eight characters forced to fight in an underground bloodsport by The Club, a secret group of powerful world leaders. The main goal throughout is to survive eight bloody tournaments in locales ranging from an abandoned prison to an ocean liner. High scores are key to victory, and require killing multiple foes in quick succession to rack up combos as well as points. Characters are measured based on speed, strength, and stamina.
As you slay enemies, a combo meter tallies your kills, multiplying your score with each death. Eventually, the combo meter "bleeds" unless you kill an opponent or shoot signs called skullshots. You'll also earn special points dependant on the type of enemy, distance, and area of the body you hit.
Is it any good?
Levels feel intense, since you're sprinting through an area attempting to build up combos for a higher score. But the action lacks explosiveness. You can shoot barrels for a strong blast, but the action is heavy on the gunplay. A cohesive story is non-existent. Beyond very brief character stories, players get little sense of what The Club is and who the characters are.
Game levels offer a solid variety of challenges, including Survivor and Run the Gauntlet. Racing elements are sprinkled throughout. The tournaments feel like a circuit you'd find in standard racing titles. One particular game type requires you to run laps around a level before time expires. Enemies pose a strong challenge, although you'll find quite a few who prefer to run right at you as an easy target and then find cover. Once the tournament has been conquered, players have an option to tackle single events, create their own tournaments, or partake in multiplayer action both offline and online. Despite a few flaws, The Club's unique concept and frenetic, arcade-style action offers plenty of incentive to join.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the story concept, in which eight competitors are forced to kill for sport in order to survive. Does this justify their actions? Does reducing deaths to a score desensitize gamers to how killing is viewed in this particular title?