What do you get when you combine competitive racing with fast paced third-person shooting? Most of you are probably imagining some kind of “Need for Speed” game that throws in the use of guns, but that’s not what this article is about. Developed by Bizarre Creations and published by Sega, these two companies created a game that could have easily could have evolved into competitive eSports gaming. Titled The Club, Bizarre Creations and Sega crafted a game that flew under gamer’s radars and didn’t get the attention it deserved. Now, we’re making sure people know about it.
Released in February of 2008 for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC, The Club was a combination between two popular gaming genres: racing and shooters. During development, the core game was mainly focused on the gameplay itself, while story narrative was added later. Many gaming publishers didn’t have faith in the game and decided not to back it, until Sega stepped up and hopped on. The overall narrative follows behind eight different characters who are dragged into the “The Club,” an underground circuit of gladiator style combat. Although the narrative is basic, that wasn’t the main reason why people played it: it was to see who was best with a gun.
Players choose between eight different characters, each with their own stats and attributes, and are pitted in tournaments at various locations, all of them involving shootouts, waves of enemies, explosives and a time limit. At its core, the game is all about racking up as many points as possible through kill streaks, point multipliers, and killing methods, such as head shots, ricocheting bullets, and long range shots; the higher the multiplier, the more points per kill, but the multiplier depletes faster the longer it gets, so you have to be on the lookout for bonus enemies and icons to keep the chain going. Now, if scoring among the top wasn’t hard enough, you also have to focus on the clock.
Incorporating traditional racing elements, like time attack and running laps, most of the game also has the player speeding against the clock while racking up those points. So, if you managed to score the highest amount of points on a course but didn’t manage to make it around the map before time ran out, those points mean nothing: instant disqualification. Aside from scoring high, you better make sure you’ll cross that finish line in time. After each event, the players are given pointed based on the position on the scoreboard. After all of the events are completed, the one with the most amount of points on the scoreboard is the overall winner.
Thankfully, for those who aren’t that good at shooters, racing, or both, there are four difficulties to choose from when selecting a circuit, so players can start off easier as they slowly improve over time; there’s also a training course to help newcomers get a better feel of the game. Generating AI scores for offline play, players will feel like they’re actually competing against the score of other players. Once you’re ready to take on real people, choose your character of choice and take your gun skills online against others to see just how good you are.
Here’s a sample of the first course from the gaming using “The Club’s” returning champion, Killen.
Can you survive being dragged into “The Club?”