From the developer behind the critically acclaimed racing series, Project Gotham Racing, Bizarre Creations brings a whole new breed of third-person shooter known as The Club. The Club mixes the best elements from action shooters with fast-paced run and gun gameplay, destructive environments, lethal weapons and an in-depth story structure. Players will fight to survive in a shadowy underground blood-sport controlled by a faceless, obscenely wealthy and influential elite who place their bets on who will survive as the bloodbath ensues before them. Take control of up to eight unique trained killers motivated by greed, driven by pure insane bloodlust, and hell bent on earning respect on a global level.
replete with contemptuous instructions to 'press A' and so on. In fact, it almost demands investing in a 360 pad, as with mouse and keyboard you always seem to need an extra finger (so it should sell well in Wales).
The antithesis of a stealth game, The Club is an unashamedly unsophisticated affair that scoffs at such notions as taking cover or assuming any kind of tactic other than running and gunning.
And in the short term at least, it's mildly compelling fare that certainly keeps you on your toes. Failing a level by a matter of seconds or points will have you frustratedly slapping the keyboard for another go, and - like a driving game - you do eventually learn the levels, knowing where each baddie is going to appear, where the health and ammo is stashed, and ultimately the most effective way to stay alive, even if that does involve standing in a corner and running the clock down.
Ultimately though, The Club is a puddle-deep affair that struggles to justify a full-price release. The console conversion is functional at best, with borderline suicidal AI, tricksy controls and no real sense of purchase or recoil from the limited range of weaponry.
With the possible exception of a largely unrecognisable Venice, the settings are fairly generic, and your choice of eight so-called gladiators ticks every clich in the book, comprising the usual collection of Street Fighter refugees.
The Hard Russian, Smooth American, Dreadlocked Assassin and Speedy Oriental are all members of the club, running round in ever decreasing circles with their fingers on the trigger and an eye on the combo score.
But we won't be joining them, as we won't be renewing our membership.
Most of us have probably been a member of a club at some point in our lives, be it Youth, Tufty, Groucho or Conservative. However, there can't be many clubs where membership carries the considerable risk of a brutally violent death within seconds of joining (although chess clubs can get quite lively).
Imagine the membership form for The Club. Do you have any medical conditions that may impair your performance? Have you ever been involved in moral turpitude? Do you have any objection to being shot in the face, neck, chest and genitals by a succession of heavily armed mercenaries on a near-constant basis?