Fortunately for us a demo of The Club recently landed on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The talented guys over at Bizarre Creations have had a toy with something different to their usual racing titles, and cooked up what is looking to be a shooter with a large zest of something completely different. The early impressions indicate that it is going to pay off, big time.

The Club is essentially an organization that make sport out of pushing humans to their maximum limit. An underground ‘fight club’, kill or be killed is the motto of the day. Each kill gives points depending on if it was a head-shot or a particularly stylish kill. This is where The Club borrows from Bizarre Creations racing titles, the Project Gotham Racing series. The emphasis is on style and speed. Not stealth and wall-hugging. Each character to choose from will have vastly different traits and each will need to be played to find the one that most suits your playing style.

You really will enter rooms all guns blazing, or roll through a doorway and execute a head-shot pushing your combo bar even higher, multiplying the points you receive. If you fail to make another kill after a certain amount of time your combo will ‘bleed’ and you will be hard pressed to make a kill before it runs out and you lose your hard earned combo. This means the sprint button will be used possibly as much as the roll button so as to propel you through the level at speed. Knowing the level and where to maximize your points will become the reason to play the game over and over.

The demo level played out in an island prison which had a nice mix of outside and inside parts, each dramatic and highly repayable. The different game modes available really mix things up, in the demo we had access to time-attack and escape. In time-attack your character was implanted with nano-explosives which would detonate on failure to do three laps of the level before the time ran out. Time in this mode was attained by making kills and shooting special time markers, as well as hitting ‘check-points’. The escape mode required you to escape from the prison and reach a target score depending on the difficulty. Again, much like in Project Gotham Racing.

The levels will challenge you to keep your eyes wide open and interact quickly with the level to maximize your score, much like a racing game. This makes it one of the most different and interesting, yet exciting and playable shooters. Unfortunately we did not have access to multiplayer or any other game modes however these are promising to be very entertaining. Score Match will have you trying to be the first to crack the target score, team fox hunt will involve teams going after the other teams designated ‘fox’, and team siege will involve defending and attacking a zone with the aim being to take the zone as quickly as possible.

With a good selection of different levels and game modes this game is looking to be a must have for shooter fans looking for something different and new. Bizarre Creations have gone out on a limb here, using what they have learnt from years of Project Gotham Racing and it seems be working very well. This is the breath of fresh air the fps genre has been dying for. We absolutely can’t wait for the final release to try the other game modes, and expect a full review closer to the time.