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PSU Exclusive Interview: The Club

New Details on Storyline, Maps, Combo System, and more!

When you have all the money in the world and the passion for fast cars and fast women no longer quench the thirst for excitement, what do you turn to? We've all seen Hostel correct?

Developed by Bizarre Creations Limited, makers of the Project Gotham racing series, comes a new franchise bathed in blood called The Club. And now for your reading pleasure, PSU.com interviews Nick Davies, Design Manager behind this awesomely gruesome title and spills all new details for our hungry readers.

PSU: What is the general story behind The Club and the shady rich folk who run it?

Nick Davies: As I’m sure you can imagine, it gets boring being rich, so you need something to entertain yourself. Some people spend their money on nice holidays, flashy sports cars, or charitable causes. Some people organize underground gladiatorial tournaments in abandoned buildings across the world, like in The Club.

You take part in a tournament, spread across eight worldwide locations, where you are fighting for your life for the viewing pleasure of these bored and rich voyeurs. It sounds like a pretty dark concept, but when you play the game you’ll see it’s a really ‘Hollywood action’ style game with lots of fast-paced, explosive, arcade style gameplay.

PSU: Can you describe to us some of the characteristics behind the eight playable personas? For example what are the strengths/weaknesses or backgrounds behind the characters?

Davies: Each of the characters has their own background as to why they are participating in The Club - everyone has a motivation for doing it, whether they were forced, coerced or in one case volunteered.

We have eight characters in total with a really diverse range of looks, from our thrill seeker Seager to our Russian giant Dragov as well as a few slightly more ‘extreme’ characters. The characters are very much larger than life, and very diverse, which we think makes for a really great mix.

All eight characters also have different attributes for speed, strength and stamina. The basic equation being the bigger you are, the more damage you can take, but the slower you can move. Staying alive, and moving quickly through the level are key factors to success so choosing the right character for your playing style is extremely important.

PSU: How exactly will the combo/point system work in The Club? Will it be based on headshots, dismemberments or something else?
Davies: There are two main factors to the scoring system… the first is combos. It’s a simple mechanic: you have a certain amount of time to move from one kill to the next in order to increase your combo. However, the higher your combo the shorter that time becomes, which turns the gameplay into a frantic race to get to the next kill before time runs out.

The second aspect is the way you kill. We have awards for headshots and multiple kills as well as awards linked to the various moves you can make in the game. Perform a roll then make a quick kill and you’ll earn a ‘death roll’ award. Make a quick turn and a kill for a ‘snap shot’ award and so on. So, the key is to tie together the quick kills with stylish moves in order to get the big scores.

PSU: What is one of your favorite levels? Also for our own personal interest can you tell us a little about The Manor House or the Ocean Liner?

My favorite level is probably the Prison. It’s got a nice mix of open areas and tight corridors and plenty of explosions and destruction going on. It also gave me an excuse to go to Alcatraz, which is always nice.

The Manor House and Ocean Liner are probably the grandest of the locations in the game. The Manor is a huge, abandoned house set deep in the English countryside, with its own gardens, and libraries and conservatory.

The Ocean Liner is an old 1920s vessel that’s been split in two and shipwrecked on rocks, a real rusting old treasure that’s been brought back to life for The Club.

Both are beautiful looking, grand levels, and all of the environments in the game really look and feel very different to the last. We hope players get really excited about opening up the next environment and seeing how it looks and plays compared to the last.

PSU: Will there be destructible environments? If so, to what extent?

Davies: You’ll see a lot of big explosions as well as a lot of smaller scale damage to dynamic objects, windows, pillars, etc. You won’t be able to tear down the level piece by piece, but due to the pace and the nature of the gameplay we know where the big action moments will occur, so we can tailor our damage so that players can experience as much destruction as possible.

PSU: Outside of the Kill Match modes, can you describe to us some of the other multiplayer modes? (Hunter Hunted, Team Fox Hunt, Team Siege, etc)

Davies: I’ll give you a little on the Team Fox Hunt and Team Fox Objective game modes.

These are all about making one player on the team, the Fox, feel a little special. In Team Fox Hunt, the opposing team only scores points by killing your fox, so you really need to spit up your team and make sure someone is looking after him. However, the Fox can score double points for his kills so it’s a case of deciding how brave and adventurous you want to be.

For the objective variation, it’s all about capturing your opponent’s base. However, the Fox can capture much quicker than anyone else, so you have to make sure you use him wisely.

Both of these game modes have been great fun to play and seem to swing toward a particular team based strategy of how brave (or stupid J) they decide to be.

PSU: What makes The Club unique from other third person shooters in terms of gameplay?

Davies: I think the scoring system and the choice of multiple characters is something you really don’t see in a lot of modern shooters. Some of the ideas, mechanics and pacing behind the game is inspired by beat ‘em ups or even racing games, and a host of other genres that we’ve combined into something we’re really proud of.

We’re taking quite a ‘retro’ idea of basing the gameplay around scoring, but wrapping it up in the kind of graphical style of something that is ‘next gen’. This is something we’ve done before with the Kudos system in PGR and the scoring of Geometry Wars - both of these have been huge successes for us and we’re hopeful we can do the same with The Club.

PSU: Will there be the use of the SIXAXIS controls and if so how are you guys implementing them?

Davies: At present, we’re not planning to use the gyroscopic element SIXAXIS controls. The main control system was designed way before we were aware of SIXAXIS and we wouldn’t just shoehorn something in to make it work… it would just be a gimmick and we aren’t interested in doing that.

In the future, we’d obviously be looking at these things from the ground up, and if we found a cool use for it I’m sure we would implement it.

PSU: Do you have any plans to bring downloadable content to the PSN and XBLM?
Davies: Downloadable content is something we’ve done a lot of before and the game is set up to accept almost any kind of additional content. However, at this stage we’re still 100% focused on finishing the main game and our plans for downloadable content is something we’ll tackle in the future.

PSU: What is the expected release date for The Club? And can we expect a demo on PSN or XBLM soon?

Davies: I would expect a demo, but we don’t have any exact dates at this time. Regarding our release date, we can say that The Club will be shipping this ‘holiday 07/08’ on the PS3, Xbox360 and PC. We will be announcing a more firm release date in the near future, so stay tuned.