Bizarre Creations made “concerted effort” to minimize gore in The Club

By Patrick Garratt, Thursday, 7 February 2008 15:45 GMT

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Bizarre Creations has made a conscious effort to keep the red stuff out of its next-gen shooter The Club, the developer told VG247 today, and instead concentrated on a “Hollywood” style to convey action in the game.

“I don’t agree that the game is super-violent,” said Ben Ward, community and web boss at the Liverpool-based outfit. “We’ve made a concerted effort to minimize the level of gore in the game. You won’t see massive amounts of blood or guts when you shoot people. We’ve tried to use the ragdoll system to give feedback to the player rather than a huge cloud of red goo.”

Ward added, “However, fundamentally the game is still about shooting lots of people. We’ve handled this in a similar way to Hollywood action movies – it’s not gratuitous or sadistic in the way it does things. Primarily the game is a gameplay-driven skill-based title, and we are hoping that anti-videogame groups will see this shine through.”

The Club is a third-person shooter in which players clear levels using combos, headshots and the like for maximum points. Published by Sega, the game appears to have undergone a little rejigging in terms of release dates: Ward told us console versions – for Xbox 360 and PS3 – are releasing in Europe tomorrow, with a European PC version coming out on February 22. All three SKUs hit the US simultaneously on February 19.

The combination of old school skill and next-gen power makes this a hit, reckons Ward, so definitely give the demo a shot (no pun intended). Take a look at it running here.

“You’ll enjoy The Club if you’ve been waiting for that next-gen game which revisits that old-school competitive gameplay you used to love,” said Ward. The game is all about competing with friends for the highest score possible, and showing off your skills whilst doing it. It’s something that’s fairly unique in the shooter genre at the moment, and something we really believe in.”

Find all of Ben’s answers to our questions after the link.

VG247: How did the Xbox 360 demo release go? Are you pleased with the feedback?

Ben Ward: We’re happy with how the 360 and PS3 demos were received. Any feedback we get from things like this is always very valuable, especially if it’s pre-launch. As a company we do try to keep our ear to the ground and listen to what our community are asking as much as possible. If we can’t fit some of the suggestions into this game then we’ll keep it in mind for the next one.

Of course some people just didn’t “get” the concept of The Club from the demo. We were expecting that to be honest. It’s a brand new idea for the shooting genre and one which will take time to resonate with certain people. However, for every person who played it and was expecting a story-driven game we found two or three people who really understood the pursuit of high-scores. Already we’ve got a hardcore fan base building up, which is very encouraging!

What was the motivation for creating such a violent game? Are you expecting to run into any flak from the Jack Thompsons of this world?

I don’t agree that the game is super-violent. We’ve made a concerted effort to minimize the level of gore in the game. You won’t see massive amounts of blood or guts when you shoot people. We’ve tried to use the ragdoll system to give feedback to the player rather than a huge cloud of red goo.

However, fundamentally the game is still about shooting lots of people. We’ve handled this in a similar way to Hollywood action movies – it’s not gratuitous or sadistic in the way it does things. Primarily the game is a gameplay-driven skill-based title, and we are hoping that anti-videogame groups will see this shine through.

You’re down for a three-SKU release for February 8. Are all three versions definitely going to hit the date?

Actually the console versions are releasing on February 8th in Europe, with the PC version coming out on the 22nd. All three versions are launching simultaneously in the United States on the 19th February.

You were very well received at Games Convention last year. Do you find preparing for shows like that hinders or reaffirms the development process?

It’s a bit of both to be honest! Obviously we need a build of the game prepared, which means that it needs to be polished and tested to a shine. This takes time out of the schedule, but it also means that we get to pull together and get the game to a playable state, which is incredibly useful internally. We also get a bunch of good feedback from experienced journos and the game-playing public.

Give us one reason why we should buy The Club. What do you have that the competition’s lacking?

You’ll enjoy The Club if you’ve been waiting for that next-gen game which revisits that old-school competitive gameplay you used to love. The game is all about competing with friends for the highest score possible, and showing off your skills whilst doing it. It’s something that’s fairly unique in the shooter genre at the moment, and something we really believe in.

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