Fight Club Review
It doesn’t take a film studies major from UCLA to see that Fight Club the movie wasn’t really about fighting at all, so it’s a bit ironic, in a sad sort of way, that the movie is being used to sell a game to the mass market that is all about fighting and nothing else. If the fighting in the game had been good, then this irony would only stick in the craw of those fans that took the movie’s message to heart. Unfortunately, the game is so bad that it won’t appeal to anyone even with its cult movie license.
|Leg sweep. Repeat.|
The first sign that something is wrong is that none of the stars of the movie reprise their roles for the game. In fact, the game characters barely resemble their movie counterparts as the game avoids crossing the line into licensed likeness territory. Things really fall apart though when you start playing the game’s story mode. The story mode is only very loosely based on the film, casting you in the role of some indistinct guy trying to make his way into Fight Club for a meeting with founder Tyler Durden. Who you are, where you come from, how you made your way to a Fight Club meeting, why you want to meet Durden … the game doesn’t bother to let you in on anything like this. You just move from one indistinct fight to the next, punctuated with some of the poorest cutscenes to appear in a game this year. They’re not even scenes really; they’re a slide show of still images that look like screenshots from the game that play as voiceovers carry on the conversations that pass for story in the game. Even if you wanted to give the developers credit for trying to be edgy or avant-garde with the cutscenes it would be very difficult to do so because the whole thing just comes across as a half-hearted attempt to provide story elements without putting any time or effort into the task.
So all that being said, you can see that the game basically comes down to the fighting … but it can’t even deliver on that front. There are supposedly three different fighting styles in the game, brawling, kung fu, and grappling, but there’s not really much of a difference between the three. All styles can kick, punch, or grapple and throw, and with equal effectiveness, so the only real difference in the styles seems to be a few animations that differ between them. It should not be much of a surprise then to hear that your choice of fighter doesn’t really matter either. Large and bulky, small and wiry, they all control and fight pretty much the same way.
All these similarities are just one reason why the fights are dull and repetitive. You can beat your opponents by sticking with the basic punches and kicks, and many of them by simply repeating the sweep kick over and over again. The biggest challenge comes from the spotty collision detection as your opponent’s attacks tend to be slow and repetitive. The only real distinction that the game has is its fight graphics that do a good job of modeling the damage taken by the fighters as the brawl wears on. Occasionally a well-placed attack will be rewarded with a splatter of blood that will leave drops on the camera in a gruesome touch. On rarer occasions you’ll break one of your opponent’s bones, which rewards you with a slow-motion X-ray shot that shows the bone snapping. Whether this is a cool or sick feature will depend on your particular disposition, but in either case it is not worth the long boring stretches you need to get through between breakages.
The fight locations include some settings from the film as well as a few other generic locations. These merely serve as backdrops, though, and one is interchangeable with another. Outside of a few spectators the settings are very static and completely devoid of interactive objects.
Fight Club includes an online mode, but there’s not really any point. The basic fighting system is dull and repetitive in single player mode, so you should expect pretty much the same from the online mode and the game delivers on that point. If you’re looking for an online fighter, there are several far better options out there.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 40%. We’ve got some new rules for Fight Club. Rule Number One: Do not play Fight Club. Rule Number Two: Tell all of your friends about Fight Club.