Fighters Club Preview
Being more of a fan of Double Dragon than Dragon Age, a game that really caught my eye during GDC 2012 was Fighters Club. Fighters Club is a free to play MMO developed by KOG Studios and being published by Kill3r Combo, known for the popular game Elsword.
In Fighters Club, players choose from three playable characters, then use their unique fighting skills to take down opponents through combos and special attacks. Players can use the arrow keys to move and the letter keys to attack the opponent’s upper, middle or lower body parts. The opponent’s moving action and the attacker’s selection of the opponent’s body part will determine what kind of skills will be used. The early opponents will be very easy to defeat with attacks, but as the game progresses well placed combos and efficient blocking becomes imperative.
Players have use of a wide variety of special attacks to maximize damage dealt and these are utilized to surprising simplicity using the keyboard. It was very surprising to experience how well Fighters Club managed to still keep the fast paced brawler feel of Final Fight while using a keyboard to play. Despite how well the game works with just a mouse and a keyboard what I would like to see in this game is support for a controller and I was told that this may be a possibility. Kill3r Combo is trying to turn this fighter into a MMO contender and is putting a good amount of effort into the localization so I hope the game gets controller support to cement the fact that it is a fighting game at its core.
Fighters Club sports a great looking cell shaded art style that brings back memories of classic SNK fighters with the character designs. The game has a comic book feel to it and reminded me of the underrated SEGA classic Comix Zone. As far as the game play mechanics, It was very easy to get into the game despite the fact that the localization is not yet completed and the game menus are in Korean. Already the character designs, music, and humor make a fighting game fan feel right at home with Fighters Club.
The game features the ability to team up in co-operative dungeon crawls or participate in intense player versus player (PvP) action in a fully 3D environment. The game is scattered with throw-able items and power up boxes and, in PvP mode, this gives the gameplay a Power Stone type feel to it. On the floor of GDC 2012 I grabbed a friend and we jumped into the PvP mode and right away the experience felt like I was in an arcade as the action was a quick paced two round battle filled with combos, throws, and some trash talk.
The three character types to chose from are a boxer, a wrestler, and a freestyle fighter. After reaching level 15, all three characters can choose from two job paths that allow the character to have a serious or outrageous fighting style. For example the boxer character Spike can train to become an amazing boxer or chose to go the way of the fire fist. The game features a positional combat system that allows for some great combos and keeps your fighter on target when many enemies are attacking. The game seems to have a good sense of humor and the boss battles put a smile on my face, one even had me fight someone who looked like a hipster Gannon.
Fighters Club has a very pick up and play feel to it, like a fighting game should, yet has the options of an MMORPG. Though the current set of characters available are limited, quite a bit of customization exists in the game. Players have an expansive skill tree to customize fighting skills to suit their playing style and an Item Mall to customize the look and feel of characters. Players can dungeon crawl with friends online and collect coins in order to style their fighter according to their tastes. This being a fighting game styled MMO, Fighters Club could bring the Street Fighter audience into the MMO world as well as put a smile on the face of any fan of classic arcade brawlers.
Fighters Club is currently available in Korea but should see a localized English language version some time in the Summer.