There's a reason the first rule of Fight Club is to not talk about Fight Club.

User Rating: 1.8 | Fight Club XBOX
“How much do you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?” This is one of many memorable quotes from the 1999 cult film of the same name, and one of many things to make you think about what could be done with a game based on the Fight Club property. However, the game we get not only doesn’t live up to its name; it’s a horrible mark against video games as a whole.

Graphically, Fight Club isn’t that impressive. Given what’s been seen on the Xbox, and that stuff like Dead or Alive 3 set a high standard for fighters on the system, Fight Club just feels half baked. The characters don’t look bad but they’re definitely not good looking, and there are a lot of reused models. However, one of the worst marks against the game is how the developers didn’t go out and get the rights to use the likenesses of Brad Pitt and Edward Norton for the main characters, which really throws the a spanner in the works. This leaves you with the two biggest characters from the film being in the game, but hardly being recognizable. The fighting environments are also bland and though some place’s you’ll recognize from the film, they’re just so lifeless and generic they really don’t add anything at all, especially considering all of them are essentially the same boxed off area. Sure, there’s the odd environmental attack you can use the background for, but you’ll rarely get the chance to use them.

The audio in Fight Club didn’t fare any better. Again, Pitt and Norton aren’t present, but to be honest, that didn’t surprise me. However, their replacements are just bad, and that set’s the tone for the rest of the Voice Work. The quality is definitely sub par on some recordings, and even the characters that haven’t got bad recordings are still terrible. It’s all just bad, which is quite an achievement, considering just how little voice work there is in the game. It’s basically there in story based cut scenes, not even in post fights. The music is better, but that’s not saying a lot. Some of the music feels true to the film, but you’ll here the same few tracks a lot, so they soon get tired. It’s basically just there and there’s nothing memorable, not even the licensed music, which just feels out of place. The gameplay in Fight Club is another resounding disappointment. It has the bare bones minimum for a fighter. The Arcade mode lets you fight you’re way through several guys to get a cut scene involving your character; however there’s nothing story wise to hold the fights together. The Story mode is just plain dumb too, basically stringing you along from fight to fight, while trying to tie the game into the film, and failing miserably. There’s a Survival mode and on and offline versus modes, but considering just how bad the game is, you’ll not likely want to play the game that much. Then there’s the fact there’s only 3 real different types of character, and even they all play the same. Even the create a fighter mode feels like you’re piecing together just another slight variation of an existing character. Control wise there isn’t much to Fight Club. 4 attack buttons and one for blocking and taunting, and that’s pretty much you’re lot. Pressing two attack buttons at once might get you a throw or some other move, but the timing is just messed up, and you’ll often go flailing, never seeming to pull off the move you were trying to. This leads to the single biggest flaw in Fight Club. The fighting engine is broken to the point of being unplayable. The controls are unpredictable, and the AI is either plain dumb or ridiculously hard. There isn’t a lot to Fight Club to keep you coming back. Granted there’s movie’s to unlock, and characters to get, but going through the game to unlock everything isn’t enjoyable, and considering how little difference there is between the characters, the unlockables really aren’t worth it.

The Story in Fight Club should have been a given. Anyone who’s seen the film could see how it could be made into a game, and yet the developers failed miserably. The Arcade mode’s ending cut scenes are mostly either taken straight from the film or trying to be like the film, and both fall flat. The Story mode tries to fit itself into the film, and still fails. It all gets dragged down to you going from place to place and then having a fight.

In the end, Fight Club is a mess. The potential for a great game is there, especially in this style of realistic street fights. Def Jam: Fight for New York was a good example on how to do this style of game right, and Fight Club is just a poor attempt at it. Without the Fight Club name, this game would have been disappointing, but with the name, it’s even worse. So much more could and should have been done with the license, and after all’s said and done, the game feels like complete and utter cash in on the film’s cult status. It isn’t worth your time or money in any way shape or form.