What happens when an angry student crew witnesses an apocalypse on a seemingly normal excursion? The World End Club answers this question while examining the various interpersonal relationships of the ensemble cast. However, due to its jerky platform, predictable story beats, uninspired characters, and unforgettable soundtracks, World End Club cannot reach the heights of two franchises: Danganronpa and Zero Escape.
You will spend most of your time at the World End Club, which analyzes through extensive conversations that give context to a comprehensive story. These dialogue-filled moments are a dump of a glorious exposition. Characters unplannedly announce their backside motivations and innermost emotions, and when the main villains “accidentally” enter into a battle to reveal their demonic plans (at an alarming rate). (It happens), the story is stripped of its bet. From time to time, I was thrilled to see the plot lines settled, but my emotional bets often flipped over and lost interest. This is especially frustrating. Because, despite its cartoonish and friendly aesthetic, World’s End Club wants to be a game about complex motifs such as deception, trust, and lasting friendship. This may have been interesting, but at the moment the story feels empty.
The silent protagonist, Reiko, is the bold leader of the eccentric misfit band Gogetters Club. One summer afternoon, when a meteorite suddenly hits Tokyo, the world suddenly ends. After the impact, the crew wakes up in an underwater amusement park. There, a floating Pokemon-like creature named Pierope forces you to participate in a dangerous “game of fate”. The challenges facing Reiko and the company endanger close fellowship. Unfortunately, each member of the Go-Getters Club quickly turned out to be just a shallow prototype, from unnoticed airhead vanilla to overweight exaggerated Mochan. In addition, narration varies from mediocre to totally funny. It became increasingly difficult to care about playable casts when they were awkward robots at the moment of emotional tension and sometimes mispronounced each other’s names.
The World’s End Club gameplay loop is divided into three sections: Act, Camp, and Story. In the discreet action phase, jump over bottomless holes and push the crate to clear the clogged walkway. Combat usually involves throwing a blunt instrument at a slow-moving target or running for your life while navigating an array of nasty hurdles. I enjoyed the second half of the moment, but soon realized it was easy to escape the horrifying creatures of the World End Club. Due to the infrequent stealth sequences, we had to hide behind the object to time the escape sprint. Go-Getter’s Club takes a break at the campsite. At the campsite, you can easily talk to each member to better understand the motives of the character as shallow as the moment of the story.
The one-dimensionality of World End Club characters becomes apparent the moment you open your mouth, but when your awakened abilities are activated, their personality really comes back to life. These amazing super moves will help you survive in this sneaky world and will slowly unlock as you progress through the story act. The awakened ability made me feel reasonably strong and lent me well to most of the simple environmental puzzles of the World End Club. For example, he enjoyed using Reiko’s “Big League Pitcher” to throw rocks at overhanging structures and defeat enemies patroling underneath. I used other awakened abilities to wipe out geographic formations that would otherwise be indestructible, or simply slow down the undefeated boss. With so many abilities applicable, the encounter with boring enemies became a little more satisfying, and the problem-free platform section became mildly interesting.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t come across my fair share of gameplay issues. Many times I noticed that I was staring at the game over screen for wooden controls. Sometimes I kept pressing the jump button just to see Reiko sunter towards the edge of the platform. At other times, the character seemed to be fighting me when I grabbed the shelves or tried to avoid the one-hit kill obstacles. Several times I was repeatedly discovered by the enemy due to the relentless stick sensitivity. I try to get a little closer to the ledge, but just fall off the platform and fall into the enemy’s clutch.
Meanwhile, monster and biome design has emerged as my two favorite aspect of the World End Club. As a trip to Japan, I went to an abandoned prefecture full of dangerous obstacles such as lava, quicksand pools, and mutated leaves. The underground facility had ferocious bipedal canines, and the dusty hillside was inhabited by giant armored beetles. Some creatures were much more grotesque and interesting to see with their winding limbs and nervous, cramping movements. Nonetheless, these features weren’t important enough to distract me from the myriad narrative and mechanical flaws of the World End Club.
The World End Club tells an uninteresting story full of obvious twists and turns segmented by linear exploration and low stakes action. On normal difficulty, you’ll be killed with a single hit, which doesn’t mix well with finishy controls. Some character designs and their associated abilities are particularly inspirational, but I didn’t fall in love with any of their static personalities. The World End Club ultimately felt like an unimaginable after-school activity.