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The Blackout Club Review – Team Up Against Small Town Scares

The Blackout Club Review – Team Up Against Small Town Scares
3.5

Platforms:

Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One, Windows PC, Steam

Game Name:

The Blackout Club

Publisher(s):

Question

Developer(s):

Question

Genre(s):

Action, Online Multiplayer

Release Date:

July 29th, 2019

The Blackout Club from Question

The Blackout Club by Question depicts a world where people sleepwalk every night as they roam around like mindless zombies. They can’t see, but they can hear. They are slow, but they are deadly if they grab you.

This is more of a challenge because you play as a teenager, which means stealth is your friend and essential for survival. But thankfully it’s not all doom and gloom for these seemingly helpless teenagers. Thanks to help from other online players, we’re stronger as a group. And the threat of the sleepwalking horde is eased – that is as long as we work together.

Seen It All in a Small Town

The goal of this multiplayer game is to work as a team to complete objectives. Once all objectives are complete, all live players need to reach the exit to win. Objectives are randomly selected within one map.

So although the game doesn’t have many maps like other online games, the objectives you can be stuck with make online sessions more varied. One match may require that we pickpocket enemies scattered around the map. Another may require that we carry an item from point A to B. I found that although these objectives do wonders to mix up the game, they repeat too often, giving off a repetitious feel.

The Blackout Club features a large open map which allows for multiple ways to approach certain areas, including climbing. But while the map is complex thanks to underground tunnels and verticality, it’s still one map. You might find yourself quickly bored when you have to play the same map over and over again.

Items can be found throughout the map which can be used for defensive or offensive situations – a grappling hook for quick traversal, for example, or lock-picks or a handheld taser used to stun.

Stealth is a big factor in this game, and it can take some time to get accustomed to its mechanics. The Blackout Club requires a lot of sneaking around enemies and even avoiding certain noisy ground surfaces.

I found that it’s just best to keep a safe distance from enemies at all times. Enemies are tough, and they can do a lot of damage if they grab you. Although all players can incapacitate enemies when sneaking up behind them, it only lasts for a short amount of time, and it’s tricky to do when other enemies are nearby.

Down Here It’s Our Time

For one there are a lot of systems in play. Each character has skills that give them different buffs or abilities unlocked via a simplistic but customizable, experienced-based leveling up system. Add onto that the ability for other players to rescue you if an enemy happens to drag you or grab you, and it demands that each player is contributing in some way.

When it comes to online games, I prefer to play as a supporting character, so when I went to choose a skill, I chose to start online matches with bandages. This allowed me to play as the team’s healer when things got sketchy.

I was glad that The Blackout Club allowed me to choose a play-style instead of forcing one on me, which is always a good thing. The many ways in which each player can customize their skills and abilities make for a deeper experience.

Since the game is cooperative based only, your enjoyment will be largely based on how well you and your teammates are working together. I thankfully had some matches early on where someone who knew what they were doing helped us every step of the way via voice chat. Objectives aren’t necessarily difficult and are expressed clearly with way-points, but teamwork is essential since items are scarce and enemies can overwhelm you quickly.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

It’s challenging enough to the point where good teamwork is essential. You need to work together to survive. If you have great teammates, this game can be a lot of fun; if not, the game can get frustrating.

This game will undoubtedly be compared to games like Dead by Daylight or Friday the 13th: The Game. But The Blackout Club doesn’t feel as morose as those other team-based horror games. It’s heavily inspired by Stranger Things and its horror, more akin to Oxenfree. Overall, this lighter approach does a good job of creating a game that feels stylistically interesting.

It’s atmospheric thanks to the implementation of thick fog and high use of bloom effects. It gives the game a dreamy feel that fits perfectly within the game’s themes. Environments show flashes of detail, like swaying trees and great use of atmospheric music. I have to applaud the developers for creating a wonderfully atmospheric game that would put some other big-budget horror games to shame.

And repetition will set in after you’ve seen the same areas over and over again. The game doesn’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to cooperative, team-based experiences, but it’s a nice step in the right direction. It ends up being a wonderfully atmospheric and stylistically interesting bite-sized experience for those looking for a spooky cooperative stealth game to play.

The Blackout Club is available via the PlayStation Store, the Microsoft Store and Steam.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Check out the official trailer for The Blackout Club below:

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