Since the rise of Stranger Things (and the return of classics such as the Goonies) it appears there’s a market for media that centres on trouble yet loveable youngsters dealing with the forces of Darkness. Just think of IT as well and there’s prove the formula works. Now there have been games similar to this concept but The Blackout Club embraces and turns up the amp to 11 in order to create an utterly devastating beast. Or does it?
Let’s find out.
The Blackout Club centres on the town of Redarce, a quiet place that harbours a sinister secret. As the residents, mainly the young children and teens are waking up in strange places after they fall asleep. The parents (obviously) don’t believe there’s anything wrong (bad parents) and choose to go about their normal lives. Yet a group of teens decide to investigate further and unfortunately disturb the forces of the unknown. Well, it’s time to solve a mystery!
Players will team up or go at it alone in this first person mystery. Levels are randomly generated and set within a twisted version the town of Redarce. The overall goal for the Blackout Club is to record data and investigate the mystery at hand. Things aren’t going to be easy as there are various things that go bump in the night trying to stop you.
I will say that The Blackout Club does a great job at setting up an unnerving vibe and an intense atmosphere throughout the journey. Even the introduction mission is terrifying. From the paranormal threats, to the unnerving changes to the scenery, The Blackout Club delivers on the horror and ramps up the tension endlessly. I will say that some areas of the game’s presentation look a little rough. Some of the live action stuff is a naff and certain visual effects seem under polished. But the creativity behind the monster designs, the world and the supernatural presentation is excellent.
The bulk of the game revolves around the group of teens exploring the twisted town, attempting to avoid the creatures which hunt after you or fighting them off as long as possible. You can do this with various items and gear you can acquire or fall back on plain hiding and sneaking around. An interesting dynamic implemented in The Blackout Club is that certain enemies (well many of them) can only be seen when the playable character closes their eyes. This allows you to see but also ensures you hardly move as well. You can run, hide and wait for the chance to move. It’s enthralling and with the great sound design backing up the action, it’s horrifying (in all the best ways possible).
The journey you can take with three friends is pretty enthralling and the story has the capability to add more to that feeling, if it had gravitas. The story is fine, but could’ve much more interesting as after the tutorial; it lacks any major developments and twists. It has certain moments that will throw you off guard but it just doesn’t excel as the core gameplay does.
We’ve had many four player co-op games come at us before, and many of them have failed. But The Blackout club has tapped into something that could inspire the genre into a direction. It’s not perfect but it’s a damn good game to play with friends that harbours some interesting mechanics, intense horror atmosphere and a decent story (which could’ve had more going on) which will fall well with Goonies or Stranger Things fans. Definitely worth checking out!
++ Intense horror elements
+ Dynamic co-op gameplay
- Some unpolished elements
- Various bugs and minor technical glitches
A PS4 copy of The Blackout Club was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.