The Blackout Club – PC Review
The Blackout Club, where you can play through your own Goonies or Stranger Things character through were the kids are the heroes. The Blackout Club is very much a horror game where the neighborhood isn’t what it seems. Cultists, zombie-like adults, secret underground lairs? What the heck is going on here?
I highly recommend playing the tutorial/prologue. It helps jump you right into the story, get some lore, understand the setting, and get you used to the gameplay mechanics. Just know that the way the game plays in this prologue is not the way it plays in multiplayer.
The game starts you off with creating a character. customization is a little light at first until you unlock and buy more options. Once you start you are in your boxcar base. This will allow you to change your characters look, weapon, and skills. You can form a team, look at the servers to see whos playing and what game you can either join or create one. It’s a fun little lobby that adds to the experience. Once you get set up and ready to go, the boxcar will open and you just need to run out to join the game.
Once you join, you have some points of interest. You have the neighborhood, escape point, houses, and underground. You will always start above ground. You will then have a quest to start which you will have to start exploring the dangerous neighborhood to complete it. You’ll need to sneak into houses, finding ways in that do not create noise or create ‘sins’. A sin can be making noise, taking down an enemy, kicking in a door, among a few others. You will usually have a side quest to gather things, such as posters or fireworks that will grant you extra XP if you complete the main quest. Oh but it’s not as easy as running in and grabbing things and running out.
There is a slew of enemies around. Sleepers are the adults of the neighborhood that are asleep but possess sharp hearing and hate hearing loud noises. They will swarm towards noises to capture whoever that is that made it. Lucids are similar to Sleepers but can see and have flashlights so you can’t hide in the dark. There’s also The Shape…Jesus Christ this is scary. If enough ‘sins’ are committed The Shape comes. The Shape is scary as shit. For one it’s invisible and can only be seen when you close your eyes (in-game). The Shape also tracks the player that has created the most sins. So if you don’t create any, you may be ok for a bit. But when The Shape catches you, you will become Sleeper-ish and wander around the neighborhood until another player comes up from behind you and snaps you out of it. Oh if you manage to avoid it long enough, it gets pissed and grows wings to come after you quicker. Yeah, it’s no joke.
As I mentioned before, there is also underground. It is where the mission items need to go before the mission is complete. You can only access this area from certain grates in houses or metal doors on the ground in some backyards. There are also a ton of enemies in this area just waiting to stop you. You will need to use teamwork and your skills to complete the mission. Then if you are able to complete that, you have to get back out, alive, and then make it to the extraction point. Whew.
Horror and Action fans will enjoy this game. You also level up your character, which will make you more of a force to be reckoned with. This will also expand the neighborhood for more challenging missions. It basically adds more houses to go through in the neighborhood. There are some issues though. The map NEVER changes. It’s a similar layout with a different spawn and exit point. This also means the spawn points for items never change. Sure they may be in a different location, but you can just search the spawn points and not the whole house and move on. I was able to get into some games with more experienced players, they did the main quest so fast, I just worked on the secondary one gathering things while they dominated the main quest.
The enhanced horror mode is creepy as all hell. It will record your voice throughout your game, and then during little cutscenes it will play for other players. Usually, it’s nonsense, but sometimes its really creepy. Only your voice is recorded and you have an option to not allow it to if you don’t want that option.
Another problem I ran into was the lack of players 3 weeks in. It may be different now that it is out, but I tried playing on a Friday night and it was ghost town city, granted you can play alone, it not as fun…and scarier.
Overall it’s a great idea that’s missing something, at least to me. I’m not a horror fan, at all. The atmosphere is there, the scary-ass bad guys are there, maybe it’s too easy? It doesn’t take long to learn which is great for a non-horror fan but I feel die-hards may crave a little more.
Note: GameOctane editor Jason Germino received a digital code for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
Check us out at Opencritic!
+ Horror setting is there
+ Enemies are scary and panic-inducing
+ Some RPG-ish elements and character customization
+ Co-op and voice chat work great
+ Enhanced horror recording is creepy as hell
- Item spawns are typical, experienced players know where everything is. Challenge diminishes.
- Possible lack of players
- The game may need more than character customization for the endgame.