- System: PC
- Publisher: Question
- Developer: Question
- Release Date: October 30, 2018
- Rating: NR
- Genre: Horror, Action
- Players: 1 (online 1-4)
- Official Website: https://www.blackoutclubgame.com/
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
The Blackout Club has players entering a town that has been engulfed in a dark situation. At night, the adults end up controlled by what seems like a mind controlling entity and only the teens are kept from immediately being consumed. Once the night ends though, the teens and adults lose their memories of the night prior leading to many not believing in the bizarre incident. When one young woman tries to capture proof for The Blackout Club—the few teens who believe in the issues plaguing their town—is captured by what is known as “The Shape,” the club decides to gather their own evidence and bring this event to light! That’s where you come in. Your job as a new member of The Blackout Club is to team up with others, find clues and survive the night. Accomplishing this might seem simple and far from horror, but The Blackout Club does horror in ways we’ve never seen before.
Similar to games like Left 4 Dead, The Blackout Club has up to 4 players teaming up to explore mazes, places that look like the town but are altered in odd ways. Every maze tasks the players with accomplishing one of several missions that range from capturing evidence via your in-game smartphone or performing rituals to lessen the power of the shape. You’ll need to rely on your own wit, teamwork and skills/items to accomplish said tasks and avoid being captured or worse…being brainwashed yourself. You’ll have to sneak around various parts of the map to avoid the brainwashed adults and also rely on tools like crossbows with tranquilizers, stun guns and even fireworks. Tools are the coolest part to The Blackout Club as a strong team will utilize one of the several tools to all play a crucial role. You can have one player rely on stealth as they silently take down enemies or you can have one player be the guy who breaks into various areas with lockpicks and grappling hooks. No tool in The Blackout Club feels underwhelming and each can be used in various ways.
Outside of tools, as players level up from successful missions, they gain points to allocate towards skills. Skills in The Blackout Club range from takedown abilities to the ability to hold more items or even use items more efficiently. Just like tools, skills can really change the tide of survival for a well-prepared team. It’s important for players to utilize both elements to avoid being taken from the enemies which will end a team’s run quickly. Speaking of that, since we talked about the elements of gameplay, we haven’t gone into how playing The Blackout Club actually feels. We saved that for this moment on purpose though as it’s the best part of the game.
When playing The Blackout Club, you have to avoid two big things: being captured by the enemy—they will literally drag you towards a red door—or being brainwashed by the shape. In regards to being taken, while roaming around the mazes the AI will be on the prowl waiting for you to make too much noise or activate a trap. This is when you’ll either need to run for your life as fighting isn’t a great option—you’ll always need to use stealth takedowns or use tools—and should be considered a last resort. Then you have the shape which adds the darkest element of The Blackout Club…closing your eyes…
The Blackout Club has two rather distinct elements that keep the horror alive even when playing with friends or random players. The first is the so-called shape which lurks at random times. When prompted and the shape appears you can’t actually see it or hear it. You need to close your eyes—that’s an ability in The Blackout Club—and scan around seeing its yellow glow. Its legitimately terrifying at times even with your friends around as one touch or grab means you’re under its control and lose the ability to move or do anything. You’ll need an ally to come and snap you out of it. Add this to a possible traitor—when you reach a specific level you can betray your own allies—and you’re always wondering who can be trusted and who is secretly trying to get you brainwashed.
As great as The Blackout Club is though, it is an early access title meaning there are some issues. During not one but several games, we were crashing and we would find weird glitches scattered about as we played. The Blackout Club still is an early access title though. Thus, these issues are common place and Question seems to be aware of the various issues and try to fix them constantly. That’s why we’re sure the final build—that releases sometime this year—will be quite polished and won’t have these issues. We just make note of it now though as you’re still paying to play The Blackout Club.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Excellent use of innovative gameplay ideas that keep tension high and allow for various objectives to be accomplished
- Solid graphics
- Goals in game keep mazes fun to explore and make same romps through environments from feeling repetitive and tedious
- Great ambiance
- Tools and gadgets all have different uses that never feel underwhelming or unnecessary
- Still has a lot of glitches and game breaking bugs
- Could use some different tasks for random missions