Originality is the key to competing with mainstream titles these days, an approach that up and coming game developers and designers should utilise more. New titles don’t have to be original from scratch, but they should contain innovation, and promote a new aspect behind the concept of an idea. There are lots of ways to take an idea and run with it. Pack it with quirks, add some new mechanics, change the style and most importantly nail the gameplay. Do this and you’re onto a winner.
The Blackout Club is one such title that’s original in its form, develops an idea and put’s its own spin on it. The game has a truly well thought out concept. A game based around stealth, role playing and hide & seek. Jam packed with objectives, and a mystery to investigate, all with an element of action and adventure thrown into the works.
Just picture the message behind the game, and its chilling theme… It took your friend; they say it’s not real. Cops, teachers, parents, it walks among them. Together, we can find her…. friends to the end. An intriguing and captivating plot, a storyline straight out of the style of Stranger Things…. Goonie-esque if you will. Have you got what it takes to believe, when no one else is listening? Will you answer the call and join the club? The Blackout Club.
The Blackout Club is a stunning first-person co-op horror game for 1-4 players, exploring procedually generated missions against a fearsome enemy, a monstrous beast that can only be seen with your eyes wide shut. The game is based around a group of teenage friends exploring, investigating and searching for evidence of a monstrous secret that lays beneath the crust of their tiny town.
At night the town falls silent and just when you think the days done, the mystery begins to unravel. In The Blackout Club you will discover, that things really do go bump in the night in this not so sleepy town. Every night, everyone in the town is awakened, they are out of there bed sleepwalking. When the morning arrives, the folks of this quiet town have no memory or recollection of the events of the night past. Just what happened or where thy went no one knows.
However, some teenagers in this town woke up during these so-called blackouts, and what they experienced was frightening. Imagine finding yourself in the woods or on the train tracks with no idea of how you got there…. Well this is happening, and no one believes these kids. I mean yikes, you have it drummed into you by your parents, teachers or even the cops to be open and up front with things. And just when something horrible, unexplainable is happening, there not there for you. They don’t believe a word that comes out of your mouth, where’s a kid to turn too?
It’s times like these when you take matters into your own hands, and join the club formed by teenagers alike to get to the bottom of it, the club dubbed The Blackout Club! It’s up to you to record the evidence and prove once and for all this is indeed happening.
Unfortunately for the clubs members, things go south, and the realisation that this danger could possess a real risk to life is rammed home after the recent disappearance of a close friend from with in the club. The sleepwalking is now beyond strange and could be deadly.
Now’s your time, you and your friends must join forces in order to overcome these strange powerful forces at work. Using your quick thinking, and light feet, you must tread carefully trying not to draw attention to yourself. Gather all the tools a teenager can find, from drones, noisemakers, spray cans, to grappling hooks. Use anything at your disposal to trick the adults and move them out of position, whilst attempting to complete scenarios, and the objectives on hand. Take out your phone, snap a pic of the evidence, and then get back to the tree-house where you can share it with the world, and prove once and for all, that this is happening, and it’s not a hoax.
The Blackout Club, uses procedural elements that move the goal posts. The objectives change, the enemies vary, as do their positions. The loot and your stash boxes are in different locations within each scenario, which makes for an interesting proposition, as no two nights in the neighbourhood are ever the same.
The game has a fantastic setting and concept, featuring a compelling story. The idea of a modern Horror set in a beautiful friendly neighbourhood full of houses and woods is an interesting addition, factor in the blindness, the monster and the mysterious network of maze-like tunnels flowing underneath, and you have the stuff of fantasy novels. The game features some excellent tight co-operative gameplay full of suspense, thrills, and chills, with an amazing drop-in and drop-out multiplayer, that keeps the game flowing.
Each night there’s a new adventure waiting for you which is constantly changing in accordance to the player level and progression of its players. There’s a freedom within the game, allowing players to explore the game at there own pace. Stick to the path of the mission or go off track and hunt for all the bonus content throughout the different levels. This all adds to experience of The Blackout Club, giving the game longevity and rewarding players for the efforts for going that little bit further.
Along with the game’s richly-simulated world and its style, there’s a clever character growth and customisation area back at the tree house, where you can spend your hard earned level points and unlock new clothing, hairstyles and gestures. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s the option of a power-up, or the ability to acquire an item right from the get-go. If I was you, I would go for the lockpick!
The game is full of scare moments, but there are none scarier than that of what you can’t see coming, and The Blackout Club works this feature wonderfully well. Should you make to much noise and draw attention via some heavy footwork for example, then “The Shape” will come for you, so make yourself scarce, and hide. I love the idea of the only way to see “The Shape’s position is to close your eyes, this in itself leads to some precarious moments.
All and all, The Blackout Club is a lot fun, full of action, but with a heavy emphasis on stealth and teamwork. At this point I shall point out that the game can be played on your own, but for the most immersive experience I suggest, you grab a mic and join in with the other online players of the game, as that’s where the game comes into it’s own.
A unique game, with a fantastic setting, a great concept and a brilliant atmospheric approach to what is best described as a modern Horror with a twist.
- Concept and atmosphere
- Procedural elements
- Freedom to explore
- Needs more unlockables
- Could be smoother
- More maps please