With the arrival of Stranger Things, to some extent, these adventures of eighties mysteries with young people and teenagers have become popular again. Although the Netflix series has its own video game, it is curious that there has been no attempt to do something that takes advantage of relationships between characters. Luckily, we have a title that, bets on a similar setting and a cooperative approach, although it has no link to the television program.
What the heck happening in this town?
The Blackout Club is a first-person stealth title, designed to play in teams of up to four players, although it can be enjoyed as a single-player title too. The adventure puts us in the shoes of a group of young people who try to show adults that something strange is happening. Specifically, when night falls, the entire town goes sleepwalking through the streets, and the next day they remember nothing.
The only way to convince adults is to go out at night and gather evidence, which is why they form The Blackout Club. We will not take long to discover that there is much more than sleepwalking, but there are also underground facilities and … paranormal things? The story is quite impressive, although, after the tutorial, the narrative load is quite diluted.
On a playable level, it’s like almost any other current first-person stealth game. Silence and moving through the shadows and hide, watching the amount of noise we create and move slowly. There are different types of enemies – blind with an excellent ear, enemies with a sight, drones, traps and we will have to take different approaches to avoid them.
We have several tools that are available to us; one primary weapon and selection of secondary gadgets. Each character can choose a primary tool: a laser, a grappling hook and a tranquillizer dart gun. Then, throughout the map, we find lockpicks to force doors, firecrackers to distract enemies, bandages to heal us, foam cans to walk around areas without making noise …
The characters also have their own skills that can be customized and improved as they level up through a system of skill cards. Besides, they can also be aesthetically customized. This means that, if we get together with a group of friends, we can have a diverse team to face the most complex challenges.
The first contact with The Blackout Club is sensational. The tutorial is fantastic, and the first missions become incredibly fun. The design of scenarios is quite good, with many paths to reach each objective and with exciting mechanics. Such as closing our eyes to see the road or see if something paranormal surrounds us. We are super-immersed in history, discovering the environments and the gameplay … but little by little, those feelings are diluted.
That is because the game offers us open scenarios where missions are generated randomly each time we play, and these are limited to go to a location and interact with something. It can be taking an object, unleashing a character or putting up a poster, but there is nothing else. And, of course, after doing this for several hours, these missions start repeating itself.
Playing with friends is easier to accomplish these challenges since we are talking and organizing. Although alone, you may make the same mistake over and over again. But apart, it becomes too apparent. Playing alone, by the way, we cannot self-revive if an enemy kills us, forcing us to start from the beginning and accentuating that repetition.
Visually, we liked The Blackout Club a lot. It has some ups and downs, but overall, it looks great and has an artistic style that we loved. Visuals get the right balance between realistic and cartoonish. On the other hand the gameplay: we have the above the ground section and underground facilities, and after a while, it ends up getting repetitive. At least, we are discovering new areas of the map as we level up, which motivates us to continue playing.
In sound, it is also quite good, mainly if we play with headphones or a good sound system. We will hear many noises that can give us clues as to where the enemies come from, and this is something that can save our lives.
The most interesting option is what developers call Enhanced Horror, a system that records our voice to improve terror. It is an odd mechanic that affects the dreams we have after each mission and the so-called rituals, although in our case, it has not contributed anything groundbreaking. It should be noted that, if for security you prefer not to share your microphone with the game, it is something optional.
The Blackout Club is a title with enormous potential, and we hope it will continue to expand in the future. The first hours of the adventure are fantastic, but the lack of variety in the design of missions causes you to lose interest after several hours of play. It is possible to get more distracted with friends. But it is undeniable that, sooner or later, we will look forward to getting new challenges or mechanics.
The Blackout Club definitely deserves a chance or, at least, that you keep an eye out for it if you are attracted to cooperative titles. It has some great ideas and manages to entertain you, although the length of the entertainment will depend on each player. In any case, as we say, there is something special about The Blackout Club; something that makes us want to go back.
We have prepared this review on PS4 Pro with a digital review code provided by Terminals PR.