The Blackout Club – Xbox One Review
Our Xbox One Review of The Blackout Club
There have been a lot of horror games released in the last year or so, with a rejuvenated genre thanks to the likes of Dead by Daylight, The Evil Within & Outlast. With a more saturated market comes a greater need to stand out, and The Blackout Club does that in an interesting way!
The premise of the game is unique in it’s own right. You play a teenager trying to find out what is wrong with your town… somewhere that is perfectly normal by day and weird as hell by night! You and other special teenagers in the Blackout Club wake up every morning covered in mud, with no memory of what happened the night before… Sleepwalking? Maybe… Something more sinister? Almost certainly!
The game’s tutorial acts as a backstory for the main game, which is a really nice touch. Early one you are struck with a sense of foreboding as you wander your house in the evening, and head towards a creepy TV… Upon interacting with the TV everything begins to go wrong and you learn that closing your eyes (holding Y) allows you to ‘see’ the truth. Some moments later and you discover that when you close your eyes you can also ‘see’ The Shape… the game’s main villain! Yeah, long story short, you don’t want to ever get caught by that thing! Thankfully the game also teaches you the game’s controls and they are wonderfully simple and effective. An item wheel, utilised D-Pad and button layout and the classic sprint, crouch, jump mechanics!
The tutorial also teaches you about following the path that you can ‘See’ and the kinds of enemies you will encounter. There are two main types, first are The Sleepers which are brainwashed adults, blind because of their night masks, but make noise around them and they will chase you… Take them down whenever you can and you’ll be fine. The second enemy type is called the Lucids, they can see anything in the light and don’t hesitate to hunt you down but are deaf because of the tunes they are listening to. Basically, just don’t make any noise and don’t step in the light EVER and you’ll be fine! If only it was that easy…
Thankfully there are some things to help you out. In the main game, you can join the Online community, to team up with up to 3 other players, and this is where the game gets really good!! You and your team can play through a number of open campaign missions to discover the truth about the happenings in your town. What feels a lot like Left4Dead with demons rather than zombies, you can work together to complete the campaign tasks and protect each other when the need arrives. Take note however the maps are a little small, and in building and tight spaces your ‘friends’ can also be your downfall (especially when they set off traps right next to you for giggles!).
Solo or in a group, the game is a lot of fun and the narrative is a lot more compelling than I thought it would have been. There’s plenty of hidden evidence to collect and useful traps and tools to make life easier, and you get to pick one of 3 major powers: A stun-gun(my preference), a Grappling Hook(very helpful when evading enemies and getting to hidden objects), and a Crossbow(great for shooting tranquiliser darts into enemies from a safe distance). Take time to find out which you prefer, and if you have a team make sure they are split evenly as someone needs the grappler really! Also make sure that you take the time to read all of the lore and notes too, there’s some nice little story filler for you to enjoy that I did not expect!
What really makes this game stand out from the rest for me, is a unique system that developers, Question, have included called the ‘Enhanced Horror System’. This option allows the game access your mic to record and use your reactions and breathing, in order to maximise your horror experience (they also say that they may share your reactions for entertainment purposes just FYI) and let’s put it this way the result is nothing short of terrifying! Without spoiling the experience for you, it’s one of the coolest opt-in additions to a game I’ve experienced, and it definitely enhances the horror!! If you are easily scared this may be a bit much, but I say to you all that you absolutely should try it at least once… NOTE TO ALL WHO DO: If you are wearing headphones, just be ready to get freaked out!
The Blackout Club is a game that can easily be played solo, but one that is a fantastic team game. If you and 3 friends think you have what it takes to discover the secrets of the game, and enjoy teaming up to try and survive, then I cannot recommend this enough. Forgive the slight visual glitches like a hand coming through the wall (only happened once!) because this game will have you on the edge of your seats together. Just make sure that if there is one in the party that like to prank others, or doesn’t quite understand the meaning of stealth, just make sure you stay away from their character!
Thanks to Terminals.io for the game code