Review – The Blackout Club

We’ve seen a lot of games clearly influenced by Stephen King being released lately, especially those revolving around groups of kids tackling the supernatural. The Stranger Things game is an obvious example, as well as RAD, even though the Stephen King influences in it are a lot more subtle and hidden behind layers of neon, synthesizers, and unfunny jokes. The Blackout Club is the latest game in this trend, a team-based stealth horror title clearly influenced by works like IT and even a bit of Stand by Me.

The Blackout Club starts off perfectly. The introductory level puts you home alone while being chased by a wicked creature called “The Shape”, a monster that can only be seen when you close your eyes (you actually have a button for that). A great start, as the house is small, the corridors are narrow, and you don’t have a lot of places to hide inside. It’s tense, it’s off-putting, it’s what a horror game should feature. Sadly, that’s just the intro level. The rest of the game is nowhere near as suspenseful. What started off as a horror game quickly becomes an objective-based stealth title.


I really don’t think firecrackers will help you remain hidden from your enemies…

After that first level, you’re thrown into the real world of The Blackout Club. It’s an ever-growing pseudo-open map in which you explore and complete randomized objectives, such as finding an item, using an item on an specific place, and so forth. Given the fact you’re a bunch of kids who have all witnessed The Shape helping each other, you’re not going to fight the power or overthrow the government. This isn’t KND Kids Next Door.

Besides The Shape, you also need to avoid being attacked by sleepwalking adults and what I can only imagine being brainwashed people. I say this because their eyes are open and they just hunt you around for no comprehensible reason. You can defend yourself with a handful of items, such as tasers or tranquilizing darts being shot out of a crossbow, but combat is not enforced in here. In fact, it’s best to just hide and do everything you can without getting caught.

Given the fact that the objectives in this game are randomized, that obviously means that there is no linearity and no proper storyline to be followed. After the fantastic intro level, the game just becomes even more bland than freaking Wolfenstein Youngblood in terms of storytelling. In fact, The Blackout Club reminded me a lot of Youngblood if that game didn’t have any combat at all, because all of the unnecessary features of a potential “live service” are all present in here.


Totes adding this to Instagram. #spooky #likeforlike.

Playing the game online can be fun, but it really removes all of the nearly nonexistent tension from the environment, as The Blackout Club is only really scary when you’re alone and helpless. Asking for help and telling exactly where you are just isn’t scary in my books. Playing the game by yourself, on the other, is completely unrecommended. It becomes a grindy chore and a lethargic experience. You’ll need to redo missions over and over in order to level up. Doing everything by yourself, while more interesting in the “scary” factor, just turns the game into an even more annoying experience than it already is.

There’s not a lot I can praise about The Blackout Club besides some decent visuals and an occasionally good voice acting performance, especially in the introductory level. If the game was designed to be a tense single-player experience like its first thirty minutes, this could have turned into a cult hit. Sadly, being yet another average multiplayer game in 2019 doesn’t make it stand out from the crowd. Being yet another game influenced by Stephen King and Goonies doesn’t do any favors, either.


Graphics: 7.0

The overall visuals are decent, with a good usage of lighting (or lack thereof) and some creepy imagery. None of it is really impressive though. The game also features some live-action segments, but they don’t mix with the rest of the game at all.

Gameplay: 5.0

It’s your generic stealth horror game. The best bits of gameplay are featured in the introductory level. The rest of the game becomes an uninteresting loop of avoiding brain-dead enemies in order to complete randomly generated mundane objectives.

Sound: 6.0

Some good sound effects here and there, especially regarding one of the monsters constantly chasing after you. There are occasionally decent bits of voice acting, but the rest of the game’s sound design is uninspiring. You’ll also barely be able to pay attention to it while playing online with chat support on.

Fun Factor: 4.0

Despite the good introductory level, The Blackout Club quickly becomes a boring and grindy stealth game that’s absolutely not scary, especially if you play it with friends.

Final Verdict: 5.0

The Blackout Club is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Reviewed on Xbox One.

A copy of The Blackout Club was provided by the publisher.