The Blackout Club review – a tense cooperative horror hampered by a sleep-inducing grind


The Blackout Club review – a tense cooperative horror hampered by a sleep-inducing grind

The Blackout Club is a co-operative crouch ’em-up that sees up-to four players assume the role of wily American teenagers who form a backwoods society dedicated to figuring out what the heckin’ flip is wrong with their neighbourhood. Why do they keep waking up in strange places with blood on their clothes? Why are their parents sleepwalking in the street at night? And what is that weird-ass music emanating from underneath their homes? A lazy person might describe it as Thief meets Left4Dead. A lazy person, but also a correct one.

Setting up their headquarters in an abandoned rail-carriage, each night sees your teenage team embark on a mission into the neighbourhood to learn more about the mysterious entity invading your dreams. These missions are usually a combination of two randomly selected objectives, which could involve anything from putting up Blackout Club recruitment posters to following a trail of blood and seeing where it leads. You start out scouting the neighbourhood itself, but you’ll almost always end up venturing beneath the houses, into a warren of white-walled tunnels simply known as “The Maze”.

Developers Question have a strong heritage in immersive sim design, with credits that include Bioshock, Neon Struct, and Thief: Deadly Shadows. This heritage is apparent both in the style and systems of The Blackout Club. The neighbourhood’s endless night is drawn in a rich, saturated palette reminiscent of Rapture’s bloom-lit architecture, where the sky is a deep-ocean blue and each light is glaringly bright, emphasising just how visible you are when illuminated by them.

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