The Blackout Club Is Not Afraid to Try Something New

Aug 20, 18  | posted by GameRaiding (1128)

you and your friends will be hunted in 2019

For those interested in horror games and unique co-op experiences, a small game called The Blackout Club should be right up your alley. Chances are, that title is a foreign one, but it is definitely one that will stick with you upon hearing about it. Though some of the ideas have been done before, this somehow still manages to be new.

I know this sounds vague and confusing at this point, but that is mostly because I’m confused. The reason for that is this game is familiar yet alien all at the same time. It is a co-op horror game that is procedurally generated. Try wrapping your head around that. Procedurally generated horror is difficult under the best of circumstances. Throw in co-op, and you start to think the development team has gone insane. Yet learning about the game has convinced me that they may have perfected this formula.

The developers are certainly going bold here and considering there are only about six people on the team, that is risky. But this is a team that knows what they are doing. The people involved have previously worked on huge games such as Bioshock, Dishonoured, and Prey. That gives me a little more confidence that they can make this ambitious project work.

In the game, you play as a teenager who is experiencing blackouts. You have woken up in a whole manner of strange places with no recollection of how you got there or where your bumps and bruises have come from. As it turns out you are not alone. There are other kids going through the same thing, and so, as so often happens, a friendship forms. Things turn a bit more sinister when one of the friends goes missing, so tormented and confused teens turn investigators to find out exactly what the hell is going on.

What they find is a labyrinth of secret tunnels under their own town and the adults they knew can no longer be trusted. The goal is to go through the town by night and slowly unravel what is happening in this town. There is also someone who is far more dangerous than any adult you can encounter. He seems to be called The Boogyman and he appears to be the one responsible for all of the strange goings-on.

As you skulk around under the cover of darkness, he will be searching for you, much like Slender Man. Any adults that see you somehow let him know of your exact location. There are also security cameras that will do the same thing. The people can be knocked unconscious and the cameras hacked through the use of your smartphone.

There is one other way of the Boogyman finding you, and that is a traitor teenager. It is possible to enter the game as a spy and ruin other player’s nights. The goal is to pinpoint the exact location of the other players without getting caught. If found, the other teens will knock you out.

For the non-jerk teens, the objectives change every night. That is the procedurally generated part I mentioned earlier. The town itself stays the same because these kids are supposed to live there. What changed are what you have to do and how to get to previously seen places. Sometimes a door will be unlocked, others climbing in a window might be needed. Enemies will also be in different places from night to night as will security cameras.

The objectives can range from recording suspicious activity on your phone to freeing people who have been captured. There is no over-arching story per-se, and the objectives are endless. Instead what you do is try to max out your character by completing objectives. What happens after you fully level up a character has not been revealed. The objectives are where there are choices to be made. When an objective is completed, you have the option to bank your XP by ending the night, or continuing on and completing more. The rewards will be greater, but so will the risk.

Getting caught by the Boogyman will render you motionless, but your friends will be able to revive you. Twice. The third time you get caught, you die and your XP and hard work are gone. It’s not an easy call to make. Oh. And did I mention the Boogyman is invisible?
There is only one way in which the Boogyman can be seen and it is by closing your eyes and letting yourself “blackout”. You can then see a shadowy figure and how far away he is. Horrifyingly, that can mean he is right next to you and you didn’t even know it. While in that blackout mode, you can’t see anything else in the world around you, hence why the co-op is going to be so important.

The Blackout Club is proving to be an ambitious project, but one that sounds amazing so far. There is a lot going on making unraveling the mystery that much more intriguing. There is no release date set in stone and it’s possible the game will wind up on early access. However, the full game will come out sometime in 2019 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

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