The world can be a scary place for a teenager.
The Blackout Club is the new indie title from Question Games with serious Stranger Things and It Follows vibes. If you consider yourself a real horror aficionado, this is one title you need to check out as soon as you can get your hands on it.
Day two of PAX West and The Blackout Club is one of the most odd, visually intriguing and unnerving horror-esque titles that we had the pleasure of trying out. The game begins with a bit of story-driven narrative to get you to the heart of what’s going on — although it doesn’t make a lot of sense…in the best possible way.
So, What’s Going On?
You are a teenager (or teenagers – it’s co-op!) from a quaint, modern town. Aside from the usual small-town gossip, there is one major problem: sleepwalking. Each morning, people find themselves covered in scratches and mud upon waking up — with no memory of the night before. However, this isn’t normal sleepwalking. People are losing memory of entire days. Your only comfort is knowing that there are people just like you, and despite the fear, it has bonded you with your group of new friends.
Your group of misfit friends has decided to start investigating the nightmare you have all been living. An investigation is no easy task as a teenager, especially when no one believes you — not your parents, not your teachers — no one. But why don’t they believe you? Well, they are the ones sleepwalking with no recollection of doing so. What’s more, there is no concrete evidence that something weird is happening. You and your friends dub these sleepwalking episodes BLACKOUTS; and thus, The Blackout Club is born.
The Shape Will Follow
Like most horror games, there is a monster(s) involved, and like many monsters, the rules and regulations are quite clear. In The Blackout Club, you are dealing with The Shape. For you Dead By Daylight fans — no, it’s not Myers. In this game, The Shape is more of an otherworldly entity, and the bad news is that you can only see him when you “shut” your eyes. He is not visible to the naked eye, and moves very slowly, almost taunting you as he comes in for the kill. The key is to stay quiet and unseen to avoid catching his attention.
From what I understood in the short demo, The Blackout Club is like many stealth-horror games in that, at its core, you are sneaking around trying to complete objectives while staying out of sight of The Shape. If you are a Hello Neighbor fan, it is totally the same adrenaline rush.
Another interesting tidbit — the areas in the game are procedurally generated and randomized. If you die and come back to an area, windows that were open before might be closed now or areas that were open may be barricaded. This makes for a VERY challenging gameplay mechanic that is very similar to The Last of Us when avoiding Clickers and likewise.
We weren’t able to delve too far into the plot, but the driving narrative in The Blackout Club is that one of your friends in the club gets abducted, and it is up to you and the rest of the gang to find and kill the Demogorgon. Kidding. Evidence must be collected, proof must be uncovered and bonds must be tested in order to find out what in the world has happened to your once peaceful small town.
The Blackout Club was one of the titles I most anxious to see at PAX West 2018, and it did not let down. Aside from the dev team being comprised of talent behind the BioShock titles and Dishonored – two of my favorite games – the gameplay was also intriguing. When I played it, there was still some work that needed be done, but what I saw was outstanding and better than I was expecting. The atmosphere is creepy and uncomfortable in the game almost immediately and sets the mood just right. This is a game to keep an eye on for sure and I can’t wait to see what this game is made of upon launch.