Plucky teens are out to spy on a mysterious cult of somnambulists beneath their town in The Blackout Club, a cooperative first-person sneaker which entered early access today. It’s the second game from The Magic Circle developers Question, the studio co-founded by BioShock 2 creative director Jordan Thomas and Binfinite FX fella Stephen Alexander. Up to four players will sneak around town on missions to record evidence with their pocket telephones, dodging the sleepwalking adults, gathering handy gadgets, and evading a monster which can only be seen when you close your eyes. Well that’s just great, isn’t it.
I do like the setup, turning nights into terrible times where parents, neighbours, teachers, and other trusted figures become our enemies. They don’t know it, awaking with no memories of the night’s ambling, but that’s perhaps worse. So off we go, investigating across procedurally-generated missions with objectives to sneak into places, uncover what’s up with the cult, and record evidence with our pocket telephones.
As you might expect from a studio with immersive sim roots, we can get around the neighbourhood by clambering, vaulting, climbing ropes, using grappling hooks, and other such larks while playing with gadgets like lockpicks, flashbangs, and tranquilliser darts. That good immersive sim stuff. I cannot get enough climbing and tranquillising.
The Blackout Club is now on Steam Early Access for £15.49/€16.79/$19.99, which includes a 10% launch discount.
Question say that the world in The Blackout Club’s initial early access version is only about one-third the size of the planned full map. They plan to launch The Blackout Club in full in 2019, expecting they’ll spend 3-6 months in early access while they finish up and polish. Plan include putting more possibilities into the procedural mission generator, rolling out new story bits, and expanding customisation options. They also plan to add a Dark Souls-ish invasion sort of PvP, where a ‘Stalker’ working for the conspiracy will join the mission to record players so the ominous invisible baddie comes after them. The Magic Circle went through early access too, so Question do have experience here.
I know our video squad have been playing Blackout Club but mishaps and antics mean I have nothing to show you on that front right now. Hold tight.