I went into this game with minimal expectations, and was largely blown away. We don’t see too many G.I. Joe games so this was really quite a treat. It features a single player campaign with optional local multiplayer splitscreen for two player coop.
The story is fairly lengthy, and does bring some replayability. That includes the option to have tougher difficulties, or to go back and enjoy modifiers. After completion you can select those to change things up, or even pick from additional characters for each mission.
The levels also feature collectibles, and switch things up between Joe or Cobra factions. Sometimes you’re seeing the villain perspective, not just the good old American heroes. Again, this is a fairly lengthy experience that will take several hours to work through.
Now with that, they do recycle some of the levels later on, but they do so in a way that makes sense to the surprisingly well done story they’re telling here. It has twists, turns and of course lots of heroic action as the Joes try to battle back against an intense attack from Cobra.
The various missions are also fairly varied in terms of what you’re doing, typically have a side objective and a boss fight too. As you can tell, it’s actually fairly stacked with content to engage with. Past that, there’s also multiplayer.
That’s done in up to four player local splitscreen across a selection of maps with various game types. I would have actually loved to see an online multiplayer component here, that might have been really fun to play. Still, lots of good local content to engage with.
This is a third person shooter, despite that it’s definitely appropriate for all ages. You’re mostly shooting robots and the heroes of either faction, but they always just run away which is of course a trademark aspect of the series. They chose a really neat visual aesthetic for this, cartoon like in nature and it’s quite good.
The performance was solid with only a couple minor glitches here or there, it’s surprisingly well polished. I do wish that the shooting would have been better, it’s very hard to hit foes. That’s particularly the case with heroes rushing you during boss battles, very hard to hit them at all. That causes some frustration, just wish it was a bit more snappy or at least better in terms of sensitivity for hitting targets.
With that, you do get a wide range of weapons and unique characters to use. This cast is brought to life beautifully with good voice work and a diverse group for either faction which was most certainly appreciated here. You can also replay levels with additional choices afterwards, since this is coop driven you’ll also always have an AI partner if you don’t have a real friend, sorry if that’s the case for you.
The AI partner is helpful, actually taking out foes though I did find them somewhat annoying at times since they’d get in my way and deflect my shots back at me such as in terms of rockets. Past that, I did find this at times difficult due to the sponge nature of enemies, just keep that in mind. Aside from infantry based missions there are a few vehicles ones too, those are nice gaps to mix the action up a bit.
G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout is a surprisingly solid experience providing a decently lengthy campaign and some quality local splitscreen multiplayer options. I really was genuinely surprised by the narrative here, it’s very well done and has some cool surprises. I liked how cinematics were handled, and the delivery of the story.
It uses the characters well, and I think it has potential for perhaps more sequels to follow it. This is definitely on brand with the legacy of the franchise, and it’s a generally solid game. It brings a good amount of content, and with further polish I think a sequel could truly deliver on this vision. It’s got some neat designs that feel right for the characters and I liked the voice work.
It’s basically seeing the original visions coming to life and I think the developers really did care for this IP. You can tell that in this one, it’s quite fun to play and I had a good time with it. I’d definitely be interested in seeing more based on this release. With that, it offers some replay value and good local multiplayer action if you have friends to enjoy that with.
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G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by Sandbox Strat