GI Joe: Operation Blackout

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
GI Joe: Operation Blackout Game Poster Image
Bland, forgettable third-person shooter in cartoon universe.

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Positive Messages

This is purely a fictional third-person shooter based on the G.I. Joe universe, and clearly not realistic, but you can play as both sides of the conflict. The goal is to kill enemy soldiers (human and robotic), which might not be considered very positive either.

Positive Role Models

In this game you can play as the good guys (Team G.I. Joe) or the bad guys (Team Cobra). All the characters from the TV series, toys and movies are in the game, including G.I. Joe himself, as well as other men and women. There's some racial and gender diversity in the character roster.

Ease of Play

The shooter game is intuitive and easy to pick up, but isn't as comfortable or responsive as other action games. But novice or younger players shouldn't have an issue controlling this game.


This is a third-person shooter in which players engage in military missions as either Team G.I. Joe or Cobra. Combat's the name of the game, with several weapons including guns, laser blasters, turrets, tanks, and explosives to battle enemies (human and robotic). That said, there isn't any blood or gore during the gameplay, but some scenes and comic book covers show weapons with blood on them.


This game is based on the G.I. Joe universe, which includes toys, comic books, TV shows and movies, and licensed video games. Some of the comic book covers are in the game.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout is a third-person shooter for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox Series X/S. The game lets you play as the good guys (Team G.I. Joe) or the bad guys (Team Cobra). Action's mostly about combat against humans and machines/robots, where you'll use weapons, like firearms, blasters, explosives, tanks, and turrets to take down enemies. There's very little blood (mostly in some unlockable comic book covers) and no gore, but the gameplay is almost all violence. Characters and content also pulls from the rich G.I. Joe universe, which has spanned toys, movies, TV shows and other items.

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What's it about?

G.I. Joe and Cobra are back in GameMill's G.I. JOE: OPERATION BLACKOUT, a team-based third-person shooter based on the iconic G.I. Joe universe. This time around, players can choose to play as favorite characters from either the Team G.I. Joe side or from Team Cobra. Of course, on Team G.I. Joe, you're tasked with defending order, while Cobra is bent on world domination. The game offers a dozen characters (six per side), and each characters has its own unique abilities, such as Roadblock's immense strength or Storm Shadow's quick agility. Other characters include G.I. Joe, Snake Eyes, Duke, Cobra Commander, Destro, and others. G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout has 18 weapons, but twice as many weapon skins, along with a dozen alternate character skins. You can also hop into the legendry G.I. Joe Persuader and Cobra H.I.S.S. tanks, and battle across some familiar environments, such as Cobra H.Q or the USS Flagg aircraft carrier. Players can explore a single-player campaign (totaling 17 missions), or with a friend in local co-op, or compete in 4-player PvP local matches in four distinct multiplayer modes: Capture the Flag, Assault, King of the Hill, and Deathmatch Arena.

Is it any good?

Sentimentality for the franchise aside, gamers won't likely get much from this lackluster shooter, which is unimaginative, repetitive and lacks depth across the board. Sure, fans of the G.I. Joe universe will like the frenetic action in G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout since you get to play as both sides -- which is one positive feature this game has going for it. But despite the differences in abilities per character, everyone can use all the weapons, so it doesn't really matter who you're playing. Plus, controlling the characters and weapons doesn't feel great. You can have auto-aim lock on, but it doesn't always choose who you want to fight, and manual aim can be cumbersome. Because shooting is very important here, the developers should've worked more on the controls and enemy A.I. (artificial intelligence).

Local co-op proved to be more fun, but after a few minutes, the wave-after-wave attacks of enemies grows tiresome. Sure, there's some minor tactics and strategy required, and the unrelenting fast pace is great, but the novelty wears off quickly. Vehicles like tanks can be entertaining also -- even if you're on rails -- but it, too, gets dull. What's more, there are no character upgrades, plot twists, or surprises that would have made the game more memorable. Visually, the cartoon-like game isn't impressive, but true to the animated series' look, and G.I. Joe fans may like the familiar characters (with voice acting), locations, and storylines. But despite it's nostalgia, accessibility and low price tag, G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout just isn't worth your time or money.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout affected by the fact that there's no blood or gore shown in the game? Is it a problem when the focus is shooting or blowing up human characters in battle situations?

  • How does nostalgia affect your interest in playing a game based on a classic franchise? Does it make you more interested in playing the game? Do you have your own ideas of how the game should be presented based off the show?

Game details

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For kids who love action

Themes & Topics

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