A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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Products & Purchases
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.
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.