30th Nov2020

‘G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Phil Wheat

I was sooooo looking forward to the latest G.I. Joe video game. I think I was one of the few that actually enjoyed their last console outing, the movie tie-in come sequel The Rise of Cobra, and remember putting in some solid hours on both the PS3 and Wii iterations… And as a Joe fan, any chance to play a video game featuring the franchises iconic characters is always welcome.

Well it was welcome until now.

What the hell happened? It can’t be that hard to make a third-person shooter can it? Judging by G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout it must be VERY hard. Because this is one of the worst third-person shooters I’ve ever played.

On paper it sounds great. G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout sees players take on roles of 12 characters from the G.I. Joe Team or the Cobra Command, including Lady Jaye, Snake Eyes, Scarlett, Duke, Roadblock, Storm Shadow, Destro, Baroness, Cobra Commander, and Zartan. So far so good. The plot sounds equally as good: “During a attack on the USS Flagg, Cobra has managed to take over the world by creating a device called the Blackout Sphere, which knocked out all electrical equipment across the globe and claimed Cobra’s victory known as “C-Day”. Now the Joe’s are being hunted down by Cobra and must figure out where their leader Duke is being held, find the other teammates, and take back the world from the enemies clutches.”

What’s not good is THE REST OF THE GAME!

Why? Well G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout suffers from having some of the worst controls in video gaming. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to even say some of the worst controls EVER. It’s terrible. Honestly. My main issue is actually shooting the enemies… It’s like shooting a cat on a hot tin roof. Enemies run left and right to keep out of your aim. Speaking of which, there’s an option in the game to have auto aim on. The controls are so bad, it never feels like its on. Ever. Even when you use the bloody aim button!

Graphically the game looks basic too. Which I could forgive if the gameplay was there but it’s not. Bad controls coupled with repetitive third-person run and gun gameplay does not good game make. And the melee system makes things even worse. I think the biggest issue with melee combat is having to move your character, move the camera, and then attack enemies who move faster than a speeding bullet!

And – now at first I wasn’t sure if it was my Switch or not but multiple play throughs in docked and handheld modes confirmed it – melee combat literally BROKE THE GAME on multiple occasions. Characters would get stuck in melee position poses, the camera stuck over their shoulder and there was no way to switch back into run and gun. On some occasions you could get your weapon out but… it wouldn’t bloody fire! Which meant it actually took weeks to get anywhere in this game. Weeks for what should have been days worth of play… Stopping and restarting, loosing progress when the game breaks.

All of which means there’s absolutely no way I could recommend this game (at least the Switch version) to anyone, not even die-hard G.I. Joe fans – the sheer amount of frustration the game delivered, the ONLY thing it deliver mind you, makes this a chore to get through. You be better of spending your time with one of the myriad of other shooters on the Switch than pay good money for G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout.

One to avoid.


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