The Blackout Club is a co-op horror game from the people who made BioShock, Dishonored, and Prey

A kid is missing. Some of the other kids know why. There’s… something lurking in the creepy tunnels under the town, but the grownups don’t (or won’t) believe it. So it’s up to the kids to find out what’s going on, and save everybody else like it’s a Stephen King novel.

Developed by Question, a team whose previous credits include BioShock, Dishonered, Prey, Thief, and Deus Ex, The Blackout Club is a detective game that mixes Stranger Things, Maniac Mansion, and paranormal photography, with its protagonists taking on an investigation that involves some sort of “monstrous secret”, which may or may not feature actual monsters.

According to an extensive preview over on PC Gamer, that includes randomly-generated missions in which up to four players must work together to solve specific objectives.

“You see the kids standing around inside their little hideout, and you have a map of the town. All you get to choose is where you spawn in—what part of town. And as your character levels up, you gain access to new start points, more difficult challenges and narrative assets that are closer and closer to the heart of the conspiracy. It’s not really a thing that ends. It’s more Lovecraftian, where you’re struggling endlessly against the unknown, but it gets juicier, I guess, as you go further into the neighbourhood and deeper into the underground maze,” explains studio co-founder Jordan Thomas.

“The Blackout Club contacts you using a series of emojis that is essentially a code to prevent detection by the adults in town, and you can translate those into text. It says something like, ‘capture footage of a lucid dragging someone towards the red door’, so a particular enemy type and a particular mechanic. One of the players has to allow themselves to be grabbed, so the other player can get that footage on film. Narratively, that can then become proof to the world that these terrible things are going on.”

It’s out on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 next year.