Of all G.I. Joe's gaming forays, the one that left the most lasting impression on me was in the RTS-lite "Toy Soldiers: War Chest."
The understated, milquetoast "G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout" may not do much to move the needle in terms of brand recognition, but is able to parlay the feel and look of the characters in that game into an action-heavy shooter.
Developer GameMill Entertainment hit its modest expectations with a serviceable, spectacle-free slice of fan service.
Most of the draw comes in the 17-mission single-player campaign. Twelve characters who span the comics, toys and animated series pop up in major roles, playing on the nostalgia factor for all it's worth.
Leading the Joes against the world-dominating Cobra terror organization, you use an array of machine gun fire, grenades, power moves and old-fashioned melee moves to slaughter your way to glory. There aren't many surprises in store, but there's something comforting in the mindless, unchallenging combat.
GameMill understandably skirted online multiplayer in favor of couch co-op and competitive combat. It's hard to imagine rustling up three other people who care enough about the game to tangle in standard capture the flag, assault, king of the hill and deathmatch formats. But if you can supply the people, the game has got your back.
While "Operation Blackout" doesn't reinvent G.I. Joe as a viable gaming franchise, it doesn't embarrass itself either. If you're a lifelong fan of the goofy characters and paramilitary antics, you'll feel right at home here.
Publisher provided review code.