Slenderman strikes again! Or should I say… men? Women? Kids? Slender kids? Ahhh, here we go. WICK is a title that I was actually pretty intrigued with. The idea of a candle as a sort of stress timer creates a lot of tension while rushing through the dark foggy woods. I just wish there was more to the gameplay than a now well trodden path of hunt and find and hide and seek.
The game starts off rough. First, you sit through a loading screen to get to the start menu. That’s fine, I thought to myself, I just started the game. Next, I’m greeted with a start menu… with an unfortunate taste in fonts. It’s nothing to gripe about, but coming from a minor graphic design background, I just didn’t find the font to tell the story of the game too well. Felt… off. After the title screen, albeit minimal, I am taken to yet another loading screen! After that loading screen I was taken to a black screen with some pretty ‘eh’ voice acting info dumping me as to why this black screen perspective of a blindfolded punk kid is being dragged out into the spooky woods to survive for a night. After the blindfold is removed you are left alone.
And this sets up a really nice ambience. You feel like how the kid would feel being left in the woods: lost and confused. Plus, your mind is most likely traversing some pretty dark paths because of the tale told to you by your punk ass friends (if my friends made me do this I would kindly say “hell no”, but then there would be no game).
The audio cues are definitely creepy and as you encounter certain set pieces throughout the forest you can tell a sort of story from minimal context clues and it’s very nice… But not for long! Because usually you are met with some creepy kid ghost demon screeching at you and chasing you through the woods! And if you are low on candle light, look out… stuff goes south fast. These moments really had me engrossed in the experience.
The jump scares are scary enough, but I’m afraid that’s all there really is: dramatic audio cues happen and something pops onto screen in a flash. The only problem is when that seems to be the only trick, changing the shape or the audio cue isn’t enough to instill fear shortly after you begin playing. I was more stressed out to find another candle so I could see what the hell I was doing… Though heavy fog is the name of the game here. The chasing moments are by and large the main encounter you face as a player throughout the experience. And being helpless with no weapons adds to the dread.
But… I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve played this before. The simplicity is welcome to the horror experience, you don’t need a lot. The original little Slenderman game proved that. But that game was free. And honestly a bit more effective.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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