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Wick Review (PS4)

When there's a myth of haunting children in the woods, don't go testing it for yourself. With the encouragement of a few not very good friends, you must navigate the dark and foggy woods with the assistance of nothing but candle light. Uncover the story behind the children's past if you want, but the most important thing is that you survive until the morning.

Wick Review (PS4)

Introduction

Taking place in the foggy woods, Wick, developed by Hellbent Games, is a first person horror survival game. Originally released on PC, the title has finally made its way to consoles, bringing all the scares and dreadful exploring with it. The legend tells that if you travel into the woods alone with candle light, you'll see the ghosts of the long lost children who continue to inhabit them. Well, just as the game would have it, a group of teens decided to test the myth themselves. After showing up to the woods at midnight, they elect you to be the test dummy (they're not true friends), blindfolding you and exiting behind you. Just as you take off the blindfold and see the lit candle before you, they tell you they'll be back at 6AM to get you. The only problem with the whole plan is that you must survive the night first, but… they know that's unlikely. You can buy the game on Steam for $5.99 or PlayStation Store for $9.99.

Gameplay

As mentioned before, the game plays in first-person; and essentially as a walking simulator. You won't get to jump or crouch, and you don't have the ability to fight, only turn and run in any given direction (which you'll be doing quite often). If you've played Slender or Emily Wants to Play you'll have an extremely good idea how this title's gameplay mechanics work. The title's gameplay mechanics fit almost perfectly in the middle in regards to everything it presents and offers; you'll need to travel through the woods while avoiding randomly stalking beings. As mentioned before, the game begins with a short introduction, setting up the whole premise of the game (not that it's complicated though).

After you take the blindfold off you'll need to grab the first candle on the ground as it is already lit by your extremely loyal friends. From this point on, it is essentially a horror sandbox with fairly strict rules to surviving. Keep an eye out for more candles that you can ignite as yours will begin to burnout (sometimes it feels too quickly). Your safety is with the light, so the little glimmering points in the distance are key focus points as they are new candles. If you get stuck though, you're given some matches to keep you progressing and able to light the next candle you come across.

Wick Abandoned Cabin
The real heart and soul of the game comes with the children who haunt the woods. Your first hour will be relatively easy compared to the later hours; the longer you survive, the closer you are to dying. There is a system implemented into the game that randomly chooses which of the children will stalk and hunt you throughout each hour as it changes each time you begin one. Towards the end you'll have a combination of them hunting for you at a time. Each one has a special way they need avoiding when you encounter them. Near the start you'll find paper clues on the trees giving you hints regarding the best plan of actions. They add a great deal of difficulty to the game as you'll often need quick reaction skills in order to survive, making for an even better immersion into the constant dread and fear as you walk (and sprint).

Along with the candles and demonic child beings, you need to be on the lookout for the different items scattered throughout the foggy woods that will provide the supporting stories for the kids (the dead ones). The story aspects found within the game lie heavily with them. If you're interested in a story, there is definitely one to be found here, but it won't be in a linear style. You'll play a bit of risk versus reward to dig it all up. It could mean more replay value in chasing it all down in multiple playthroughs or it could mean frustration for others. You'll gain some narrative insight as each hour changes, as well as one of the two different concluding endings (based on your ability to hunt down objects).

Wick Ghost Attack

Sound and Graphics

It's easily arguable that the sound effects, ambient noises, and music are what makes any horror game horrifying. Wick delivers just as it should in this department. Walking through the woods is as realistic and psychologically destroying as could probably get. You'll hear movements and cracking just outside of your visible distance, the deathly howling of the wind, and the vocals from children themselves. When they want you to hear them, you definitely hear them. They'll hiss, growl, and scream for you. If you can't hear them then you may wish you could; the imagination of them quietly stalking you like prey is just as dreadful.

The voice acting from narrations and the extraordinarily caring friends who left you to die is pretty bad, but awkwardly forgiving. The teens in the beginning sound more like adults reading a script (perhaps that's exactly what the case was during recording). I say its forgiving though because it doesn't really play too much into the actual experience you have in the woods, and they do tell the story well enough to creep you out from the start. The graphics are a high note as well. It's all very simple in design as its flushed with trees, fog, more trees, and more fog. You'll find a few unique structures but they're small and somewhat insignificant, mostly just to throw something a little different in. It's a very simple design to the environment, but nevertheless, done very well with a great deal of detail. The children in the woods are horrifying to say the least, each special unique in appearance and presentation, and easily distinguishable of each other.

Wick Candle Light

Conclusion

Wick is definitely a good horror game full of jump scares and psychologically tormenting presentation and gameplay. It doesn't do anything specifically special but everything it does do, it does it really well. The audio, in all regards but voice acting, is perfect for the story and setting, and the graphics compliment it all nicely. The details to the children and the uniqueness each of them bring to gameplay will keep you on your toes as well as the system implemented into the game that will randomly throw them at you during each hour of the game (not real time hours). A playthrough will last you a few hours depending on your luck and skill regarding evasive maneuvers through the trees, and the added encouragement to find all of the story pieces mean you'll be able to enjoy it for a decent amount of time, while still having some replay value based on your personal gaming preferences. It's not an expensive game, especially if you love the horror genre of games, and was most certainly worth all the scares I experienced.

ProsCons
+ Constant fear that never lets up– Voice acting
+ Great ambient noises and sound effects– Difficulty may be unattractive to some
+ Great graphics
+ Some replay value regarding story items
7.6
Good

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