What happens when the atmosphere and humor of Portal meets the gameplay of Painkiller? You get something like SickBrick, a recently released first person shooter for PC and Mac. However, while SickBrick is filled with promise, it’s nowhere close to justifying the ten dollar price tag.
SickBrick is a Portal parody through and through, from the evil AI mocking you throughout SickBrick‘s many short levels to the mysterious wall grafitti telling SickBrick‘s story. When it comes to the story, there isn’t much to say, as most of it is scribbles on a wall or an occasional log you can pick up, but its nothing to write home about.
SickBrick only gives you five weapons: a chainsaw, a shotgun, a lightning gun that functions like a machine gun, a grenade launcher, and a rocket launcher. Due to the low variety of enemies, you don’t have a need to use different weapons for different situations, with one or two notable exceptions. Enemies explode into chunks, but don’t show any damage as you fire upon them. No sparks, no flying machinery, nothing. This mixed with the lack of interesting weapons makes enemy encounters feel very unrewarding, to say the least.
Shooting is broken up by a few vehicle sections, where you control tanks with a myriad of different weapons. The problem is that the tanks control like geometric messes, taking too long to turn and much to hard to straighten out. What results is an annoying mess that does nothing but make you wish you were back to shooting the robots again.
However, once you get to shooting SickBrick‘s handful of enemy types, it won’t take long to notice that SickBrick is pathetically easy. I can count the amount of times I died on one hand, and most of them was due to grenade launcher mishaps. You can tank damage from all of the enemies, which is good because the default weapons will never manage to kill them before they get in a good hit or two.
On the plus side, combat can be very fun, albiet easy. Your character can bunny hop around the battlefield as you open fire, leading to a very Painkiller-esque feeling at times. You can strafe around SickBrick‘s robots and unload lead with ease, so I have no complaints there. However, your normal movement speed is a tad slow for my tastes, especially considering it’s an FPS.
See, SickBrick‘s biggest sin is its length. Sickbrick lasts maybe an hour or so, and there’s not much room for exploration. In fact, SickBrick tries to make up for its short length by offering you an achievement for finishing SickBrick five times, which is just ridiculous. SickBrick has little replay value as the cherry on top, considering it’s extremely linear.
See, the real shame of SickBrick is that its quite fun at times. During the hour or so of play I had plenty of fun blasting apart robots, but I just can’t recommend SickBrick for the price tag. It’s too short, too easy, and the vehicle sections are abhorrent. If you ever see SickBrick at a very low price, I’d have no qualms in recommending it, but as is, SickBrick just isn’t worth it.
This game was purchased by the reviewer and reviewed on the PC platform.
A decent shooter that's just way too short for the relatively high asking price.