The Flock Review
The Flock is a unique first person/horror/multiplayer experience filled with creatures trying to kill the light carrier, a member of the flock who has become a humanoid who carries a giant light gun. After there have been around 215 million deaths, the game will no longer be purchasable. While people may be disappointed that a game would just shut down like this the developers have already promised that the game will go out with a bang, in other words they have a special finale planned for those who have the game in their Steam library.
The game starts out with everyone playing as a creature of the flock and must try and grab the light producing artifact. Then things turn around and your fellow flock members become the enemy. While your flock monster will seem fairly overpowered at the start, it turns out that the light from the artifact is your one true weakness. If the carrier shines the light on you, you turn to ash and have to respawn. The game adds another twist in that if you hold still as a flock member you will turn to stone and become immune to the light, however as soon as you move the light can hurt you again.
While this would seem to encourage the carrier to just camp you and rack up points the game has a counter to this strategy. As the carrier you have to continue moving or else the artifact will lose power and it’s lights out. Unfortunately as the carrier you are completely unable to jump over any obstacles in your way, whereas the flock are able to jump and dive all over the place in order to gain a better position over you. This makes choosing your path along the map a lot more difficult.
The flock also have some unique traits for hunting the carrier. You are able to leave a decoy that you can teleport back to if you think the carrier is about to shine the light on you. They are also able to use a shout that will give a temporary boost to yourself and other flock members, but will also reveal your ally’s current location.
Be prepared to have some jump scares when you play this game because every single player in the match is looking for you walking around with that little light on. That is one thing that has definitely set The Flock apart from other horror themed games, in that the monsters chasing you are not simple AI that follow you around the map, instead you are up against actual thinking players who will try to outflank and gank you.
The whole idea behind this game is to stay alive as long as possible as the carrier and shine your light on blue objectives that spawn around the map. Now there is a catch with dying as a flock member that actually took me a couple of matches to realize. When you die you have the option to respawn instantly instead of waiting for the timer, however the amount of seconds left on the respawn timer will subtract that number from your current score. So if you have 75 points and decide to instantly respawn with 15 seconds left you will be down to 60 points.
Speaking of surroundings I have to say that the graphics in this game are pretty impressive considering they were created by such a small team. When you play as the flock you will notice that the game has a very grimy and dark look to it that suits your character’s personae perfectly. The levels look the way they should for this style of game, whether you are fighting in the grungy looking factory, or the wide open caves filled with statues of Flock creatures, you will find yourself admiring the work the developers have put into making the game look as creepy as possible.
Sadly after you consider all of this, you will find that you have explored the majority of the content. With only three maps to play on for the entirety of the game you are going to find that after maybe three or four hours, the game gets to be extremely repetitive. During the closed testing of this game I would have given it an 8/10 review because it seemed like a fairly cool game, however after some more extensive play on release I have come to realize just how unfinished this game is. Unfortunately the game servers were only online for an hour at a time during closed testing so it had a big impact on how much replayability I saw in the game. Considering that the game costs 17.99 CAD I can say that the amount of content in this game is not worth the price. For a game that has a limited number of lives the game is still very unpolished and buggy. There are now some incidents where you will randomly fall through the floor or get actually code string errors.
The Flock is a game that had a unique idea and game concept, however it seems the developers focused too much on the idea of a limited number of lives, and less on the game’s content. Unfortunately I cannot recommend this game for its current price due to the fact that you can play through the majority of the game’s features and content in a few hours. The graphics are not horrible for such a small team and the sound engineer did an amazing job, however the rest of the game fails miserably at being worth 17.99 CAD.
The Flock (Reviewed on Windows)
The game is unenjoyable, but it works.
The Flock attempts to create something unique by giving it a limited shelf life,however the game has such little content that the ticking timer of player lives will probably never be reached.