Meet Your Maker, like Dead by Daylight before it, is a game you dream about. It combines a simplistic formula with a high skill ceiling to hook you in and keep you thinking about it. It's one of those games your mind lingers on when you have a moment alone.
It's also a game with a lot of holes. Where there are tonnes of maps to take on and traps to find, there are only a few suits to try on. Though it is filled with progression systems, many of them don't quite lead anywhere yet.
So far, Meet Your Maker feels like a game I really want to get into a year or two from now. I want to see what the community is capable of when they finally sink their teeth in but I've gotta hope they've seen the same game I have.
Reeling you in
Meet Your Maker is set after an extinction event. You are a custodian, looking after the Chimera, the last human project - an experiment trying to make a human capable of withstanding the harsh wastelands of your dying planet. You have to grab genetic materials which are used to further study what has gone wrong.
You get these materials through two central methods: Raiding and creating bases. Both are necessary components of the game but you start to slide into one as your primary way of engaging with the game. This is mostly down to the game's economy and progression systems.
In your base, you have the Chimera, a base of operations to pick the next outpost you raid, a replay screen to watch deaths in your bases, and a handful of operators who are focused on specific aspects of the game. One may focus on upgrading and buying new weapons while another is all about the traps you can build. The resources you get are spent on all five operators so you have to decide if more traps or a better suit are where you want to sink your resources.
That said, a good raider is someone who has built bases, and the best builders are people who know how to raid. Like the killer/survivor dichotomy of Dead By Daylight, you are organically incentivised to try out every aspect of the game and you're rewarded for doing so.
I started out raiding. In this, players are tasked with making their way into someone else's base, grabbing the genetic materials (genmat) and making their way out again. Unfortunately. Fortunately, mods for traps and augments for guards mean you never quite know how the next trap will operate. Where some may explode after you destroy them, others are only visible on your way out of the base.
There's quite a bit informational gap between you at the start and you after just a few hours with the game but it never feels overwhelming. It doesn't hide its mechanics behind esoteric stats or secret formulas - Meet Your Maker thrives in its relative simplicity. It allows players to understand it quickly but never quite get how everything works together.
Making a base a home
Once I raided a handful of bases and could afford some upgrades, I started building my own. Bases cost different amounts to buy depending on the size and resources allotted to them. Smaller bases can only have a certain number of traps and blocks and this will define the approach taken.
When they are active, you start to drain resources from the planet itself until that area is entirely depleted. If you manage to kill enough raiders and get enough players, you can then prestige your base, allowing you to continue farming resources with a higher capacity to add new traps and blocks.
You are informed of players' attempts at your base and can even watch back the full replay of their attempts. This is an excellent system that allows you to hone and define your base - getting rid of underperforming guards and catching players out when they feel at their safest.
Learning from your mistakes
Very early on, I placed translucent but deadly corrosive cubes near my genmat so players could watch over the outpost they have just raided. I thought this would be a cool way of letting raiders see how far they have come.
I spotted in the replays that one player managed to beat the base on their second try within a minute or two. Turns out you can use a built-in grappling hook to go straight through the cubes to the other side. This is a wonderfully organic shock that cements what works about Meet Your Maker.
It lets you feel like a designer, besting speedrunners who are cocky enough to sprint through all your deadly traps. I soon figured out that the best way of getting lots of kills isn't to try and actually kill players, it's just to slow them down enough to get caught. Despite seemingly simple mechanics, the players add a layer of complexity that is impossible to fully understand.
A community worth building
Though the game is designed with asynchronous multiplayer in mind, there are defined cooperative elements that add quite a lot to the experience. You can build or raid outposts with a friend which gives you another mind to throw ideas but also another meat shield to soak up spikes, bolts, and shots.
Though I may like to take a bit of a speedrunning approach to raids with the grappling hook and blade, it is just as fun to sneak through tight corners with a friend, guessing where the next hit could come from.
Unfortunately now, with over 20 hours into the game, I feel like many of the processes are starting to lose their steam. Upgrade paths have now slowed right down and I don't know if I see much to work towards. Though the Chimera is levelling up and I'm gaining resources, I don't quite feel like I'm invested in what I'm working towards. We have to wait until the community gets their hands on it to see if it's worth a long-term investment.
A copy of Meet Your Maker was provided by the publisher.
For more articles like this, take a look at our Reviews and Meet Your Maker page.