Behavior Interactive has shifted gears from Dead by Daylight and applied its asymmetrical horror style to Meet Your Maker. What we get is a bizarre mix of Super Mario Maker, Tomb Raider, and Super Meat Boy that left me feeling like a post-apocalyptic Indian Jones—and dead, there was a lot of dying.
But dying is wrapped into the fundamental aspects of Meet Your Maker. Every death is a learning process during raids. Each run in Meet Your Maker has you raiding player-made outposts to steal precious genetic material to feed to your Chimera, a terrifyingly beautiful creature that powers your base. This genetic material powers everywhere, and this highly sought-after component propels the two aspects of Meet Your Maker; raiding and building.
Regarding raiding, levels are broken up into categories depending on their difficulty, ranging from normal to dangerous and finally brutal. You can swap out your loadout upon reaching the outpost, allowing you to alter what weapons and gear you bring in. This is crucial, as each level is hand-crafted by players and caters to certain challenges. You may encounter more traps in one level while another throws waves of enemy guards at you.
I quickly found myself diving into the levels labeled brutal, and while I died often, the thrill of methodically sweeping corners for hidden traps or making last-second decisions that saved my life kept me hooked. I thoroughly enjoyed discovering new traps and combinations, some of which I made a note to use in my outposts.
However, this creativity can be a double-edged sword, as I often raided an outpost that can only be described as a kaizo nightmare. These outposts would simply layer traps upon traps or cluster the area with enemy guards, reducing the level's challenge to what can only be called unfair and impossible rather than actually difficult. While this may appeal to some players and harken back to kaizo Mario Maker levels, these put me off of raiding. Meet Your Maker is in beta access, so I imagine there will be more ways to curate levels and avoid playing these in the full release.
But while I took a break from raiding, I threw myself headfirst into building the second I unlocked this feature. The creativity that Meet Your Maker allows players to express brought me back to my days of playing Forge in Halo and designing levels in Super Mario Maker. The level editor included options to place traps, blocks, enemy guards, and even had a generous amount of cosmetic pieces to decorate the outpost.
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My favorite trap is easily the claw trap that shoots out a mechanical claw that reels the player in. On its own, this trap doesn't pose a threat. But it can be combined with other traps to kill the player, such as triggering the bolt shot trap or dropping the player into a vat of acid. This is only one of the many possibilities you can create in Meet Your Maker, and I cannot wait to see how the community combines traps to create clever death puzzles.
Meet Your Maker also incorporated the community into raiding and building. After each raid, you can vote on the outpost, selecting from adjectives such as fun, brutal, ingenious, and artistic. This helps sort the level and gives you an idea of what you may encounter when looking at an outpost's stats. This applies to your own outposts, allowing you to see where and how raiders died when trying to steal the genetic material from your levels.
Overall, Meet Your Maker's early access left me incredibly hopeful for the future of this game. Behavior Interactive has found a great balance in Meet Your Maker's gameplay, encouraging raiding and building to continue along the upgrade path. You learn more about the traps as you raid and discover new ways to implement them into your outposts, enhancing your skills at crafting death traps no Custodian can escape.