Meet Your Maker is the next title from Behavior Interactive, the creators of Dead by Daylight, and while it ditches the horror genre, it retains the company's identity. Imagine if Mario Maker merged with Indiana Jones and was wrapped up in a bizarre and disturbing post-apocalypse where humanity is on the brink of extinction: that's Meet Your Maker. And while the concept works, it does feel light on content, and it certainly won't be everyone's cup of tea.
The gameplay of Meet Your Maker may be the most divisive. Raiding is an art that appreciates slow and methodical movements and inspects each corner before proceeding. I loved the stress of navigating the labyrinth of outposts and weighing each choice before moving forward. There's only so much ammo to find, and I could die in a single hit. This put pressure on my decisions and forced me to approach traps strategically.
However, this limited how I could play the game. FPS shooters are typically met with strategies such as run-and-gun, camping, and more. With Meet Your Maker's focus on avoiding traps, I was forced into a slower playstyle. While Meet Your Maker isn't a traditional shooter, restricting how I could play the game, or at least having a single optimal way to play, led to a one-dimensional experience.
Meet Your Maker's social premise is one of the main pillars of the game, but it lacks the necessary depth other titles, such as Super Mario Maker, have. Players are limited to a select number of outposts, and more are added when completing a raid. You can spend some of the in-game currency to refresh the list, but this can be frustrating if you are stuck with challenging levels. The way levels are broken down could also be reworked, as having just the three tiers of levels without additional tags lumps them all together.
But even more frustrating is the search function, as it only seems to work if an outpost is designated as social. I had a colleague search for a level I created using the in-game name and my gamer tag, but he could not locate it. I even searched for one of the outposts on my raid list but could not find it with the search function. This is a problem for a game that encourages sharing and playing levels. It forces you to choose between letting players discover your level organically or only allowing it be found through searching.
Related: Best Weapons in Meet Your Maker
Meet Your Maker has a fascinating world that made me want to dive headfirst into the lore. Players take on the role of Custodians, guardians, and raiders of outposts. The primary purpose of the Custodian is to steal Genetic Material from other outposts to feed the Chimera in their outpost. This bizarre and alien creature is the lifeblood of humanity, which has now plunged into near extinction. The designs of the Custodian, Chimara, and guards feel like an otherworldly post-apocalyptic experience that makes the world feel unique.
Where the aesthetic suffers is the actual design of outposts. Everything is blocky, with the three options being square, ramp, and corner piece. You can plaster different textures and designs on these, which helps, but this does little to alleviate the layout and shapes. These do not change the effect of blocks, traps, or paths, but instead provide cosmetic makeovers. As cool as the world is in Meet Your Maker, the actual gameplay of building and raiding pales in comparison.
Meet Your Maker falls flat in overall creativity. While the player ultimately decides how to design their outpost and how it can be defeated, the options available for building feel limited. There are a handful of traps and guards, which can be modified, but it feels like I ran into the same idea repeatedly. This may be fixed organically as players discover new combinations, but the toolset seems sparse and needs more options.
This is furthered by the number of kaizoesque levels I encountered. The challenge in this amounts to stacking the most annoying traps and enemies on top of each other rather than actual creative challenges. Rarely did I meet a challenge that didn't amount to facing several Plasma Sentries or Hornets just placed in a group. This was frustrating rather than challenging.
However, the few times I encountered an ingenious setup, I genuinely enjoyed figuring out how to overcome this obstacle. Increasing the number and types of traps and guards will go a long way to improving creativity and extending the game's life.
The worst offender in restricting creativity in Meet Your Maker is the harvester. You cannot alter the path it travels through the outpost when building. This forces you to build around it. I understand that it shows the fastest route to reach the Genmat, but it should still be able to be changed. As it is now, you have to work around this path, limiting your freedom in designing traps and your outposts layout.
Related: Check out Siliconera's review of the indie title, Chained Echoes.
Verdict – Wait for more content before joining the apocalypse
Meet Your Maker has the makings of a fun game, but it feels more like a concept or an early-access release. Behavior Interactive has announced a roadmap with additional content, but the full release feels lacking, with a limited number of traps, guards, and weapons. The restriction on creative freedom also hurts this exciting idea. Overall, Meet Your Maker needs more content and more ways to play and build more creatively.
A free copy of the game was provided to PGG by the publisher for review purposes.