The concept of user-generated content has been around for quite a while at this point. If a game can sustain itself based on the input of its own community, well, that's a win-win, right? Create something so engaging that the audience will make more to keep the good vibe going. Obviously, this doesn't always work out, but when it does, it's awesome, and players always surpass creative expectations. Meet Your Maker is the latest attempt at this — a sci-fi action game that has players building trap-laden Outposts for others to then try and raid for resources.
It's this core loop that holds everything together. After going through tutorials for both raiding levels and building them, you're free to pick through user- and developer-made stages. Your task in each one is to pass through dingy Outposts in the middle of a post-apocalyptic desert in order to find and steal GenMat — a precious material needed to help restore human civilisation. Essentially, you need to get in, find the GenMat, then get out again, and the custodian of each stage will have installed multiple booby traps and guards to prevent your success.
Once you do clear an Outpost, you're rewarded with the GenMat you took as well as a bunch of other resources. It's these materials you'll then use to begin building your own levels, not to mention upgrade your weaponry, traps, and other equipment. The two halves of Meet Your Maker feed into each other perfectly, meaning there's always something you can do that'll help one aspect or the other.
Raiding Outposts, then. By default, you have a bolt gun for ranged attacks, a sword for melee strikes, and a grappling hook to help you get around. All of these will come in handy as you enter a level, but initially there's no way of knowing what to expect; traps could be anywhere. Despite comparisons to DOOM, we've found the game to be quite slow paced. Rushing into an Outpost will likely get you killed, as traps may trigger from all angles, or you'll run into a well-hidden guard, and one hit from any source means death. It's far more effective to approach a stage carefully, keeping your eyes peeled for traps on the walls, floor, and ceiling as you make your way inside.
After you've played a handful of Outposts, you'll begin to recognise what traps look like, and how to deal with each enemy type. Even playing cautiously, there are times you'll be caught out by well-placed defences, but once you've been through a good number of levels, you start to learn what to look out for. The result is that Outposts start to feel very similar despite their differing layouts.
Most of the traps are embedded into surfaces, and most of those will trigger when you're close enough. Protruding spikes, bolts, flames, bombs, and more can trip you up. Once you know what they look like, though, you can destroy them and they'll pose no further threat. Enemy guards are harder as they're moving targets, but go down easily too. If you play carefully, you can make it to a level's GenMat unharmed, and then it's just a case of getting back out and leaving. Traps can be set to only appear after the GenMat's been picked up, but you can either take these out methodically or just book it back the way you came and you should be fine. Though all Outposts are technically unique, they end up feeling very one-note.
There are tougher levels that seriously ramp things up, and these are more engaging. However, while these more difficult Outposts can be more fun and more cleverly designed, they can step over the line into unfair death boxes. Levels in Meet Your Maker are tedious if they're too easy, frustrating if they're too hard, and from our experience so far, there aren't many that thread the needle. It doesn't help that they pretty much all look the same; all bland rock, corroding metal, and dreary lighting.
On the bright side, building your own levels is pretty easy. After securing an Outpost, you can fully customise it using large blocks, then fill it with traps and guards to meet the minimum defences required. As long as there's an unobstructed path to the GenMat, you can set the level active and have players attempt to invade it. The whole process is pretty intuitive, and a decent tutorial gets you through the basics effectively. Over time, even with the game closed, your Outposts will earn you XP as players make attempts on them, and you can go into edit mode to see all their points of death, where they've dropped yet more resources for you. It's quite satisfying to see which of your devilish tactics have caught people out.
There are a number of XP bars, things to level up, and stuff to upgrade, and it can all get a bit confusing. The gist is that beating levels will go towards levelling up the Advisors, characters in your base who can upgrade your gear or unlock new items, as well as grant you time-limited perks. Once an Advisor reaches a new level, you can then level up the Chimera, the monstrosity at the heart of the operation. You'll want to visit the Advisors regularly to see what you can upgrade or unlock, as it all goes towards helping you raid levels or build more devious ones of your own. Currently, there's a lack of variety in weapons and suits, but we imagine there's more to come down the line.
Having put in many hours exploring user-made levels, we're left feeling a little disappointed by Meet Your Maker. Again, the core idea is great, but each Outpost's tricks already feel too familiar. In short sessions, the game can be entertaining, and constructing your own levels and watching the death count rise is definitely gratifying. However, the game overall has a problem with monotony; the creation tools allow for quick and easy Outpost production, but the trade-off is that pretty much every level looks and feels the same. Because of that, it's difficult to recommend.
Meet Your Maker's core premise is very strong, but the game's aesthetic and samey levels currently don't live up to that vision. While it can be fun in short bursts, raiding Outposts can quickly become tedious, although building your own stages for others to try is more fulfilling. Unless Behaviour Interactive can deliver much more variety in both gameplay and tools available to players, this game already feels like it's reached its limit.
Definitely going to give this a shot as it's free on Plus.
EDIT: Gave it a shot last night. An interesting take for the story. I can't tell if it will be good or not. It teeters on the edge of fun and frustrating. I can definitely see the points made in the review above. I think a saving grace for it may end up being the grappling hook. I think when I try building, I'll be making the user have to work on their grappling skills.
Will definitely try the level creation was my favourite thing to do in far cry 5
Downloaded earlier, looking forward to trying it out this evening.
Really like the concept, if they give players enough tools and keep the updates coming, might be a surprise hit.
Mario maker 2 always amazed me with the creativity and sadism of the gamers out there. Hopefully this gets the same sort of support.
I was much more excited by Tails of Iron and the Boy Sack than I was by this but I'm definitely willing to try it out for free. Looks interesting and I'm expecting some pretty intense creations 😂
Good to know I can skip downloading all three Essential games once again, like almost every month. Extra makes up 95% of PS Plus nowadays. Luckily Extra is great.
Playstation Access are going to be playing this tomorrow on their stream and inviting people to send them levels to try and beat. I'll probably watch to see what it's like but can't imagine it's something I'll play at the moment.
I doubt this will be able to keep up the player base
Enjoying it a lot so far. Surprisingly enjoying the building side of it too. People are way too quick to hate.
I am all about action-packed, hollywood-like games with great story (Like most PS exclusives). So this game isn't very attractive to me.
Tried it, gave up pretty quickly. The slow pace, one shot mechanics and encouragement to hide said one shot traps around blind corners made it feel less like intense shooter, more like trial and error simulator.
Might play it if user-generated content makes the Plat quick and of trivial difficulty. Easy pass otherwise.
This got uninstalled quicker than the rat game (a Soulslike with ploddish movement - no thanks). No Interest in Sackboy so that wasn't even given a go.
"Score Pending" ??? You are affraid to give it score? Ohh wait! What score, while developers were too lazy to make some at least short story, huh?
This was a miserable experience, tried it for an hour and just Nope, see also that Ratborne game, felt like my controller was about to break just moving about. Pretty dreadful month!
it’s from behavior so nobody should expect much at all .
french devs got a good rep of dropping mediocre to bad games
We have it much better than Xbox people. Gwg is a travesty at this point.
Pass from me this month
@djlard As I mention at the end of the review, I’ll be giving the game a little time out in the open before I settle on a final score. Given the game is geared so much towards its users and what they create, it would feel weird to base a score on what a handful of people came up with pre-launch.
@Deemo37 I really like Game Pass though (I also have a Series X). Perhaps because this is my first Xbox and I hadn’t played any of those games.
Watched a guy play it,killed in one shot then long load times. DOA unfortunately.
This game sounds like an extended take on Let It Die's base defense mechanics. Sounds like a good idea to release it on Plus for the extra players, so let's hope it finds success.
@Quintumply But that is bit unfair towards other devs, who put hours into making at least something. Little Big Planet is also heavily based on users creations, but devs pre-made solid platformer. Waiting for users creations is like judge miniature for it's buyers painting, not by shapes modelled by producer.
@djlard I'm not sure I follow, to be honest. If you're suggesting I score Meet Your Maker on the few levels they had ready during the pre-launch window, that seems wholly unfair given that player-made levels are the entire point of the game. Allowing a few days or so gives users some time to get acquainted with the game and make some levels. Basing the review on that — rather than levels made by the game devs and some journalists — will be a far more accurate assessment of what to expect from the game.
@Quintumply Than make POLL and give it score based on voting. Result will be same - users decide.
I looked at a few streams of this several days ago and it didn't really interest me that much honestly.
I very much disagree with this review. I am having a lot of fun with this game. It's always exciting to see other people try and like my outpost that I worked so hard on building. Trying some of the creative outposts made by others is a lot of fun, too.
I have about 10 hours in and I absolutely love it. Logging in to see how many people died by my traps is addicting. Upgrading and rearranging my base is fun and easy. I do agree about the art style it's very very drab.
I played about an hour and that was more than enough. I am sure some ppl like this kind of gameplay/mechanics but it's not for me.
" I couldn't I just couldn"t" MakersMark 4/4/2023
Tap here to load 29 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...