When it comes to gaming genres I’ve always gravitated towards first-person shooters, always loving the competitive multiplayer nature. However, my experience with world-building games has been relatively limited, making me intrigued by their creative aspects. I’ve never thought of myself as creative and hence my avoidance of the genre. So, when I stumbled upon Meet Your Maker, I was immediately drawn to its unique fusion of these two genres, finding myself in a strange, yet exhilarating gaming landscape that felt both familiar and foreign at the same time. With my enthusiasm at its peak, this was as good a time as ever to delve into this uncharted territory, ready to conquer the challenges that awaited me.
Meet Your Maker takes players into a post-apocalyptic world where humanity is on the brink of extinction due to a devastating genetic-destroying disease. You are the custodian brought to life by the Chimera, an eerie extra-terrestrial overlord that dictates your actions. Your mission is to gather precious resources and Genetic Material (GenMat) to save civilisation. The Chimera believes that bringing it the GenMat will allow it to “take the next step in evolution”, leading to a cure. Alas, gathering GenMat is not easy, “you must kill for it, you must die for it”.
This is covered in the first and only cutscene I’ve come across, so if you’re hoping for a story-driven experience then you’ll be sorely disappointed. However, if you’re in the mood for a game that offers an exciting combination of first-person shooter and world-builder gameplay peppered with brutal challenges, then it’s time to Meet your Maker.
“You are free to make continuous attempts in Meet Your Maker for as long as your sanity can take.”
Resources are required to level up five advisors which in turn levels up the Chimera. Each is responsible for different upgrades, the advisors are Chrona (Weapons), Prota (Traps), Prosarmogi (Suits), Elipida (Hardware), and Metamorph (Guards). Gathering resources requires you to raid rival bases created by other real-world players. The player is afforded the option of selecting the difficulty of the base they raid. This lets you get a handle on your skills and toolset in normal raids before taking on the dangerous or brutal raids. The highest difficulty levels yield the most rewards but provide intense challenges, requiring planning, perseverance, and adaptability.
The offensive arsenal you’re given for raiding starts with a basic sword, gun, and grenades. Ammunition is very limited at two rounds and requires you to fetch your shot to reload, but be careful, as a wayward shot means that bullet is gone for the rest of the raid. In addition, mobility feels nice with a double jump, grapple hook, and the always-welcomed mantle.
In Meet Your Maker, you must slash and shoot your way through bases, destroying traps and killing guards to get to the GenMat, keeping in mind that you are a one-shot kill. Death sends you back to the start of the raid, removing the progress made. You can even play co-op with a friend allowing revives, if you both die though, it’s back to square one. An upside here is that there is no real penalty for dying; you are free to make continuous attempts for as long as your sanity can take.
“Once your base is devious enough, you get to sit back with some popcorn to watch the suffering you have inflicted.”
Raiding a base in Meet Your Maker gives you resources and allows for the weapon, trap, suit, hardware, and guard upgrades, providing an addictive gameplay loop of continuous improvement. The upgrades are quite unique and fun, such as a regenerating shield, flamethrower traps, and guards with swords for arms. The drawback is that at this stage, there doesn’t appear to be a wide enough range of upgrades. Fortunately, the team at Behaviour Interactive Inc. has released a roadmap that includes more upgrades in the coming months. The question is, will players become bored with the lack of depth and move on before they’re actually added to the game.
Rival players will also be attempting to get their hands on your GenMat, so you must construct elaborate bases in build mode filled with your own traps and guards to protect your resources. Successfully building a defensible base requires cunning and a keen understanding of the enemy’s tactics. Moreover, the game features a replay mode where you can watch other players’ attempts on your base to learn from their successes and failures. This allows you to tweak and enhance your defences, making it even more difficult for opponents to succeed.
Co-op extends to this mode as well, giving you an extra pair of hands to build your torture chamber. Once your base is devious enough, you get to sit back with some popcorn to watch the suffering you have inflicted upon the gaming community in complete contentment.
“Kill-boxes will become less effective as a base defence strategy in Meet Your Maker and their overuse will naturally decline.”
While Meet Your Maker offers an exciting gameplay experience, it’s not without its flaws. Some players may find the game grindy at times, and the storyline is slim as there is little to no more development after the intro cutscene. There are some minor technical issues, such as the screen freezing for a few seconds when trying to purchase an item that you cannot afford. However, these few issues I encountered were only a mild inconvenience.
One of the primary criticisms players have raised about Meet Your Maker is the prevalence of kill-boxes, which some have deemed overused, unimaginative, and unenjoyable. Kill-boxes are essentially rooms crammed with as many traps and guards as possible, creating a daunting obstacle for raiders. Interestingly, some players have found that the most effective way to navigate these challenges is by avoiding interaction with the kill-boxes altogether. Utilising the game’s grappling mechanics, these players swiftly move in and out of bases, dodging traps and guards turning the game into a post-apocalyptic Spider-Man spinoff. My hope is that as players develop their skills and learn to “channel their inner Peter Parker,” kill-boxes will become less effective as a base defence strategy and their overuse will naturally decline.
“The game’s addictive nature and potential for continuous improvement makes it a worthwhile investment for fans.”
Another point of contention within the community is the idea that players should be required to beat their own base before making it available for others to raid. However, I don’t necessarily agree with this notion, as I believe it’s possible for a player to create a base that exceeds their own skill level but remains conquerable by a more experienced gamer. My own base replays reveal a mix of skill levels among raiders. Some suffer countless deaths before rage quitting, others manage only a few deaths before tasting success, while a couple players have managed to pull off a flawless raid. Personally, I appreciate the brutally difficult but creatively designed bases that demand perseverance. Ultimately delivering that immensely satisfying feeling of triumph upon overcoming the challenge.
The game’s addictive nature and potential for continuous improvement make it a worthwhile investment for fans of shooter and world-building games alike. A price tag of $45 AUD feels more than value for money, especially if you’re a PlayStation Plus member, as it is one of the free games this month.