Meet Your Maker is a mashup of genres with solid first-person shooting, surprisingly good base building, and a feature that lets you track and watch every player you killed while you slept. Its unique loop of raiding user-created bases to feed resources into your own is unexpectedly addictive. It’s the leveling and progression of your Advisors and Chimera master that acts like a hook, though, one that won’t let you go once you’ve bitten down.
Related: What is the exact release time for Meet Your Maker?
Why is the review in progress?
Behavior Interactive provided me with a Meet Your Maker review code before its release. However, the game relies on user-generated content to help fill up the roster of base builders and raiders. As such, I’ve written this review in progress to give you an idea of how the game feels to play based on my experience when only developers, content creators, and other outlets could access it. This will be updated to a full review once more people have had a chance to enter this murderous world and kill me over and over again.
How the blood and blocks fit together
In Meet Your Maker, you’re The Custodian — the last bastion of hope in a world where humanity has been all but wiped out. You’ve been resurrected by a Chimera, a disgusting creature that claims it can restore the human race to its former glory if it’s fed healthy genetic material. To do this, you need to raid bases in the wasteland for Genetic Material (Genmat), which will upgrade your Advisors, whose immunities help the Chimera grow. While this seems daunting at first, the game breaks everything down into smaller parts so you can keep track more easily.
Raiding is almost certainly what you’ll do most in Meet Your Maker. Your base has a map that’s split into three levels of difficulty. Once you’ve raided three bases, you’ll be able to raid a Champion Base that’s full of Genmat. The best part is that every base has been carefully constructed by another player, meaning there’s a devious human mind behind every corner and enemy you see. They’re all leveled by the requirement that a clone must be able to get from the base’s entrance to the Genmat, resulting in players never getting stuck and keeping the momentum going.
Bases can also contain clone enemies. These are vile amalgamations of flesh and technology that look like they were pulled directly from the movie Virus 1999 and at least partly inspired by the Doom franchise. The unsettling way they struggle to breathe sets your teeth on edge and alerts you to something nasty ahead. They offer a sorely needed variety to each base since traps become predictable fast. These science experiment rejects create a layer of unpredictability to each base that can cause some genuine scares when placed well. I think that as the player base finesses its building techniques, these creatures will be used to create incredibly horror dungeons you daren’t plunder.
Even when you get the Genmat, more traps can trigger, making your exit route just as dangerous as it was upon entry. I got into the habit of destroying all the traps I saw, even if they’d already been activated. This provides experience, and you get materials for upgrades and building if you destroy a trap of clone before it triggers. There are also excellent bonuses for finding flaws in a base, such as a trap that kills a clone or destroys other traps.
Meet Your Maker also has a campaign system that sees progression become just a little bit more challenging over time. For example, instead of three raids for every Champion Base you encounter, you’ll need to raid four after your Chimera reaches a certain level. While it’s hard to tell right now, it seems like the types of bases you’ll encounter will also grow in difficulty with these levels.
Can’t catch this
Related: Sony announces Meet Your Maker will be a day 1 release for PlayStation Plus subscribers
Every base feels impenetrable initially, but your Custodian is agile enough to bring them down to size after you find the entrance. A grappling hook and double jump make traversal easy, though base builders already love to work around the idea that you’ll use these abilities. For example, placing an arrow thrower far away will catch your eye, meaning you’ll shoot it. However, when you grapple to recover your ammo, a second trap to the side can trigger that you couldn’t see before. Encounters like these made me laugh more than once because I was so impressed by the base’s design. Unlike traditional multiplayer games, Meet Your Maker’s meta will revolve around trap tricks and placements, and I’m really looking forward to how these are used, balanced, and abused.
The small roster of weapons and tools on offer can be unlocked and modified to help you beat a base in no time. In most raids, you’ll be killing enemies or destroying traps from afar. A sturdy blade ensures you can tackle anything that’s too close for comfort. You can really tweak your loadout once you’ve upgraded a few of your advisors. They offer boosts that can tell you the approximate amount of traps or clones in a base and allow you to craft useful tools such as grenades or an additional spawn.
The game does support co-op, but I couldn’t try this out in time for this review. Having a second player on hand when you tackle a base would be extremely useful, but there’s something sweet about conquering one of the toughest-rated bases in the game as a solo player. Glory is at the core of Meet Your Maker, and that extends to the base building.
Building the future
Meet Your Maker is a solid first-person shooter, and it surprised me how well the base-building mechanics fit with it. Once you’ve earned enough materials from raiding, you can buy a plot of land and put together your own death trap of a maze to spite all those builders who’ve been murdering you up until now. The building interface is simple to understand and has a great tutorial to kick things off.
You’ll likely start out using basic blocks to build a small path you can fill with traps, but the temptation to add false paths with clones inside or something else more devious is too great to resist. My first base has two entrances, one disguised to look like a secret easy mode, but both are deadly. Traps are hidden behind corners and at the top of inclines, so raiders don’t notice them. Clones distract anyone entering the base, so they’re too preoccupied to notice how dead they’re about to be.
The thing that stood out to me when raiding a base was its personality. Bases that looked amazing were the ones I wanted to conquer the most, so I strived for that with my base. The real joy of base building didn’t become obvious until the next day, though. When I woke up and turned on Meet Your Maker, I was greeted with piles of XP and materials from all the players my base had cruelly curtailed in their raids. This makes the game start with a huge hit of dopamine, and you only want to improve from there.
Every raider that enters your base is recorded, and you can watch replays of their attempts to improve your traps. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a raider go through a careful, methodical walk in your base, only to be killed right as they were about to get your Genmat. As with everything in Meet Your Maker, this feeds progress because you can improve your base based on real experience.
Luckily, you can prestige your base after it gets enough kills, opening up space for more traps within its limit. This is great because it allows you to play with your formula and tweak things to offer something new and unexpected to raiders. Your base can only be raided so many times before it runs out of Genmat, and you need to go in and reactivate it, but you’ll never lose progress from a raider, which stands in satisfying contrast to games where you would suffer a more severe penalty.
Something I wasn’t able to see was the system that ranks bases that have been given the most braces. You can rank a base after you raid it, and enough braces will see a base put onto a list for all players to see and raid. I can see this encouraging imaginative base builders and hardcore raiders alike. Behavior Interactive could do so much with Meet Your Maker with systems like this; the sky is the limit, and this is the time to get in on the ground floor.
More, more, more!
Related: Behavior Interactive promises unique rewards for Dead by Daylight players who buy Meet Your Maker
Meet Your Maker manages to streamline the asymmetrical base building and raiding genre thanks to proficient mechanics across both shooting and Minecraft-style construction. It’s entertaining to play, whether you’re hoping in to check on how many people your base has killed and reactivate it or sitting down to raid for a few hours. You never want more because the game always gives you just that. The only thing I can see breaking the game is bases designed specifically to serve a certain purpose. Even these, though, I’d say have their place in a game built around user-generated content.
Behavior Interactive has promised post-launch DLC and support, much like it provides to Dead by Daylight. I can easily see a community of players and content creators growing around the game to bring even more life to it. Tournaments, base-building jams, and no-death raid challenges are just a few things that I’d love to be a part of, but there’s absolutely no limit on what players can do around Meet Your Maker. With a developer with such a pedigree and understanding of how to make a game as a service and do it justice long after launch, I have every confidence that Meet Your Maker will carve a place for itself alongside bigger titles, such as Destiny 2, for those wanting a new online game to play each day.
In Progress / 10
|+||Options for base building, raiding, or a mix of both with no pressure on pushing either.|
|+||A cruel world you long to know more about.|
|–||There could potentially be issues with repeated base formats in the future from unimaginative builders.|
|–||Not a massive range of tools for either game mode, but this could be built upon over time. 3|
|–||A daunting info dump at the game’s start might seem impenetrable to some players.|