Meet Your Maker is Behavior Interactive’s latest title; they are known for Dead By Daylightwhich popularized the genre of asymmetrical horror and managed to garner a huge, passionate fanbase.
Meet Your Maker is a gameplay-first sort of title and it explains the story very briefly. The gist of things is that a plague wiped out almost the entire planet, and you now work for a chimera that may be the salvation of the human race.
The chimera, however, still needs to evolve by being pumped with genetic material, which you will need to steal from other players. So that’s mostly it; you want to defend against other players, and other players want to defend against you.
Meet Your Maker
Developer: Behavior Interactive
Publisher: Behavior Interactive
Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Microsoft Windows (Reviewed)
Release Date: April 4th, 2023
The way to defend yourself is by building your own base, which serves as an obstacle course that leads to your genetic material. The goal is to keep players from reaching the end of your level and escaping successfully.
Every level in Meet Your Maker is another player’s base, making the game’s stages entirely user-generated. This would normally spell disaster, but Behavior has gone to great lengths to make it impossible to create an unbeatable level; more on that later.
Players can design structures in whatever way they want, adding traps and guards in whatever layout they see fit. One peculiar thing is that players don’t actually need to complete their own levels to submit them, which means that anything you create can be published as long as there is an available path to your genetic material.
Meet Your Maker plays unlike any other FPS due to the way that most levels are designed. Traps will be cleverly hidden above or behind you, most of the time in a blind spot, and this forces the player to move through levels in the most paranoid way possible.
I never looked at walls, ceilings, and textures in any other game as much as I did in Meet Your Makerbecause paying attention will be the difference between life and death, especially since the player dies in one hit.
Due to the nature of user-created content, Meet Your Maker doesn’t exactly have a difficulty curve; it’s more of a difficult roller coaster. Some levels will have you stuck for an hour, while others you will complete in less than two attempts.
Players will usually build their base in one of two ways: the first is through a linear level that will twist and turn to catch you by surprise; the second is what’s called a “Killbox”. The Killbox is a level usually comprised of one or two rooms with an insane amount of traps inside, meant to overwhelm the player.
The objective of your base is to rack up as many kills as possible, which makes it so players can’t build levels that are actually fun to play, instead turning creativity into murderous intent. This does end up hurting the enjoyment of the levels, though.
Traps and enemies can also have modifiers attached to them, which can be used to change how they work. The most common one you’ll find on enemies is plating, which defends them from melee attacks and requires a headshot to actually kill them. Plated enemies are very famous in the Killbox designs because the starting weapon shoots with an arch, which makes sniping them from a distance excessively difficult.
That said, the game does have a visual indication for when a trap has activated or an enemy is firing at you, as well as an explosion radius for bombs. These small quality-of-life additions give the player some fighting change against an onslaught of weaponry and enemies.
Almost all traps are able to be destroyed, so this leads to some levels where you just spend a while breaking traps and slowly progressing through an insanely difficult room. This icy pacing that some levels impose on the player makes for some really uncompelling gameplay.
Technically, you can beat every level, but that technicality a lot of the time comes at the expense of fun. Players have asked Behavior to make beating your own level a requirement for publishing it, and they said the following:
This is similar, if not directly connected to the killbox debate. Our goal has always been to give players the maximum amount of freedom possible to create their Outposts. The greater the freedom the greater the possibility of the creations. Obviously, this can come with some risk.
We had reached a point where ‘impossible’ outposts were extremely difficult to create and so we felt confident with allowing players to build what they want without having to play them.
I believe that Behaviour’s hubris on the subject will eventually catch up to them. Meet Your Maker is a few months old, and players will eventually be able to cook up some impossible designs. As of right now, however, what they said is true: I did not run into a single level that was unbeatable; a lot felt like they were, but just required some tedious tactics to get through.
The player is given two weapon slots, which can be filled with either a ranged weapon, a melee weapon, or a temporary shield. There are unlockable weapons, and they can all be evolved to squeeze a little more out of them.
Meet Your Maker plays really well; it feels fast and responsive, and it also has a grappling hook, which instantly makes the game an 11/10. Moving through levels with the grappling hook is a blast, and it will usually be the tool that stands between your life and death; mastering it is basically a requirement.
There are also gadgets that can be built to make progressing through levels easier, like grenades and a pod that allows the player to resurrect once, which helps in those killbox levels. Building these gadgets takes materials, however, so try not to spend everything attempting the same base over and over.
After clearing out a few levels, which the player can sort between categories, champion outposts are unlocked. These champion outposts are some of the harder bases, and completing three of them evolves your chimera.
The game does have some slight issues with framerate and people are affected differently by it; some experience crashes, while others play through the game mostly fine. I definitely noticed some levels were more prone to frame drops, most likely due to the number of objects some makers add.
Meet Your Maker has a pretty fun gameplay loop and hasn’t been broken by players so far. At first, I struggled with it, but started having a lot of fun once the game actually clicked and I became less awful at it.
It’s a game that I pop into almost daily to do a few runs and build up my base bit by bit. It basically has an infinite amount of content, and it’s always interesting to see the types of levels you’ll find, whether they’re meant to impress you or break your spirits.
Meet Your Maker is a pretty unique take on user-generated content; you will have to stoop down to its level to enjoy it, but it offers a delightfully masochistic experience for those willing to bash their head against an obstacle until it breaks.
Meet Your Maker was reviewed on Microsoft Windows using a game code provided by Behavior Interactive. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. Meet Your Maker is available for the PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Microsoft Windows (through Steam).