Behaviour Interactive has excelled at the multiplayer 4v1 format with Dead By Daylight . Now in Meet Your Maker , it’s an excellent asynchronous game featuring levels created by other players. Consider it a more deadly and gruesome version of Super Mario Maker . The game operates off of three pillars: building, raiding, and upgrading. You can focus on one or the other, or straddle between both for maximum effectiveness, but both modes of play are really fun. The genius lies in the tools Behaviour Interactive gives you to not only make hellish layouts, but to outwit what others have made and come away with the core of the facility alive. Meet Your Maker is a frustratingly good game that will have you coming back for more pain and punishment from strangers around the world to attain a successful extract, even if you die trying.
The premise, as much as the game is willing to fill you in on is that you’re a custodian of the Chimera, an entity encased in a glass tube that’s meant to be humanity’s last saving grace. You take the Chimera to a sanctuary, and upon activation, work with a group of people to help save humanity. From here is where the game takes over, and is the asynchronous gameplay of raiding or being raided. You’ll be first given a series of territories, and once you’ve claimed one, then you’ll build an outpost for others to raid. At the center of every outpost is a genmat (genetic materials), and the main rule is that the harvester (the bot) can’t be blocked from reaching it. You’ll have the opportunity to test it and fine tune it as you see fit.
As you set up the outpost, you’ll define the path that you want the raiders to follow. Then, traps can be simple like shooting bolts, spikes that jut out, or laser eyes. The number of guard types are limited to four, but you’ve got a good variety of armored, flying, and quick-moving types that are more than enough of a threat for any unsuspecting raider. Everything the outpost kills will award you with rewards. Skull stones will inform you where players are dying, and conversely not dying where maybe you thought they would. They may even drop materials for the taking. You can be as unscrupulous as you’d like, or you can just make things easy but an arduous journey to take. Whatever role you take on in creating an outpost, there’s rewards in it if you’ve done it right. The toolset available to you is easy to use, and is varied enough to let you be extremely creative and cunning.
This is probably the area most people will interact with, as here is how you’ll collect materials. You have the choice between three raid difficulties: normal, dangerous, and brutal. These are seemingly chosen automatically based on the complexity and how lethal your outpost is. You can choose and customize a loadout before you start any outpost. Though in practice, I tend to utilize the loadout after I’ve failed an outpost several times, and am able to learn the layout and style needed to approach it with. There is a false sense of security when entering anyone else’s outpost. You’ll think you have it figured out, or all angles covered, then bam! you’re dead to an unseen trap or guard. Thankfully both of those can be destroyed, or killed, respectively. You are given a warning of imminent danger, and in the direction in which it’s coming from, giving you a split second to avoid it. You can even lean using Q and E to peek around corners, for the ultra careful. You’re given a bolt gun that has a limited amount of ammo to shoot with, which can be used on the aforementioned guards or traps.
Though, the caveat is that you have to retrieve your bolts, or they’re gone for the remainder of the raid. The grappling hook that helps you navigate the area, and is an easy way to avoid traps and retrieve those bolts, so you do have to be mindful in what you shoot, and where. As a backup, there’s a sword as a melee weapon that works up close, but has a cool down. What I appreciate in Meet Your Maker is that switching between melee and ranged is instantaneous, without any unnecessary animation that might get you killed. Following the harvester is always your best bet, and it might even get killed, warning you of upcoming danger. Once you take the genmat from its location, secondary traps will be activated, so there’s no comfort in anything from this point forward. From this point, it’s a cautious mad dash back the way you came, and for you to extract. Once you do that, all the materials and experienced gained is given to you. After many successful extracts, you’re presented with a champion outpost, which is a tougher, more elaborate outpost that yields rewards for all upgrade types.
There are five advisers that offer new items or upgrades that will help both building and raiding: hardware, guards, traps, abilities called biolinks, and weapons. As you complete raids, you will be choosing them based on the adviser you are working for.In order to upgrade, there are three currencies that drive all upgrades: cells, parts, and synthite. These are essentially shared resources among upgrades, so you’ll have to make careful and prioritized decisions on whether to unlock something new for your outpost, upgrade a weapon, or even unlocking a new kind of custodian.
As you rank up each adviser, you will then give tribute to the Chimera that strengthens it. Your efforts are captured in a tracker for daily rewards and a weekly tribute that notes your progression towards completion. There’s an upper-limit on the rewards received, but there’s no reason not to continue to level up the advisers, pledge to the Chimera, and work on increasing your player level which turns into ranks over time.
If you’re getting frustrated or just can’t beat a level, you can abandon the outpost. It isn’t for nothing, though, as all the experience you received is retained. This includes everyone and everything you killed throughout all your attempts. The only major loss is on the materials you didn’t collect or the genmat you didn’t take out with you. it’s hard to leave knowing someone bested you asynchronously, and especially difficult in dying because they are profiting from each and every death. It’s a wonderfully chaotic system in which you’re driven to beat the creator of the outpost, but conversely you’re dying over and over to their traps with each retry. The ultimate rewards is knowing the level inside and out, and finally beating it.
From the get-go, Meet Your Maker support online co-op. You and one friend in a team of two can raid other outposts, and really make the most out of it, and reduce the number of deaths. All content is cross-content, meaning that players on PlayStation 5 can play levels created on PC, and those on Xbox Series X|S can play levels made on PlayStation 5, and every variation of that. There isn’t any cross-play or cross-progression at this time. The bulk of the game can be played without any kind of restriction in terms of content and playability.
Upon completing a raid, you have the option to vote on what you just played, and you can pick two of the following choices: fun, brutal, ingenious, or artistic. I always like to a throw a compliment someone’s way just because they spent time on whatever you just played. I like that it’s an option, though it isn’t a requirement, and maybe should be. It definitely scratches that Super Mario Maker itch when it comes to rating a level upon completion.
Lastly, there’s a replay system to utilize here, which can be found in the Sanctuary. You can use it to watch back others who have raided your outposts, or even watch back the raids you’ve done. This is a great way to learn how you did in a level, and more importantly, where you went wrong. And as a creator of a level, helps you learn where you might’ve gone wrong in the outpost’s design. I think people sharing these replays will make for a fun watch as well, as I can see content creators using this as a way to showcase levels as well.
It’s clear Behaviour Interactive has another hit on their hands, and the post-apocalypse has never been so fun. Whether you like deconstructing someone’s carefully created level, or designing death traps for others, there’s a lot to like here. It’s also hard to put down, often stating “one more raid” or when reviewing how someone got away with your genmat and exclaiming “let me fix that!”, are all too common phrases while playing. It’s amazing how samey an outpost looks from the outside, but on the inside its a unique carnival of chaos for you to experience. Meet Your Maker is a devious evolution for asynchronous multiplayer via user-generated content, and there’s so much joy in dismantling someone from across the internet with your skill.
A Steam code was provided in advance by the publisher for review purposes