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PS Plus April: Is Dead By Daylight dev’s new game, Meet Your Maker, worth downloading?

Meet Your Maker is what would happen if you ran a gameshow in a sadistic, dystopian world – for better and for worse.

Roll up, roll up, it’s everyone’s favourite post-apocalyptic gameshow: Meet Your Maker! Have we got a treat for you in today’s episode! First up, it’s everyone’s favourite nameless player – you – taking on one of the most devastating and unrelenting gauntlets we’ve ever seen. Will our contestant be able to overcome this latest challenge; we’ve seen them rise up through the ranks of all the Normal outposts, graduate from the Dangerous level, and now they’re ready to take on the Brutal.

And you know what that means: more traps, more guards, and a significantly higher chance of death! There’s everything to play for, and forever to play it in, as we start the newest run of Meet. Your. Maker!

There's plenty of support for Meet Your Maker to come.

That’s sort of what goes through my head every time I boot up Behaviour Interactive’s latest multiplayer experiment, Meet Your Maker. Fuelled by the success of Dead By Daylight – and the ever-lasting, loyal band of horror-loving mutants that’s kept it alive over the past seven years – the Canadian developer has decided to go a bit more… off-piste… for it’s much-anticipated follow-up. It's also available, day one, via PlayStation Plus Essential for May 2023. The premise (as you probably guessed from that flamboyant intro) is an uber-competitive gauntlet of rotating challenges, all of which are designed by other players.

Think Takeshi’s Castle, in the Warhammer 40K Universe. Ninja Warrior via Mad Max. It’s a Knockout does Black Mirror. That sort-of orientates you in the Meet Your Maker mindset. Every single expedition you do into some other horrible sadist’s lair nets you experience and materials that let you assemble and improve your own base. So, as you raid other people, they raid you. It’s a give and take that reminds me a little bit of the batshit nuclear base stuff in Metal Gear Solid 5 (except without any of that unhinged Kojima charm).

It’s a core conceit that’s pretty compelling for the sort of people that like batting their heads against combat challenges in Dark Souls or something, dying over and over and over again until that eureka moment appears out of nowhere and helps you break through. In order to build a gauntlet and have it uploaded to the servers, you need to beat it yourself – so there are no horrible, unfinishable trap levels here (in theory). There’s a wealth of quality in these levels; some players are basically mini game developers in their own right, maximising the toolbox of guards, traps, weapons, suits and hardware like a young John Romero and making funky little box puzzles that’d make Cliff Bleszinski blush.

The game has a nice aesthetic.

Others… well, you can tell people are picking this up for free. Some outposts are bare minimum effort, obviously made by kids that do their homework in the five minutes before class starts – the cynical little bastards that are farming this free PS Plus download for the trophies. And that’s sort-of Meet Your Maker’s problem: every level is a wild pendulum swing of quality, a complete diceroll from batshit genius to bullshit griefer.

Sometimes, you can load into a level and think you’re on holiday: there’s a pretty little atrium with wide open spaces – none of those deathly claustrophobic torture warrens here – that almost escorts you to its treasure, where a couple of hired goons half-heartedly guard their boss’ spoils. Other times, the second you load in, you want to nope out: a rusty metal tube takes you to the depths where impaling spikes await above, below, to your left, to your right. A secret window above your goal might come into view, but your reward for trying to James Bond it is a hidden spike through the foot.

It puts me in mind of procedurally-generated levels in roguelites; sometimes, the machine algorithm picks the best combinations of tiles and tools and you feel like you’re playing an artisanally-curated masterpiece of an experience. But then, in the next screen, there’s nothing but an empty corridor with one feckless goon shooting the wall, for some reason. Meet Your Maker is like that, but even more extreme.

Choose your allies and traps wisely.

So, is it worth downloading? Yes. Because I’ve never really played anything quite like it. The game (as punishing and brutal as it may seem on the outside with that sand-blasted, rust-punk aesthetic) is surprisingly forgiving, and lets you try and try again as you try in vain to gather as many materials as possible. But the question is: do you care enough to beat xXSniperWolfXx’s raid encounter after 42 tries? Do you have the time to keep dipping into rando’s levels and investing in them?

Meet Your Maker is Mario Maker for Bastards – and if that sounds appealing to you, you should hop onto your PS4/5 and download it right away.

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Meet Your Maker

PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC

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About the Author
Dom Peppiatt avatar

Dom Peppiatt

Editor-in-chief

Dom is a veteran video games critic with 11 years' experience in the games industry. A published author and consultant that has written for NME, Red Bull, Samsung, Xsolla, Daily Star, GamesRadar, Tech Radar, and many more. They also have a column about games and music at The Guardian.
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