Meet Your Maker could be the next multiplayer hit
If you have been keeping up with the many game announcements over the recent months, you might have come across Meet Your Maker. It was first announced when Dead By Daylight developer and publisher Behaviour Interactive revealed the game during one of their own events, and then reached further eyes and ears with a trailer during the 2022 Game Awards.
Build 'em up
Meet Your Maker is an asymmetrical multiplayer game. Behaviour Interactive is clearly a fan of this kind of game, as it is most widely known for its 4 vs. 1 horror game Dead By Daylight. With Meet Your Maker, Behaviour adds even more layers of obfuscation between players, as it is a two-part game where two players compete against each other through entirely separate means.
To break it down, the first part of the game is raiding. In this mode, you must invade an enemy base, dodge or destroy all traps and guards, steal an item, and then make it out alive. The other mode is building, in which you construct your own base, fill it with traps, guards, and obstacles, and then allow other players to break themselves on the fortress you have created.
Knock 'em down
The plot surrounding these gameplay elements is quite grim, but paints a fascinating picture of the game's world. In a hopefully very distant future, humanity has been largely wiped out by a genetic virus that destroyed our bodies on a molecular level. A being known as the Chimera seeks to end the disease and create some kind of a future for humanity.
To do so, they created you, the Custodian, and a handful of other human clones who support you. The Chimera needs genetic material from the few human remains on the planet that were not infected by the virus. It is your job to go out and bring that material home. However, you are not the only one doing so (other players), and must actively steal this genetic material from others seeking to do the same as you.
The world of Meet Your Maker is bleak. The landscape is desolate and largely unlivable, what little remains of humanity is fighting over genetic scraps that may or may not be able to undo the virus and give us a slim hope of survival. Your home base is dark and grungy, and the handful of people you interact with range from dismissive to glib, to desperate. This grimdark backdrop is morbidly fascinating and gives the world behind the gameplay some teeth.
A pleasant apocalypse
Conversely, the gameplay is just exceedingly fun. Thanks in part to the procedural nature of the game, even playing some of the beta seems enough to get a great sense of the gameplay. Your first few matches will be spent raiding, as you need materials to build your own base. It is wise to get to grips with this aspect of the game first, as it teaches you what you need to defend against when crafting your own facility.
To call the raiding portion of the game a first-person shooter would not be accurate. You move around in first-person, you even have a gun, but the context of the term doesn't fully apply here.
Movement is most important- you are quite quick and you can jump very high. You have a grappling hook which seems to have very little in terms of limits. Your tools for traversal are excellent, your tools for combat are less so.
Your main weapon is your gun, which has very limited ammo. Your starting weapon only carries two bullets, which need to be retrieved after firing. You also have a melee weapon so you are not completely defenceless without bullets. Don't expect to be sniping guards from half the map away, your guns are not very effective.
Thief in the radioactive night
Raiding in this game is less DOOM, and more Thief. Everything kills you in one hit, so you sure are not going to tank your way through. You want to get in and out as quickly as you can, interacting with as few dangerous obstacles as possible. You are not likely to pull it off the first time, so a couple of exploratory attempts are usually required. You will die a couple of times in each raid, but that is just part of the fun.
Figuring out how to get the material out of a base in one piece is a trial-and-error process. After your first few attempts likely end in your death, you will learn and get better. There is a dash of speedrunning in the game, a bit like Neon White, where everyone is encouraged to try and get the fastest time they can.
Some bases can be severely tricky, with traps layered on traps. You know these places are trying to trick you, trying to bait you into stepping over a line just so some spikes will fly out and impale you. You know there is a flamethrower tucked around every corner. You know that guard was placed over there so you would overstep, and get caught by the bombs falling from the ceiling. You know it is all coming, but it is never frustrating.
This is a wonderful piece of design. You know going in that these bases are built by other players, or at least built by developers using the same tools they give to the players. The point is, you know it is fair because you can do it too. That sense of player expression, coupled with the quick turnaround of attempts, ensures the game never really tries to hurt you.
Another spike trap in the wall
This brings us neatly to the other half of the game, base building. You can learn a lot about building bases by raiding others, so once you have invaded a few you will be ready to make your own. The tools for making a base are quite simple, if you have ever laid down a block in Minecraft then you will feel right at home here. Your goal when designing your base is to put as many deadly obstacles as you can along the path between the raider and your genetic material.
You have a lot of freedom to build any kind of structure you want. Much of it can be purely cosmetic, you can build a massive, sprawling castle even if you are hiding your genetic material in the basement. The point is to try and build a structure that will take out raiders as many times as possible before they can make off with your goods.
The fact that you are not trying to prevent the theft, but trying to kill the raider as many times as possible, is a big selling point for the game. Your objective isn't to protect the material, as backward as that might sound. You might as well presume the raider is going to get it, they are a human player and we humans tend to be a bit unstoppable.
Instead, your goal is to get as many kills as you can. The more kills your base gets, the more resources you get from it. You can even visit your active bases to check exactly where you are getting the most kills, and where you could improve.
Good times at the end of the world
Again, much like with raiding, this distancing that the game does to keep it from becoming frustrating is such a major positive. Especially from the developer of Dead by Daylight, who knows a thing or two about dealing with multiplayer frustration.
You want people to come and raid your base because you will get rewards for it. When you raid other people's bases, you don't necessarily want to die to their traps, but it is so quick and so rewarding to try again that it doesn't really hamper your experience.
There is a great irony to all of this, this game about being a thief makes failing an infiltration a minor inconvenience, and getting robbed yourself a welcome occurrence.
You can find Meet Your Maker on Steam here.