You’ll never directly pull the trigger that ends another player’s life in Meet Your Maker. But the effort which goes into assembling your own fiendish base – positioning every hidden trap, each monstrous guard – means that the deaths within it feel no less personal.
Dead By Daylight developer Behaviour Interactive’s next game wants to deliver asymmetrical multiplayer once again. But this time of a distinctly different flavor. Gone are the merciless killers of that horror-laced world, replaced instead by asynchronous competition between base builders and raiders. One half of Meet Your Maker sees you piecing together corridors of spike traps, bolt throwers, and mine launchers. Think Dungeon Keeper in 3D. In the other, you’ll be grappling, gunning, and slicing your way through the constructs of your rivals.
The setting is forgettable at best. A dreary sci-fi tale of an environmental wasteland and your desperate race to harvest genetic material. But after spending several hours in Meet Your Maker’s Steam Next Fest beta, both dodging and placing spiked surprises, it’s clear that there’s something special hiding under the rusted brown hood. And it’s activating our inner evil mastermind.
The FPS dungeon raids are where players will be likely to spend the bulk of their time. Runs are quick, co-op is available, and each base offers a different take on dungeon design. With player-made fortresses, you never quite know what level of craftiness you’ll be up against. But it was in piecing together the death-dealing parts of our own outposts that Meet Your Maker truly sparked into life.
The tools for construction are deceptively simple. Slap down cubes and ramps to make a blocky fort, then lather traps on walls and guards on floors. So long as there’s an open path to the base’s core, you’re good to go. Your real task as a builder is to inject malicious creativity.
Place a guard at a distance and you might tempt raiders to expend scant ammunition on a shot they can’t recover. Ramps and corners can befuddle perspective, hiding traps at unexpected angles. Distraction is your greatest ally. Keep a raider focused on the enemies or traps above them and they’ll miss the spikes in front of their feet.
Better yet, you can slap paintwork and cosmetics on nearly everything. Arrows and walkways let you lead players on the true path or lure them astray. Trap-like cog facades create false jump-scares in hidden alcoves. The best builders deliver challenge and theater in equal measure.
All that time you’ll spend placing corrosive cubes or grappling into guards, though, is all in aid of Meet Your Maker’s secret pleasure: the sadistic replay system. Access an easily overlooked console in your home base and you’re presented with a menu of victims. A register of the lives your bases have claimed. Each run can be watched in full, or skipped through to enjoy a highlight reel of unfortunate ends. It’s a chance to quite literally get inside the heads of other players.
You’ll see them edge up to every corner, nervously peering around in search of traps. Observe as they fall foul to that hidden shower of bolts, then dive back in for a second, even shorter run born of misplaced confidence. This isn’t just an exercise in malice, mind. It’s the ideal way to see if your trap designs actually work – if those visual lures ahead keep attention away just long enough from the bolts glistening behind.
Practicalities aside, there’s a uniquely perverse thrill to witnessing would-be robbers panic. As your careful mesh of decoy blocks disappears to unveil a devilish combination of flamethrowers and hook shots, what will they do? Some players hesitate. Others start unloading weapons. Even more will desperately grapple in any available direction. When the trap is about to be sprung, it’s hard not to steeple your hands and grin like a devious supervillain.
If we had one request of developer Behaviour Interactive, it’d be to let us watch players perform runs live. Allow us to tauntingly observe our prey through the unblinking gaze of a camera. To add that extra sprinkle of pressure to their performance. Come on in, if you think you’re brave enough.
Meet Your Maker releases April 4 on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox.