Behaviour Interactive’s Meet Your Maker might be a starkly different game than the studio’s most popular asymmetrical 4v1 horror title, Dead by Daylight, but Behaviour’s first steps into base-building games showcase the studio’s years of development experience in every way.
On release day, Meet Your Maker feels like a complete yet innovative game that invites players to a unique post-apocalyptic world where rare pure Genetic Material is king, and obtaining it requires innovation, smarts, and creative thinking. Not only is the eerie and high-tech atmosphere something out of a sci-fi movie, the base-building style gameplay has the potential to keep players of all ages hooked for hundreds of hours.
Innovative Co-Op And Riotous Raiding
Meet Your Maker’s gameplay consists of two primary components: raiding, and building Outposts. Raiding other players’ outposts will reward you with materials like Genmat to build your own outposts and upgrade your Chimera.
In every raid, you'll need to find your way past traps and Guards to get to the Genmat using sci-fi weaponry (of which there are various upgradable options) or other handy tools like the grappling hook. To find your way to the Genmat, you’ll follow the adorably-designed Harvester, who walks on a set path to your goal. This part of the game is fast-paced and will require you to think quickly and resourcefully to get your hands on those resources.
Arguably the best (and easiest) way to describe raiding, is to picture that the iD Software and Nintendo combined their efforts to marry the frenetic combat of DOOM with the base building ingenuity of levels created in Mario Maker.
As a beginner, raiding is easy to pick up, and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll quickly get addicted after just a few levels. Every raid is like a puzzle you’ll need to solve; anywhere you step could potentially be a trap, so you need to think not just quickly but critically too. Should you rush through this Outpost, using your grappling hook to make your way to the Genmat as rapidly as possible, or should you creep through, avoiding the timed traps? Every Outpost is different, so it’s impossible to take the same approach for every one.
This leads me into another one of my favorite parts of Meet Your Maker: the developers’ willingness to put the spotlight on the community’s limitless creativity. One of the most rewarding parts of raiding other players’ bases is not just the feeling of victory you'll get after successfully raiding a post - it's the opportunity to get a feel for how other players build their bases and use the game’s many traps and guards; perhaps to your own advantage when you come to building your own outpost.
There are seemingly endless possibilities for how one could build an Outpost of their own; it's easy to spend hours visiting others' Outposts, taking note of the layout, and jotting down ideas for your own hellish home from home. In my experience, some of the most enjoyable moments playing Meet Your Maker are those when you feel a spark of inspiration from the community’s builds and the child-like excitement when you realise how you can incorporate it into your own Outpost. If you’ve ever played Mario Maker, you’ll know the feeling of seeing another player’s amazing level and feeling that “aha!” moment before you hop into the builder and whip up your own new level.
So you've raided an Outpost, brainstormed your ideas, and gained some of your own materials; the game then invites you to get in on the fun of building your own Outpost. Once you get into building your own Outpost for the first time, it’s easy to feel a little bit overwhelmed or confused, but it's a style of gameplay that will come naturally to those who have played sandbox-building games in the past. You can place your traps, guards, and other items freely to create a web of traps that other players will need to navigate through to efficiently raid your base.
The first time I opened the builder, I was instantly reminded in some ways of Minecraft’s creative mode - it’s a simple yet open builder, with options to place objects, fly up, and fly down. Of course, though, the premise is a little different than Minecraft; you’re not building a cute house or a skyscraper, you’re building a death trap for enemy players to fall into, so you need to think not just creatively but strategically, too.
There is a lot you can do when building an Outpost, so experimentation through trial and error is necessary. I started out slow, testing the starter traps and messing around with Guard placement; I felt out of my element at first, unsure of if my placements were efficient, but I stuck with it until I created a base I was happy with. The Tutorial will certainly nudge you along, explaining the basics of building to you, but you’re on your own when it comes to expanding on the few basic traps and Guards you start out with. Once you play with the controls and the different types of traps and Guards for just a few minutes, it’s easy to understand what each one does and how you can use the modifications to make your Outpost even stronger.
Because you can take your time with it, building feels like a much more casual aspect of gameplay than raiding and allows you to tap into your more creative side. The stark difference between building and raiding is actually another major selling point for Meet Your Maker in my eyes; the title as a whole is equal parts hasty, action-packed gameplay and casual, relaxing building. Whether you’re looking to get your blood pumping as you raid others’ outposts or you want to sit back and chill out as you put together a deadly base, Meet Your Maker has something for everyone.
I don’t see myself getting bored of building in Meet Your Maker anytime soon, since there are endless possibilities for designing a level. While building Outposts, you might end up trying some things that don't quite work, but it's utterly satisfying when you find a setup you're happy with! It's exciting to build in the game's sci-fi, almost Portal-reminiscent environments, and building your own Outpost is so much fun partially because you can Raid others' Outposts; it's an endless cycle of innovation and co-op fun.
Seamless Gameplay And Gorgeous Graphics
Meet Your Maker really shines in its unique premise and base-building aspects - even having been out for less than 24 hours, it’s clear that it will define the base-building genre going forward - but it doesn’t fall short in its gameplay or graphics, either, creating a truly immersive experience from the moment you step into the Sanctuary for the first time. The area looks and feels like a room in a spaceship, with moving mechanical parts, strange aliens sitting in vats of goo, and whirring technology everywhere.
The game feels just as immersive once you make your way out of the Sanctuary and into your first raid. The grappling hook - which is your main method of transportation - feels seamless and easy-to-use, and there’s no cooldown or limit to how much you can use it, giving you the feeling that you can zip around the map effortlessly. As I mentioned previously, raiding is definitely a fast-paced affair - as you’ll quickly die at most bases if you don’t make the right move - so it’s necessary to have an iconic tool like the grappling hook in the game’s toolbelt.
It’s also worth noting that while upgrading your weapons doesn’t feel quite as rewarding as it should, providing only seemingly minimal improvements to gameplay, the default loadout is efficient and interesting enough to remedy that fallback. That being said, this does feel like an obvious area the game can (and should) improve over time.
Raids don’t just play beautifully and smoothly but tend to look incredible, too. Because of the game’s sandbox nature, players can create Outposts that are not just challenging and fun but also artistic. I was amazed when I stepped into a player’s world that was characterized by a downward spiral of red and white stripes, mimicking a funhouse you’d see at a fair and creating a unique illusion as the player falls down. If Meet Your Maker builders are already creating Outposts with such artistic flair on day one, it’s exciting to think about what’s to come from the game’s most creative fans in the future.
Lacking In Lore
Okay, so it’s probably pretty obvious at this point that I really enjoy playing Meet Your Maker - I think it’s a unique take on base building, it’s easy to sink tons of hours into, and, just by the nature of the game, I can see a huge community of fans popping up around it. There’s one thing that just isn’t so great about the game; its lore and backstory.
Meet Your Maker’s lore isn’t bad - it’s just bordering on nonexistent. Right when you load into the game, it’s explained to you where you are; you’re are a Custodian in a post-apocalyptic world where pure genetic material is necessary for survival, and you need to provide the Chimera, which provides sustenance for all life on Earth, with that genetic material.
As a sci-fi fan, I personally found this hook incredibly interesting, so as I played, I waited for developers to drop more bits of lore through dialogue, NPC interactions, or environmental storytelling. From there, though, we just don’t hear a lot more about the game’s setting or what happened prior to the Custodian’s arrival here. The advisors who provide you with upgrades occasionally mention a tidbit about their past or relationships with others working in the Sanctuary, but players will still be left with a lot of questions about the context of their own actions in Meet Your Maker. From a lore standpoint, the game left me thinking, “What I’m doing is a ton of fun, but why am I doing it?”
Those familiar with Dead By Daylight will know how much the lore has expanded over time, and we can only hope that Behavior plans to adopt a similar proactivity with Meet Your Maker.
From its post-apocalyptic setting to the innovative gameplay and co-op capabilities, Meet Your Maker so far has a lot going for it. The game might be quite different from Behaviour Interactive's existing well-known property, Dead by Daylight, but its unique take on raiding and base building feels like a refreshing step for the developer. Despite being Behaviour’s first base building game, the game breathes fresh air into the genre, offering players an innovative experience in a post-apocalyptic, sci-fi environment with the perfect formula for emphasizing the community’s creativity. The developers could perfect the game by expanding upon its lore and characters, creating an even more immersive world for fans to explore.