Review: Meet Your Maker – Live. Cry. Repeat.

One of my absolute favorite things that video games have made possible is to build what you imagine and make it real. I am infamously a huge fan of city builder games, because I love seeing my creations come to life. With over five hundred hours in Minecraft, close to a thousand hours playing Fallout 4‘s settlement building, and dozens of creations in Super Mario Maker and Dreams, you could say building settlements, towns, and levels is my bread and butter. Coupled with my love of asynchronous multiplayer games, it goes to reason that I was unreasonably excited for the new raiding/building game from the Dead By Daylight developers. While I’m satisfied and even impressed by parts of it, Meet Your Maker is ultimately hostile to players by needlessly over-complicating the most fun aspects.

Meet Your Maker is set in a post-apocalyptic world where color has presumably been destroyed by atomic blasts, leaving behind only sepia tones and dry, dusty metals. As one of the last humans on earth, you’ll find yourself in the employment of a strange entity called the Chimera. As one of its Custodians, you’ll have to hunt down a substance called GenMat (genetic material) to feed the Chimera and make it stronger. The Chimera is supposedly humanity’s last hope to survive the apocalypse, so it’s theoretically in your best interest to keep it alive even though it keeps cackling like a demon and screeching “yes! Feed me!”

Heartwarming. This picture was taken seconds before I was shredded into a thousand pieces.

I don’t think much of the narrative in Meet Your Maker, but thankfully what I just described is the end of it. There isn’t really a running story to speak of; once you finish the tutorial, there’s almost no dialogue or narrative involved. You’ll step into a relatively unexciting home base where you can execute raids, build new outposts, feed the Chimera, and upgrade your gear. While NPCs are here, they don’t do much besides simply sell upgrades.

You’ll fall into a cycle of simply raiding other players’ outposts and using those materials to build your own. I think if the execution of Meet Your Maker was as simple as its tagline “Build. Raid. Upgrade.”, I’d have enjoyed it a lot more. Unfortunately, it’s bogged down by multiple disparate currencies, daily check-ins, weekly challenge rewards, constant degradation of materials, and lots and lots of useless numbers.

Was it necessary for this game to have five different stats getting incremental upgrades every level?

There are four currencies in Meet Your Maker – the aforementioned GenMat, Synthite, Parts, and Cells. GenMat is gathered by raiding other players’ outposts or when they die attempting to raid your own and is spent on keeping your outposts online as well as feeding the Chimera. Synthite is gathered the same ways as GenMat, and is spent on buying new outpost sites and keeping your outpost online longer. Parts are collected the same way as GenMat and Synthite, and are spent on upgrading weapons and gear in the home base. Cells are collected by feeding the Chimera and completing daily/weekly challenges, and are used for most other upgrades. Perhaps you can see at this point that Meet Your Maker has already completely over-complicated itself.

Once you wrap your head around upgrades and currencies, it’s time to begin the raids! Meet Your Maker consists entirely of online raids (it’s worth nothing the game requires PS Plus or Xbox Live to play at all) on other players’ outposts. Outposts are like miniature dungeons constructed of blocks, ramps, traps, enemies, and more. Each outpost has GenMat at its core, and to complete the raid the player must reach the core, rip it out, and make it back out of the dungeon without dying. One of the core issues with Meet Your Maker is the instant death factor. You have 1 HP, and if you’re hit once you restart the outpost from the beginning, no matter if you’ve been in there for two or ten minutes. In this sense it feels kind of like a roguelike, because some of these outposts were so difficult I spent a dozen runs before I got it right.

This is my good friend the Harvester, and I’ll defend him to the death.

You’re equipped with one ranged weapon, one melee weapon, a grappling hook, and up to two different throwables. First, I have to confess the grappling hook feels great and is a major part of the game, as most outposts simply aren’t beatable without a little grappling. The swords feel fine but have what feels like a needless two second cool down. The guns are also fine, but don’t have aim down, so you’re shooting everything with iron sights. One of my other major beefs with Meet Your Maker is that the grenades are consumable. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me that I have to rebuy grenades from the home base between runs, since the game naturally limits you to using three per outpost raid. There’s already a limiter, so why make the item a consumable at all? This is yet another example of the developers choosing to be needlessly antagonistic to the player.

Despite my negativity thus far, the gameplay of the raids can be really fun when a talented person designs the outpost. In a similar way to Super Mario Maker, however, when the creator of the outpost is bad at designing it can become a miserable experience. You can of course choose to just skip a raid and move on to the next one if the outpost design is stupidly confusing or brutal. One core problem with the idea of Meet Your Maker is the inability to create puzzles. Without actual puzzles, the two elements left of a dungeon are traps and enemies. This, of course, leads to most outposts simply being a series of traps stuck on the floors or ceiling or behind invisible walls coupled with a bunch of brute enemies, and the only way through is to simply run it and die over and over again until you memorize where the traps are. The worst designed dungeons in Meet Your Maker are a legitimate nightmare, but that also is mostly due to the fact that players are not good designers and never will be.

Watch out – traps can come at you from literally any angle and can even be invisible.

I did happen upon some amazing dungeons that required me to actually think and problem solve, using the variety of weapons at my disposal. I’ve run outposts that required me to grapple through fire mazes, bust multiple enemies with a single ricocheting bullet, and dance around spike traps to a rhythm. And really, when you get down to it what the good outposts all have in common in Meet Your Maker is that they use the tools available to create puzzles for players, rather than asking them to brute force it. Like I said, however, these kinds of outposts are few and far between. When you like someone else’s outpost after beating it, you can give it up to two awards out of a selection of Ingenious, Artistic, Brutal, and Fun. You can also watch replays of how people died in your dungeons to see what is and isn’t working. This all provides excellent feedback for how other players feel about your outposts, so you can know what is working and what isn’t. A good designer will be constantly updating their levels.

In order to begin building an outpost of your own, you’ll need to purchase a new burial site with Synthite. As someone who’s played a lot of building games, I found the controls to be fine but not completely intuitive. Depending on the size of the site you’ve bought, you’ll be limited in how many items you can place on the outpost, but it’s pretty generous. I made one small outpost and one large one, and I ran up on the limiter on both while feeling that I’d been able to fill out my vision. There honestly isn’t too much customization available in building; even though there are two dozen styles of blocks they’re nearly all some shade of brown, tan, or grey rock. Meet Your Maker is a form over function game in every way, which I understand to a degree, but the developers seem adamant that everything should look exclusively ugly. Seriously, not one thing in one part of this game is pleasant to look at. The boring art style is like a less colorful version of Fallout without any of the personality, and it takes away a lot from the experience.

I wanted to call this outpost “CastleMania”, but you aren’t even able to name your own dungeons.

There is a sense of progression to building too, unlocking new enemies and traps and trap mods, but there’s a major design feature which has totally tainted Meet Your Maker for me: outpost decay. When you finally finish your outpost and proudly post it online for others to play, don’t hold your breath; it’s likely that tomorrow your outpost will have been knocked offline. You need to keep supplying GenMat to your outposts to keep them online, and by paying to prestige your outpost you can keep it online longer – but not forever. This is a disastrous mistake to my eyes, because this means that the second people stop actively playing and accruing GenMat, all of the game’s content will disappear. Super Mario Maker would have been a gigantic flop if your built stages fell offline if you stopped collecting coins every day. I was heartbroken to realize that the dungeon I put hours into building would disappear the day I stopped playing Meet Your Maker, especially after I received dozens of “Artistic” commendations. It’s not an issue of server space, because there is a built-in limiter so each player can only have five dungeons online at a time.

Meet Your Maker also seems determined to push players to build deadly dungeons rather than innovative ones, as you are rewarded only when players die in your dungeon. There is no mechanical reward for an artistically impressive dungeon, and with no GenMat reward your dungeon goes offline in a few hours. When your game is 100% built off player generated content, why would you design the game to constantly remove that content?

You can set your outpost to Social so your friends can play or to Overdrive for higher risk and higher rewards.

There is one aspect of the dungeon building that I find genuinely ingenious, and that is my good friend the Harvester. The Harvester is a four-legged funny little robot with a big cube on its back that exists in every outpost. It walks in a loop, carrying energy from the spawn point to the core and back again. In Super Mario Maker, you’re required to complete your own level before putting it online to make sure it’s beatable. The Harvester’s first purpose is the same, since it has to have a clear path to walk from the spawn to the core and back again before you can publish your outpost online.


The genius part of it is that the Harvester doesn’t activate traps or aggro enemies on its own, but it dies the second it is hit by a trap or a bullet that the player activates as collateral damage. Many of the dungeons are labyrinths, and there’s effectively no way to find the core without following the Harvester. Knowing this, smart designers will have laid traps for the player to activate that will kill the Harvester and leave them stranded in the dungeon. This leads to a brilliant give and take, where the player is suddenly escorting the Harvester and trying to keep it alive even though it never directly interacts with them, and at the same time adds a layer of strategy to the outpost. Combining this with traps that activate after the core is stolen, invisible traps, and upgraded enemies with missiles and bombs leads to a true test of resourcefulness in the best of times.

Chimera, I’m home!

While I can forgive the boring art and aesthetics, the completely unnecessary different currencies and the lack of imagination on the part of some players, I am simply baffled by the decision to force players creations offline if they stop playing every day. This, coupled with the daily check in bonuses and challenges, leads me to worry that in the future Meet Your Maker will add microtransactions with real money, because frankly it’s already set up as a live service game. I wouldn’t be shocked if you can simply pay $5 one day to keep your outpost online for another week, or if some kind of paid battle pass is an extension of the challenges. I’m really hoping I’m being paranoid, but it’s the only explanation I can form in my head for these design decisions. I don’t know that I recommend spending money to purchase it as of now, because it would certainly not be the first game to sneak MTX in a few weeks after launch (Crash Team Racing comes to mind).


Ultimately, Meet Your Maker has some great ideas and a great premise that is needlessly over-complicated and hostile to players at nearly every turn. The thing is, I actually had a lot of fun with it when it did work. It was thrilling watching replays of it. Being a free PS Plus game, I heartily encourage you to give Meet Your Maker a try on PlayStation if the idea tickles your fancy. Remember, you will have to both constantly raid and build to play – you can’t just do one or another.  There were a lot of times I was really enjoying solving the cobbled-together puzzles other players were creating and seeing what I could manage with the limited toolset. Meet Your Maker is quite fun to play when it’s not actively combating the player. With some truly amazing levels to play and ten times more garbage ones, your mileage certainly will vary.

Nirav played Meet Your Maker on PlayStation 5 with a copy he purchased himself. The game is also available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

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