Meet Your Maker review: Saving humanity one gruesome murder at a time

Behavior Interactive trades serial killers for trap-filled dungeons in Meet Your Maker, a fascinating, asynchronous multiplayer game with a bizarre setting and cool game mechanics.


The latest game from Dead by Daylight studio Behavior Interactive lies somewhere on the intersection between Dungeon Keeper, Super Mario Maker, and salvagepunk, with a little bit of body horror as a garnish. Like DBD it’s an asynchronous multiplayer game, but unlike DBD, Meet Your Maker is less interested in competitive stakes and more about players sharing creativity and earning rewards for it. There are some issues with unclear solutions, but with some support and community investment there’s a ton of potential with this one.

Meet Your Maker’s setup is a little confusing and corny, but has a Warhammer-like macabre aesthetic that combines grotesque biomechanical fantasy with post-apocalyptic salvagepunk textures to draw out extra novelty. Humanity has all but succumbed to a catastrophic disease, and to make a long story short, the science fighting back got weird. You play as a “Custodian,” a wasteland warrior sent out to gather “Genmats,” a kind of goofy resource made of genetic materials. You gather this stuff to feed a “Chimera,” a giant fetus creature telepathically egging you on from inside a massive tube. You also have a bunch of cyborg crewmates who help you make weapons and components for base-building, because you have to defend yourself from other Custodians trying to do the same thing?

The fetus monster says this is good for humanity

A gameplay screenshot from Meet Your Maker

The setup boils down to two gameplay pillars pushing Meet Your Maker forward: Raiding and Building. You build outposts based on a pool of materials and limitations, then go out and raid what other players have constructed. The spoils from raiding feed into several kinds of upgrades, which lead to more options to raid stronger outposts and build stronger ones yourself. This goes on, as far as I can tell, until you get sick of it. With a roadmap for more content already in place from Behavior, the pieces are in place to hopefully support a community motivated by the joys of being just terrible to each other.

The appeal for this kind of premise can also be its downfall in some ways. Meet Your Maker inherently relies on the creativity and enthusiasm of its playerbase, which requires support on levels that are hard to even think about from the outside. There’s content volume, balance, reward structures, and so much more. At launch, there are two major elements that could contribute to long-term issues.

The Killbox conundrum

Gameplay from Meet Your Maker

Part of the problem is metagaming. The way the game rewards building encourages “killboxes,” or outposts built explicitly to be unfair, constrained spaces full of enemies and hazards. The way building is structured, you are rewarded based on getting player kills. You aren’t penalized for players clearing your outposts (by default), but there’s no tangible incentive to care. Outposts have a time limit for being “active,” and the only way to recharge them is to “prestige” them, which takes a resource you get from successfully tripping up raiders. So the killboxes are the most efficient way to make that math work out in your favor.

There’s only one major restriction in building an outpost: there’s a little creature who constantly travels back and forth between the entrance and the Genmat payload, and you have to make sure it can make that journey. Otherwise you can pretty much do what you want (with a capacity limit). That’s in contrast to Mario Maker for example, which requires level creators to complete their own stages before they can publish. Thus, killboxes are “legal.” Many players like to be more creative and spend time on more thoughtful challenges, but again, the math currently makes that effort less worthwhile in the game itself.

Metered masterpieces

A stats screen from Meet Your Maker

The second issue is that all outposts ultimately have a time limit, unless you set them to “public,” which lets players raid for funsies. Otherwise, if you want to engage with building you’ll have to do more than just one superbase. It’s a battle between rewarding creative effort, versus keeping the game moving and fresh. It’s too early to tell if this one is a serious issue compared to the killbox thing, because it’s something that’s in place with the future in mind. While some players do seem to feel discouraged from putting tons of effort into levels that won’t last forever, having them last forever could potentially prevent newer players from having their bases raided. If nothing else, it’s an incredibly fascinating look at how important and nigh-impossible balancing is with this kind of game. 

The thing about these issues is they can really impact the community’s long-term interest. But the good news is the number of players discussing them right now. That’s a testament to how solid Meet Your Maker’s fundamentals are. Just the basic mechanics feel distinct compared to most other first-person shooters out there right now. While the average outpost almost looks like a modern take on classic DOOM levels, you have much less firepower compared to the Doomslayer. Starting out, you simply have a sword you can swing on a cooldown, a grappling hook, and a gun that can fire two bolts. To reload, you have to retrieve those bolts or you may as well not have a gun anymore.

The salvagepunk parts are the best parts

Meet Your Maker gameplay screenshot

That toolset can be expanded upon, but the bare minimum is still enough to get you through most levels. But you have to be careful, observant, and sometimes just lucky. You’re not just facing off against enemies and traps, you’re up against the player who put them there. You don’t know what tools and upgrades the builder has access to, and you don’t know what level of sicko each individual is. And while killboxes are certainly an issue, during my time with the game I ran into far more interesting and creative bases than I did problematic ones. That’s the beauty of a game running almost entirely on user-generated content; the range of folks goes from people barely engaging with the systems to people who live for this stuff. And you never know what you’re gonna get with each outing.

And if you are into building, you don’t just make your base, set it to active and reap rewards. You get data to look over to see the most effective parts of your level designs.You can hop into your base and see how many people died where, manually pick up the resources they drop, and make whatever changes you want. You can also go back out to the hub and watch replays of each attempt made. And the replays have a ton of tools themselves, from basic playback features to alternative camera controls and more. As someone with a difficult attention span, I found the replays being a huge motivator to keep engaging with building far beyond what I expected.

Meet Your Maker gameplay screenshot

My biggest concern is momentum. Meet Your Maker at launch only has so much in the way of unlockables to dive into, and aside from unlocks, the progress you’re making can feel kind of dubious. You have a player level, each “merchant” levels up, and of course your dedication to Big Tube Fetus has a level. The latter especially doesn’t feel like much more than a currency generator, with the story not really moving despite several levels and hours spent feeding people juice to the Chimera. If the goal is just to make the numbers go up and build bigger and better bases, I hope the flow of new content can keep that interesting.

If you’re the kind of person out there on the internet reading “Dungeon Core” fiction and cursing EA for its mismanagement of the Dungeon Keeper IP, Meet Your Maker is right up your alley. From spike traps to blocks made entirely of corrosive acid, the level of shenanigans you can put other players through is pretty high. There are kinks for the developers to figure out of course, but there’s enough raw potential here to keep even a frustrated player coming back for more. The foundation is important, and Behavior has really nailed that part. I’d love to see the big, creepy science baby like, change form or something though. Like a disgusting, Gigeresque Digimon or something.

This review is based on a PC digital code provided by the publisher. Meet Your Maker is available now.

Contributing Editor

Lucas plays a lot of videogames. Sometimes he enjoys one. His favorites include Dragon Quest, SaGa, and Mystery Dungeon. He's far too rattled with ADHD to care about world-building lore but will get lost for days in essays about themes and characters. Holds a journalism degree, which makes conversations about Oxford Commas awkward to say the least. Not a trophy hunter but platinumed Sifu out of sheer spite and got 100 percent in Rondo of Blood because it rules. You can find him on Twitter @HokutoNoLucas being curmudgeonly about Square Enix discourse and occasionally saying positive things about Konami.

Review for
Meet Your Maker
  • Raiding and Building are both a lot of fun
  • Tons of creative potential
  • Simple but unique combat mechanics
  • Body horror is always fun to look at
  • Premise is more goofy than it wants to be
  • Progress feels undercooked
  • Balance issues (killboxes, etc)
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