Developer: Wales Interactive Games
Publisher: Wales Interactive Games
Platforms: PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC
Reviewed On: PS4 Pro
Release Date: 28/07/2020
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
Maid of Sker is set 1898 you go to the Hotel Sker and its grand reopening. When arriving the hotel is ready for no inhabitance at all. Covered in dust and in total disarray. It is not long until you find out that something else is plaguing the hotel, The Quiet Ones. You must navigate the halls of the hotel and survive the horrors that await you.
The game seems to be inspired by the haunting Welsh tale of Elisabeth Williams. This is a story of a family empire driven by torture, slavery, piracy and a supernatural mystery that suffocates the grounds of the hotel. If you are a horror, fan then read this story.
Maid of Sker brings nothing new to the horror genera overall, but it is an excellent step for Wales Interactive to making none interactive movies we know them for. The main game play loop is walk around the hotel and its grounds, and hide from the quiet ones, like SOMA. This is not a bad idea, just was a safe way to tentatively test the waters for a new game direction.
Here there is one slight difference to the normal the horrors ‘see’ you and you need to hide. The Quiet ones are ‘blind’, so it is about sound. If they hear you it’s game over. So the game had a hold your breath mechanic, this minimise all noise, however hold it too long, I am sure you can guess what will happen. This added a new layer to the already done to death horror style.
Maid of Sker nails the atmosphere of a run down claustrophobia hotel, where everything is trying to kill you. There are genuinely some heart racing moments. With some great sound design to ramp up the fear. Top it off with some very nice graphics and it was looking like a great horror trip. That was until the puzzles, oh the puzzles.
The biggest problem with the puzzles are they are unnecessarily dragged out in places. With what seems like it should be a simple two-minute puzzle turns in to a ten-minute slog. This not only destroyed the emersion but also made the game tedious and well boring in places.
Overall Maid of Sker is to safe for me. It is a tried and tested method of making a horror game. With some long and annoying puzzles. Graphically and atmospherically, the game is spot on. It feels like a horror game.
It is a good start for Wales Interactive to move to horror games, hopefully in the next one they will mix it up or try something new.