Maskmaker affords arresting environment and complicated design, however it doesn’t have a lot new to say with its base mechanics. Extra in our Maskmaker evaluation!
Maskmaker wears loads of hats or, forgive me, masks. On the floor it’s an fulfilling, if considerably light-weight puzzle journey that explores an identical mechanic to Accounting, Digital Digital Actuality and The Below Presents. It’s additionally a remake, of types, of a 1975 mime efficiency, borrowing its title and plenty of of its core themes. And, for those that keep in mind Innerspace’s Firebird sequence, it’s even a little bit of a sequel.
A usually multi-faceted effort for its developer, then, and Innerspace does job fleshing out the mask-swapping, world-hopping idea right into a enjoyable three+ hour journey that tackles concepts of mentorship and succession. What it doesn’t have, although, is kind of the identical spark of ingenuity of 2019’s A Fisherman’s Story, or different current VR puzzling highlights.
Maskmaker Overview – The Details
What’s it?: A primary-person puzzle journey wherein you journey between worlds by making and placing on masks.
Platforms: PC VR, PSVR
Launch Date: Out Now
The core of Maskmaker is astonishingly spectacular from a technical perspective. To journey between worlds you merely placed on a masks within the workshop after which carry it off to return. On the PC model you turn out between worlds in mere seconds with minimal time spent in entrance of a loading display. It makes the transition between every of its six biomes (three overworlds cut up into two primary areas) near-seamless, although not fairly as fluid because the instantaneous Below Presents.
And we’re not simply speaking about tiny areas; Innerspace expands its staple artistry to gorgeous mountainscapes dotted with rural villages, golden seashores that have you ever feeling the solar even in VR and dusty desert canyons that go away you eager for a glass of water. Every of those worlds has been crafted with care and has a hand-made really feel, proper right down to the paint-like flecks of snow on a mountaintop or the plush inexperienced textures of leaves in a forest. It’s the type of VR expertise you wish to see inside the very best headset in order to not waste its magnificence on distorted display resolutions, and one thing I’ll wish to revisit each time new is launched.
World-hopping additionally offers the sport a lightweight Metroidvania contact, though it truly is the slightest trace. You possibly can journey between any world at any time, however the bulk of the substances you’ll must make a selected masks are sometimes positioned inside its given biome. There was an opportunity to interweave between places to assemble sources extra usually right here, however it’s by no means absolutely explored, and Maskmaker is fairly mild on problem general. A lot of its in-world puzzles, like creating bridges for mountain goats to navigate or altering cogs to function a rope bridge, are pretty rudimentary and will have been lifted from every other VR puzzler.
They’re higher once they play with the sport’s themes and add to the underlying narrative. Within the swamps you concoct a potion that briefly kills dangerous spores rising on bushes. It’s easy in strategy however, with a little bit of exploration, you’ll uncover a hidden which means that offers your actions far more heft. Different moments, like directing the movement of water via a canyon, are somewhat extra on the nostril however require some intricate switching out between masks on the fly.
Maskmaker Overview – Consolation
Maskmaker makes use of clean locomotion and teleportation types, and also you’re free to maneuver between the 2. Motion is gradual and options an optionally available vignette. Total you shouldn’t have too many consolation points with this one.
The story’s extra direct beats are riddled with comparable types of double-meanings and metaphors (there’s loads of dialogue in regards to the many roles of a masks). It teeters on fantasy while tying into questions on who we’ve to develop into to surpass our mentors and units about exploring the subject with a real sense of pathos (one nice phrase goes alongside the traces of “For it’s harmful to make a face earlier than you have no idea your personal”). However, whereas the themes are attention-grabbing and admirable, its supply may use some work.
Maskmaker is a talky recreation – there’s loads of narration and exposition and it usually performs out while you’re leaping backwards and forwards between worlds. Simply on a sensible stage, it’s extremely simple to unintentionally lower somebody off simply as they begin speaking or at a pause mid-monologue by eradicating or placing on a masks too quickly, and there’s loads of ready round for somebody to complete their sentence earlier than you are feeling you possibly can transfer on. Its environments inform sufficient of the narrative to usually negate loads of what’s being stated and the expertise can be higher rounded had it left a few of it — very similar to the mime efficiency it attracts inspiration from — unstated.
If there’s one component Maskmaker actually does hammer house, although, it’s very actually the crafting. It doesn’t really come alive till the sport’s latter half once you’ve unlocked all of the instruments, however when it does it’s a reasonably magical expertise. You begin out by sculpting moulds with a chisel — a trick borrowed from Firebird: The Unfinished and simply as partaking immediately — earlier than mixing paints, including elements sourced from the sport’s worlds and even utilizing a brush to color-in particular sections of a masks.
There’s a beautiful authenticity and environment to it, capturing fleeting moments of actual VR embodiment as I sat and surveyed a masks on its stand, stuffed in lacking spots and reached behind me to select up ornamental trinkets. It’s an absolute spotlight and unusually fulfilling work; I may have accomplished all of it day.
Maskmaker Overview Remaining Impressions
Maskmaker is peppered with magic moments but additionally padded with extra routine and acquainted gameplay, plus a heavy-handed narrative. Its greatest moments obtain an intricate steadiness between body-swapping puzzling that helps carry the veil on a few of the story’s deeper themes, and I’d have fortunately spent hours extra making masks within the welcome confines of its workshop. However the recreation usually feels prefer it’s presenting puzzles for the sake of it and will have helped its story breathe by stripping again a few of the exposition.
For extra on how we arrived at this rating, learn our evaluation pointers. What did you make of our Maskmaker evaluation? Tell us within the feedback beneath!
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