Maid of Sker Review- Patience and Silence Required

Developer Wales Interactive is ready to unleash their survival horror title Maid of Sker upon the masses, but we have been trying to survive for more than a week. Is the game ready for its debut, or should it be left alone to die in the dark?

Read on to find out

 

 

Maid of Sker is a first-person survival horror, set in a remote hotel with a macabre history from Welsh folklore. Based on the haunting true story of Elizabeth Williams, a girl who was locked in her room by her father and is said to be one of two ghosts that haunt Sker House today, you play as Thomas Evans, a musician who is thrust into a terrifying battle to save the woman he loves. Set in 1898 in and around Sker House, a real dwelling that still stands to this day and is said to be one the most haunted in Britain.

Developer Wales Interactive took inspirations from R.D. Blackmore’s 19th century novel, The Maid of Sker, and the original Welsh ballad, Y Ferch o’r Sger, but are telling the story in a truly sinister way, with multiple endings that will be discovered depending on the player’s actions. Expect to play a truly terrifying survival horror that reignites one of the most haunting tales in Wales.

Sound is Your Friend & Your Worst Enemy

To say the game is dark and twisted would be an understatement. The story is told through billboards, posters, notes found lying around, and through telephone conversations between you and Elizabeth (?) who is hiding in the attic. You start out in the main lobby of the grand house, and it is seemingly empty and quiet. Once you find your way into the bowels of this grand place, you’ll realize that you aren’t alone.

The bad guys that are roaming around the house all have potato sacks on their heads and can’t see. This is story related so we won’t tell you why, but what that means is these guys can’t see you, but their hearing is pretty darn good. If they find you, they will beat you senseless and you’ll be sent back to your last checkpoint. Level design is maze like, and these guys make the mazes considerably harder. While these guys can hear you, walking and even bumping into furniture and items hanging around, you can also hear them. The game uses 3D audio and we strongly urge you to turn out the lights, put on your favorite headphones, and play the game that way. You can even hear the guys behind doors, so always pay attention before opening them.

Hiding and Defense

As you work your way through the house, the gardens, and even the cemetery, you have very little in terms of defenses. If these guys get close, you can hold your breath for a short period of time by covering your mouth and nose, or if you have found the Phonic Modulator and a one-time use cartridge, you can send them into a tizzy and get away quickly. these guys aren’t one-hit knockouts for you, though, as you can take a couple of punches before you get knocked out. There are bottles of elixir sparsely lying around that you can drink to replenish your health, and when injured you do make more noise, so be sure to use them when needed.

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A Dark and Gorgeous Game

Maid of Sker is a very dark game, not only in the story but in the overall graphics for the game as well. The story plays out entirely at night, and with lighting from the late 1800s there isn’t much light. This plays into the ambience of the game well, and makes for more than a few pretty good jump scares.The music tends to be pretty dark, and changes when one of the bad guys is honing in on you. You can outrun them, but often that’ll just have you running into the fists and feet of another bad guy around the corner. Patience and a good memory, coupled with knockout failures, will slowly get you through the game.

Developer Wales Interactive has done a remarkable job of creating a survivor horror game that feels unique and intriguing, all the while scaring the hell out of us.

9


Maid of Sker review code provided by publisher and reviewed on a PS4 Pro. For more information on scoring, please read What our review scores really mean.