Maskmaker on PC

Maskmaker is the type of recreation that may solely actually exist as a VR title. Crafting totally different masks and exploring magical worlds, whereas a novel thought, is one thing that simply wouldn’t have the best affect should you have been holding a controller and gazing your TV. In VR, I was in these worlds. I was crafting the masks, delicately including colour in a paint-by-numbers style to my picket creations with a flick of my wrist. However like a number of VR titles on the market proper now, Maskmaker’s scope is considerably restricted and in doing so limits the enjoyment you’ll get out of it.

The story follows your journey as a Maskmaker’s apprentice as you journey by totally different magical realms so as to hunt down Prospero, the king of the realm whose identification it’s essential to in the end reveal. A variety of the story is performed out briefly, flashback cutscenes that play out round you as you stand within the setting, and a few strong voice performing work from Prospero himself gives extra context as you discover totally different objects and progress by the story. It helped make the entire journey really feel that little bit much less lonely, as you navigate these largely empty realms and clear up the puzzles they home.

It’s navigating these worlds that make up the majority of the gameplay right here. In every realm you discover, you’ll discover our bodies with totally different masks on, which, when you’ve recognized the masks along with your telescope, may be crafted and worn so as to assume management of that physique.

Crafting the masks is pretty fundamental at first, as as a rule you’re dipping a masks in a single colour and attaching just a few totally different parts you discover all through the totally different realms to finish the designs. It’s nonetheless oddly therapeutic, chiseling away a block of wooden and seeing it take the type of your fundamental masks template, or taking a step again to understand the completed product as its eyes magically glow to life, opening up an entire new avenue so that you can discover this magical world.

maskmaker review

Nonetheless, it was within the second half of the sport as soon as extra the place you’re given paintbrushes and much more masks templates that the mechanic actually reaches its full potential. Combining totally different parts and varied colours to make extra elaborate designs might be a recreation in and of itself, and I want there have been much more difficult masks to make than these you’re tasked with crafting by the very finish.

I’d have cherished to have seen a masks creator mode with free reign to make intricate and eccentric designs and share them with associates to design themselves would have been nice, although this admittedly could also be an excessive amount of of an ask for the small workforce at Innerspace VR.

The our bodies carrying these masks might allow you to entry an space of a realm you beforehand couldn’t attain due to an infinite chasm, or pesky fencing that forces you into using your Maskmaking craft. Switching between masks when taking part in on PC noticed me instantly teleport into the brand new physique, with non-existent loading occasions.

Pulling off one masks and being transported to your workshop, earlier than swiftly placing one other on and returning to the realm in a special space is so seamless and makes the entire expertise really feel that little bit extra magical and immersive. It’s this sort of mechanic within the recreation that simply wouldn’t have the identical affect taking part in on a TV with a controller.

Within the first half of the sport, nevertheless, these puzzles are very fundamental, and issues solely actually ramp up barely in problem within the latter half. It was solely proper in the direction of the tip I discovered myself having to spend somewhat extra time to take a seat again and discover the answer.

Having to seize two handles on a furnace to regulate the strain for instance, pumping with one arm and releasing strain by holding down the opposite was a reasonably easy ‘puzzle’ to resolve, and this got here after the midway level. A specific spotlight was an space which required me to information water by a maze-like system of gates had me traipsing again and ahead attempting to determine the place I’d gone fallacious and the way I might attain the totally different valves I wanted to with out sending the water the opposite manner.

maskmaker review

Watching the water gush again out to sea so I might enterprise out on my boat to the island within the distance was satisfying after racking my brains, I solely want there have been extra like this earlier on within the recreation, as for essentially the most half, it’s a stroll in an enchanted park.

Maskmaker, sadly, falls quick on the subject of truly accumulating the varied objects to make the totally different masks. Whereas some have been neatly tucked away, others have been so obtusely hidden that I spent far longer than I ought to have executed going forwards and backwards by the comparatively small space every masks permits you to discover in quest of them.

One notably annoying object required you to discover a six-headed a part of a plant. There was solely considered one of them on the six or seven bushes within the space, however loads with two or three heads. I picked up numerous of those earlier than lastly, unintentionally stumbling on the one I wanted to craft the masks.

There was no trace that I used to be heading in the right direction, and I had roughly disregarded the vegetation having picked off numerous components of it to no avail.

Had I not been pushed to complete the sport to write down this evaluate, I might see myself giving up in some cases. I’m glad I pushed by to the tip, however as soon as I’d lastly obtained round these short-term roadblocks, there wasn’t the identical sense of satisfaction as there was once I was efficiently switched between masks up in a forest cover to kill off a fungus elsewhere earlier than it grew again, or solved the aforementioned water puzzle. I simply felt the sport didn’t actually worth my time.

As such, discovering these masks parts felt extra of a chore than it actually ought to have, and given this was a reasonably important chunk of the sport, discovering one was met with a way of aid that it was over for a short while longer and I might return to the workshop to refine my craft additional, or that one other intuitive puzzle could also be in retailer.

maskmaker review

Equally, there have been some occasions the place the sport doesn’t actually clarify what try to be doing subsequent. It’ll inform you it is advisable to attain an goal, however doesn’t even trace at the way you’re purported to go about doing it. It led to a number of strolling round aimlessly, desperately selecting up all the things I might and switching between masks within the hope Prospero would supply a useful clue. Most of the time, he’d simply retort the identical, obscure one-liners as an alternative.

The longer I needed to spend idly strolling across the areas, the various high quality of the environments in Maskmaker turned extra apparent. In its opening realms, the sport’s artwork type encapsulates the magical feeling that the story and the world are so desperately attempting to convey. Nonetheless, by the tip, I did discover some muddy and low-quality textures which detracted from the immersion and jogged my memory I used to be taking part in a VR recreation… wildly swinging my arms about or on the cusp of stroking my couch whereas attempting to piece collectively a snake statue, a lot to my girlfriend’s amusement.

This may all sound like I didn’t take pleasure in Maskmaker, however quite the opposite, I completed the sport and located myself wishing there was somewhat bit extra. One other realm or two to actually put my maskmaking and puzzle-solving expertise to the take a look at, with out the finicky object accumulating or obtuse instructions.

When Maskmaker shines, it shines shiny to the purpose I had a beaming smile on my face. It’s only a disgrace these moments solely are inclined to pop up in the direction of the very finish. If you happen to’re searching for a circa five-hour VR journey with some magical moments, you possibly can do worse. Simply don’t anticipate a groundbreaking VR expertise.

Assessment Block

Maskmaker Critic Review
Reviewer: Chris Jecks | Copy supplied by Writer.

Execs

  • Making masks is a ton of enjoyable
  • Some satisfying use of switching between masks for puzzle fixing
  • Transporting your self into magical realms by switching masks by no means will get outdated

Cons

  • Wasn’t at all times clear what you have been meant to do subsequent
  • Various high quality of environments
  • Discovering some gadgets was extra tedious than it needs to be
Launch Date
April 20, 2021
Developer
Innerspace VR
Writer
MWM Interactive
Consoles
Oculus, PSVR, Steam VR
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