Maskmaker Evaluate – The Magic Behind the Masks
Maskmaker on PC
Maskmaker is the form of recreation that may solely actually exist as a VR title. Crafting totally different masks and exploring magical worlds, whereas a novel concept, is one thing that simply wouldn’t have the fitting affect for those who had 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 vogue to my picket creations with a flick of my wrist. However like plenty 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 via totally different magical realms with a purpose to search out Prospero, the king of the realm whose id you could finally reveal. Lots of the story is performed out in brief, flashback cutscenes that play out round you as you stand within the setting, and a few strong voice appearing work from Prospero himself offers further context as you discover totally different objects and progress via 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 together with your telescope, will be crafted and worn with a purpose to assume management of that physique.
Crafting the masks is pretty primary at first, as most of the time you’re dipping a masks in a single colour and attaching a number of totally different elements 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 primary masks template, or taking a step again to understand the completed product as its eyes magically glow to life, opening up a complete new avenue so that you can discover this magical world.
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 elements and varied colours to make extra elaborate designs may very well 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 liked to have seen a masks creator mode with free reign to make intricate and eccentric designs and share them with pals to design themselves would have been nice, although this admittedly could also be an excessive amount of of an ask for the small crew at Innerspace VR.
The our bodies sporting these masks could 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 enjoying on PC noticed me instantly teleport into the brand new physique, with non-existent loading instances.
Pulling off one masks and being transported to your workshop, earlier than swiftly placing one other on and returning to the realm in a distinct 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 enjoying on a TV with a controller.
Within the first half of the sport, nevertheless, these puzzles are very primary, and issues solely actually ramp up barely in issue within the latter half. It was solely proper in direction of the top I discovered myself having to spend a bit of extra time to sit down again and discover the answer.
Having to seize two handles on a furnace to manage the stress for instance, pumping with one arm and releasing stress by holding down the opposite was a reasonably easy ‘puzzle’ to unravel, and this got here after the midway level. A selected spotlight was an space which required me to information water via a maze-like system of gates had me traipsing again and ahead making an attempt to determine the place I’d gone incorrect and the way I might attain the totally different valves I wanted to with out sending the water the opposite manner.
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 probably the most half, it’s a stroll in an enchanted park.
Maskmaker, sadly, falls brief in relation to really accumulating the assorted objects to make the totally different masks. Whereas some had been neatly tucked away, others had been so obtusely hidden that I spent far longer than I ought to have completed going backwards and forwards via the comparatively small space every masks permits you to discover searching for them.
One significantly annoying object required you to discover a six-headed a part of a plant. There was solely certainly 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, by accident 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 crops having picked off numerous components of it to no avail.
Had I not been pushed to complete the sport to put in writing this assessment, I might see myself giving up in some situations. I’m glad I pushed via to the top, however as soon as I’d lastly acquired round these short-term roadblocks, there wasn’t the identical sense of satisfaction as there was after I was efficiently switched between masks up in a forest cover to kill off a fungus somewhere else 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 elements 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.
Equally, there have been some instances the place the sport doesn’t actually clarify what you need to be doing subsequent. It’ll let you know you might want to attain an goal, however doesn’t even trace at the way you’re alleged to go about doing it. It led to plenty of strolling round aimlessly, desperately selecting up the whole lot I might and switching between masks within the hope Prospero would offer a useful clue. Most of the time, he’d simply retort the identical, obscure one-liners as a substitute.
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 making an attempt to convey. Nonetheless, by the top, I did discover some muddy and low-quality textures which detracted from the immersion and jogged my memory I used to be enjoying a VR recreation… wildly swinging my arms about or on the cusp of stroking my couch whereas making an attempt to piece collectively a snake statue, a lot to my girlfriend’s amusement.
This would possibly all sound like I didn’t get pleasure from Maskmaker, however quite the opposite, I completed the sport and located myself wishing there was a bit of bit extra. One other realm or two to essentially 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 vivid 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 direction of the very finish. Should you’re in search of a circa five-hour VR journey with some magical moments, you might do worse. Simply don’t count on a groundbreaking VR expertise.
Reviewer: Chris Jecks | Copy supplied by Writer.
- 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
- Wasn’t at all times clear what you had been meant to do subsequent
- Various high quality of environments
- Discovering some objects was extra tedious than it ought to be
April 20, 2021
Oculus, PSVR, Steam VR