“Maid of Sker”

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Reviewer: Console Carl
Publisher: Wales Interactive​
Developer:Wales Interactive
Platforms: XBOX, PS4, Steam
Release Date: 07/28/20
Price: $24.99

The horror experience you have been waiting for is here in my opinion. I’ve been waiting for something like this for awhile now. Something based on a real location and people. Characters and locations from folklore. You play as Thomas Evans a man going to save the love of his life Elisabeth Williams. The folklore says she was enslaved by her family to keep her from eloping. Enslaved in the historic Sker Hotel that is surrounded by supernatural stories and her family with a dark history of torture and slavery. The story pulls you in from the very start as you take a train ride to the hotel, and hear a beautiful delivered letter from Elizabeth telling you of the adventure that awaits. The voice acting is just such great quality , and really pulls you in. It takes me back to “Alone in the Dark” a game I loved in my childhood and consider one of the greatest horror games of all times. It started with some quality narration just like this. The letter informs you of what awaits ahead. You must travel to the Hotel and find the Ciphers and Music sheets to deliver the song that will reverse the curse. The curse that has turned the people of the hotel into zombie like monsters that have no sight, but hunt by sound. They are called the Quiet Ones. The beautiful overlook of the train just let’s you know your in for something special. As Thomas The game is beautiful, but also faded and dark. It really looks like a horror film would from this era.

The Quiet Ones really are terrifying, and the new nudge mechanic makes them even worse. This mechanic makes anything you touch while trying to creep around the hotel make a noise that can be heard by the Quiet Ones. So you have to watch every step you take especially on harder difficulty. So you are making your way down long haul ways and path scared what is around every corner and behind every door, It’s all laid out perfectly to keep you in suspense while you look for a way to Elizabeth in the attic, and to find essential items. you never leave the Hotel yet it never feels repetitive You make your way through the hotel’s cemetery, lawn, rooms, floors, and even secret paths between the walls. Every step is terrifying, because you don’t know what lies ahead. There are moments when then Quiet Ones will stand right in front of you. It’s almost torture, because they can even hear you breathe. There is a mechanic where you can hold your breath. The screen will go darker as you start to black out, and sooner or later your breath will come out and you gasp for air. That is even louder so you attract more attention to yourself. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so uneasy as they stand over me and the screen starts to go dark. You just hope they move, and some times they do but some times they don’t. If they get a hold of you it’s over and it loads your last game save. They will also whack you if you run, and you have to use health elixirs to restore your health. You aren’t completely defenseless though like most games like this. Half way through you get a device that projects a sound that will freeze them up.Only thing is the ammunition is very limited so it adds to the intensity of knowing exactly when to use it. Is it something you can’t escape without, or are you just wasting it?

There are other things to keep you on you toes as well. Puzzles and worse traps are riddled through out. It’s hard enough just getting around without having to take your attention off of your surroundings to solve puzzles or get around traps. The puzzles aren’t overly difficult but usually they are sound related so you have to solve them and worry about the Quiet Ones creeping up on you. Like i said not overly difficult, and they are kind of brilliant to the point where the answer is around you usually you just have to pay close attention to your surroundings while avoiding the creepy residents of the hotel. Traps like dusty rooms that will make you cough that you must cover your mouth to not cough. Just a ton of things that make things more dramatic for you, and set you up to fail. What makes it worse the game is setup where you want to complete it without being touched or dying. You don’t have to do this but there are Achievements attached to it. So this and the fact that it is just great really adds to the replay value. Speaking of value the 20 dollar price tag is just amazing with all the content and replay value in this. The second best 20 dollar game I think I’ve ever purchased with the cult classic Deadly Premonition being first. Another can’t miss horror title if you’ve never played it. I consider this the same one of those you shouldn’t miss. I consider it the best horror game of 2020, and maybe of this Gen. It’s an amazing story and really just a true experience in terror.

The sounds and music of “Maid of Sker” are epic as well. The music is based on the songs of Welsh culture. It really adds to the experience so much. One of my favorite moments is the music as you approach the hotel gates. You know without even entering the front door that true terror awaits. Even with that I don’t think you can truly understand how much until you experience it. Maid of Sker is so scary, and i loved every second of it..It isn’t loaded with cheap jump scares, there are a few quality ones but the real horror comes from the location and Quiet ones that fill it and the sounds that haunt it. You hear them walking the floors not only on your floor but the ones above and below. You hear the sounds of the floors as you walk over them. Every step could be your last, and you feel that. It’s just so brilliantly designed.. The enemies look freaky, and it’s horrible when they chase you, but even worse as you must sneak by them or hide from them. You look forward to getting to the save rooms with the green doors. You hit the Gramophone to save, and hear some more good voice acting filling you in more with extra story details. These details are also delivered in journal notes that act as collectibles hidden in different rooms. There are also musical dolls that count as collectibles as well. Every location is open up exploring , but you have to do so with caution especially the second floor which kind of switches the style of play up on you. I won’t spoil that, but as always this game keeps you on your toes and keeps the game play fresh.

I could talk all day about this game, and how much I loved it. how it feels like something really different and fresh. I know it’s one I will go back to over and over again. Like i said earlier the best horror game this year no question. I can say with ease one of the best this Gen as well. This is one you can’t miss if you love horror, and I can’t wait to hear other people’s opinions on it as well as it’s been out a little longer. I have a feeling I’m not gonna be the only huge fan of it. I hope to see more horror like this based on real life folklore and legends. Love to see some stuff like Franklin Castle, The Winchester House, Amityville just wonderfully horrific places in history. Would be so fun experiencing virtual tours of them , and playing their stories. Maid of Sker gives you all of that with this release, and it’s horror perfection.

The Hotel is so well designed and haunting
The sounds are so creepy, and voice acting quality.
The Quiet Ones are scary as hell, and keep you on your toes.
The story and characters are real, and the story terrifying.
Nudge system is so smart and fresh.

I generally can’t think of any.
I enjoyed it from start to finish with no issues at all.

Overall: 9.0
Horror fans this is one you can’t miss. Just a really scary story, and experience you will never forget. I can’t stop playing it, I think most horror fans will feel the same way.

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