[PlayStation 4] Maid of Sker Review
Maid of Sker from Wales Interactive is a first-person survival horror game based on a Welsh tale of folklore. Learn more in our Maid of Sker review!
Maid of Sker from Wales Interactive is a new first-person survival horror game set against a tale of Welsh folklore. You will be taken back to 1898 to Sker Island to explore the Sker Hotel. You – as Thomas – receive a letter from Elisabeth Williams, calling you to Sker Hotel. Elisabeth is your lover, and it seems that her father has learned of your relationship, and is not amused. On top of this, he wants to use her voice to sing and bring more and more people to visit. When she refused, he locked her in the hotel.
Along with the letter, Elisabeth also sends a locket that belonged to her mother. When opened, this locket plays a specific tune, which you get to listen to at the start of the game. The locket also comes with a particular request, which certainly seems very odd at first. Since Thomas is a musician, this is not something that he would not be able to do… but yeah, the overall request is a weird one. Worry not, because once you start to play Maid of Sker, this whole thing will definitely click.
You can play on Easy, Normal, or Hard. In Easy, you will have more health, enemies will be weaker and less aggressive, and you will also have access to more ammo and health items. Normal is the standard experience, in which enemies will be sensitive to sound and can be easily alerted to your presence, with ammo and health items being scarcer, but still available. For Hard, saves will be limited, enemies will pop up earlier in the game and are more powerful, and they will not stop chasing after you until they’ve destroyed you.
You’ll walk with the left analog stick, running by pressing down on the L3 button and looking around by using the right analog stick. The X button will be for interacting with things, used for opening doors, or collecting items. Any items you find can be checked and rotated in a 3D view before they’re added to your inventory, which you can open with the Triangle button. You will gain access to a special device that will use sound to protect you from enemy attacks, but it will have limited uses. You can access your map with the Touchpad so that you can see where you’ve been and where you might need to explore for clues. Your map can be updated by finding the maps for each of the floors you will visit, so be sure to keep your eyes open!
As you play, be sure to interact with phonographs to be able to save your progress. You never know when a monster is going to pop up, and if you’ll be able to not alert it to your presence – or get away before it can damage you once it knows you’re nearby. As a trophy hunting heads-up – more on the Maid of Sker trophies in a bit – be sure to also interact with all instruments and all of the bells you find. This is twice as important at the start of the game since there’s one room, in particular, you won’t be able to revisit after exiting it. You will know which room I’m talking about since it’s a small room located before you enter the hotel proper, and it has a phonograph and a piano.
The monsters you will find as you walk the halls and explore the rooms in Maid of Sker have a very peculiar characteristic: they’re all blind. Because of this, audio will play a huge role in this adventure. Make too much noise by running, or play an instrument or ring a bell at the wrong time, and a monster will be alerted to your presence and your overall position. Enter a dusty room and start breathing more heavily – or cough – and the monsters will immediately turn around. The good news is that, luckily, the sound from opening a door here and there does not seem to get their attention, so there’s that.
And now, let’s discuss the game’s trophies. As you might remember, I mentioned you should play all instruments and ring all bells. This is because there are two trophies for playing all instruments and ringing all bells in the game, along with another trophy for playing all gramophone recordings. Some of the trophies will void others, which is why you’re going to have to play this one more than once. An example of this is how there’s one trophy for answering all calls and talking with Elisabeth, while there’s another trophy that is awarded for ignoring all of Elisabeth’s calls. There’s also one trophy for completing the game on Hard, which I suggest you leave for a second – or even third – playthrough so that you know what you’re getting yourself into and how to escape from monsters. Oh, and there’s a trophy for completing the game without saving, so good luck with that one!
If you’re a fan of first-person survival horror games of a supernatural nature – with a folklore twist – then Maid of Sker from Wales Interactive is a good option to check out. It offers an experience that will last you a handful of hours but do know that it’s not the type of game that will be for all types of players. Maid of Sker is out now on PlayStation 4 with a reasonable $24.99 asking price.
This Maid of Sker review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Wales Interactive.