Maid of Sker Review

Welcome to Sker Hotel, located in an isolated area of the Welsh coast, deep within the fog and hidden from any map. The hotel itself seems almost dormant and shut away from any real modern lifestyle as we know it. Upon receiving a letter from a loved one, you venture forth to find and assist the one in question. Arriving by train to the undisclosed location you find yourself in a new environment filled with life, but something seems off. It’s quiet. Awfully quiet. Stepping out onto the platform you find yourself just as lost as the person you’re trying to help, so you head off in the only visible direction.

Brave the nightmares of the Quiet Ones. Do not panic…don’t even breathe!

Maid of Sker is a first-person survival horror, set in a remote hotel with a gory and macabre history from British folklore. Armed with only a defensive sound device, you’ll utilize stealth tactics to avoid death amongst a cult of sound-based AI enemies.

From the fine developers of Wales Interactive, we welcome to the library the Maid of Sker; a first person horror experience with stunning and realistic sound and visuals making this an enriched horror title to play this year. Maid of Sker uses an unique 3D sound based AI system as its core survival mechanic, and uses the Xbox enhanced features to bring the world visually to life. The reason for this is simple – your enemies are blind. Literally, you can walk in front of these beings and not be affected unless you happen to nudge that table leg and stub a toe, which we as humans love so much. But in saying this, don’t let out a peep, don’t even breath. If you happen to make any noise or happen to bump into a table or chair they will hear you, and they will come for you. With the talents of writers and designers behind games like SOMA, Don’t Knock Twice and Battlefield 1, you get the sort of vibe the game is going for.

Just as impressive as its story is the visual art that went into this project. With dim lit halls, dark forest scenarios and almost futuristic steam punk vibes, you will search the almost abandoned hotel looking for clues and puzzle pieces to help you progress through the depths of hotel hell while picking up pieces of the story to tie in. Along your journey you also come across a strange device which enables you to stun any foe that maybe lurking or even chasing you, giving you a greater chance to flea and hopefully find a safe place to hide. Some on the other hand might not be so forgiving, and whether you’re hidden or not, will hunt you down forcefully, if necessary.

Maid of Sker isn’t an overly long game, with about 6 hours of gameplay for the experienced horror fan, but it does offer multiple playthroughs with different endings, a compelling story and visually spectacular scenery while trying to crouch and stay hidden. This could take some time, waiting for an enemy to be at a greater distance so you can move quicker is an option, but risks are greater in making it to the destination. Walking down a hall could also see you face to face with a blind one smashing down a wall and roaring at the sight of you.

Personally being the horror fan I am, I’m glad to see a title like this come to fruition as horrors tend to come and go these days. But as long as developers keep a eye on the prize, we will surely see even better horror games like Maid of Sker more often, especially with next gen consoles only just around the corner.

Conclusion

Maid of Sker is a compelling and visually stunning experience for any horror fan and brings true stealth horror with 3D sound against you at it’s core. This may not be the longest game ever, but if this is the future of horror gaming then I welcome it with open arms.

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This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by the publisher.
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Good
  • Realistic Graphics
  • 3D sound based AI
  • Compelling story
Bad
  • Slow periods while hiding
  • Easy to get lost
7.7
Good
Gameplay - 7.9
Graphics - 8.9
Audio - 7
Longevity - 7
Written by
Hey gamers! Dj Redcap here, been a gamer for years. A passion for video games since the early days of Atari Pong to the modern ages of Xbox One X, I've seen the Sega Master System, the NES, the Dreamcast, GameCube and all the rest. Born 1984, I have seen some great video game advances over the years and I'm glad to be here for them all. Hail from a small dot down the bottom end of Australia and proud to support Xbox. Feel free to hit me up on Xbox GT: vv Dj Redcap vv or twitter @Dj_Redcap

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