PLATFORM: PC, PS4 (REVIEWED), SWITCH, XBOX ONE | RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
From Wales Interactive, Maid of Sker sets out to deliver a chilling mystery based in Welsh folklore. Inspired by the tale of Elisabeth Williams, this first-person survival horror offering managed to drum up a fair amount of anticipation ahead of its release, so let’s take a look and see what all the fuss is about.
Taking place in 1898, the tone of Maid of Sker is immediately set from the moment you step off a train and find yourself on the outskirts of a hotel on the Welsh coast. As musician Thomas Evans, you arrive at Sker House and soon find yourself engulfed in a mission to locate your ‘one true’ amongst an unravelling plot of supernatural shenanigans, torture and the eerie presence of the Quiet Ones – a group of shuffling sorts who zone in on every single noise you make.
Doused in a misty, gothic sheen, Maid of Sker is a tense, unrelenting experience that calls for players to rely on stealth and problem solving to save the day. A multi-layered story, the game plays out to a stunning backdrop of wondrous visuals and a musical score that will stay with you long after you put your controller down, with several iconic Welsh hymns reimagined for the release. Maid of Sker is the sort of game that lulls you into a false sense of security with its beauty before gleefully pulling the rug out from under you. Rarely has something so utterly haunting been simultaneously so beautiful.
In a horror realm where overplayed tropes are plentiful, Maid of Sker conjures up something utterly unique. But then, that’s to be expected from a writing team that delivered similar genre standouts like SOMA and Don’t Knock Twice. And to add further appeal to Maid of Sker, its price (£24.99 on PS4 and Xbox, £19.99 on Steam) represents ridiculous value for money, with the game far surpassing certain more expensive releases that have had a far larger budget invested in them.