If you had a craft that was so special, that everyone wanted one of your masterpieces every time, what would you do to make each piece of art you created something special? Would you change the color, the shape, or even the materials used to make it? What if your craft was so special, it could teleport you to new places beyond your wildest dreams? How far would you be willing to continue with it? I think I would keep trying to go until there was that dividing point and heard the voices of the pros and cons of it all. But does developer InnerspaceVR show us what it’s like to hone a craft and make it something special? Let’s find out with Maskmaker for the PlayStation VR.
In Maskmaker, you play as a Maskmaker’s apprentice where you will learn the art of crafting masks as you immerse yourself in the intriguing enigmatic beings within the game as you craft different masks to try to solve the different puzzles and explore your way through the mask realm while trying to see the one called Prospero, that rules it all and discover the secret of their identity. So like anything else before you start your journey, you will want to make sure that your Move controllers are fully charged, have some arm movement, and go to the settings to get everything that is best suited for you. I do like how the Free Locomotion can be tracked by the direction your head is facing.
Playing as the apprentice and trying to find your missing master, you will notice from the start how magical this shop really is. But it’s not until you actually find the door to where you can find the workshop to start creating your first mask. Now, I will point out that the shop works as a place of portals per se. See, each mask you create, allows you to enter a different land. Take off the mask in that land and you are instantly back at the shop and put the mask back on and you are back in the land. I will also say that there is no delay in going from land to shop and vice versa. It’s all pretty much instant which is really nice to have.
But how do you go about making the different masks? Well, the first one is simple as you are given the blueprint to make it in the shop. Each new mask will require the basic ingredient, wood that is there in the shop. Then you have to get the tools so that you can carve out the plain mask. Each land will have you going to find materials which means that you have to be looking for items. But don’t let that stop you, listen to the voice that gives the clues as they will get you in the general area of where you need to look. But it’s not all just looking around for items, well there is a lot of that, but you also need to be on the lookout for figures that resemble almost human-like figures. These figures contain a new mask that you then must use your telescope so you can get a good clear picture of what the masks look like, so then hopefully you have collected the right materials, so then you can make that same mask so that you may continue on.
When I say continue on, what I mean is in the first realm, for example, there is a bridge that you cannot cross. But there is a humanoid figure that once you see what the maks is and you have collected the correct items to make that mask, you simply take off your current mask, and back at the shop, grab that blueprint, carve out a new mask, paint it and use the items accordingly, and put on the new mask so that you can then become that figure that was across the bridge you could not get to. So it really is an interesting concept and makes for some pretty good thinking when you need to be in two places at one time to help solve the puzzles (which are not that difficult) and allow you to keep moving further along.
But it’s with trying to find the different required items and find these figures that some may find a little tedious as you will hear a lot of narration with pretty much everything you come across. But I found it be part of the charm of the tale that is being told here. I got excited when I saw a new figure that had a new mask only to see what I would need to collect and then when you do and can create that mask that allows you to enter a new realm brings a form of satisfaction of the bigger scavenger hunt of these realms make it well worth it.
Let’s look at the graphics and sound. I really did enjoy exploring each realm and see how each one would be different compared to the last. Innerspace VR did a wonderful job of making each realm have its own type of personality and I really got a sense of how I would have to adapt in every day situations and living conditions of each interesting realm Colors are done really well and there was no real point where I found it hard to see what I was doing. Some of the items are very well placed that even when I found myself spending time to find certain items, once I did, I couldn’t believe they were where they were. Listening to different sounds was equally interesting. Being in each realm, the sounds fit pretty nicely based on the environment. Being the swamp area and you can hear the insects and hearing the branches sound like they were breaking as I kept moving, hearing the different music for each part of the realms along with the different environments, and even the narration just helped the story along and brought the atmosphere to life.
There are a few things that I found that I hope will get addressed. There was once or twice when I came across a glitch and had to exit the game and go back in which seemed to fix the issue. And the other thing was at certain times, the framerate did not seem as smooth. They didn’t last that long, but I did experience this a few times. I think with a patch, these issues can be addressed. This is in no way saying not to experience the game, but I just wanted you to be aware the minor issues I came across.
Maskmaker gives us a chance to put on a mask to enter different realms of escape, much like how enter those escapes when we put on a VR headset. It allows us to pretend to be someone or something we may never get a chance to be in real life and makes it an enjoyable experience. And shouldn’t we all have the opportunity to take off our own mask of reality and be able to escape with our different hobbies and interests?
In case you missed the trailer please enjoy. Until next time, I am just going to the art of crafting.
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