After telling us the story of a sailor and his lighthouse in the great A Fisherman’s Tale, the French studio Innerspace is returning with its new virtual reality game on PC and PlayStation VR, Maskmaker, which is larger and longer than its predecessor. Put on your VR mask and let yourself be carried away by this test.
Mask maker starts in an alley. When we are invited to the move, we quickly reach a shop in which two people seem to be arguing: two mask makers, a master and his apprentice, whose story we will follow in snapshots. The character we embody remains unknown and yet after solving a little riddle we discover a secret passage that leads to a workshop with magical masks …
The alley, the shop and the workshop immediately prove to us the artistic talent of Innerspace, a graphic touch that you naturally find A fisherman’s story, which this time extends over much larger areas. Because yes, on the contrary, the game does not only take place in the mask workshop. Each mask that the player has to make transports them to a different world and replaces one of the many guardians of the masks. With a hammer and chisel we make a block of wood to create the main shape, we use the paint trays to give it a color, we hang different materials and there it is! When we put the mask in front of the face, we are immediately transported to another location, and the simple fact that we remove it leads to our return to the workshop immediately.
Although we are free to create the mask, only certain predefined models (around thirty) are associated with the guards. We then have to discover them, because for this we are equipped with a telescope with which we can see in the distance the guardians who we can embody. After the face is scanned, it is possible to make the mask, provided you have the necessary materials. The course is rather non-linear, as sometimes a missing ingredient forces us to change the biome in order to start research. There are 4 materials per biome for a total of 24. A little math won’t hurt and you will know how many biomes to scan. Mask maker. This test also offers you little puzzles, that is! From a fortress that is strongly reminiscent of the age of the wooden footbridge in Myst, to the sandy desert and the huts of the snake charmers, the adventure takes us on a journey while offering few puzzles.
Tchik Tchiki boom
Well, in reality, our progress is constantly being blocked by broken bridges, chasms, and other balls, forcing us to deploy any guard at a distance by making their masks. Sometimes it is necessary to move one of them, for example on some kind of elevator, in order to lower it with the crank, which can be operated by another security guard. You see the principle. In other cases it is a matter of passing on a key object to one another via a basket system. Overall, the puzzles aren’t very complicated but still require a little thought and agility, especially when you have to juggle the various masks in our possession to act fast enough. In addition, if at the beginning it is necessary to return the workshop to change the mask, it is possible to change it without having to leave the biome at a certain point in our search.
In addition to the materials needed to make the masks, various collectibles related to the story we are told can be found. Little brackets, the story is told in French too, so we can dive in without being messed up by subtitles. In addition to everything, statues common in the environment must be discovered and we will then be asked to reproduce their pose in order to unlock access to a gigantic and mysterious tower …
We all wear a mask
Everything is configurable when it comes to travel. You can move freely with the left controller and the right one. Angular or total rotation are possible, although the latter is a little slow even when the maximum speed is chosen. To avoid the inconvenience associated with motion sickness, the protective stickers are present, but they can be completely deactivated. You can move in the direction of the gaze or joystick of your choice and then give the freedom to look around while keeping the cap.
Mask maker is a very nice job. Wait 4 to 5 hours to see the end after collecting more or less all the items in the collection. To come back to the creation of the masks, this of course grows in the course of history and then offers the possibility of varying the colors with two brushes. The adventure is interspersed with small narrative sequences that reveal the identity of the mask master until the very end, while the player that we are also removes his virtual reality mask after having lived a haunting and original quest.
The test was performed on a PC with a GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card (ultra graphics) and an HTC Vive Cosmos Elite headset.