HomeReviews3.5/5 ReviewSker Ritual Review

Sker Ritual Review

-

The year is 1914. Sker Island is under the rule of Elisabeth Williams, and she is planning to broadcast something called the “Siren’s Song”. No, this isn’t an attempt to lure in a suitor, instead she is planning on world domination using the spooky sounding location as a base of operations. Needless to say, it’s bad.

You may not realise it but Sker Island is a sequel to Maid of Sker and picks up straight after the “evil” ending. Despite this, it’s a totally different experience this time around as what we have here is an FPS that pits you against endless waves of abominable creatures. 

You play as a mysterious character, awakened from what can only be described as a metal coffin, to aid Elisabeth’s daughter Arianwen, who has cottoned on to her mother’s evil plans and vows to put a stop to her. The aim? Interrupt the broadcast at any cost.

Sker Ritual review 1
Set after the ‘evil’ ending of Maid of Sker

There are four different scenarios to play through in Sker Ritual. You can gain access to four more if you fancy shelling out for the Digital Deluxe Edition. In each you will be guided through by a string of objectives which are usually simple enough to complete. You aren’t against the clock in the traditional sense, but time is not on your side.

This is because enemies will come after you in waves, gradually increasing in difficulty as you survive each one. There will not just be different enemies who are tougher to take down, but a shed load more will join them too. This is where upgrades become crucial to seeing out your objectives to the end. “Elites” will also pop up every few waves which are much more difficult to take down. Abraham for example, who slowly pursues you in a similar fashion to Mr X (look it up kids), is genuinely chilling and can take a frankly ridiculous amount of bullets to the head before he relents.

It’s a good job then that you’ll earn points (although it’s illustrated as cash) which you can use to buy new weapons. Tiered upgrades for your weapons are also essential, as well as replenishing ammo at dedicated stations. The only really useful things enemies drop are limited time buffs, such as infinite ammo and “sudden death”, which means you can carry out one-shot kills. Your character has a few tricks up their sleeve, such as a health restoration potion, explosive projectiles and force blast (which needs charging). Otherwise your items are simply on a cooldown cycle, so in theory you can keep yourself going forever, depending on how skilled you are.

If you find yourself mid-reload (which takes flipping ages without upgrades) your quick draw melee weapon will come in handy to keep the nasties at bay. The way to do this is with “miracles”, which you unlock as you progress through the waves of enemies. Each time you gain a coin to spend, you can choose between one of three options that offer all sorts of different upgrades to your abilities and equipment.

Sker Ritual review 2
Lighting things up

These remain during each run but expire at the end, however you can permanently upgrade your character as you rack up the hours. That’s right, Sker Ritual implements the all too familiar Season Pass system, but the good news is that it’s free. XP earned from each run will allow you to unlock tonnes of customisation features, such as character costumes and voice lines. Perhaps most importantly, you will also be able to upgrade character stats such as reload speed and weapon damage, increasing your chances of success in future runs. These perks reminded me of plasmids from BioShock, despite being managed in the menu between runs.

One of my struggles was that I found the instructions vague at times, desperately trying to figure out what to do to proceed. Most of the time waypoints will guide you, but if you are looking for certain items you will only be taken to that general area. This wouldn’t be so bad, if it wasn’t for the hordes of bloodthirsty creatures trying to surround you at every moment.

You can play Sker Ritual solo, in a private lobby with friends or online through the matchmaking function. To be honest, I enjoyed myself a lot more with others. Going solo felt too challenging (even on “normal”), although you do have the option to change the difficulty mid session. The online lobbies are busy and finding a game is easy, helped along by crossplay too. It is also a case of four heads being better than one, so progress feels a lot quicker when playing with others. The difficulty curve is identical when playing solo, which meant I struggled to get anywhere near the end of each scenario before I was overwhelmed by the enemy waves without help.

Sker Ritual looks average, I can’t really be any more complimentary than that. The brightness menu at the start is way off though, so I completely ignored it. The lines of dialogue which can be triggered by using the D-Pad (used purely to irritate each other it seems) come through much louder then the rest of the in-game sound. The game crashed on me at one point, and several times I was cornered by enemies, unable to pass and was quickly taken down. Sker Ritual certainly feels rough around the edges, but thankfully the gameplay is pretty solid.

Sker Ritual review 3
Just. Keep. Shooting.

It all means that it is quite simple really. If you enjoy shooting crowds of enemies, you’ll be in your element with Sker Ritual. There is an effective suite of progression options, backed up by customisation, to ensure there is a healthy amount of replayability value. It’s a good job too, as at an entry price of £19.99 it’ll stop and make you think before purchasing. It’s for this reason that the success of this game relies heavily on how effectively it is supported with future content. 

There’s certainly room for improvement, but Sker Ritual is an enjoyable zombie horde shooter that will appeal to fans of the genre.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Shooting monsters is always fun
  • Online matchmaking works well
  • Loads of customisation and upgrade options
Cons:
  • Playing solo feels unfairly difficult
  • Technical rough edges stand out
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Wales Interactive
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), PS5, PC
  • Release date and price - 18 April 2024 | £19.99
Darren Edwards
Darren Edwards
I have been playing games since a very early age, thanks to my Dad's encouragement. I've been an Xbox gamer since the very beginning, the Master Chief is to thank for that. I'm also a big Nintendo geek, and my other half is a PlayStation nut. I'll play pretty much anything in any genre (although FIFA and COD maybe pushing it).
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Follow Us On Socials

24,000FansLike
1,671FollowersFollow
4,922FollowersFollow
6,860SubscribersSubscribe

Our current writing team

2814 POSTS23 COMMENTS
1282 POSTS18 COMMENTS
1046 POSTS46 COMMENTS
932 POSTS0 COMMENTS
409 POSTS2 COMMENTS
116 POSTS0 COMMENTS
82 POSTS0 COMMENTS
78 POSTS4 COMMENTS
24 POSTS0 COMMENTS

Join the chat

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you

<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Shooting monsters is always fun</li> <li>Online matchmaking works well</li> <li>Loads of customisation and upgrade options</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Playing solo feels unfairly difficult</li> <li>Technical rough edges stand out</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Wales Interactive</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), PS5, PC <li>Release date and price - 18 April 2024 | £19.99</li> </ul>Sker Ritual Review
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x