The follow-up to horror adventure Maid of Sker is a co-op shooter, for some reason

Maid of Sker is an extremely British horror game that sounds a lot like a Frictional outing: It's set in 1898, and tells the tale of "a family empire driven by torture, slavery, piracy and a supernatural mystery." It's based on Welsh folklore, and is set in a real-life historical building in Wales known as Sker House. And it's apparently pretty good: It has a 69/100 aggregate score on Metacritic and a "very positive" user review rating on Steam.

To build on that success, developer Wales Interactive announced a followup today called Sker Ritual. But it's not a horror game—for some reason, it's a "co-op survival FPS." Flashes of the new game in the all-too-brief teaser appear similar to Maid of Sker—a dark forest outside a burning cabin, a turn-of-the-20th-century parlor—but the guns and plentiful enemies look more like something lifted from Painkiller. It will support solo play and co-op action for up to four, and in case there was any doubt it is not a direct sequel but a "spiritual successor."

The Steam page doesn't have much more to say about it—"survive the supernatural onslaught of the Quiet Ones" is the extent of it so far—but it strikes me as an odd direction for a followup. Off-genre spinoffs for established games series, like Resident Evil Re:Verse, are one thing, but Maid of Sker is literally a one-off at this point. If it did well enough to justify another game, why make it something so different?

I've reached out to Wales Interactive to ask (hey, I'm curious about these things) and will update if I receive a reply. Sker Ritual is expected to be out sometime in the second quarter—that's April 1 to June 30—of 2022. Have a look at a few screens down below.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.