PS5 Review: Sker Ritual

More than just a COD Zombies clone?

The Quiet Ones are back in this round-based survival shooter and spiritual successor to the award-winning British horror, Maid of Sker! Face hordes of new and familiar enemies, supercharged elites with unique supernatural powers, upgradeable steam-punk weapons, interchangeable spine-chilling masks and mysterious story objectives from writing talent behind Maid of Sker, Battlefield 1 and Total War: Rome II.

The original Maid of Sker launched on PS4 back in 2020 and I reviewed it and it’s PS5 upgrade that came out the following year. I absolutely loved the atmosphere, the stealth approach and especially when they later added weapons for specific scenarios. It still remains as impressive as I remember, but there’s a sequel in the works and to tide us over until that happens…a spiritual successor/spin-off has been released…

Sker Ritual comes with 4 huge maps to explore and the format is similar to what you would expect from Call of Duty Zombies, but with clearer waypoints and objectives to give the players focus on where to go and what to do. Mission objectives can vary from killing enemies in a specific area, looking for symbols to a safe using a lantern and plenty of other surprises. These can get very overwhelming when faced with hordes of enemies descending on you, especially solo…so I would definitely recommend jumping online if you want to succeed.

That being said, there are actual difficulty modes to choose from here. There’s a story based one that sets the cooldown for rounds to just under a minute, which gives you more than enough time to scavenge new weapons, upgrades or clues to the next objective. As with COD Zombies, you’ll gather cash for kills which can be used to unlock new areas as well as getting new guns and so on.

Every few rounds, a boss-type enemy will be summoned which will require a lot of bullets to put down. It isn’t ideal when it can spawn between rounds when you are hoping for a breather to complete some objective, but it does keep you on your toes to not be complacent in thinking you’re guaranteed on at the end of every round. Weapons vary from your typical pistols, assault rifles, shotguns and so on, but there are a few special ones that can shoot lightning rounds to stun your enemies and also power up/destroy certain items.

A big difference with this and COD Zombies is that you have a never-ending supply of health packs and grenades, but they are on a reset timer so you can’t become too reliant on them. You will also grab perks throughout that vary from being active all the time to being activated by a button prompt.

You can choose to play the game in a Performance or Fidelity mode, plus you can have an unlocked framerate if you wish. The load times between maps are relatively short and the framerate is mostly solid with only a few drops when there are dozens and dozens of enemies on-screen. The visuals are impressive on the whole and it does retain the look and feel of the original game, even if it’s a Zombies clone.

The Verdict

Sker Ritual is a decent COD Zombies clone. It ticks all the right boxes and delivers what you would expect, while adding in more accessibility options like difficulty settings and clearer objectives and waypoints. It may not be a Zombies-killer, but its more impressive than it perhaps will get credit for.

Score: 8.5