Published on April 30th, 2024 | by Gareth Newnham

Sker Ritual Review (PS5)

Sker Ritual Review (PS5) Gareth Newnham

Summary: A decent evolution of the CoD: Zombies formula held back by technical issues.


felly felly

Sker Ritual is, as the Welsh say, felly felly (so-so).

The latest sequel to a single-player stealth horror game to try it’s hand at the multiplayer live service schtick (following the brill Outlast: Trials). Ritual takes the setting of the surprisingly creepy Maid of Sker, puts a pistol in your hand and asks you if you wouldn’t rather play a few rounds of CoD: Zombies.


The result is pretty much as you’d expect: a turn-of-the-century coop shooter where you gun down hordes of monsters and unlock new buffs and perks at the end of each round. The big twist, though, is how Sker Ritual attempts to weave a narrative through each of the game’s large maps, with you solving puzzles and shooting generators as you try to make it to the end of each level while surviving until the 20th wave.

Though the core mechanics are pretty solid—shooting feels responsive, guns have a good amount of oomph (at least in the early waves)—and the objective-based gameplay presents a nice twist on an otherwise well-worn formula, this live-service shooter steeped in Welsh folklore fails to excite as much as its unsettling predecessor did.

Though Sker Ritual can be played solo if you’re feeling antisocial, and it’s perfectly playable, it’s clear the best way to play is online with a group, as the hordes quickly overpower solo players while they try to get everything done.

I mean, I assume it is; throughout my playtime, I didn’t manage to connect to a single online session. I’m not sure whether this was a technical issue or the player base is already unsustainable, but every attempt at matchmaking was unsuccessful. Cups of tea were brewed, sandwiches made, articles edited, and models primed as I waited for someone, anyone, to join my game. But alas, I was destined to take part in this particular Ritual alone.

Each map has its own theme and elite monsters that stalk you throughout the stage and soak up damage like an irritating sponge. They are accompanied en masse by the quiet ones, sack-headed abominations that will quickly overwhelm you if you don’t successfully keep them at bay. Initially, combat feels fairly satisfying. However, after a few waves, it’s actually in your best interests to avoid fights and focus on objectives when you can since the rewards are generally greater. This seems slightly antithetical to what is supposed to be a shooter at its core.

Progression is also mind-numbingly slow, and the rewards are mostly piffling. With new masks and apparel unlocked as you climb through the ranks and little else. after several matches, I was still in single digits, with little permanent progress to show for my efforts.

Final Thoughts

Whether Sker Ritual lives or dies, like all online-focused games, will depend entirely on whether it can capture and maintain a dedicated player base. Despite its charming aesthetics and solid shooting, Sker Ritual’s chances of achieving this still feel slim, not only because it’s entered a crowded space but also because its rougher edges and matchmaking woes are likely to put off players in this absolutely crucial launch period.

Overall, Sker Ritual is a half-decent online shooter hamstrung by matchmaking issues and a player base on par with the number of dog walkers you’ll bump into when going for a stroll along the blustery stretch of Welsh coastline the game is based on.

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