When you think of sharks, those soulless eyes always come to mind, of the great merciless killer that Steven Spielberg sold us in his movie Shark. This may not be the most correct image of a shark, but perhaps it is the most morbid and tempting of all. Thanks to it we have had great Hollywood works such as Shark and some sequel, Deep Blue See, Megalodon, and many more series B such as any of Sharknado, Tintorera, or the Sharktopus or Megalodon vs Giant Octopus threads.
It is not the first time that an attempt has been made to create a video game of the Shark franchise without good results. Even for the year 2006 Appaloosa Intercative released Jaws Unleashed for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Game in which for the first time we could get into the role of a white shark and spread panic on beaches and reefs. His problem was none other than poorly optimized control and missions, which, removing the initial impact, became boring.
Fourteen years without having anything in particular on this subject, Maneater comes to us from TripWire, to offer us everything that Jaws Unleashed couldn’t in his time. That if accompanied by all the good things about a B-series movie, she knows how to laugh at herself and leads her maximum possible exaggeration characteristic facets such as madness, bad jokes, meaningless scenes and gushing blood.
In Maneater, as the trailer promises, we take the bad guy out of the movie, who really isn’t that bad. The protagonist is a baby lamia shark (or bull shark), with the characteristic of this species, which is to be able to swim in both fresh and salt water. Our objective in the game is to grow and evolve in such a way that we can defeat our arch enemy and murderer of our mother
The game puts us squarely inside a open world sandbox, where we must wipe out everything we see ahead with bites and tails. Along the way we can also perform the occasional acrobatic jump (as if it were a dolphin caught in an aquarium) and evolve in an unnatural way to get electric bites or stroll along the beach to eat all that human that he did not want to bathe. The main stages take place in swamps, lakes, beaches or in the high seas, all of them communicated with each other and full of missions (both main and secondary) and collectibles. Each zone includes a underwater cave as an enemy free zone and as a fast travel point.
Our protagonist is a super predator, with it the much of our missions is to attack schools of fish, eat humans, attack other predators in the area like crocodiles, whales, killer whales and other sharks. Some of them can make life quite complicated for us. For this the game is presented as an RPG (although with very limited options) and on more than one occasion we will have to farm a little to get the evolution of our shark (from brood to elder) and add improvements with which to combat some predators. These improvements range from bone armor to electric teeth, through sonar, which in turn can be improved to strengthen these powers.
But not everything is to eat marine beings. One of the game’s graces is its notoriety factor. As we attack humans and create in our wake a blood-soaked panic wave from our lunch, our level of infamy grows. With this, the higher this level, the greater the number of hunters who will come to capture us. With this on more than one occasion, we will have more than one hunter ship attack where we can delight ourselves with acrobatic jumps accompanied by bites and mutilations, and with it a pleasant malevolent smile on our face.
Nibbles, tails, and lots of blood
At a glance, Maneater it is a simple and repetitive game. For the most part we will spend swimming, eating, attacking and discovering hidden points of interest in the most remote areas of the scenarios. Its level design is good, but It could be something that could be improved both at a playable level and in the artistic section
With this and as happened with Jaws Unleashed, it is likely that more than one player, removing the initial impact of the game, may get bored and leave the game halfway. But if you can see the intent with which Tripwire tries to make your limitations are the keys to fun, then you will enjoy as a dwarf all the macabre sense of humor that this game hides being a manic shark.
Maneater is going to eat and that is what we are going to do throughout the game. It can be done normally or in the most exaggerated way you can. Dismemberments, gobbled up with backflips amid explosions, dodge missiles and kick them back to ships, badly bite the divers and in the last breath of their life, throw them against the hunters / crew of a ship and they fall into the water and repeat the action again.
All this scandal and bloodbaths are accompanied by a soundtrack quite in line with our manic shark actions. But if there is something to highlight, it is the narrator who, based on bad jokes and as a Discovery Channel documentary, tells us great stories of lost places, details of the morphology of our shark and some predators. All this folded and localized to Castilian in a fairly decent way.
Fun, if a little quirky
As a fan of shabby series B movies based on sharks and mutated alterations of these, I have to say that I have been waiting for this game since it was announced at that E3 in 2018. But because of its lack of variety in missions, how repetitive it can be result and some level design flaws like gameplay, They suggest that the game was not ready yet and that it had to be removed quickly.
The good thing about everything and despite the failures, is a game that manages to overcome thanks to how much fun it can be. With this, the game encourages to make the main story almost on the flip, thanks to the crazy things you can do inside your content. Start with our little shark and end with a piece of bug that would make anyone stand up, hidden Easter eggs from movies that have no relation whatsoever like It, Peter Pan or even James Bond, deaths, blood, explosions, picturesque characters …
Definitely Maneater it is a recommended game as long as you are interested or can be a little caught by this kind of genre of both killer sharks and sandboxes. Honestly it’s a game that He could have given much more than what was offered, but he manages to get his funny and macabre point out of it all. It would certainly be good news to wait for a second part in which TripWire could offer improvements on all the flaws found in this title.