Grand Theft Auto-Style Open World Shark Game Maneater Is A Jaw-Dropping Eat ‘Em Up
Maneater lets you roam the seas as a massive hungry shark, massacring whales, alligators and beach-going humans with glee. Basically, it’s phenomenal.
The new eat ’em up from Tripwire Interactive is a raucous blend of old-gen gem Jaws Unleashed and Grand Theft Auto, with a few ‘ShaRkPG’ elements thrown in for good measure.
While millions of gamers dive into Verdansk for high-anxiety shootouts, Maneater offers a different catharsis. For the wearied and stressed, there’s perhaps no greater antidote than flying from the ocean surface with some poor bloke in your sharp-toothed gob, later thrashing them to the point of bloody crumbs.
Check out the trailer for Maneater below:
Unlike Jaws Unleashed – a cult favourite in its day, but one plagued by woeful mechanics and janky visuals – this sea-faring treat is an absolute joy to explore, from murky swamps to deep blue open waters, layered with tunnels and hidden goodies to find.
You’re welcomed into the experience with the soothing cadence of Rick and Morty’s Chris Parnell, who accompanies your bloodlust for the entirety of the game. As you rip apart turtles and seals, Jerry chips in with fascinating adages and hilarious commentary.
There is a story in play; your enemy is Scaly Pete, a fierce shark-hunter who killed your mother and chucked your scarred body out to sea for him to find later in life. It’s framed through some sort of trashy nature documentary, with a film crew following his exploits as you grow bigger, faster and stronger in the depths of Port Clovis.
However, this is by no means a strictly linear title. If anything, Maneater encourages you to explore, knock through grates, find crates, discover landmarks and generally just be the best shark you can be. If you want to spend two hours doing nothing but eating humans by the shore, go ahead. But if you want to push ahead with the plot, that’s a viable option too.
That said, the more time you spend doing your own thing, the quicker you’ll evolve – as you level up from Pup, to Teen, to Adult, to Elder, your body will transform into a greater beast of your own design, whether it be equipped with electric jaws or a hard-bone fin.
As well as taking on the ‘apex predators’ – terrifying variations of each area’s main predator, from barracudas to killer whales – you’ll also attract the attention of other hunters as you wreak havoc. In this regard, it borrows the vibe of GTA’s wanted levels, with their efforts escalating to often maddening scale as the game progresses.
While it’s a rewarding game, it’s not without its limitations; the grind becomes clearly immediately, the combat – particularly on land – can be iffy, and the story is a bit too self-serious for its own good.
However, based on pure entertainment alone, Maneater is a throwback to the PS2 days of wacky-dom, when titles weren’t required to be expansive or game-changing – they just needed to be fun. Get chomping.
Maneater is available to buy and download for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows (via the Epic Games store) now, with a Nintendo Switch release planned for later this year.
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