“We’re gonna need a bigger boat” – is a quote from the famous movie Jaws, but will you need one for the game Maneater?
Narrated by actor Chris Parnell, the main story is told through a reality TV style show, about a shark hunter called Scaly Pete. Pete caught your mother, removing you and killing her in the process. The game then sees you (the shark) on the hunt and getting revenge on Pete.
Set in the bayou of America, you explore eight different areas that are unlocked through progression. Once an area is unlocked you can travel back and forward to previous areas, as you take on sea creatures, explore for items and even take on other apex predators or shark hunters. Your progression will be dubbed with shark ‘facts’ and hilarious quips from Parnell throughout.
While the combat at the beginning is a bit awkward to get your head around and to get use to, as it is based underwater, but once you do, the game becomes easier and by no time you’re swimming and fighting smoothly. As the bull shark, you go around killing and eating everything you see. When you start of as the baby pup bull shark, it is difficult to kill the bigger fish or swamp animals. However, as you level up and evolve, get ready to become the apex predator of the ocean. It is very enjoyable to watch the pup shark grow as you level up and there is great satisfaction growing more powerful with each attack.
You will do quests in each section that give you materials such as DNA and these materials are what you need to evolve. There are three tiers abilities that you can use to evolve your shark, these are known as bone, shadow and bio-electric. These tiers can be used in a combination of permutations, to upgrade your sharks abilities and look, be it bones set of power moves, shadows deadly poison effects or the bio-electric shock moves. You can unlock these abilities through quests, by finding landmarks, collecting crates and license plates or eating fish until the apex predator of that area reveals itself for you to fight. There is also an infamy level and the more humans you kill, hunters will be sent to kill you. Kill enough of them and a boss will appear and once you’ve drag them to a watery grave, you can upgrade your shark too.
While playing the game over the space of twenty or so hours, I came across no major bugs or glitches personally. The sound is good and I found no issues with it. Wearing headphones made it more of an immersive experience underwater. The graphics are good and quite colourful, with varied environments and lighting. Movement of your shark is smooth and easy to pick up and play feel. Although a fun game, it can becomes a bit repetitive when you’re trying to upgrade and mutate. But saying that, I love playing it, as it’s humour and over the top nature of the title is enjoyable and the somewhat repetitiveness in the end game, did not hinder the overall fun.
For €40, the game is an absolute bargain. Maneater is enjoyable, funny and who doesn’t want to become a mutated killing machine, while Chris Parnell narrates what you are doing.
Maneater is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch.
Review by Thomas Brown-Lawlor