Games like Maneater are my jam — absurd concepts no triple-A studio would contact. Who’s ever made a shark role-playing recreation? So when Tripwire Interactive introduced it on the Electronic Entertainment Expo in 2018, the concept hooked me.

Not solely do I dig distinctive RPGs, however I additionally get pleasure from sealife. Sharks each fascinate and terrify me (as an 8-year-old at Universal Studios, my worry of Jaws resulted in me almost climbing over the individuals within the row forward of my household), and I’ve lengthy learn and watched every part I can about them. The prehistoric throwbacks have survived a whole bunch of hundreds of thousands of years of evolution and upheaval. Major extinction occasions haven’t killed them.

But humanity might. Many shark species are endangered because of overfishing (sharks get caught up in nets and discarded), finning, environmental encroachment and destruction, and our worry of those creatures. How is that this related to a evaluate a few shark RPG? Well, all of this was behind my thoughts as I performed Maneater, which debuts right this moment for PC (Epic Games Store unique for now), PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Maneater is absurd, foolish enjoyable. It has a substantial amount of humor, and Tripwire and Blindside Interactive (the studio who bought the concept to Tripwire) have pulled off a recreation that engages your curiosity in addition to your humorous bone. Environments and creatures present a definite care relating to their designs and appearances.

Tripwire casts the story by the lens of Maneater, a actuality present following famous shark hunter Scaly Pete. As you acquire infamy when you chow down on the Gulf of Mexico’s best fish and people, you encounter Pete. These interactions take a darkish flip, sending poor Pete down the trail of Captain Ahab and Quint from Jaws. It ends in a most sudden denouement that pits man vs. beast … and a relic of World War II.

I performed on PC (Tripwire recommends a gamepad, however I discovered the controls to be extra responsive with a mouse-and-keyboard setup), and over 20 hours, I discovered a recreation that made me smile from starting to finish. But it’s important to purchase into the joke to get essentially the most out of it.

What you’ll like

Maneater review: Become the shark, embrace the shark

Above: McMansion swimming pools provide shelter from shark hunters.

Image Credit: GamesBeat

It’s completely absurd

Maneater is humorous and doesn’t take itself severely. You have a mission to eat mafia members, and beneath the water, you swim alongside their victims carrying concrete footwear. Many quests names are puns (akin to “Hungry, Hungry for Hobos”). You accumulate license plate-like indicators that may be in some odd locations, just like the third-story deck of a yacht or on the efficiency stage inside an deserted SeaWorld-like park. You additionally go to landmarks, indicators that time you to some hilarious areas. In the Gulf, you discover some nice statues and Greek buildings. Someone, it seems, determined to construct an out of doors museum … underwater. One of the shark hunters chasing you is a mob queen with a supercar of a speedboat. You discover shrines to elder elemental evils as nicely.

Yet nothing’s as absurd as taking part in a shark who mutates and eats every part in sight. As you develop and devour victims (be they apex predators like Rosie the Alligator or shark hunters akin to Mama Maybelle), you acquire mutations. One provides you bio-electric fins, which stun and harm prey (or people). Bony jaws and plates allow you to rip by boats, fishing vessels, and Coast Guard command skiffs. You can improve these as nicely with assets you acquire from consuming fish, turtles, nutrient bins (the “shark loot”), and other people.

As I write this, my shark has bony jaws, armor, and fins, with a bio-electric head. Mutations have heightened its swim pace, digestion (so it will get extra assets from what it eats), sonar, and well being. At this level, the shark appears to be like extra like a beast from The Abyss in a Dungeons & Dragons monster e book than it does a terrestrial predator.

The environments provide loads of locations to cover from hunters as you feast on people, and some made me chuckle. Sure, you’ll be able to hand around in a sewer pipe or discover a hard-to-reach cay whereas your foes blast shotguns at you, or you’ll be able to dive into the pool at a McMansion or hang-10 in a … skate park.

It’s all corny, and even the simple dumb laughs made me smile.

I feel that is what it feels prefer to be a shark?

Exploring is cool. The shark can glide by the water, and clicking the mouse to chomp along with your jaws feels pure (and cooler than simply hitting a button on a controller). You can discover a number of totally different environments — a bayou, lake-as-toxic waste dump, a deliberate neighborhood round that the majority pure of shark environs (a golf course), bays, and the Gulf. Dotted throughout these are grottoes for exploring and evolving and sewer programs with tasty fish and “shark loot” (containers of vitamins and mutagens). And as you develop, you discover going again to the older areas is a good suggestion if you wish to.

Nice number of animals

Grouper, catfish, muskie, mahi-mahi, king mackerel, seals, turtles, sharks, alligators — every part you’d anticipate finding in these waters in addition to rays (which I miss). Fish do greater than allow you to evolve — consider them as well being potions everytime you’re combating a gator or a hunter and have to heal up a bit. Eating is life, and it provides you life.

And even while you’re an Elder shark, bulked up on turtle shells and human blood, the ocean nonetheless throws you some challenges. Watch out for orca and sperm whales. They can flip you into lunch even while you’re advanced to the gills.

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