Pure gory fun
- Developer: Tripwire
- Publisher: Koch media
- Genre: RPG
- Release Date: 22/05/20
- Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC
- Reviewed on: Xbox One X
- Game Supplied by: Koch Media
Maneater at its core is a game about a damn big Ssark, and for the most part, that’s what it is: With a twist.
Maneater isn’t just a gory chomp fest, it has substance. Not a huge amount of it, but there is a story to break up the kill-fest.
Maneater follows a documentary-style narrative about the life of a Bull Shark. At the start, you will learn the basics through a tutorial while controlling a fully grown Bull Shark. Eventually, you are captured by Scaly Pete who is a renowned and devoted shark hunter. When he captures the shark you were controlling he discovers a pup inside and scars you so that he will recognise you when he hunts you later. In an effort for survival, our plucky young pup nabs a lump of Pete and takes his hand off.
That’s where your story starts. You eat Scaly Pete’s hand and begin your climb to the top of the food chain. The core game is a quest led open-world RPG, gated to your level/life stage. Some areas are only available when you reach Teen and Adult. To guide you in reaching these goals there are a huge amount of open-world areas and quests to complete.
Generally every area has a few similar quests, one for population control that sees you killing a set number of a species, an infamy goal that is a representation of how well known you are amongst the hunters and an Apex predator to take down.
Every area has a unique Apex that you will need to take on. These Apex predators are not your run of the mill species, they are mutated mega versions of the standard variety and trust me they will put up one hell of a fight. The Apex Barracuda gave me a real run for my money.
These mutations are not exclusive to the Apex predators, however. This is where you will outshine your mummy shark. Through quests and defeating Apex predators you can unlock mutations of your own, for example, bone armour and teeth, or for a shocking twist some bio teeth that send electric pulses for extra damage when you bite.
The caves around the world will act as your home bases and are where you can equip your new-found mutations and even upgrade them, for an even bigger bite. These Grottos are easily identifiable by a large Floating buoy that has an illuminated rope leading into your home waters.
These caves so far are the only peace that I have found in the hostile waters of Maneater. Around every corner there is something ready to prove its worth against you.
The general mechanics are fairly simple, you can swipe, speed up, jump and of course bite. By speeding to the surface you can breach and sometimes even do a flip for some terror inflicting style but for the most part, you will be mixing these to chomp on everything, even if it’s on land or a boat.
There is also the ability to swim at the surface with your fin sticking out: This is how I generally fight boats as it allows me to flip to dodge bullets and makes easy work of jumping onto or over a boat for a quick chomp of a hunter.
Overall the mechanics are fine, they work well but I do wish there was a full lock-on and not just a quick “here’s what’s trying to kill you” indicator. I have found myself missing more than enough bites due to the fact I can’t lock-on to a target. You have to time it right and make sure you are aimed at the right thing.
Maneater is fun, and there’s a good bit of progression. It just feels like it’s going to get repetitive really quick. The first few areas are almost carbon copies of each other, with just a new map and slight change to the quests and story.
I think Maneater is a really fun game, though I wish the start of the game was made more linear and had a faster pace to get you ingrained and invested in the story before hitting you with a list of repetitive quests and a host of hidden items. It would be better served to have a chapter or two of the story that you could plough through before you get to the meat of the game.
The best thing about Maneater, thankfully, is the Shark progression. I love seeing my shark grow and change as I apply mutations to become the ultimate Apex predator and I will not be quitting before I completely devour Scaly Pete.