Maneater Review: The good, the bad, and the bitey vengeance
Did you know that sharks kill six people per year, while 100 million sharks die as fishermen’s prey? It’s a game that doesn’t seem very fair, doesn’t it? But now the sharks have an opportunity for vengeance, and you can lead them through it!
It is a dream of every apex predator, and it is packed in 11 hours long single-player game where you help a small shark pup eat her way up to the top of the ecosystem. On the way to this goal, you will explore the seas of fictional town Port Clovis and fight diverse enemies. As a bonus, your shark can go against nature’s laws, evolve into a massive sark, and become a legend. That will help your shark to get her sweet, bloody revenge against the evil fisherman Scaly Pete, that dismembered her. By doing so, you and your shark achieve to eat, explore, and evolve as the game’s tagline says.
This is the premise of Tripwire’s PS4 open-world adventure game that’s available since the 20th of May. While the plot of this collectathon isn’t exactly complex, it makes it up with goofy narration and engaging aesthetics and presentation. We took our time to discover the Maneater underwaters and collectibles to present to you our conclusion.
The rush of a struggle and occasional performance issues
The first thing one will notice is the lush design that introduces you to the game that doesn’t make it easy to beat the first few levels. Your baby shark starts with limited capacities and has to fend from the alligators, who are the main force of the water kingdom. Because of this, you will find yourself dying way too many times until you learn how to avoid the dangers.
One of the main goals is to consume as much as possible because that will help your shark progress and gain in size each time. As you develop and evolve into an elder shark, you will earn abilities that will take down the crocodiles that used to be a threat before. Also, you will be able to jump higher out of the water, and your powers will allow you to stay on land for a longer time. That’s how you’ll get to do what you were meant to – eat the golfers and anyone near the beach. Besides that, you will also have to navigate through the map and find collectibles. Some of these objects are the area’s noted landmarks, scrapped license plates, and crates of nutrients. These will level up your shark and provide her with nutrients and mutagenic substances.
Nevertheless, it is the combat that interests you the most, isn’t it? Sadly, you won’t encounter many surprises here. The battles don’t offer much novelty and usually mean a boss fight to eat the opponent’s nutrients. The other aim is to increase your infamy status, which has a dark side too. The bigger your name is, the more people are out to get you. Meaning, bounty hunters will attack your shark, and you will need to eat them. Unfortunately, you won’t get much pleasure out of it and at some point, you will notice that the battles become repetitive after some time. The final fight also feels deprived of a fulfilling endgame-feeling. More layers of combat complexity would make a big difference that would make it feel less fleeting.
Another unexpected battle you might face is the game crashing down during the combats. Is there a bigger disappointment? Yes, there is. Your save-file might be gone. Therefore, be sure to take care of your backup-save and protect your nerves. Luckily, Tripwire Studio has addressed this glitch and they are working on fixing this.
Temporary blast and the not so imperceptible flaws
It would be wrong to say that Maneater can’t provide you with a lot of fun. However, that entertainment isn’t far from being simply transient. You might even find the levels to be too easy sometimes, which doesn’t give the desired amount of catharsis.
What helps the game rate higher is the beautiful graphics, but some might find it a bit outdated or cartoonish. Together with the cutscenes, they can be improved to achieve a more intense effect.
Finally, even though Maneater can feel lackluster at times, it has qualities we can’t ignore. The game introduces a unique concept – a bloodthirsty shark that eats humans and gets rewarded for it. Thus, the underlying symbolism of embarking a journey of eating humans to climb to the top of the food chain adds up for the occasional technical glitches. Without a doubt, if these flaws don’t put you off, you will experience fun in the underwater world of Maneater.