Maneater – Review
Follow Genre: Action, RPG
Developer: Tripwire Interactive, Blindside Interactive
Publisher: Tripwire Interactive
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch
Tested on: PC

Maneater – Review

Site Score
7.8
Good: Concept, Action
Bad: Repetitive, Could use a bit more content
User Score
9.3
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Jaws has been an iconic name in the movie industry, and many filmmakers have tried to copy the idea of a big bad shark terrorizing the beaches and the oceans for many years. We’ve seen parodies such as Sharknado, or a recent more serious attempt with The Meg. Nonetheless, we never got a real good game that allows you to play as the terror from the deep, and developers Tripwire Interactive and Blindside Interactive seemingly thought it was time to allow the player to eat some humans and become the great hunted shark. We were ready to sink our teeth in this adventure in the deep blue sea.

Story

The game’s premise is quite simple. Maneater starts off by showing us Scaly Pete, a shark hunter, that catches a big bull shark, which is apparently pregnant. Scaly Pete slaughters the animal, and then cuts out the infant shark, which just happens to be you. He then disfigures your body, but before you manage to escape, you bite off his hand. After this, all you do will revolve around getting back at the hunter and hopefully eventually swallow him whole.

The story is actually well-presented, as it’s properly narrated and creates a certain drive for revenge. Even though as a shark your options are limited, the line between good and evil gets blurry rather quickly as you find yourself in waters that are covered red by the blood of various critters and humans.

Graphics

Maneater has impressive visuals but it seemingly can’t pick a style to stick to. The underwater life is very realistically done, with the fish representing their real-life counterparts vividly, as well as the plant life being portrayed in a picture-perfect way. Your shark looks like the real deal, but things get a bit more fantasy-like when you upgrade your shark with new parts, which we’ll discuss below. Everything above the water is done in a more comical style, making the humans somewhat silly-looking, perhaps to tone down the violence factor of this very gory game. Nonetheless, even with the mixed styles in place, the game is a beautiful whole, and the gore never gets over the top, even allowing more casual gamers to enjoy the experience.

Sound

The sound design is top-notch. You’ll only get a few snippets of noticeable music when activating a special ability. Other than that, you’ll have to make do with the sounds of the ocean, the screaming humans and the impeccable narration by Chris Parnell, who has a lot of acting experience under his belt. While some remarks will be repeated often when killing certain enemy types, or visiting your grottos, there’s a lot of voice work present, properly portraying what is going on, as well as unfolding the story.

Gameplay

Maneater is an action RPG game that puts you in control of a bull shark. You’ll start out as an infant, slowly going through your teens, adulthood, eventually becoming an elder shark. The game’s concept and mechanics are pretty straightforward, as you pretty much consume everything that crosses your path, varying from tranquil small fish, turtles and seals, to more aggressive barracudas, white sharks and hammerheads. Of course, humans are on the menu as well, but this will attract the attention of humans. The game also encourages a lot of grinding, as eating animals and humans will be your source of experience.

Of course, not everything is just aimlessly swimming around, feeding on creatures. You’ll have targets to take out, beaches to terrorize, and hunters to kill, as this will increase your status as a feared predator, attracting new bounty hunters that will grant you upgrades when you kill them. You’ll have certain passive upgrades which you can equip in the available slots, but you’ll also be able to transform your own body into something Sci-Fi like that transforms you in a bolt of electricity, or a bone set that makes you some kind of primordial beast. These sets are fun to mess around with, and each of them has its benefits, we do feel that more sets should have been implemented. Also, when you grind a bit at the beginning of the game, the rest becomes a lot easier with parts of these sets equipped.

You’ll be able to plow through this game in about eight hours, even when you explore a lot and try to uncover a lot of hidden objects. The game also forces you in some parts to make a certain percentage of progress before you can go to the next area. Each area also has a grotto in which you can perform upgrades, but these also serve as Quick Travel points, making it easier to transport all over the map.

The game’s controls aren’t always top-notch as there isn’t a proper targeting system. You can focus on an enemy, but only for a second at a time, making it so you can’t lock onto a moving target. The latter would have made a lot of combat events easier, as you’re often just dawdling around, hoping to find the proper angle, especially when being attacked by multiple targets. Eventually, with the lightning set equipped, you’ll just keep spamming your dodge button in order to deal damage as well, as its passive deals damage.

We also noticed a fair amount of bugs, where you’d catapult enemy creatures or hunters into orbit when you bash them repeatedly. This contributes to the hilarity of the game, but it’s also annoying when you knock away an enemy that’s almost dead before collecting its nutrients. These nutrients allow you to upgrade your equipped parts and passive upgrades.

Conclusion

Maneater is a short but savory treat. The game is interesting as it puts you in the fins of a predatory animal, and also makes you ponder about doing the wrong thing the entirety of the game. It’s just simple, violent, fun. What starts out as a story for revenge, quickly becomes an all-you-can-eat buffet that’s entertaining throughout the game’s duration. If you’re looking for a fun sandbox experience with a lot of combat and grinding, we can recommend this underwater adventure.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Maneater - Review, 9.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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