MANEATER / DEVELOPER: TRIPWIRE / PUBLISHER: DEEP SILVER / PLATFORM: PC, PS4, XBOX ONE / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Reality TV show “Maneater” is following the adventures of renowned hunter Scaly Pete, cruising the waters in search of a notoriously vicious shark. Marking a baby shark with his knife so that he can identify it in later years, the calf retaliates by chomping down on Pete's arm. Flung into the sea during the melee, it's now your job as the shark to grow, evolve and survive alone in the ocean. But wherever you go, Scaly Pete is always out there somewhere, looking for revenge...
Maneater's semi-open world features a ton of variation in its environments, from shallow murky bayous and flooded factories to the crystal clear waters of the open ocean. Teeming with wildlife and forgotten relics of life above the surface, you're never short of something to do. Aside from following the main story, there are side missions, hunters to antagonise as you increase your own infamy, super-strong apex predators to take down and landmarks to find, usually featuring a knowing visual reference and a wry quip from narrator, Chris Parnell (Rick and Morty's Jerry). Equally amusing are the almost slapstick physics of the game's combat, which can often be a sight to behold!
The game's levelling system is based around nutrients earned by eating things and completing objectives. The first couple of hours can be a bit rough, as you'll often feel underpowered until the shark reaches the adult stage of its life, but it's well worth persevering - abilities can be added to your internal organs and then enhanced by spending your nutrients, strengthening your shark to the point where you'll eventually be launching yourself out of the water, snatching humans from bridges with your bio-electrified jaws and dragging them down to the depths just for the fun of it!
Maneater is completely daft and absolutely a novelty, and it does kind of feel a bit low-budget, but if you're looking for something a bit different and / or a mid-priced game that provides 10 or so hours of ridiculous entertainment, you won't go far wrong.