Maneater (video game)
Deep Silver (retail)
|Engine||Unreal Engine 4|
Xbox Series X/S
|Release||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One|
Xbox Series X/S
Maneater is an action role-playing game developed and published by Tripwire Interactive. The game was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on May 22, 2020, Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 in November 2020, and was released for the Nintendo Switch on May 25, 2021 in North America and Europe, and in Japan on May 27, 2021. In the game, the player assumes control of a female bull shark who must evolve and survive in an open world so she can take revenge on a fisherman who disfigured her as a pup and killed her mother.
The game is an action role-playing game played from a third-person perspective. In the game, the player assumes control of a baby bull shark who must take revenge on a shark hunter named Scaly Pete, who killed its mother and disfigured it. The shark has several basic attacks, including charging into enemies, siloing out of the water and whipping enemies with its tail to stun them. It can also use its surroundings for combat advantages, such as using a swordfish as a spear. The shark needs to hunt and consume other aquatic wildlife such as fish and turtles in order to obtain nutrients, namely proteins, fats, minerals and rare mutagenics. Players can also attack humans by wreaking havoc along the coast, destroying yachts and ships, and knocking people off jet skis. As the player gains enough nutrients, the shark must enter underwater grottos to unlock new abilities and increase in size, which allows the shark to take on larger and deadlier creatures. The shark will slowly evolve into an adult "mega" shark, and players can acquire advanced upgrades and customization options such as external bone plates, shadow armor, and electromagnetic spikes to further enhance the shark's combat abilities.
Playing as the shark, players can freely explore the open world of Port Clovis, which consists of eight regions: Caviar Keys, Crawfish Bay, Dead Horse Lake, Fawtick Bayou, Golden Shores, Prosperity Sands, Sapphire Bay, and the Gulf. Players can discover hidden landmarks and complete side objectives. While each region will have other predators that will attack and kill the shark, such as muskellunge, barracuda, alligators, sperm whales, orcas, and even other sharks, they will also have their own apex predator that will also kill the shark. Larger and different in appearance than their normal species, these apex predators are a great barracuda, a shortfin mako, an American alligator, a great hammerhead, a great white, an orca, and an albino sperm whale. Defeating these predators will earn the player special skills. The world is reactive. As the shark creates more havoc, human bounty hunters will be dispatched to hunt it down. If the shark manages to kill the ten lead hunters, which are named characters, it will receive additional rewards. The game is narrated by Trip Westhaven (voiced by Chris Parnell), the host of an in-game reality TV show titled Maneaters vs. Sharkhunters, who guides the player throughout the game.
A film crew for a reality television show follows experienced Cajun shark hunter Pierre "Scaly Pete" LeBlanc and his son Kyle as they hunt for an adult bull shark with a harpoon in its side owned by Scaly Pete's father. They manage to capture the shark after it goes on a killing spree at a beach. Upon discovering that the bull shark is pregnant, the film crew are shocked when Scaly Pete cuts out the infant shark and uses his knife to identify it later as it grows before letting it go, though he loses his right hand in the process.
The infant shark grows larger over time by eating fish, aquatic mammals and reptiles, humans, and apex predators. Other shark hunters eventually go after the shark, but are also killed and eaten. Back on Scaly Pete's boat, the Cajun Queen, tensions grow between him and his son over claims that Scaly Pete’s father was killed by a megalodon, even though it is believed to have been extinct for over two million years. They eventually relocate the shark and attempt to kill it. They try burning the shark alive after it eats Scaly Pete's left leg, but the shark escapes, and Kyle is killed in an explosion that causes the Cajun Queen to sink and leaves Scaly Pete disfigured.
As the shark continues to grow, the film crew grow concerned for Scaly Pete's sanity after losing Kyle as he prepares to use extreme methods to kill the shark. He eventually repairs and arms his father's old PT 522 navy patrol boat with military-grade firepower. He attacks the film crew after they attempt to talk him out of it and sets out to kill the shark, which has by now evolved into a megashark, measuring 9 m (30 ft) in length. The shark ultimately gets the upper hand on Scaly Pete, who in a last-ditch effort, uses explosives to kill himself and the shark.
The game was developed by Blindside Interactive alongside publisher Tripwire Interactive. The game's production was led by Alex Quick, who worked on the competitive multiplayer game Depth in which players assume control of either a shark or a diver as they combat each other. Initially envisioned as an expansion for Depth, the title became a standalone product after members of the development team splintered off and worked on a single-player experience that builds on the gameplay systems established by Depth. The team was inspired by Jaws Unleashed and other action RPGs such as Deus Ex and Dishonored while working on the title. According to John Gibson, the president of Tripwire, the team had always wanted to make an open world title similar to games like Far Cry and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, though the team wanted their take on the genre to be "completely new and unique". The combat system was inspired by Punch Out and Dark Souls, as the player need to think tactically and discern an opponent's attack pattern.
Maneater was announced on June 11, 2018 by Tripwire's newly formed publishing division which provided funding, marketing and additional development for the game. The game's physical retail version is published by Deep Silver. The first trailer for the game was shown at E3 2018 during the PC Gaming Show. Maneater was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows via the Epic Games Store, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on May 22, 2020. The Nintendo Switch version was originally planned for release in 2020, but was later delayed to May 25, 2021.
|PC Gamer (US)||65/100|
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