Release date: 22 May 2020
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Developer: Tripwire Interactive
Publisher: Tripwire Interactive
- Scaring and attacking humans
- Lots of things to do (read as: chew)
- Entertaining voiceover
- Repetitive after a few plays
- Challenging final battle
If you’d consider hunting catfish and turtles entertaining, the gory and silly Maneater is something you’d want to sink your teeth into. Though you’d just be a pup vulnerable to barracuda and shark hunters, you’re going to have to binge on everything in sight to gain body mass and grow, in order to swim to the top of the food chain and wreak bloody havoc. And if you think you may feel guilty from all that hunting, fret not. Because the residents of Port Clovis are painted in an unpleasant light with the piles of garbage in the ocean and the nuclear power plants in the background. So you are essentially lending Mother Nature a hand and doing the ecosystem a huge favour.
Eat. Eat. Eat. Repeat.
See those humans hanging out on the beach? Or that boat you’re swimming right below? Or even the seals, grouper, and hammerhead sharks around you? Eat them all. Yes, that’s what the game’s all about. And that’s how you’ll be progressing from one mission to another. Each area will also have its own apex predator the likes of a(n) alligator, barracuda or orca issuing you a challenge. It’s essentially a battle of the fittest. Other water activities that may interest you include obtaining collectibles like nutrient caches to bulk up, landmarks to discover, or even collecting license plates. Sure it might sound repetitive but wait till you start going after petrified beach goers or spring a surprise on that unsuspecting person soaking up the Sun on his inflatable unicorn. And if that’s not enough to keep you entertained, you have Chris Parnell (Jerry Smith from Rick and Morty; Dr. Leo Spaceman from 30 Rock) to talk you through every area in the game, including the clown from It in an underground tunnel, a crashed UFO, as well as the wreck of a Titanic recreation cruise.
Hunt or be hunted
Much like the Wanted Level system in Grand Theft Auto, every person and boat you attack increases your level of Infamy. Which will turn the tide and draw the attention of more and more hunters. And then you’ll find divers, lasers, and even explosives right on your tail. That’s definitely enough to keep you on your toes (or fins!). Sure you could dive into the depths to evade them, but with big risks come big rewards. Take them on and you’ll get a new Evolution like a Bio-Electric tail, or even a Bone Jaw, making you a bigger threat in the water. Each new Evolution you obtain from the nutrients of different prey can also be upgraded, making your sonar more effective, or even enabling you to survive longer on land. So if you’re in need of some excitement, all you have to do is keep eating your way through the game.
Blood is thicker than water
The plot revolves around you baying for Scaly Pete’s blood, the redneck hunter who killed your mother and scarred you. And the final fight with him is not a walk in the park.
As much as you’d question the science behind the game, it serves as a perfect distraction from the world around us. One might even find it oddly therapeutic. The waters are your playground. There’s mischief to be made in the resorts, water parks, and even marinas, especially when you start filling them with blood, or tossing someone right into the air with a flick of your tail.