Watch our review of Maneater and find out why you should pick up this ‘ShaRkPG’!
Find out what we thought about Tripwire’s shark RPG – Maneater. We’ll reveal whether it lives up to the hype, if it’s fun to play and if you should buy it.
Because who else but Upside Down Shark should review shark-based games?
Hey, how’s it going guys? Welcome to our review of Maneater, available on PC, PS4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch. We’ll tell you everything you need to know before you play, but before I do, make sure to hit subscribe and the notification bell for reviews, interviews, features and more!
GTA clones are a dime a dozen these days. Some of them are lazy ripoffs, but some take the formula in exciting new directions, like Saints Row and of course Simpsons Hit and Run. On premise alone, Maneater definitely falls into the latter category.
You play as a Bull Shark, on a crusade to avenge your mother, who was cruelly killed by the game’s main antagonist – Scaly Pete. Starting as a mere pup, you’ll have to eat, fight and swim until you’re strong enough to exact your revenge.
It’s a really cool idea, and who better to give you the lowdown on shark-based gaming than your pals at Upside Down Shark! Is Maneater worth playing? Watch on to find out…
Firstly, I’ll be damned if they didn’t make a fully fledged shark RPG! With a big open world comprising of 7 large regions to explore, there’s a level of detail and variety I just wasn’t expecting. From beachside resorts to swampy bayous, it feels like a living place that you can explore at your leisure.
This sense of freedom extends to the way you can approach the game too. You can play as a well behaved shark, who just goes about their business without interfering with people, or you can go full Jaws on their asses and munch everything in sight. But be warned, the more chaos you cause, the higher the bounty on your head will become, meaning more nasty humans will be after you. Think the wanted system in GTA, but more fishy.
But Maneater doesn’t just pull from Rockstar’s favourite cash cow for inspiration. The developers jokingly refer to the combat as ‘Shark Souls’, and it’s easy to see the comparisons. Without delving too much into spoiler territory, you start the game as a fully grown shark, allowing you to get to grips with the mechanics while very few creatures pose much of a threat. It’s once you’re thrust into the role of a baby shark that things get interesting; in your juvenile state, even seemingly innocuous marine life can pose a problem. You have to defend and attack with pinpoint precision, and defeat serves as a valuable lesson not to repeat mistakes.
To experience a combat system as fleshed out as the Souls series in a game like this is ludicrous, and definitely makes for plenty of addictive replayability.
And as you grow from pup to adult, you’ll be able to experiment with some pretty gnarly customisation options. By consuming mutagens throughout the game, you can take on elemental mutations such as armoured skin and electrical fins, giving you the edge over your enemies. The developers claim you’ll eventually be able to level up to the might of the legendary Megladon, but I guess I’ll have to eat a few more fishermen before I get to that point!
On top of all this, it has a pretty solid story too! Experiencing your mother’s death means you can’t help but be invested in the narrative. And the fact the whole plot is narrated by Chris Parnell (of Rick and Morty and Archer fame) mitigates the fact most of the game occurs without dialogue.
To wrap up, Maneater is better than it had any right to be, and I applaud developers Tripwire for creating something truly unique. There’s plenty to sink your teeth into here, with something that could’ve easily been a throwaway title. Sure it might be a bit of a novelty, and its appeal is gonna be more niche than your average title, but I implore you to give it a go.
And above all, it’s got a good message that in real life, sharks are at more risk of attacks from humans than the other way around, and that we should respect our finned friends lest we incur their fishy wrath.
But what did you think of Maneater? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe for more videos every single week. See you next time!
If you’d like to support us, please check out our Patreon!