SHARK WEAK
PC Gamer US Edition|September 2020
SHARK WEAK
Repetitive tasks take a big bite out of the fun in MANEATER.
Chris Livingston

I’ve lost track of how many people I’ve eaten. My mission was to consume ten golfers, and since people don’t golf in the ocean I had to jump out of the water and shimmy my way onto the golf course to start chowing down on them. Three patrol boats filled with gun-toting shark hunters appeared, so I ate them, too. I’m probably up to about 17 humans eaten now, though I still need to eat three more golfers to finish my gory quest list.

More hunters in patrol boats and on jetskis arrive, so I consume them too, along with a few divers. And then a celebrity shark hunter appears, flanked by several escort boats. It’s Candyman Curtis, important enough to warrant his own introduction in a cutscene. I leap from the water, snatch Curtis from his boat, and swallow him in a few bites while I swim away. Defeating a human in a boss fight is no big deal when you’re a goddamn shark.

Sharks only do three things, according to Matt Hooper in the 1975 movie Jaws. They swim and eat and make little sharks. In Maneater, Tripwire’s action-RPG, you just swim and eat (and sometimes bellyflop onto a golf course), which doesn’t sound like enough to propel you through an entire open world RPG. And, unfortunately, it isn’t. There’s a lot of appeal in growing from a little shark to a hulking leviathan, but there’s just not enough variation in the things you do along the way.

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September 2020