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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