Tripwire Interactive’s Maneater really does have itself a pretty killer premise. Letting players loose on its open world setting of Port Clovis as a deeply scarred bull shark in search of revenge, it’s an unashamedly silly, hyper violent and completely throwaway experience that should make for a pretty great videogame. It delivers in giving you the motivation, the tools and the playground with which to exact your bloody retribution, gets the tone and the setting of its shark vendetta just right, but then fumbles its execution, delivering a procession of dull missions, janky combat and an ever-increasing laundry list of the very worst kind of open world busywork. In the end, what should have been a riotous revenge fantasy ends up feeling rather toothless.
Kicking off with the murder of your mother at the hands of celebrity shark hunter Scaly Pete (who’s hand you bite off in the opening scenes) Maneater wastes no time in flinging you into the fins of a newly orphaned baby shark (please don’t sing it) who you must now commandeer through the eight regions that make up the game’s open world map. Here you’ll eat everything you see, be it man, woman or seal, in order to evolve into a flipping mega-shark — an apex killer with the skills and abilities to face off against your hook-handed nemesis and avenge your momma once and for all.
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