Most of us are unreasonably scared of sharks and Tripwire’s Maneater is letting you take the power back while perpetuating the very myths that got you so scared of sharks in the first place, but if you can ignore that, it looks like some dumb fun.
Just to get this out of the way: driving and breathing are just two of the many, many things that are more dangerous to you than sharks are, but you still love those things, so maybe give the sharks a break; we’re running out of them at an alarming rate. Maneater perpetuates the myth that sharks live their lives on a mindless killing spree and Tripwire is aware of this, they’re just hoping people will see it for the silly game that it is.
In Maneater, you play as a shark on an insatiable quest for nutrients (what sharks crave), growing from little pupper to megashark by nomming your way through as many nommable things as you can find, including beachgoers and those hunters inevitably sent in to bring down the beast.
The gameplay reveal at this year’s E3 shows the hefty shark, mid-quest, causing havoc for all and sundry as it cuts a bloody path through various coastal locations. Not even the land is safe from torpedo shark, as it propels itself into the air, doing sick back flips for maximum carnage and absurdity.
Sharkpedo is not without enemies, however, we see shark hunters and a giant saltwater crocodile in the gameplay video, but, according to Tripwire, there are other monsters even bigger than you, including a very angry whale, that will menace you as you progress. Your shark will also evolve as it grows, gaining customisable abilities, such as shock teeth and tail armour.
Against my better judgement, I’ll probably try to play Maneater, even though it’ll come back to bite me (lol) next time I’m on the backline, waiting for a wave, nought but a bit of polystyrene and fibreglass between me and the expanse of impenetrable darkness below, because imagination is fun.