Hello Everyone and welcome to Honey’s Anime! Tripwire Interactive had invited us to check out their new title, Maneater, with narration by Chris Parnell (30-Rock, SNL, Rick & Morty, Archer). Maneater was first announced back in 2018 during the PC Gaming Show at E3, and the trailer they presented that day definitely left a mark on us. The most recent sighting of Maneater was at this past year’s E3 2019, where much more was shown including some gameplay presented by the Tripwire team. We never had the chance to get some hands-on experience but that all changed at the press event. Chris Parnell’s voice matches perfectly with the game’s theme, which is a reality show similar to the Deadliest Catch! During the presentation, Tripwire presented us with a new dev diary for Maneater and can be viewed below:
Maneater Developer Diary 3: Evolution of a Shark:
Maneater’s plot, yes there is a plot, is about a bull shark that was being hunted by a human bounty hunter and narrowly escaped with only a broken spear lodged in her side. The bounty hunter died in the process and his son, Scaley Pete, has held a grudge ever since. Fast-forwarding to the present, the Scaley Pete is now a bounty hunter himself and has dedicated his life to avenging his father’s death by killing the bull shark that took his life. Eventually, Scaley Pete finds the bull shark and kills her on his boat after capturing her, only to discover that she was pregnant with a baby bull shark of her own. Not being completely vengeful, Scaley Pete cuts the baby shark to mark him, vowing that if he ever came across him again, Scaley Pete will make sure the baby bull shark never sees the light of day.
This is where the story continues as the baby bull shark, the player, has to find ways to survive the watery world that is Maneater.
Maneater is an open-world survival simulator with some RPG elements involving a bull shark, where you need to eat to survive and, thus, getting bigger and stronger as you mature into an adult bull shark. Throughout the story of the game, sharks obviously can’t talk so that is why Tripwire has Chris Parnell narrating for the shark so us players can understand things regarding the bull shark you are controlling and also what is happening inside the game’s world. Tripwire so far has shown all of these including some combat in the last year at the end of 2019, but what we didn’t know and Tripwire was happy to share with us, was their in-depth coverage of everything else you can do in the game.
The Combat Experience
There were three things Tripwire wanted to cover as well as others, and they were the depth of the experience, the diversity of the experience, and the depth to combat! Starting with combat, there are four types of combat in the game which are bitting—can also be a clamp, thrashing—not everything wants to stay in your mouth and thrashing allows you to stun your prey/enemy so you can keep on chomping, tail whipping—allows you to smack things and/or push things away from you, and the whip shock—where you can actually whip your prey/enemy and send them flying in the air.
There are also lots of items in the game that you can use to your advantage while using whip shock, such as, barrels exploding like grenades, swordfish can become sniping spears, and humans, of course, can become projectiles as well. So make sure to explore your options and see what you can come up with. There is a real strategy with the combat and especially with the wildlife where you have to lunge, parry, and study your enemy to attack when the timing is right. The combat also has a punch and counter-punch cadence to it as you have to keep an eye out for tells in order to dodge. It is kind of like a classic punchout with a little bit of a soul-like feel to it.
The Diversity of Experience
The size of the shark you are playing really matters in Maneater. The game will take into account your size vs the size of your enemy and if your enemy/attacker is bigger than you, then you will have a challenging time defeating them, maybe even dying continuously until you’re leveled up to return challenge it again. An enemy which can pose an immediate threat to you while progressing through the game are killer whale (Orca), great white sharks, and massive predators called Apex Predators—oh, and humans, of course... So make sure to eat and accomplish goals to help grow your shark so that those predators who were originally your enemy, now become your prey and it will also help destroy man-made objects easily like boats, jetskis, ships, etc.!
During the beginning of the game, you will be limited to specific areas until you can grow and evolve your shark. Once you become a teenage shark, you can basically go anywhere in the open-water-world that is Maneater! So with that, make sure you are prepared to go out in the unknown world because if you are not completely prepared, the challenges you’ll face along the way will surely kill you! So, baby-steps! The best idea is to kind of take casually so you can explore the closest areas to you and know the wildlife, the map, and certain predators that may have controlled turf which they will defend, especially, if you eat their favorite food! Make no mistake with that!
The Depth of Experience
If you are an individual who likes to go awol and welcomes the extreme challenge Maneater has to offer you, then go right on ahead and wreak havoc in the waters, kill some humans and let the bounty hunters come out to play. They will surely give you an intense challenge where the outcome will most likely involve death. Just know that if you do decide to do things right by gaining strength and evolutions to your shark, the combat will also change for the better, allowing you to evolve in ways you couldn’t imagine and, of course, making the gameplay experience more enjoyable!
When talking beyond the combat mechanics, there is the depth of experience. This is where you can explore many areas in the Maneater, in which there are 7 huge regions. Each area is very diverse and brings new obstacles and challenges along the way, including new apex predators as well. There are also many hidden areas to discover which have special items you can obtain to increase your evolution or strength in the game. Some of the hidden areas can also be your underwater grotto—your hideout/checkpoint area—which also serves as fast travel from other grottos you have discovered. So making sure you eat plenty of nutrients, defeat predators including apex predators, and discovering new areas, will allow your evolution to evolve in exciting and unimaginable ways!
Going back to the apex predators in the game, of course, they will come out and challenge you for supremacy if you are caught eating their favorite food. Doing this and defeating them in underwater battle will trigger your nemesis, Scaley Pete, to come out and hunt you down! This is a good opportunity to challenge and defeat Scaley Pete but just know that he is very tough to kill and you will need to strategize and use your resources to defeat him.
One last thing to mention regarding the depth of experience one can have while playing Maneater and that is having a bounty system. This bounty system will take your terrorization of the waters into account and bounty hunters will come out and search for you! The humans in this game won’t sit by and let you go on with your terrorization so keep that in mind. The intensity of the bounty hunters ranges depending on your threat level, and will involve different types of hunters to appear like scuba divers wielding underwater spears, jetskis with a gunman, small fishing bosts with spears and guns, to bigger boats with spears, guns, and grenades—the really heavy stuff. The bounty hunters you defeat will activate bounty hunter bosses to come out and hunt you down. Of course, if you defeat these bosses, your infamy level will rise and you will be able to acquire special rewards that can help you evolve your shark further. If you have a high enough infamy level, the national guard can even appear to hunt you down with stranger boats, bigger weapons, and even depth charges—it’s just like playing Grand Theft Auto (GTA) but for sharks!
Now, going back to evolutions to explain those a little more, this goes beyond just growing and strengthening your shark, there are different kinds of evolutions you can acquire for your shark. This is where the RPG elements of the game come into play as there are two types of evolutions: body evolutions and organ evolutions. The body evolution has 3 types: a Bone evolutions—where you can basically turn your shark into a tank with super armor made out of bines which allow you to ram boats and practically destroy them instantly, a Bio-Electric evolution—where you can stun your enemy or control certain areas stopping them in their tracks, and finally, a Shadow evolutions—where you have vampire-like abilities allowing you to sneak around using speed and ability to suck the life out of those around you. You can mix and match these different types of evolutions to fit your shark’s surroundings in order to complete challenges.
The last evolution to talk about is the Organ evolution, which is about what is inside the body. There are several instances of organ evolutions in which three can be equipped at the same time. Some give enhanced ability towards more damage, faster nutrient gains, others can allow the shark to breathe out fo the water for a significant amount of time allowing you to have more time to jump around on land and munching on some humans. Each of these abilities can be upgraded and moved to higher tiers with specific stats.
Tripwire provided a short clip of the evolutions and a sneak peek at what you can expect from Maneater!
The Combat Experience
Maneater is an entertaining and fresh take on open-world survival with a lot of the experience seeming in-tune with GTA. If you love GTA, you’ll definitely need to try this out. Movement of the shark can be crazy at times for the slightest nudge in any direction can show significant results, so don’t go too crazy with the movement. You can also gain faster momentum to speed up and hop over canals to the next area, or simply to spring up from underneath your prey to perform the ever-awesome attack you see in documentaries about sharks—like Shark Week, so to speak. If you die, you go back to the closet grotto you unlock and then you’d have to make your way to the point where you last were. You can also dodge underwater in order to avoid being hit by bullets, spears, and explosions, and also be able to deep dive underwater or swim at the water level to jump on boats or ram them.
There is a main quest to follow but, of course, there are also many side quests you can choose to take on as well. The graphics are amazing and provide much gore to the occasion when eating or attacking prey/predators. Again, the narration of Chris Parnell for your shark will also have clues as you pass by certain areas, so make sure to pay attention as clues to hidden areas can be given away. The total hours of gameplay are yet to be determined but it is estimated around 10+ hours for the main story and if you do the side quests, then that tacks on even more. Tripwire has much more to reveal later on in the weeks/months to come for Maneater’s roadmap so make sure to stay tuned for more information.
Maneater is available for preorder now for $39.99 as Maneater is scheduled to release on May 22, 2020! For more information, please visit the link below: