Review: Maneater

About this Game

Maneater

Publisher

Tripwire Interactive, Deep Silver

Developer

Tripwire Interactive, Blindside Interactive

Release Date

May 22, 2020

Console

PlayStation 4

Time to Plat

8h

Platinum Difficulty

Very Easy

Online Trophies?

No

Difficulty Trophies?

No

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Something to Sink Your Teeth Into.

Maneater came out of nowhere, I didn’t hear a thing about this game until I saw it start popping up on r/trophies and I was immediately like “A game where you get to play as a Shark?? Where has this been my whole life?”. 

So I picked it up for a pretty steep £35 price tag (which still stings a little) but ultimately I’m glad I did as it was a lot of fun to plat, I just really wish it was longer.

Maneater Review

Grabbing a Bite to Eat

I never knew I wanted a Shark game so badly until I played Maneater. This fantastic game plays out like a Documentary centred around a prolific Shark Hunter, Scaly Pete, and his trainee Marine Biologist Son as they track down the mythical “Mega Shark”. Unbeknownst to them, it doesn’t exist… Yet.

The cut-scenes play out just like a TV docu-series.

The game is narrated in much the same way you would expect such a documentary to be narrated, by none other than popular actor/voice actor Chris Parnell, who you may recognise as the voice of Jerry from Rick and Morty.

The game contains some very serious moments and there are some very dark scenes, but it doesn’t take itself seriously, it has a great sense of humour and Parnell’s constant quipping really helps to drive this home and lighten the mood amid the screams of your beach-going limb-losing victims.

You ever watched Sharknado?

As well as preying on helpless (and, indeed, not-so-helpless) humans, as a growing and evolving Shark, you’ll need to keep yourself fed on the fatty schools of prey inhabiting the various water-bodies the Shark invades. Don’t forget about Predators though, from Alligators to Swordfish, you’ll find yourself pit against some of nature’s biggest, baddest, and fastest predators in your fight to become the ultimate Apex predator. But, hey, they’re a great source of protein!

Survival of the Fittest

Killing Prey such as Groupers for their fat, Predators like Barracudas for their protein and Hard-shelled Turtles for their minerals are all important parts of evolving your shark from a wee baby ankle-biter to a fully-grown under-sea tank of a beast. 

Through evolution you can grow body-parts from one of three different ability trees and give yourself additional armour, poisonous attacks or bioelectric defences as well as a few extra abilities which will aid in taking down Predators, sinking Hunter boats or just finding all of the collectables. 

Evolving my Bull Shark

Each upgrade set has a unique and exciting look and can take your plain old Bull Shark and make it look like Batman’s Batmobile had sexual relations with a Megalodon. With each upgrade, you become more and more of a formidable presence in the sea. Where you may once have struggled to take down a Hammerhead you will gradually be able to chew your way through a whole school of them without a scratch.

Down Here it’s Better

As you make your way from the murky gator-infested waters of the Bayou, to the cerulean-blue depths of the Gulf Stream, exploring the world under the waves is one of the most addictive parts of the game, it seems like every location has countless treasures to uncover. The collectables come in three main forms;

  • Landmarks; which are often just something silly for Chris Parnell to comment on, or a reference to a well-known part of pop-culture ranging from movies to video-games, you can even find a certain pineapple under the sea.
  • Number Plates; often hidden away in a place which is either hard-to-reach or hard-to-find, these oversized novelty plates can be found anywhere from underwater caves to overhead walkways.
  • Underwater Caches; these veritable treasure chests contain all the nutrients your Carcharhinus Leucas could ever need to grow up big and strong.
Who lives in this Pineapple under the Sea?

Let’s not forget additional objectives, such as hunting stronger versions of the local predators or terrorising puny humans as they tip their toes into the coastal waters. For a game with only 10 hours of content; there sure is a hell of a lot to get done in that time!

My Maneater Trophy Experience

Just Keep Swimming

The game has something of a linear progression from location to location, which I honoured for the most part, as I made my way through the game, checking off each of the story’s objectives. 

Maneater_20200528182020

Though the longer I played and the more areas I unlocked, I couldn’t resist but to get as many collectables as possible along the way. By the time my Shark had reached “Elder” status, I had backtracked to ensure every previously-visited location was at 100% completion before I resumed story progression.

By the end of the game, I had been 100%ing every location the moment I arrived there, putting my own completionism and collection-obsession before everything else.

There’s Always a Bigger Fish

The only real major stopping-points I hit were with the various Apex Predators in the game. At the end of each location, there is an “Apex Predator” to defeat. These are suped-up powerful versions of each location’s main Predator and are hands-down the hardest things to get by.

Trust me, you’ll face much worse than this.

Often I’d fail on the first attempt and then spend some time gathering upgrade materials so I could buy a new Evolution part or simply upgrade one of the ones I had equipped. Once I’d convinced myself I was ready – typically by killing 5-10 of the non-suped-up versions of the predator – I’d jump back into the fight and make my way through, by a hair usually.

The FINish Line

Once I was done with the main story, I had already 100%ed every location except for a couple of shark attack events in the Gulf and one Bounty Hunter fight I still had left over. 

Bounty Hunters are Powerful Hunters who get stronger with each Infamy level you earn.

To my dismay, however, upon completing all of my remaining objectives, the “Queen of the Ocean” trophy, which is supposedly awarded when you “Reach 100% objective completion in all regions” and I had certainly done that.

I spent the next hour looking for what the cause could be. Why hadn’t that plat popped yet?

I read online that finding all the breakable grates and gates in the game counted towards the trophy, but I had even done that too!

This is where I started to panic, the PSNProfiles forums are rife with people complaining they have had trophies bug or glitch out and I was worried I’d need to do this all over again.

In the end, it turned out to be one of three large open-able gates that can be found throughout the game. I didn’t actually need to open them all, but I had to have seen them all and there was one gate which I had never even approached before. As soon as I went up to that, the trophy popped and I finally had my efforts awarded with my 160th Platinum Trophy.

Time Breakdown

Exploring/Collecting

Completing Objectives

Messing Around

Maneater Trophy Guide

I enjoyed platting this game and I want to ensure everyone else has their best experience with it! So, I’ve put together a Trophy Guide with information on the best times to break off from completing objectives to explore, the best evolution upgrades to use and also what to do about your Queen of the Ocean Trophy not popping. 

You can find it all in the Trophy Guide here.

That concludes my Man Eater Platinum Trophy Review. If you enjoyed reading this review, please do let us know, it means the world to us when we hear feedback and we love engaging with people over the game we just platted. It’s basically the only thing motivating us at the moment!

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Verdict

Plat

It only takes 10 hours, there's nothing difficult or grind-y and it's just end-to-end fun so I really have no reason to tell you anything other than to Plat this great game. I would maybe recommend waiting for a price drop and also look out for those glitched trophies!

Pros

  • Exciting Shark-based Gameplay
  • Extensive and Satisfying Exploration
  • Great Sense of Humour

Cons

  • Disappointingly short for its price-tag
  • Trophies can glitch out

Platinum Trophy

Ignoring the disparity between its price and its length, the game is fantastic, it played really well on my Pro (I've heard tell of framerate issues on standard PS4 consoles) and the gameplay was addictive and well-structured. It definitely deserves a Platinum!

About the Author

More fond of single-player experiences and story-driven games than anything else, TheDblTap has a keen eye for secrets and collectables, a skill which serves him well as a Trophy Hunter. However, with little patience and poor timing, he can struggle where MrZhangetsu would succeed.

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