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6.12.2018

Maneater: The Open World, Action-RPG About an Evolving Shark Out for Revenge

EAT.

     There's certainly been no shortage of shark related games since the 1975 Atari Arcade game Shark Jaws, and later the much more entertaining film-related Jaws hit the Nintendo in 1987.  We've had a number of good ones (Depth and Shark Attack Death Match 2), bad ones (Shark), some hilariously absurd ones (Shark Simulator and Shark Dating Simulator XL), and a whole plethora of mobile ones (Google Play).   


     Now, the people behind Killing Floor, a splinter group from the previously mentioned game Depth team founded by Alex Quick called Blindside Interactive, are bringing us an action RPG where players take on the role of a Bull Shark menacing the Gulf Coast.

     According to the official website:
     "You were cut from your mother's body and left to die in the unforgiving waters of the Gulf Coast. Your only tools are your wits, your jaws, and an uncanny ability to evolve as you feed. 
     Anything and everything is on the menu... 
          ...provided you kill it before it kills you."
     Quick told PCGamer in an interview that, "Maneater was originally planned as an “expansion pack” of sorts for Depth. The idea was kicked around internally but never got traction. Eventually several members of the original Depth team splintered off to do our own thing."

GROW.

     When it comes to the growth of the shark, the developers are still toying with some ideas.  They want the game to be open world, but creating one that feels properly scaled for a 3 foot shark AND a 13 foot shark has posed some problems for the growth mechanic.  Currently, they're trying to limit growth to some more linearly-designed levels at the beginning of the game, which will switch over to the "evolution" system when entering the larger, more open world portion after that.  Doing it this way allows for a more adequate environment adjusted for the player's size at the moment, opening the door for player customization at the same time they enter the open world.
     Meaning that while the story is still in development, it sounds like the early game may start with the baby Bull Shark in captivity, exploring the surrounding area and feeding while growing into an adult, and then making its way into the open where it begin to gain notoriety and grow into the beastly moniker of Maneater.  The narrative itself is through human characters reacting to what the player is doing, and Blindside is playing with the idea of giving the shark an inner monologue.  They've made it clear that there won't be any dialogue between sharks, but tease that they don't want to give anything away yet either.
     So far enemies range from jellyfish and alligators to geared up shark hunters.  Players will be free to engage in all manner of activities like gobbling down jet skiers, battling other sharks, or even sinking ships.  Right now the goal is to create enough chaos to attract the shark hunters, and they currently serve as bosses.  But be warned, as your notoriety grows, the shark hunters gain in strength and difficulty as well.

EVOLVE.

     To become the ultimate killing machine players will need to explore a huge open world, from roaming the vast ocean full of wrecked ships to wreaking bloody chaos along the coastal waterways.  All of it is for a quest of vengeance against the human that killed your mother.  After using your deadly maw to consume the flesh of your rended victims, whether they be whales or hapless divers, players will be able customize the Bull Shark through two different paths of progression- evolving different parts of their bodies and assigning attribute points.
     Attribute points will be divided up into 5 distinct categories- Ferocity, Endurance, Perception, Vitality, and Agility- with each focusing on a particular area of the shark's power level, such as Ferocity increasing critical damage.
     Evolution will be through equippable items obtained through killing things to augment the shark.  This shark loot will have a variety of rarities, as well as being upgradable.  The evolutions will enable players to improve parts of themselves, by boosting stats or bestowing you with new abilities.  One of the choices described was between a getting a tail-whip AoE attack or an effect that can add bleeding to bites.
     It's also been stated that the attribute points the player chooses will directly effect the evolutions can equip- so if you put a lot into the Ferocity attribute, you'll be able to equip more jaw/teeth evolutions, and conversely if a player dumps a bunch into Endurance, they'll have possible survivability potential with skin/hide evolutions.  In addition to this Quick told PCGamer that, "Rarity inversely scales the equip cost of an evolution, so you can stack more of them on a single part of the shark’s body."
     For the overall evolution system, they want to ride the line between "plausible and ridiculous."  We wont be growing legs or multiple tails, but we will be able to alter the shape of our teeth or grow serrated scales.  Quick says they, "Want it to feel ‘just’ grounded enough in reality so as not to break immersion, but wacky enough that you can do some creative and fun stuff with your shark."

     Maneater has definitely peaked my interest and is definitely shaping up to be one entertainingly gruesome feast.

     Maneater is "Coming Soon" and will be available on [ Steam ]
          (The game currently has no release date) 

     Source [ Maneatergame.com ] via [ PCGamer

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