Neither fish nor fowl. ManEater Review
Why the creators of Killing Floor did not work out a fun simulator of a killer shark
Maneater seemed like a dream project for a niche audience. In the pre-release materials, the guys from Tripwire Interactive (Red Orchestra, Rising Storm, Killing Floor) proudly called their new creation “ShaRkPG”, promising no less real role-playing game in the open world with a bias in action and a killer shark in the title role.
Blood, Matyuki, and the killing of the innocent in the name of natural selection included. Well, not a concept, but a miracle! A potential source of the sea of thoughtless fun! But at the output, the players got just one more heavy-weighted sandbox with the same quests, barely working gameplay basis, and an empty world.
The action component first goes down. Most of the gameplay Maneater can be divided into two parts: glutton and battle. In the first case, you just need to swim to the helpless victim and after a few clicks of the attack, the button gets a handful of resources for pumping, along the way restoring part of your health – mindless farm as it is.
Here you have to fight either with other predators or with shark hunters. Underwater fights are all made like a carbon copy. It doesn’t matter if you have an alligator in your opponents, a petty barracuda, or a huge sperm whale – any battle here is like a dance of two epileptics who occasionally bite each other.
This is how a fight with a mini-boss can easily look like in Maneater
At the same time, the camera rotates like crazy, and the view is often covered by environmental elements. Aiming at the target does not save: the sight goes astray during any sudden movement (and there are no others in the local combat). The cherry on the cake is regular drawdowns of the frame rate. There can be no talk of any tactics and combat choreography here, sheer fuss and mess.
Know, press yourself the bite button, but dodge when the enemy is obviously preparing his attack. Given local physics and clumsy animations, any attack can have an absolutely unpredictable result. Hit – well, did not hit – hollow further. In this situation, it’s not even so annoying, if the enemy suddenly gets stuck in the wall, the sooner this torment will end.
Our heroine belongs to the species “blunt shark.”
Stripping beaches from bipedal meat is not much different from a snack of marine fauna, except that the ridiculous animations of the main character fluttering on land can amuse me.
But the battle with representatives of homo sapiens is a separate conversation, although the word “reasonable” for the local AI is too generous a compliment.
Hunters attack companies with three or four ships and seek to reduce the habitability of coastal waters from a gunshot. At first, it’s these moments that become at least some kind of outlet – it’s not easy to take the boats without pumping the ram, you have to constantly move, counting the moment of diving out of the water and cleverly snatching the enemy one by one directly from the deck.
The problem is still the same – in most cases, it is simply impossible to predict the result of one’s actions. Sometimes, even in a perfectly calibrated attack, the hunter isn’t even able to catch his teeth, and sometimes after a random jump and pressing the attack button, a shark in a circus somersault overcomes tens of meters and joyfully swallows a gaping poacher – complete disorganized chaos.
However, even twisting such flips quickly bothers. The situation is not saved even by a dozen eminent hunters in the role of mini-bosses. All of them do not stand out against the background of the rest of the army of faceless men and quickly go to feed.
What is the difference, how elaborate are the decorations, if for hours you have to see such turbidity on the screen?
As for the campaign, which lasts 10-12 hours, it consists entirely of monotonous quests, which the adequate person wouldn’t turn their tongue into: “devour 10 small fish, devour one big fish, devour 10 people … So toothless game design It was considered a bad man a decade ago. Twice in a game you have to fight with the boss, who, in theory, should be the main test, but in fact is not able to provide decent resistance.
Maybe, as it sometimes happens in sandbox games, does the optional content save? No, here from optional entertainments there are only a dozen more mop-ups of beaches, battles with underwater creatures, and a collection of heaps of ostentatious collectibles.
The latter, apparently, is, from the point of view of the developers, “an investigation of a vast and diverse world.” And even though the locations are noticeably different from each other, and occasionally in working out the landscape you can even find some attention to detail, in the end, the game still comes down to one long swim in the muddy water.
There was a reference, but floated away
Moreover, partly, it would be possible to turn a blind eye to the shortcomings of the game if the developers had the courage to dive into the waters of an outright treshak bomb. Then the ridiculous animations would not be perceived that way, and even a clumsy level transfer of the first Killing Floor would be appropriate.
After all, if you don’t have the strength and resources to lay claim to the Jaws laurels from the world of video games, why not at least wave your shark tornado? Entertainment for an amateur, but nonetheless! And there are shifts to this.
For example, the entire local simple plot is presented in the format of an educational television show about wildlife. Deliciously idiotic hashtags appear on the screen every now and then, and the restless host announces the gameplay (unfortunately, most of his jokes were hopelessly lost during the localization process). At the bottom of the sea sometimes various sunken relics can be found, many of which are witty referring to popular culture.
The trouble is that this is where the humor and imagination of the creators end. The game desperately lacks vivid moments in the gameplay and staging. Add insanity to Maneater – the game will blossom. Let hunters catch a sea monster on live bait!
Let the unlucky tourists pour hail from the guts of their comrades! Arm the shark with combat lasers, equip it with a jet engine in the end! Alas, as a boost here there is sheer gloom like increased damage, defense, and temporary buffs. It was the lack of imagination that first of all dragged the game into the abyss of mediocrity.