Water lovers and human haters have reason to rejoice this week, with the release of Man eater, a game in which you play as a shark, going from being a cub to a fully prepared force of nature and taking advantage of the flabby residents of a coastal city. However, for those who enjoy the idea of being the ultimate villain, the game offers a salty slap, in the form of Scaly Pete: a shark hunter with a rusty beard, a belly like a helmet, and an Ahab-worthy obsession. He speaks in a Cajun growl, describing his calling as a "sacred honor" that is "in the blood." Great, I thought. In five minutes, not only had my position as a villain been usurped, but most of the landscape had already been chewed up.
The second largest force of malevolence is man, an ancient twist that nevertheless has the really awkward pang. As soon as his mother's stomach is cut off and Scaly Pete marks him, he is thrown into a swamp whose streams have been contaminated with an infusion of yellow urine. As you explore the considerable but barely oceanic open world, you find sunken mountains of golf balls, leaking barrels, and other debris. Their findings are framed in a documentary, called Maneaters vs. Sharkhunters, and narrated by comedian Chris Parnell, who provides the smoothness of a sportscaster. This strikes me as a desirable move; One way to avoid sinking into preaching is to keep things floating with satire. Man eater is supported by the same ecological currents as Abzû; but while that game, directed by Matt Nava (who worked as an artist in Travel), he opted for abstruse images and orchestral strings, Man eaterhe pursues his themes through the brackish territory of movie B, a tactic no less effective.
The main pleasures on offer are those of power fantasy and the burgeoning new subgenus that we might call zoological misfortune. The mascot of this movement is last year's titular goose. Untitled Goose Game, whose role was simply to ruin the evenings of a quiet town. The irritating joys of the fin, horn, and waddle are replaced here by the markedly more unpleasant kicks of the fin, gap, and bite. Although the methods differ, the cause remains the same; Whether your complaint is with the peaceful, those full of money to the guts or, compounded by our present moment, the crowds lounging on the beach, you now have a vicious new way to vent your resentment.
The developer, Tripwire Interactive, has clearly proceeded with a simple summary: evoke the feeling of driving Mother Nature's Ferrari. First of all, swimming — the word is cut pathetically short — is satisfying and easy. In no time, it turns into a languid form of flight, and after a constant diet of updates, it practically turns into jet propulsion. In addition to that, you play as a shark no the shark; The decision to go for the bull shark, rather than the great white, injects our hero with the brave sense of having something to prove, while crucially enabling exploration of freshwater, a vital skill for the budding assassin.
The map is divided into closed areas (the journey between them triggers a loading screen), each with its own flavor, providing the modest motivation to see something new: jump from the swamp dinge to Golden Shores, for example a Florida-style extension of streets and hotels, where canals are the cool blue of a cologne ad. This bucket top approach will be a merciful relief to any thalasophobic companion who, like me, cannot bear the endless and horrible blue of the sea. There are some areas, such as Sapphire Bay and the dreaded Gulf, that cause stabbing discomfort. I recommend throwing these in with soft sonar pings, essentially your shark vision, which washes the world in gray and highlights your surroundings.
Most of the violence is directed at other ocean dwellers, an excess of bugs, such as barracudas, makos, hammerhead sharks, alligators, and whales. The combat is in satisfactory chaos, appropriately messy, with more than one confusing species; he often doggedly chased a crocodile, for example, only to be the victim of a sidebar coup. My overall strategy — using evasion, tail whip, and hitting — was more like a fish hooked to shore, dropping and gasping in midair: relatively underpowered, fantasies go. (This isn't helped much by a marked frame rate and an overall jank layer, which a patch or two would undoubtedly trigger.) Clearly, the biggest draw is humanity, and the joyous malice of circling a pair of pedals and cooling their hearts with Fear, before being gratified with a geyser in red, is one of the highlights of the year. It is as if a hidden thirst is being quenched.
Where does all this frenzy flow from? The urge to slide our skin and fin through the depths was gratified by Ecco the dolphin, in 1992. It was an action adventure, light on the first one, that proved to be popular enough to generate a series of sequels, flooding in 3D in Sega Dreamcast with Ecco the dolphin: defender of the future, in 2000. But it wasn't until 2006 Jaws untied, who traded Ecco's bottle curiosity brand for officially licensed brutality, which we tried somewhat darker. That's the game that Man eater he owes his biggest debt, and Tripwire Interactive nods and nibbles on his ancestor's flank in style. (There is an achievement titled "This Is My Movie", which is awarded for killing a whit of a great target, included in the game with the "great" in skeptical quotes.) For gore connoisseurs, Jaws untied—With its rippling traces of blood vapor and complete dismemberment— he can remain undefeated, but Man eaterAlthough it has fewer teeth in that regard, it is still the top game.
The irony is that his strength, the freedom to roam and ravage the contents of his heart, is also his deficit. The problem with such a cruel purity premise, when intertwined with an open-world squad and cluttered with side quests, is that the game drifts before it's over. It only lasts about ten hours, but I was satiated after five or six, long before the last confrontation with Scaly Pete. It is not that it is not easy to get hooked with the detours that are offered; I spent most of my time in idle games, searching for collectibles (in a nice touch, car number plates). The rewards for extracurricular hunting are the various enhancements, which allow you to embed bones into the fins, charge the teeth with lightning, and equip your flanks with pockets of poison. I mean, call me a purist, but since when was a shark not enough?
The price that Man eater it pays for its satirism too much, it is the true wonder and horror of the unadorned depths, summed up nowhere better than with its star. A shark's body — the long, deadly gray stripe, impenetrable black basins, and impossibly flared jaws — is a nightmare of natural design. It does not need mutation. Jaws' genius was in the terrible truth that lurked beneath the Spielberg story: that there It was without history, without revenge, nothing personal; that it was a creature about which no human narrative could be included; that any plot was a pale consolation in the abyss; and that the monster below was a force that would soak up any possible flash of anger or hatred, a completely irreproachable death bearer. If you want to capture that In one game, you won't need a bigger pot.
Developer: Tripwire Interactive
Editor: Tripwire Interactive, Deep Silver
Available in: PlayStation 4, Xbox One (revised), Switch, PC
Release date: May 22, 2020
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