Publisher: Tripwire Interactive, Deep Silver
Developer: Tripwire Interactive, Blindside Interactive
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
Genre: Role Playing
Release Date: PS4, Xbox One, PC: May 22, 2020; Nintendo Switch: 2020
Maneater is an open world action role playing game developed by Tripwire Interactive and Blindside Interactive, and published by Tripwire Interactive and Deep Silver.
Led by Alex Quick, Maneater started out as an expansion to the game Depth, which saw players taking control of either sharks or divers as the two squared off against one another. The project never made it to the finish line, but Depth’s development team eventually splintered off, and with Blindside Interactive, evolved into a full-fledged game. Tripwire Interactive published and partially funded the game, while Deep Silver published its retail release.
Meaneater was first officially announced in June 2018, followed promptly by a reveal trailer at the PC Gaming Show at E3 2018. Though initially planned as a 2019 title, the game’s final release date was eventually announced as May 22, 2020 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. A Nintendo Switch version is also in development, but does not have a firm release date. It was confirmed that on PC, Maneater would release as a timed exclusive (for a one year period) for the Epic Games Store.
Maneater draws inspiration from various games, including Jaws Unleashed, with its action role playing game mechanics in particular taking inspiration from the likes of Deus Ex and Dishonored. The developers have said that game’s open world setting is inspired by games like Far Cry and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, while they’ve also mentioned that its combat bears similarities to titles such as Punch Out and Dark Souls, in that it requires players to learn the attack patterns of enemies and base their own attacks on that knowledge.
The developers have said that they want to maintain a tone for the game that establishes it doesn’t aim for realism, and want the game to have humour and wit, which is reflected in the lines recorded by Chris Parnell in the role of the narrator. Parnell has recorded both, scripted lines for specific cutscenes and narrative moments, and lines that are dynamically triggered by the player’s actions as the shark. To ensure that there isn’t too much repetition in the spoken dialogue, the developers have recorded multiple possible lines that can be spoken for various actions. For instance, there are over 90 different lines that the narrator can say in situations where the shark eats a human.
It was confirmed that Maneater carries over several things from Depth. Mechanics for movement and combat underwater were carried over from that game.
The developers have also confirmed that the game will feature enhancements on the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.
Players play as a young bull shark who was injured and disfigured in an accident that also saw its mother getting killed by notorious shark Hunter Scaly Pete. The shark embarks on a quest to grow and evolve in search of revenge against the hunter, and its exploits catch the attention of a reality TV show called “Sharkhunters vs Maneaters”. The game’s story is presented through the lens of the TV show, with the narrator of the show also being the game’s narrator (voiced by Chris Parnell).
Maneater takes place in an open world setting. The open world is divided into seven different sections, each with its own unique environment that is fully and freely explorable (though there are some optional areas that require players to have unlocked certain abilities to proceed). Environments include golf courses, resort beaches, the open ocean, industrial docks, bayous, and more. The open world also has a day and night cycle. Each open world section also requires players to get to a certain level of notoriety with humans and bounty hunters before being allowed to proceed to the next area.
Combat includes several basic attacks, such as charging into foes, using the shark’s tail, or siloing out of the water, while the environment can also be used in combat, such as using swordfish and spears. Players can engage in combat against various other wildlife, such as giant squids, killer whales, other sharks, alligators, and more, or against humans, including fishermen, the Coast Guard, or bounty hunters. Each open world section also has its own apex predator, which players can take on in boss fights after consuming a certain number of other wildlife creatures in that specific region.
The shark gains notoriety by wreaking havoc in the open world, which includes activities such as eating humans, destroying yachts, docks, and jet skis, and so on. As the shark’s notoriety increases, more bounty hunters become aware of it and start hunting it. Killing the ten main bounty hunters – which are named characters – leads to unique rewards.
Maneater places a large emphasis on progression. One of the most important progression mechanics requires players to put points into attributes, with there being five attributes in total- ferocity, perception, endurance, vitality, and agility. Each attribute affects different aspects of gameplay, and can also contribute to other upgrades players can make.
Players can also upgrade their shark through evolution, for which they have to feed on other aquatic wildlife to get nutrients and rare mutagenics. A limited number of upgrades can be equipped at a time, and earning more nutrients allows players to unlock more upgrades – such as a tail whip with area of effect damage or a bite attack that inflicts bleeding wounds – and grow in size. As the shark grows larger, it can unlock more advanced upgrades, such as electromagnetic spikes or external bone plates. Which attributes players have invested in also determines which upgrades can be unlocked.
Note: This wiki will be updated once we have more information about the game.