I first saw Maneater during a meeting at E3 2019. I was not able to play the game the as the developers opted for private meetings to show off the gameplay.

The game looked like a hysterical and gory experience where players play as a Shark and terrorize a coastal community.

The game casts players as a young Bull Shark whose mother is killed by a local fisherman named Scaly Pete. The game is set against the backdrop of a cable fishing series called “Maneater” which is being filmed in the area and Scaly Pete is a focal point of the series.

This also allows Chris Parnell to do some epic narrating as the game unfolds as he includes humor, information, and interesting facts along with his commentary.

Players must swim through local areas and feast on a number of aquatic creatures to gain essential elements as well as health. Once obtained the elements allow players to upgrade to various body types and abilities such as jaw, fin, tail, organ, and special abilities which will be needed to survive.

Players will be assigned various missions which are usually fairly routine and easy to accomplish such as eating a certain number of animals, munching some humans, and taking out various targets.

When enough of this has been done; players will then battle Apex Predators who provide more of a challenge.

The biggest challenges in the games come in the form of hunters as they appear when players start consuming the locals and their swarming and higher level tactics often required a hit and run approach.

Naturally as the shark evolves from a teen to adult and elder before reaching its final stage, this can become easier to deal with despite enemies gaining in strength and ability.

The biggest issue I had with the game was navigation as some areas were hard to reach as they required flopping on land from one point to another, navigating an underwater gate system, or navigating a map to find access to a new area.

Players can Fast Travel between their Grottos in each segment and this provides them a safe area to evolve and plan as well as review missions and game progress.

Aside from taking on dangerous predators such as Barracudas, Sharks, and Whales; taking on the hunters is great fun. Breaching to snatch humans on land is always fun and taking down a fleet of hunters with your jaws and tail is almost as much fun as hearing them scream when you are chomping down on them while executing some truly nimble moves.

If you become a big enough threat to the local human population, a celebrity hunter will come into play and dispatching them increases your reputation which helps you on your path to revenge and Scaly Pete.

The game is lots of fun to play and I had a great time playing it. The enemies and food chain was diverse and there was a great mix of humor along the finely detailed areas of play.

Some enemy A.I. was fairly basic as they did not do much in the way of tactics or evasion while others put up more of a challenge.

Despite this and a few small screen loading glitches late in the game that caused the load screen to come up before resuming my game; I had one of my best gaming experiences of the year with Maneater and it is one players should really enjoy.

4 stars out of 5