Maneater

It didn’t take much to sell me on Maneater, the “sharkPG” from Tripwire Interactive. A game where you eat fish, eat humans, attack boats, breach the surface and do backflips, and fill your maw with upgrades like metallic teeth? As someone who’s never outgrown their childhood obsession with the living dinosaurs, after seeing a hands-off demo at E3, all I have to say is this: Sign. Me. Up. 

The premise is simple: Grand Theft Auto, but as a shark. Rather than taking a dour or cynical approach, however, Tripwire is going for a campy, over-the-top reality show vibe. Chris Parnell (30 Rock, Archer, Rick and Morty) narrates the onscreen action and quips along in the way that only he can. It’s way more along the lines of The Meg or Deep Blue Sea than it is 47 Meters Down or Jaws.

Cause enough chaos in a given body of water and a few things will happen. If you can’t quite stop yourself from zooming up from below a swimmer with a breach attack and launching into the air with them still in your mouth, be prepared for the coast guard to notice and come after you. You can evade and the game will go back to normal, but where’s the fun in that?

Go fish

In the demo, they started by shooting rifles at the shark, but as the bodycount rose, they began dropping depth charges. Good thing you can grab those with your mouth and whip them back on to the boats from whence they came. Keep that up long enough and you’ll eventually deplete the area’s finite coast guard corp. From there the area will be more or less quarantined, and swimmers will be less likely to head into the water. 

Everything you eat makes you a little bigger. Chow down on enough turtles and groupers, and you’ll grow from a baby shark to a megalodon by game’s end. You aren’t the only predator though.

If the aquatic food supply starts dwindling, someone will take notice that you’re encroaching on their territory. In this case, it’s a gigantic alligator. Even as an adult shark, it’s still far bigger than you are and is basically the boss of the area. Eat enough fish and humans, finish enough goals, and eventually you’ll be able to have a somewhat fair fight. There are seven of these 'Apex Predators' in the game. At the outset you’ll be up against a barracuda, and eventually you’ll even take on a killer whale—one of the great white’s few real-world predators. 

Eventually, you’ll be out in the open ocean—the end-game section—megalodon-sized and going up against a massive sperm whale hellbent on taking you to the bottom with it. Tripwire said that even as the full-size megalodon, the sperm whale will still be a considerable challenge. Sure, you might’ve come a long way since you were a pup, but you’re not invulnerable.

The game looks killer running with RTX, but what stood out most was how well the shark animated. I wasn’t holding the gamepad, but it definitely seemed that the shark had a tangible sense of weight to it, and wasn’t just flopping around like a baitfish. The developers said they studied a lot of shark footage to nail the animation and to make sure everything looked appropriate. Exaggerated, sure, but not unrealistic. After all, there really isn’t any reference material for an airborne shark spitting out a victim only to slap it into a concrete pylon with its tail, is there?

It sounds like there will be an awful lot to do in terms of progression and customizing your shark, adding “mutations” like face bones that give you an edge when going up against enemy boats. But, if the paths to earning those upgrades don’t offer much variety—I was shown only a few scenarios and they all led to the shark eating things or fighting boats. I worry that eventually the game’s humor will wear thin and earning upgrades will feel like a chore. I’m hopeful though, and more so than I have been with any other game with a shark in the lead role. 

Tripwire promises Maneater will be out sometime before the next PC Gaming show at E3.

Maneater - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nate Crowley)

I ve got two completely separate takes on Maneater. It s almost as if I split into two people when watching the gameplay footage released at E3 — two fizzing outlines of myself, roughly tethered to my physical form like a bad 80s special effect.

One of those outlines, the crackly red one, loved it. I think he s my inner nine year old, who used to entertain himself on long journeys by imagining a shark zooming alongside the car, crunching oncoming vehicles in its jaws and doing sick flips over roadsigns and overpasses. Maneater is his game>. The ghastly fluidity of the game s protagonist – a ten foot bull shark – is immensely satisfying to watch. It whooshes along like a brutish Ecco the Dolphin, slamming into hapless swimmers from below, then propelling them fifty feet into the air before grunching> them with a sound like a kilo of raw chicken cartilage in a hydraulic press.

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FINAL FANTASY VIII - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dave Irwin)

They just keep coming don’t they? A lot of games were announced at E3 2019, things that we didn’t know about, as well as stuff that’s previously announced, or expansions to already released games. Now, to the casual outsider, what we’re doing might seem absolutely nuts, but we thought we’d put together an alphabetical list of all the PC games that have been confirmed to appear at this year’s E3 show. With well over a hundred of them now in the books, the next year or so looks packed.

(more…)

FINAL FANTASY VIII - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dave Irwin)

They just keep coming don’t they? A lot of games were announced at E3 2019, things that we didn’t know about, as well as stuff that’s previously announced, or expansions to already released games. Now, to the casual outsider, what we’re doing might seem absolutely nuts, but we thought we’d put together an alphabetical list of all the PC games that have been confirmed to appear at this year’s E3 show. With well over a hundred of them now in the books, the next year or so looks packed.

(more…)

FINAL FANTASY VIII - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dave Irwin)

They just keep coming don’t they? A lot of games were announced at E3 2019, things that we didn’t know about, as well as stuff that’s previously announced, or expansions to already released games. Now, to the casual outsider, what we’re doing might seem absolutely nuts, but we thought we’d put together an alphabetical list of all the PC games that have been confirmed to appear at this year’s E3 show. With well over a hundred of them now in the books, the next year or so looks packed.

(more…)

Maneater

Sharks are wonderful animals and do not spend all their time swimming around looking for people to eat, and they definitely do not rush at people from the depths, catch them in their jaws, perform multiple backflips in the air, and then eventually slam them into a concrete pylon. It does look like a lot of fun to do that, though.

PC Gaming Show sponsor Tripwire announced Maneater at last year's show, and this year it returned with a new trailer and the first gameplay footage of the 'shark-PG.' Check out the trailer above, and the full interview from The PC Gamer Show below.

Things have changed quite a bit since the announcement last year. Tripwire acquired the Maneater IP from its original developer, Blindside Interactive, and put an internal team to work on the game. They've redone art and redesigned game systems, and Maneater looks to have come a long way since last year's trailer.

As for the RPG elements, your shark will "evolve" as you play, fighting humans and other undersea predators, and there'll be "rare shark loot" to find.

There's no release date for Maneater yet, but it's coming "soon" to the Epic Store. Here's some gameplay footage to look at.

Warhammer: Vermintide 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Matt Cox)

>

Matt: Brendy never made it home last night, after jeering his way through Bethesda’s conference in person. The hotel room is lonely and I miss him very much, but the PC Gaming Show must go on. Welcome to the “I’m the only one that’s here-ah”, where I cheer and jeer at the cheery RPS fanzine’s show by myself.

Brendan Wraithwell: Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.

(more…)

Metro Exodus - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

Steam, unquestionably, needs a sizeable competitor. With a significant monopoly on the PC games market, such that present rivals like GOG and Humble barely take a dent out of its audience, Valve is able to take an infuriatingly lackadaisical approach to many aspects of Steam. Something to scare them into action would be marvellous. And while not optimistic, I’d hoped that maybe Epic, with their lorries full of money, might be able to try. Except, with yet another exclusivity announcement today regarding Metro: Exodus, they’re going about it entirely the wrong way.

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Maneater

Tripwire’s shark RPG, Maneater, will debut exclusively on the Epic Games Store. Maneater briefly appeared during the platform’s trailer at The Game Awards, with the developer clarifying the nature of the deal today. It will launch on the Epic Games Store in 2019, followed by other platforms a year later. 

Maneater started out as a Tripwire-published game but has since been brought in-house. Players control a ravenous shark that just wants to fill its belly on sea life and any unfortunate humans that get in its path. Eventually, shark hunters will attempt to get revenge, but you can eat them, too. A healthy diet then lets you evolve your pet shark, giving it new attributes. Isn’t nature magical?

The Killing Floor developer actually got its start when it won a Making it in Unreal competition with Red Orchestra: Combined Arms, so the connection to Epic goes far back. 

“Epic are doing something unheard of for digital distribution platforms—they are taking risks by putting money back into the independent development ecosystem via funding some games,” CEO John Gibson said. “This allows developers to take bigger chances and make better games than they would be able to otherwise. That’s a win for everyone.”

Epic seems to be snatching up plenty of exclusives, including World War Z and Hades, but the store itself still has some ways to go. It’s slick, but it has some flaws.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Matthew Castle)

Dur-dun, dur-dun, dur-dun-dur-dun-dun-dun, and so on.

Now that the festival of bellowing that is E3 2018 has come to an end, we begin the arduous process of making sense of it all. This means sifting through mountains of press releases and trailers to find all the curious games that lurked outside the spotlight glare of the larger publishers. And we find such treats as Maneater (Jaws RPG where you play as Jaws), Rapture Rejects (battle royale where you fight for the last spot in heaven) and Neo Cab (Uber-sim meets Blade Runner). So many delightful things, in fact, that new video person Noa couldn’t resist gathering them together.

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