Some might say, "It's a game where you swim about as a shark, what else is there?" To which, I would reply, "Oh I'm sorry, I didn't realise you were an apex predator with electric, poison and crushing powers to chow down on whatever poor soul strays into your path on your Sunday afternoons."
Maneater is a great game and a story of revenge as the titular shark becomes stronger and stronger to take down the hunter that brutally killed her mother. And the upcoming Truth Quest DLC takes our hefty heroine to a strange new location where she's no longer the piscine prima donna.
Check out the teaser trailer for the DLC right here, which shows off the shark wreaking havoc with her awesome atomic abilities...
While the player is a general menace to the apathetic people of Port Clovis, the events of Maneater are narrated by the character Trip Westhaven. He presents the in-game reality TV show following the shark and the volatile hunter who took her mother from her. However, given the things he has witnessed - like a shark leaping out of the sea and transforming into pure lightning - he knew he needed to inform the public of such terrifying (and very fun) scenes.
Trip encounters an issue: no one believes him, and marine biologists are inclined to attribute these phenomenal evolutions to the enormous volumes of pollutants in the coastal waters of Port Clovis. So, he starts Truth Quest: a message to the people where he investigates the government's coverup of marine life becoming legendary monsters of the deep.
Truth Quest is available to players who have completed the main story (read our review of the main game, here) and it unlocks a new stretch of sea around the mysterious Plover Island. This playground is modestly sized and centres around a facility that lights up the dark skies with a green glow. Whatever the Naval Wildlife Organisation is hiding here, they don't want it to get out, though they have done a pretty poor job at it so far. Players will find new nutrient caches, license plates, landmarks that riff off popular conspiracy theories, and rivals that boast the same abilities that the protagonist has access to.
Battling these baddies is a welcome challenge as the bioelectric creatures dodge out of the way of your jaws and it feels like a victory once you do grab hold of a shadow orca and grate them down into meaty chunks. Am I a little sad that I'm no longer the most special shark in the sea? Yes. But, I get that these sorts of predators offer a new aspect to the DLC and one that takes you down a peg or two.
Furthermore, the Truth Quest quests see the shark shatter communications posts with her tail whip ability, throwing seals, fish, and humans into the air to damage them. I didn't use tail whip that much in the base game so it was a smart move to require it here. However, it is a little touch and go at times and the wrath of the NWO is incurred easily. Occasionally, after a few minutes of flopping about, I dove back down to the depths to replenish health after doing little damage to the communications tower and waiting for enemies to lose sight of me.
The new power is Atomic and the set allows the shark to do damage over time in a similar fashion to the Shadow additions. With the glowing green light emanating from her fins slicing through the murky waters of Plover Island, she's giving us Creature from the Black Lagoon. It's a Kaiju-like look that offers neat evasive abilities and a nasty bite, and feels like justice is being served on a silver platter when you gobble up the NWO employees. And, no matter which way you cut it, jumping into the air as a radioactive megalodon and shooting orbs of atomic energy at military helicopters is very good. Actually.
Regarding the story, it's a natural step for the themes of Maneater. The original game comments acerbically on the carelessness of humans and their shallow investment in the wellbeing of Mother Nature. Truth Quest then looks to the government's role in manipulating the animal kingdom for its own destructive ends as if books like Jurassic Park didn't quite get the message across. Nevertheless, part of what makes the game so funny is Trip's matter-of-fact narration while the unbelievable scenes play out in front of the player's eyes.
Now, Trip has hurtled into conspiracy theories and there's a feverishness to his character. As a result, he's no longer contrasting so nicely with the ridiculousness of the gameplay and some of the things he says are a little near the knuckle when you know there are people who genuinely believe something along similar lines. I know this is called "character development", yet I have to say I miss the old Trip.
Overall, the Truth Quest DLC is a second serving of the original game with a peppering of exciting combat challenges in a new area of the world. There are a few things that I'll need to chew over, though.
Maneater is out now for Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and Xbox One. The Truth Quest DLC arrives on August 31st.
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