Maneater (PS5) review: Out of the Jaws of death

by MaddOx
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The PlayStation 5 doesn’t really have many games available, not if you look at the PlayStation store anyway. There are a few handfuls at best, and even then, many are just re-releases of previous-gen versions, like NBA 2K21 or Mortal Kombat 11. Well, another re-release in Maneater has been chucked over to the PS5 and was available for free with PS Plus in January, also free for anyone who had it on PS4 as well, and we were chomping at the bit to try it out.

Set to the backdrop of a reality TV Show, similar although maybe somewhat more dramatised than The Deadliest Catch, Maneater follows the tale of a small shark pup. You start off in a quick tutorial where you play as the pup’s mother before she is hunted down and captured. Upon slaughtering this majestic beast, the hunter discovers the pup inside and looks to throw it back to the water, not before disfiguring the pups fin.

But worry not, the pup gets a little payback as it latches on to the hunter’s arm clamping down its jaws, causing some major damage, before making a break for it in the swamplands where Maneater takes place. From here, that tale of revenge begins, as the hunter waits for the shark to grow, and you eat, explore and evolve to become the Apex Predator your momma would’ve been proud of. Turning the tides and making the hunter become the hunted.

Maneater Shark all grown up

Maneater is a single-player, open-world RPG, or ShaRkPG if you ask the developers. You navigate numerous areas in the swamplands of the game, eating smaller fish and battling foes, both creatures of the waters and humans, to evolve into a legend like no other. Along the way you’ll have tasks to complete like taking on the current Apex Predator of that region, finding collectibles like special locations and taking down the big-name hunters who star in this reality show.

As you kill and eat, you’ll gain XP that sees your shark go from pup to teen, and so on, getting bigger and bigger the more you level up. But alongside that, you’ll also get things like protein points as well as a few others from eating fish and completing tasks to progress you through the story of the game. These points will be used to upgrade your shark, because where would the sense be in having a normal old shark terrorising the waters?

The upgrades are known as evolutions, ways that you can adapt your shark from plain old abilities, to actually genetically modifying its appearance. These will help you with things like gathering more resources, increasing your sonar range or dealing more damage, which you’ll unlock by accomplishing things like defeating a big name hunter. You are limited to the number you can equip at any one time, so it’s best to think about what you want to invest in so as not to waste points.

Maneater Evolutions screen where you customise your sharks abilities

So far, everything is the same as the PS4 version of Maneater from what we can tell, however, there are some added features to the game. Well, I say features, the game now runs at 60fps (kind of) and at native 4K resolution with HDR available. This leaves the game looking absolutely stunning, from the way the light breaks through the surface of the water to the general environments you’ll find yourself swimming through, you’ll often get lost just admiring the beauty of the world around you. But do keep an eye out as there is always something looking to take you down.

Sadly, as good as the game looks though, there are framerate issues. As you learn to swim and navigate in Maneater, you’ll become faster at moving around and may even try taking on multiple enemies at once. When this happens, the fps can drop out a little and things tend to load a little slower. It’s not so much laggy but you seem to lose some of the detail as the game struggles to catch up to speed. But it shouldn’t affect you too much.

What may affect you though is the way the movement and cameras work in Maneater. They’re simple enough to control, with options to invert if you prefer. But, if you’re getting into a battle with a fellow beast, or even trying to tackle humans on the beach, or snatch them from their boats, the camera can play up a little. Making attacks miss their targets and leaving you blind to what is around you, not knowing whichway to go. If there was anyway to improve this, it’d be to be able to lock-on to a single enemy and switch between them, allowing for a much smoother experience.

Maneater Alligator Enemy

Maneater overall thoughts

I didn’t think I’d enjoy Maneater as much as I did. There’s just something about going around and wreaking havoc on the unsuspecting population that gives me more satisfaction than it probably should. For the most part, it plays smoothly and it looks fantastic, so if you’ve not played before, these upgrades make it a worthwhile title to explore. Is it worth replaying if you had it on PS4? Maybe not, only because nothing really new is added, and the graphical enhancement can hamper the game’s performance at times. Is there still room for improvement? Yes. But there is also a lot of room to have plenty of fun with this title too.


Maneater on Playstation 5 is developed by Blindside Interactive and is available now on the PlayStation Store. If you’ve already got the title on PS4 you’ll be able to get a free upgrade on PS5. Check out more of our game reviews by clicking HERE.

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