Being a shark that just so happens to be an evolutionary anomaly comes with its own challenges, you know. It’s not all “eat to your hearts content” and “murder humans indiscriminately”, there’s some real problems that you can run into when consuming your way to the top of the food chain, problems that present themselves in Maneater.
Maneater sees you playing as a bull shark determined to take revenge on a fisherman responsible for the murder of your mother. Along the way, you encounter friends, take stock of life and learn the real meanin- nah, none of that. It’s plenty of slaughter for the game’s 15 hour runtime, but it’s still an experience you might need help with. Here are our quick tips to help you succeed while playing Maneater.
Pick Your Battles
After the introductory chapter shows you what you’re in for after a few hours of play, you’ll control a baby shark thrust into a world filled with predators out for blood. It’s likely here where you’ll accumulate the bulk of your deaths during your playthrough, so it pays to play smart in the early going.
The opening Bayou area features some nasty looking alligators that are quite the pain when you’re barely levelled, so when you start the game, you’ll want to focus on consuming the more placid wildlife, which will lead to eventual growth and the ability to turn the tables on those pesky predators.
All Bark, Some Bite
Once you do find yourself in a bit of a scrap with a predator, you have two main forms of attack, a bite and a tailwhip. You can also use a lunge to close the distance, and an evade to avoid potential attacks. This is especially true early on when you’re more vulnerable, but that evade is useful and should be mastered as quickly as possible.
When fighting predators, evade can allow you to avoid those devastating tail whips that can knock flying out of the water if you’re not careful. Later on, when fighting humans, evades can be used to break line of sight of the human’s guns, meaning you can avoid gunfire with the push of the right bumper, or R1.
When fighting humans, or animals the same size or smaller than you, you can hold down the bite button to latch onto your prey. Then, by wiggling the right stick, you can thrash your poor, defenseless victim around, dealing extra damage. It’s a helpful way of killing enemies quicker, though mashing bite is also viable.
Evolution Is A Mystery
As you progress through the game, you’ll unlock evolutions that can completely change your stats and abilities. There are six types of evolutions; teeth, head, body, fin, tail and organ, with the first five translating to more active abilities while the three organ slots offer more passive buffs.
Players are free to mix and match their abilities as they see fit to create an unholy and terrifying super shark, but there are evolution sets for your teeth, head, body, fin and tail. Using multiple evolutions from the same set will lead to additional benefits, so it pays to go all in on a certain play style.
In order to upgrade your abilities, you’ll need enough resources, which can be gained from completing missions and consuming different types of wildlife. Evolutions of a certain set will require the same type of resource, so you’ll need to be on the lookout for particular types of wildlife if you want your abilities to reach the higher tiers.
It’s also worth noting that consuming wildlife replenishes lost health, meaning it pays to disengage or focus on other creatures during fights. In battles against humans, make sure you pick off any humans that fall into the water in order to keep your health topped up.
Sonar Is Your Friend
Inexplicably, you’re a shark with sonar. This is the reality of Maneater, and it’s actually a huge benefit for you. Sonar can be used to locate collectibles, find wildlife that are filled with the resources you need or to detect hunters so you can avoid getting into fights.
While it’s a constant ability, the advanced sonar evolution increases the range of the ability while reducing the cooldown time, which is absolutely vital when scanning the environment for collectibles like landmarks, license plates and resource caches. We’ll get to those collectibles later.
Sharks On Land
Once you’ve reached the point where you’re eating humans, you’ll have to be prepared to venture onto land to make your attacks. Thankfully, being a fish out of water isn’t terrible, as you can jump and lunge to cover large distances pretty quickly. Exploring on land can also lead to secret areas with collectibles, so it’s worth not being constrained by your liquid confines.
Be Prepared To Backtrack
Right, yes. Collectibles. Let’s talk about them. Collectibles are scattered around the world of Maneater like sweets, but unfortunately, a large majority of them can’t be accessed until later on in the game. As you level up, you’ll grow from an infant shark, to teen, adult, elder and finally a megashark.
Certain collectibles will require you to be an elder in order to obtain them, either because you generate more air when exiting the water or because you need to be an elder level to destroy the gate they’re hidden behind. It’s worth collecting everything you can the first time through an area, then once you reach elder, circling back to grab the rest.
Infamy, Infamy, They’ve All Got It In-For-Me
Naturally, the humans aren’t all that keen on the wanton slaughter at the hands (fins?) of a shark, so doing so will cause your Infamy Rank to rise. In order to rise through the Infamy Ranks, you need to murder enough humans to attract the attention of hunters. Once hunters arrive, you have to focus on wiping them out to increase your rank.
Simply killing solitary hunters won’t cut it. Hunters come on boats filled with humans, so you can either kill all of the humans individually by leaping out the water and lunging at them, ensuring that you’re maintaining your health pool, or by destroying the entire boat. Going after the boat itself is riskier, because there’s less chance to replenish your health, but it’s often quicker to gain rank by attacking the boat.
Once you reach certain thresholds, bounty hunter bosses will spawn, and defeating them will progress you through the ranks. At early ranks, you can target the named human in question for an easy kill, but later ranks will often require you to trash the whole boat. They can be rough, but keep an eye on your health and it should be smooth sailing.
This last tip is more for style points than anything else. When holding something in your mouth, pressing the tailwhip button will see you home-run hit whatever you’re holding at the direction of your camera. For the most part, it has few practical applications aside from looking cool, but later human fights will see dynamite and oil cans lobbed your way. Whipshotting them right back is a great, though ultimately unnecessary way of dealing damage. You don’t need to know it to truly succeed in Maneater, it’s just fun to try out.
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