The clearest sign of a great game is the inability to shake the memory of it from your subconscious. Whether that manifests in the form of coming up with future constructive plans for it like Dark Chronicle, ideas of conquest like Assassins Creed Odyssey, or just simply thinking of what you’re going to do next, which for me at the moment is Days Gone.
My unexpected game of 2020 came in the form of shark simulator Maneater, and as it was both mine and Stuart’s game of the year, our scores pushed it to 4th place overall in the Respawning top ten for the year. I still maintain that as Stuart and I were the only ones who played it, had others done so we could have pushed it to second place, as there was no beating Final Fantasy VII Remake which took the crown.
It was recently confirmed that Maneater would be receiving DLC fairly soon which I’m very excited for, but today I’m looking further into the future at what a potential sequel could do. While the existence of a planned sequel has not yet been announced by developer Tripwire Interactive, the cult following the game has garnered since its launch doesn’t rule out the possibility.
This week, let’s look at five things Maneater 2 could do to bring fresh ideas to the solid foundation lain by the first game.
Play As An Alligator
While I would absolutely play any Maneater sequel, I’m not convinced that playing as a shark again would really do the concept justice. The alligators from the first area demonstrated how fast, powerful and threatening they could be, and playing as one would definitely be just as, if not more, fun than playing as a shark.
The on-land segments of gameplay as the shark were as funny as they were entertaining, but the constant breath metre ticking down meant you could never remain out the water for long. Playing as an alligator would negate that minor bugbear, and make the next entry possible.
Less Ocean, More City
I love the map in Maneater. Not too big, not too small, and perfectly varied with swamps, marinas and deep blue open ocean. In essence, the perfect environment for a shark to be at its most deadly and the indisputable apex predator.
With the new potential if you could play as an alligator, a whole range of urban environments could be added to further enhance gameplay. Real world alligators can navigate sewers and rivers to pop up in the most unexpected and often unwelcome places so I’d be interested to see how the developers implement that.
More Elaborate Mutagens
An obvious pick to anyone who has played the first game, the mutagens were fun but not as crazy as they possibly could have been. I found the mutagen that recovered health whenever you bite something was particularly helpful, as sharks don’t have much else going for them when it comes to offensive options.
I’d like to see more destructive abilities in a sequel, such as making things explode on contact after being tail-whipped or the ability to resurrect vanquished apex predators to assist in a fight.
Diverse Additional Weaponry
I’ve recently finished playing Dark Chronicle again and one of the best mechanics in that game is the Ridepod. To those unfamiliar, the Ridepod is a mech you can pilot in the games dungeons levels which is significantly more powerful than the protagonists, though limited by the fact it has a steadily draining fuel gauge. The Ridepod can be equipped with all sorts of weaponry ranging from drills to missile pods to laser cannons, with better weapons becoming available as you progress through the story.
This started me thinking of other games that would benefit from mechanics like this, and Maneater was my first pick. Sharks and alligators would both become dramatically more deadly if they were equipped with sword arms or cannons, and would be a significant help in battles with human adversaries and their pesky armoured gunboats.
Boss Fight With The Shark
Thinking along the same lines as how Prototype 2 made its primary motivation and main promotional slogan ‘Murder Your Maker’, I’d love to see the shark we spent dozens of hours developing in the first game show up as an antagonist in the second game. Alligators were easily the most difficult enemies for the first half of Maneater, and it would be so satisfying to see the tables turned with the player controlling the alligator.
What would you like to see in a Maneater sequel? Have you played the first game? Let me know in the comments section, and seriously, if you haven’t played Maneater yet then make sure you do. At time of writing, if you own a PlayStation 5 and have a Plus subscription then the game is free right now! Thanks for reading and I’ll see you later alligator.