After acquiring it from its previous developer last year, Tripwire showed off what it’s been up to with shark role-playing game Maneater at the 2019 PC Gaming Show. There was a story-based trailer revealed at the show, but we’ve had the chance to see a private demonstration at E3, and this unusual idea for a game looks on track to deliver something fresh for people who enjoy third-person RPGs.

(Image credit: Tripwire Interactive)

The setting is the various kinds of waters found around the Gulf Coast, including bayous, the open ocean, beach resorts and industrial ports. Within these areas are the local wildlife, who are not only delicious snacks for sharks, but are also the source of the different resources you need to improve your character. This includes “evolutions,,” which takes your shark beyond what nature intended, such as growing bone armor plating, or electric powers, in turn giving your beast greater attack or stealth power.

You’ll recognise a lot of tropes from the average land-based open-world game. There are unique locations to find underneath the waves (one example being a criminal gang’s dumping ground for bodies), a day-night cycle which changes which NPCs can be found and what they’re doing, and wanted levels (‘hunter bounties’ in the game’s own language) which draw ever more dangerous enemies who want to claim your head for their den wall.

Credit: Tripwire Interactive

(Image credit: Tripwire Interactive)

But you can fight back, mainly in the form of your many sharp teeth. You can gobble up fish in a single bite, whereas people require a bit of chewing to consume. Eating things gives you health back as well as a small amount of the nutrient resources. They don’t just have to be in the water either, as one of your upgradeable skills is the ability to jump onto land or a boat and slip around snapping at whoever’s nearby.

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