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access_time September 9, 2021 at 6:00 AM in Reviews by David Poole

Review | Maneater: Truth Quest

While Tripwire Interactive made the news recently over some controversy, they also recently released the highly anticipated DLC for their ShaRkPG, Maneater. Maneater: Truth Quest continues right where the base game left off, adding new content and a conspiracy theory plot line to pursue. Is it worth diving back into uncharted waters for more?

After the series finale of the fictional Maneater reality TV series, producer Trip Westhaven uncovers the experiments of the Naval Wildlife Organization (NWO). Seeking the truth, he continues to follow our bull shark protagonist on a journey to Plover Island. Just off the coast of Port Clovis, this island is where the NWO holds all their dark secrets. It’s also where you’ll find plenty of sailors to devour. While the story isn’t as in-depth as the original game, it does provide proper exposition for the threats you’ll uncover.

Maneater: Truth Quest provides roughly five hours of content, bringing a new area to explore and even new features. In the original game, the level capped at 30, but now you can reach a full 40 here. At level 35, you’ll also gain an additional slot to equip another organ, whether it’s one of the original ones or the five new additions. These organs can vastly improve the tail whip attack, provide health regeneration, or even weaponize your sonar.

While the new level cap and organs help to evolve our shark, it’s the new mutation that steals the show. We can finally see the true power of Dr. Evil’s sharks with laser beams attached to their heads in the new Atomic mutation set. These body parts will turn our shark into a radioactive laser blasting hammerhead. Using the mutation active skill, you can fire multiple homing blasts at your foes, leaving devastation in your wake. It may arguably be the strongest mutation in the game simply because of the powerful projectile.

Of course, as our shark grows more powerful, so too do her enemies. The experiments of Plover Island seep into the ocean, creating mutated sharks and whales to fight. These enemies will gain the same mutations, whether they be Bio-Electric, Bone, Shadow, or even the new Atomic powers. This makes for significantly more challenging foes, though with your new Atomic abilities, you’ll still have the upper hand. With that in mind, the new Apex predator is still like nothing you’ve faced before.

Aside from the new upgrades, Maneater: Truth Quest also features new mission types. One of the missions tasks players with destroying communication towers on heavily guarded beaches. This mission structure showcases new land-to-sea attacks from your enemies as you try to take down their tech. Then we have the new Time Trials, challenging players to race through multiple checkpoints within a time limit. With the right set of organs, these trials aren’t too difficult. The hardest part is lining up your breach to the midair gates.

Another new challenge includes five additional bounty hunters, each hellbent on taking you out. By eating humans and gaining infamy, these hunters will have their sights set on you. Take them out and you’ll earn your new organs. Finally, there’s a new collectible in the game with the truth seeking Questers. These tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists are hidden all around Port Clovis. Unlike normal collectibles, these guys can’t be detected by your sonar, making it a real challenge to find them all.

It wouldn’t really be Maneater if not for Chris Parnell’s narration as Trip Westhaven. While his deadpan humor and dad jokes are still charming, it feels a little subdued here. Throughout all of Maneater: Truth Quest, it feels like the team scaled back the pop culture references. Perhaps it was for legal reasons, but it makes the new landmarks lack that extra punch. Regardless, we still get a potentially intentional Rick & Morty quote, which is better than nothing. A new piece of upbeat music also accompanies the Time Trials, which feels somewhat unfitting. It just sort of kills the overall tone of the game.

Visually, Plover Island adds a dark and diabolical area to Port Clovis. With a lack of sun and toxic fumes, it really sets itself apart from the rest of the game. After testing the DLC on multiple platforms, it seems that the higher end versions get the edge. Last-gen consoles can unfortunately run into performance problems that seem to stem from possible memory leaks. At one point on PlayStation 4, the game was running in single digit frame rates as I swam through the ocean. Dying and respawning fixed the issue in most cases, but it was still concerning.

Overall, Maneater: Truth Quest is still a fun little addition to the game. It would’ve been nice for the game to offer a bigger shark, but when you add mouth lasers, you’re already pretty powerful. While the story lacks depth and fun references, it still maintains the simple charm thanks to Chris Parnell’s delivery. Just try to play it on higher end hardware for the best results. If you were a fan of Maneater and wanted a bit more on your platter, Truth Quest will likely appease your appetite.

Final Score: 7.5 out of 10

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