Way back in May 2020, I reviewed the original Maneater game, and found myself falling in love with the simple tale of a mutated shark seeking revenge on the mean ol’ blaggard who killed it’s mum. Well, Tripwire Interactive have now, some 14 months later, released a new DLC called Truth Quest, hoping to expand our friendly neighbourhood shark’s horizons, both physically and metaphorically. With a whole new area, and a suitably bonkers story to work through, it’s time to dive back into the waters of Port Clovis and see what’s happened in the area since we (spoiler alert) rid the world of Scaly Pete.
First of all, a warning – You need to have finished the main storyline in order for Truth Quest to appear on your map. Luckily, with the game being such a rollercoaster, this shouldn’t be any hardship, and soon you’ll be blazing a trail to Plover Island, the area for this DLC. Now, the story this time around takes the bonkers source material, turns the craziness up to 11, and then basically spews words all over the gameplay.
The narrator of the base game has been fired from his job at Cable TV for basically showing a series of people being eaten by sharks, and as such has now turned to the internet as a way of getting his theories out there. And boy oh boy has he disappeared down a rabbit hole, with aliens, insectoid overlords and any and every conspiracy theory that has ever been thought of being trotted out with depressingly regular voice overs. In all honesty, while the voice acting is still good, the material this time around is so stupid and left field that I found myself tuning it out. The N.W.O. (sadly not the Ministry song, which is still a banger), the Illuminati and so on appear in the rambling monologues, and by the end of the DLC I was thoroughly sick of it.
However, being a shark is still as awesome as ever, you’ll be pleased to hear. And as such it’s awesome to see that the developers haven’t messed about with the formula for swimming and fighting. That being said, a lock-on mechanic is still sorely missed, especially when you fight some of the new creatures that swim around Plover Island. We are talking creatures like Sperm Whales and Orcas, but with similar mutations to the ones that we can equip. In fact, the first creature we have to hunt is an Electric Great White (not singing Once Bitten, Twice Shy which is a real missed opportunity), and it has the same powers we have with the Bio Electric mutation set equipped, so is able to stun us with dodges and so on. Luckily, if you’re rocking the Bone Armour set, you’ll be able to withstand a lot of damage. The other creatures I’ll leave as a surprise, although suffice it to say that they are a lot higher level than we are, even with a raised level cap. Yes, in the DLC, we can now go all the way up to Level 40, and in an extra sweetener, there are new achievements to go at too.
Now, as well as a welcome raise in the level cap, what else does this DLC bring to the table? Well, there is a whole new set of mutations to collect – the Atomic set. And best of all, this set actually addresses a weak point in the mutated shark’s armoury. Have you ever been in close combat with a group of boats and thought “What I need is some kind of ranged weapon?” Well, it appears you were not alone, as Tripwire have added it in! The atomic set allows you to charge up a kind of ultimate laser of doom, doing extra damage the longer you let it charge, and given that this time we are facing flying foes, it comes in very handy indeed. Trying to take on a helicopter, as the first Bounty Hunter, is pretty tricky otherwise, having to wait until they fly down close enough to the water in order for you to breach and smash it with a tail whip. I’m not going to lie, this is a totally different feel to battling boats in the water, and adds a whole pinch of new spice.
The other new mechanic is one that isn’t as successful, sadly. This time around we are charged with destroying various devices that sit up on poles, and the only way to hit them is to throw things at them. What this means in practice is that we have to swim up close, grab either a human or an explosive, hold it in our mouths, aim carefully, and then send it flying with a judicious press of the LB button. It’s pretty easy to get the hang of, to be honest, but it isn’t a fun way to spend a few minutes. The difference between hitting the target and sending some poor sailor flying through the air is about a gnat’s whisker of pressure on the right stick, so aiming while being shot to pieces can be challenging.
All in all, Maneater: Truth Quest does enough to ensure it can be recommended. The swimming and fighting as a shark is still cool and a lot of fun, finding all the collectibles will take a while, and the new combat opportunities are intriguing, mostly. There are annoyances, but the chance to slip into a shark’s skin makes them seem insignificant. The story does start to grate after a while too, but the fun of being an apex predator never does.
Take in the mysteries of Maneater: Truth Quest by picking up the DLC from the Xbox Store