After four movies crammed with mutilation, dismemberment and oceanic terrorism on a grand scale, could it be that the world's most famous Great White isn't actually evil at all, but just misunderstood? Jaws Unleashed paints a picture of an environmental hell as oil refineries spring up around the coastline and bio-toxins are dumped into the sea with no consideration for marine life. As you can imagine, none of this sits particularly well with Jaws, especially after he's captured and brutalised by his environmentally unfriendly new neighbours. Not surprising, then, that what follows is a one-shark campaign of aquatic vengeance and destructive mayhem.
The basics of the game are rather straightforward - players take on the role of Jaws himself, swimming around the Amity Island coastline, exploring the environments and murdering any one or anything that either a) is operating with an anti-green agenda or else b) looks tasty.
PLAYSTATION'S BEST SHARK, EVER!
Should that grow a little dull, Jaws can go for individual Story missions, which usually result in some kind of explosive end, or any of 31 Grand Theft Auto-style 'side missions'. These offer a range of mauling-based challenges designed to hone your sea-faring skills, build up experience and fill the big fish's super-sized gut.
Eating things (and inflicting death in general) is one thing Jaws is especially good at. His razor sharp teeth can produce some seriously realistic damage and the result is a horrific level of dismemberment accompanied by some disturbingly chilling death screams.
In terms of gameplay, Jaws offers plenty of evil fun. The side missions alone offer days of action, combining mass marine homicide with pin-point swimming and a range of interesting puzzles to solve. The main missions are short-lived in comparison, however, which is a shame as they offer masses of visual variety and you're always left wanting more.
Once the main story and side missions are taken care of, there are plenty of hidden collectibles lurking around the depths of each stage, butthey're hardly difficult to find, and even when you do collect them all, the rewards barely seem worthy of the amount of effort involved.
The game's shortcomings are compounded by a dodgy camera. Jaws can be attacked from all sides at any given moment, calling for a very intelligent viewpoint that simply isn't here. Also unforgivable is the way that you often end up with a fin stuck in the scenery, meaning either precious minutes spent attempting to free yourself, or having to quit and restart the level altogether. Shocking.
Still, Jaws Unleashed is original, fun and a fine test of the grey matter as much as it is of the reflexes. It's just a shame that there's not enough meat to make it a must.
It sounds bad but killing people as a shark is great fun. A bit brainless, but that?s us all over.
- Huge game map, tons to do
- Some breathtaking graphics
- Poor camera and odd glitches
- Almost TOO gory in places