by Cole Smith
5, 2006 - Jaws
Unleashed lets you experience the action from the
perspective of the shark. Its not a bad idea
but if you smell something fishy dont be surprised
if the source of the odor is emanating from your game
definitely have to sit on the middle of the fence
on this one. Jaws Unleashed is neither great nor horrible.
You could say that its both good and bad. Its
kind of like watching a ball game where you favorite
team gets sacked. It may not be a good thing but its
better than not watching the game at all.
we go any further and you dont read to the end
of the review let me get this out of the way now.
If you have any interest in this game at all rent
it. I cant think of any good reason to purchase
it. Having said that, it can be fun to play
but not for long. Ive played Ecco the Dolphin
but Ive never played as a murderous great white.
Its like controlling an underwater biological
30 years after the original movie and the island of
Amity has returned to normal; the shark incident is
nothing more than local legend. But when a new manufacturing
plant sets up production in the region and begins
polluting the waters, the faint strains of the two-note
soundtrack can be heard, foreshadowing a dramatic
the shark is back and hes pissed (He's called
"Bruce" because that's what Steven Spielberg
named the mechanical shark while filming the original
. Its difficult to tell exactly why hes
pissed but when a 25-foot great white is on a rampage
it really doesnt matter. As Bruce, the gameplay
is relatively open-ended. There are tons of things
to do to fulfill your role as a giant aquatic killing
machine. At times the gameplay seems like a cross
between Grand Theft Auto and Ecco the Dolphin. You
can go on killing sprees, chowing down on anything
that moves including seals, dolphins and people. If
youre not particularly hungry you can throw
them around or ram then with a nose attack. You can
also take out your great white aggression on objects
in the marina such as boats, docks and various personal
watercraft. There is no shortage of things, people
and places to interact with including some astounding
boss fights featuring other demons of the deep including
main problem with the game, and yes there is more
than one problem, is the claustrophobic camera angles
that obscures whatever peripheral vision you are lucky
to be afforded in a videogame. The environments are
huge and you are heartily encouraged to free roam
but on many occasions the camera swings to the most
useless of angles. You end up with tunnel vision.
If you didnt get a good look at the environment
prior to the crazy camera shifts, and you dont
have a photographic memory, youre going to be
out of luck when it comes to avoiding an object, harpoon
or another potentially dangerous situation.
problem is that the shark can get hung up on invisible
parts of objects. Since they are impossible to see,
they are impossible to avoid. The best advice I can
give you is to stay far away from all edges. If you
get hung up, and you most likely will in more than
a few instances, you will find that there are plenty
of times that you are unable to free yourself. The
only way out is to shut-er-down and start the
level all over again. I call this procedure: Reload,
replay, regret, repeat.
of the objectives can be very challenging. Im
not entirely sure if I should blame the controls or
just attribute the lack of precision to the fact that
you are attempting to make a three-thousand pound
shark perform like a trained seal. The missions and
side quests give some structure to the gameplay. There
is a story but its, pardon the pun, pretty shallow.
There are boats that you have to destroy which require
that you pick up speed from a distance and ram them
like a torpedo. Its very difficult to stay your
course with the controls as the shark just isnt
very maneuverable. Not to mention the limiting perspectives
of the camera. With the ability to go below and above
the water surface the camera doesnt always follow
when youre close to the surface. If you get
too close to the surface, the camera will try to anticipate
your next move and give you an above-water perspective
even though youre still underwater. The same
holds true when you are above water. There is no happy
medium with the camera; the only thing you can do
is try to live with it.
or Bruce, also has the ability to swish his tail which
can inflict some damage. But probably the most dramatic
of his moves is his ability to jump directly onto
dry land and snatch an unsuspecting victim. You have
a few seconds to wriggle back into the water before
you expire. This move is so ludicrous that I wouldnt
be surprised if Huckleberry Hound walked out of the
bushes and began doing a narrative on shark hunting.
ridiculous scenarios ensue when you are trapped inside
a theme park. You will actually have to find ways
to secure human hostages so that you can swipe them
across sensors to gain access to other areas. You
will also kill killer whales in an attempt to unlock
other doors. Exploding barrels can be picked up in
your mouth and launched at an intended target. Apparently
the only things that Jaws cant do are climb
a ladder and sneak past guards wearing a disguise.
That's for the sequel: Tom Clancy's Splinter Shark.
is a darn good looking shark and many of the underwater
environments are good looking as well. But this should
be expected since the developers are responsible for
Ecco the Dolphin. There is a good amount of detail
on land but there are also some really bad graphics
that make the humans look like buoys or decoys. Its
so frustrating it makes you just want to take them
in your mouth, shake your head violently and go Argggghhhh
all for something different, but the fact that the
developers dont even attempt to acknowledge
that their tongue is planted firmly in their cheeks
makes me think that they expect us to take this game
seriously. Theres not enough mind-altering chemicals
on the planet to make that a reality. Taking this
game seriously is akin to committing intellectual
suicide. I cant even believe that this game
is tied into the Jaws license. I wont say that
the game drags the license down into the depths, but
it barely treads water with it. Maybe in Jaws 2 we
can just hunt the shark with Huckleberry Hound.
take control of Jaws the Great White Shark with
themes and locations from the original JAWS universe.
than 10 meticulously detailed, destructible environments,
each with unique themes and intense action.
real-time damage on intelligent enemies, vehicles
a variety of stunning underwater, surface and air
attacks via a user friendly combat system.
engine provides 25+ points of disconnection allowing
for game characters and objects to be torn apart
piece by piece.
story based missions or choose to freely roam the
island and its surroundings causing havoc.
multiple side missions/challenges including timed
destruction, stealth, chase and others.
fearsome arena bosses including killer whales, powerful
boats and more.
your victims before they know youre coming
and target lock on enemies from afar with Shark
by Appaloosa Interactive, developer of the Award-Winning
Ecco the Dolphin series.