Maneater: Truth Quest dials up the crazy to 11 | Hands-on preview

by on August 11, 2021

If while playing Maneater, you thought to yourself: what this game about a mutated bull shark needs is an alien conspiracy subplot, you’re in luck. Maneater: Truth Quest manages to up the crazy even further than the base game, and adds a heap of Area 51 paranoia to the mix.

Chris Parnell’s freshwater film crew have turned their eyes from Port Clovis to the Plover Islands, home of the mysterious “Site P”. An extension of Area 51, Site P may be ground zero for all the radiation in the water. Surrounded by military patrol boats, protective energy shields and a shroud of secrecy, the Plover Islands are ripe for a bit of sharking.

Maneater: Truth Quest

Maneater: Truth Quest – The truth is under there?

I’ve been playing through the opening few missions of the DLC, sampling some of the new mechanics and areas. The base concept is mostly unchanged though. You’re still a bull shark that has mutated into a terrifying 30ft Megaladon. Humans are still chewy morsels. The only thing you fear are fish and marine mammals with bigger numbers next to their name than yours.

To say Maneater was a surprise hit is an understatement. Many people, myself included, were shocked at just how enjoyable and entertaining it turned out to be. Chris Parnell’s tongue-in-cheek narration, the oddly compelling tale of Scaly Pete, and the wonderful sense of atmosphere. These elements combined to produce a truly enjoyable experience.

Truth Quest looks to be more of the same, with added extras. Parnell’s biographer is back again, only this time ell and truly in the tin foil hat club. He’s convinced the government are hiding secrets, and he’s essentially using his documentary as a front. Just what are the NWO pumping into the water? What are they protecting? These questions and more will be answered when the DLC is fully released. For now, it’s just more insane shark goodness.

Maneater: Truth Quest

Afraid of the shark

Freshly added are time trial runs. Here you must swim through a series of rings under the pretence of an escape attempt. There’s also a rather annoying mission type where you must destroy radio beacons. I missed the tooltip on this originally and struggled to work it out. Essentially, you need to grab sailors or other victims, and tail-whip them at the tower until it’s destroyed. To be honest, I hope these missions aren’t common.

Elsewhere, enemies are now fully armed with military-grade weaponry. Their boats are faster, and some employ electrical fields to stop you getting too close. A new Atomic mutation adds power to your bites and attacks that make short work of boats and fish alike. But the energy shields are tough to contend with and add an element of suspense that began to wane in the latter hours of Maneater. Truth Quest attempts to stop you feeling too safe and secure again.

Maneater: Truth Quest

Apex legend

I played a few hours of the opening and a chunk of the narrative much further in. That it feels mostly like more Maneater is a good thing, because the added stuff does feel fairly fresh. Hunting down actual tinfoil-hat conspiracy nuts is a nice touch. There are also new jump challenges, nutrient caches and road signs to locate. Chris Parnell’s slightly manic narration adds an element of welcome weirdness to proceedings, too. It’s a slight departure from his droll ramblings in the main game, but that’s okay.

By all accounts, Maneater: Truth Quest is set to add a significant chunk of new story content. This is on top of a new Apex predator, new local quests and, of course, the aforementioned Atomic mutation set. Without further spoilers, what I’ve seen of the story is a cool new direction. It’s just nice to have new stuff to do in Maneater, to be honest. This is a great gameworld with solid mechanics and enjoyable action. Truth Quest looks like it will be a shot in the fin for the game, and my time with preview has left me chomping to dive back in.