|Developer: Appaloosa Interactive
Publisher: Majesco Games
Release Date: Out Now
Players: Only the one, thankfully
I suppose, in some perverse cosmic way, I had it coming. I’ve studied a bit of Buddhism. I’d like to think the concept of Karma is a real force acting in our lives and rewarding the occasional good deed, but damn the notion when it decides to bite me in the backside. I was sitting at home with my cherished Xbox, as is my want, having a lovely afternoon (just the two us, you understand, we never seem to spend time together anymore) when lo, there was a knock at the door. Cursing the interruption I opened it to reveal two kindly old ladies, dressed suspiciously like my grandmother. Before I could ask the question forming in my head I was interrupted by one of them – “We’re Jehovah’s Witnesses, and well, we’d like to talk to you about the big question, ‘why?’”
Damn you Karma. Just when I was enjoying my afternoon…
I managed to dismiss them after a few moments of diplomatic conversation and return to my electronic pleasures, but something continued to nag at my mind as I popped the Jaws Unleashed disc into the big black brick. As I played this new title and tried to put some notes together for a review I slowly realised what it was that had been bothering me. When the chaps at Appaloosa Interactive decided to take a crack at coding Jaws, somebody (preferably not a Jehovah’s Witness) should probably have stood up and asked them why.
You are Jaws, who has been unleashed (har har) on the waters surrounding Amity Island to chomp, rend and dismember as much you can. Trying to stop you are deep sea explorers Environplus and Micheal Brody, mild-mannered marine biologist and the apparent son of the hero of the first Jaws film. And that’s about it. I think there might be some kind of story arc to play through, but such a ham-fisted job has been made of the game’s cutscenes and writing that it is difficult to be sure. Basically, your tasks are to kill and eat people in increasingly gruesome ways.
And that part is fun, for a little while. Jaws has a series of special attacks that can be unlocked with points earned from your various dastardly deeds (read: eating people) and carrying out these special little moves makes a nice change from just repeatedly hitting the R trigger. Your victims make cute little screams too, and struggle helplessly in your mighty jaws (do you see?) as you drag them to their doom amid a worryingly large cloud of blood. Even other sea creatures fear your wrath, functioning as little more than a health bonus for you to swallow up.
Why, Appaloosa and Majesco, why?
- You do get to eat people…
- Lots of people in fact…
- Almost too many
- Plenty of bugs
- Regular colossal framerate drops
- A coral reef displays more intelligence