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Jaws Unleashed

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox
Genre: Action
Publisher: Majesco
Developer: Appaloosa Interactive


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PS2/Xbox/PC Preview - 'Jaws Unleashed'

by Inexhist on May 11, 2006 @ 2:48 a.m. PDT

Amity Island is growing, making corporate connections with prestigious companies like Environplus to improve the Island's economy. Unfortunately the increased population around the Island and recent industrial activity has also attracted YOU--one of Earth's most fearsome creatures--a Great White Shark. When the Environplus CEO’s son falls prey to your deadly attacks, the CEO hires renowned shark hunter Cruz Ruddock to track and kill you. Meanwhile, Marine Biologist Michael Brody tries to capture you for research. Can Ruddock and Brody stop you from causing havoc and killing more people before the 4th of July celebration?

Genre: Action
Publisher: Majesco
Developer: Appaloosa Interactive
Release Date: TBA

Long in the making, Jaws Unleashed will be gracing consoles in the near future, bringing with it what can only be defined as wanton violence to the nth degree. Taking place around 30 years after the original "Jaws" movie, this game continues the story in a unique way, as this time, it is seen from the eyes of the shark. With design by the makers of Ecco the Dolphin, this game is in the capable hands of Appaloosa, who have become experts in the niche of video games featuring aquatic mammals.

The controls are extremely intuitive, ensuring that after minutes of gameplay, a player should be able to pilot the shark with reasonable skill. Swimming is a simple action, handled by turning the shark in the desired direction of travel and holding down on the "acceleration" button. Everything else requires little more than a simple button push and perhaps a wiggle from the thumbstick, depending on the intended results.

As expected, Jaws can be made to ram, bite, bite and shake and even throw around a bitten object. By mixing these together, it's possible to do a number of terrible yet interesting things. For example, the player could bite down on a swimmer, shake him about a bit and then hurl him at a rocky shore. Like any good giant shark, Jaws has a penchant for removing limbs, tearing people in half and otherwise earning the "MA" rating this game has received.

Throughout the course of Jaws Unleashed, the player will earn stat points, which will allow one to modify the abilities of the shark to better fit the desired gameplay. These will be attainable through a number of methods, including successful mission accomplishments and finding various hidden bonus items. As you progress, being able to see Jaws become faster, stronger and just all-around more deadly seems unnecessary, but in a good way.

The healthy smattering of gore in this game should help to ensure that the people who would spend the money to buy it will enjoy it. It is not for the weak of heart, your grandparents or even children. Jaws Unleashed is attractively morbid and aimed at the darkest part of every mature gamer – the part that can't help but watch a train wreck. If the game design didn't make the gore a necessity, I would call it a gimmick, but the gameplay makes the title worth your while. The truth is that a shark eating people is gory, violent and yet intriguing on some primal, disturbing level.

Not unlike a GTA title, Jaws Unleashed features an open world to explore and lets the player roam around freely to accomplish goals at his own pace. The title will also feature a slew of hidden bonus items that may unlock secrets or just allow the player to increase one of Jaws' attributes. During the game, the player will be able to pursue story mode-related challenges and bonus events. The story challenges often involve cut scenes and logical tasks that must be completed before moving on, while bonus events focus on the mindless, merciless slaughtering of innocents just for the sake of it. One such bonus event has Jaws racing to catch and kill a number of Baywatch-esque lifeguards, with bouncing … buoyancies and all. These bonus events are easily comparable to the rampages in GTA, where the goal is neither logical nor necessary, but instead, extremely violent and fun.

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