PC Game -- Jaws: Unleashed

The concept of a sand box non-linear game, based on the classic Jaws films, where the player assumes control of the most deadly predator on the face of our planet seems like it would be a no-brainer. Who wouldn't want to play as a Great White Shark and roam around capsizing boats, fighting giant squid, and mauling random ocean lovers? However, Jaws: Unleashed is a perfect example on how a great concept can go horribly wrong.

In Jaws: Unleashed, you're given the task of stopping the human encroachment into your natural habitat by killing and destroying as many things as possible to scare the bejesus out of everybody. So, you go along your merry way, gnawing, dismembering, and facing off against armadas of shark hunters, giant killer whales and octopi, in a vain attempt to stop industry on Amity Island.

The problem is you're a shark. How does a shark take down big business? Well, by capturing depth charges, transporting them to the oil refinery and tossing them onto the surface to detonate - which is a little lame. The entire premise of this title is a vain and pathetic attempt to engineer a GTA-styled clone, complete with nonsensical side-missions and a really horrible in-game engine.

As Jaws, you'll have to take care of your basic needs, just like a real shark. You must eat to regain health, eat to stave off hunger, and also eat licence plates and tin cans to collect ability points to unlock new abilities - an uninspiring concept.

The graphics aren't up to par and the camera is extremely fiddly, often making it impossible to see what you're doing. Additionally, the physics system is very badly tuned. There are moments where you'll stop dead in your tracks because of a small object that you should be able to swim past. Other moments yield awkward results, which jarringly pull the player out of the game-play, such as getting stuck behind the game-play area, effectively ending your game session, or dying in an explosion, which doesn't even appear on the screen, is frustrating.

You would think the one draw that had everybody talking about this game early on in its development cycle would at least be instituted decently. However, eating humans is more of a chore than a joy, taking more time and effort than the game allows for, making it simpler to eat seals and other marine life.

It's an enjoyable game for a few minutes, but loses its merits when you finally get the hang of the controls due to all the game's inadequacies. While it's still worth a try; just don't plan on this title keeping your attention for more than a weekend's worth of game-play.

Click here to view a screenshot, and here to view another.

Verdict: As is too often done with timeless legacies, Jaws: Unleashed has taken the meanest creature to roam our oceans and turned it into a clunky, irritating game that will only mildly entertain you.
Score: 2 out of 5
Publisher: Majesco
URL: http://jawsthegame.com/
Price: $79.95

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Rice Burner

PC World (US online)
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