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Jaws: Unleashed (PlayStation 2)

57
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.5
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Big John WV (25282)
Written on  :  Oct 26, 2008
Platform  :  PlayStation 2
Rating  :  2.57 Stars2.57 Stars2.57 Stars2.57 Stars2.57 Stars

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Summary

"You're gonna need a bigger boat."

The Good

For the longest of times I longed for a game like this and after experiencing the original NES game it made me crazy for the longest of times to get the aftertaste out of my mouth.

I do have to admit, exploring the ocean as a giant great white shark tearing apart people and sinking boats is fun, especially the many ways you can basically just demolish people in this game: eating them, dismembering them, performing a belly flop on them, drowning them, even throwing them out like a cannonball and slamming them against the beach, needless to say its a blast.

I also like the variety of targets that are available, from innocent swimmers, to coast guard ships, fishing ships even the windjammers and the row boats are fun to tear apart, plus it's easy to move Jaws around with ease, its simple yet effective.

There is also the gore level which is surprising, especially when you tear apart someone and the whole surrounding area becomes blood red with their body parts floating and the best part is you can use this to terrify nearby swimmers.

The music fits well into the game and video clips from the movie really add to it. (I especially like the scene where Roy Scheider is throwing chum out when Jaws comes out suddenly causing him to bolt back and slowly back into the cabin and utter that famous line "You're gonna need a bigger boat.") The map is actually nice and spacious, though there are some loading times when you go into another part, but luckily it doesn't detract from the overall game.

The Bad

Sadly though, there are a few things that did irritate me, especially the story. True, there isn't much they could have done, but it does follow the movie's years after, especially with some characters such as the mayor from the movie's son in the game along with a few others, but I guess this is a totally different shark or a reincarnation or...I don't know, but still.

What gets me though, is how intelligent Jaws is in a way, navigating giant rigs in the scene through its elaborate duct works, escaping from an amusement park or a laboratory and taking revenge against a chemical company that is polluting the ocean by clogging their pipes and throwing barrels at their security guards who are trying to stop you. It's a stretch, but truthfully I would have been happy if I just got to roam the ocean and just randomly attack people, ships and other marine life without any set objectives.

I like how once you start going on a spree that they will start to send ships after you, I especially like the two man coast guard ships, but once you start to realize cause some havoc they send those giant cutters after you, which is fun, it gives it a bit of Grand Theft Auto, the only bad part I have, once you die and start again it brings back the cutter instead of starting over with a smaller ships. This is a bitch to do especially since you have to search around the ocean and find remote subs and tear them apart, using their power packs to launch at the cutter to destroy it.

Plus this game can have some serious drag at times, especially when you do a sudden dive, but luckily it doesn't freeze the system, it's just an annoying slow crawl that usually takes 30 seconds before it corrects itself and everything is ok. I've also noticed that a neat little feature is when you drag someone underwater their screams are muffled like they are underwater, but they are times when you can have them above the surface and their screams are still muffled or at times seem like they are sped up, kinda like on a record.

It also would have been nice to have a better save system instead of finding those scattered anchors throughout the stage. I know it gives it a challenge, but if you're in a hurry to get off the game, it can annoying, even though you do have a map, sometimes it's not entirely helpful.

The Bottom Line

In the end, this isn't a bad game, it just seems like they tried to hard to focus on a story and not pay attention to the gameplay. The story does seem ridiculous, but half the time I just end up just messing around and cause chaos on the beaches and shipping lanes.

If you're a big fan of Jaws or just want to cruise around as a giant killer shark then at least rent it, don't buy it off the bat, even though it is $20 now (yeah, maybe I should have waited instead of shelling out $50). Some of the problems may be a bother, but its still fun and at least worth a look at.