One of the most critically acclaimed and talked about movies of all time is one not about man but instead about shark. Of course you know now that I am talking about Jaws, which to this day is one of the most talked about movies around. I remember the first time I watched Jaws and the impact it has on your desire to go into water is incredible. Well it was just going to be a matter of time before someone got the brilliant idea of creating a game based on this movie franchise. Today we are going to check out Jaws Unleashed for the Playstation 2, which tries to take Jaws and make it a great video game. How successful is this effort? Read our full review to find out!
So to me the idea of having a game based on Jaws seems somewhat odd, just because I never could understand where the actual gameplay would come from. I mean the shark did have a big role in the movie, obviously, but I didn’t exactly see where the interactive part would be coming from. But however I suppose the developers had their ideas and let’s talks about how they turned out.
So basically Jaws Unleashed takes place several years after the original movie, so those tragic events have been somewhat forgotten. Now Amity Island has some new corporate residents who the shark must destroy as they are destroying all that is good and well with the town. Yes, I understand the story is convoluted and completely lame but what more did you want from it?
So the story is absolutely horrific but can playing as the big bad shark help the experience at all? Well what the developers tried to do was adding a very open style of gameplay and uses that for an underwater adventure. Not a bad idea right? Well so the idea is there, but the execution in this game is just so far off in left field that it is hard to enjoy anything.
First off the game itself starts off on much too basic, where you just have a few basic attacks with Jaws. These attacks are not so much the issue, but instead the mere fact that it is near impossible to get used to the controls in the game. Along with the control issues comes an even greater issue being the camera, which manages to get in the way every time something important is going on. In fact during most combat sequences I found myself getting extremely agitated and frustrated with the game.
Jaws Unleashed as a video game just does not manage to bring anything together, and for that it is really a big disappointment. You have a game that struggles out of the gate with a poor attempt at a story, and then to make matters worse the controls and camera are bigger enemies than anything else in the game. Throw in some uninspired missions and you have a game that just quite frankly needed to be reworked before being released on store shelves.
Visually I can’t say that Jaws Unleashed fairs a whole lot better. Even though it does have some nice water elements, the game does not manage to bring a whole lot more to the table. I would have thought Jaws himself would have had more detail, but in fact it seems like most things in this game are just more on the bland side. I would have liked to see a lot more diversity in the visuals, as you start to feel like the whole game is played in the same exact spot.
As many of you already know I personally do not like blasting games, mostly because I can understand how much work and late nights go into creating such experiences. However, when you look at a game like Jaws Unleashed, I feel that there was a serious lacking of motivation throughout this whole development cycle. To me it seemed as though the team never thought the game had a chance, and therefore in the end you have a game that suffers accordingly. I have to say that I have not been this frustrated with a video game in a long time.
Unfortunately for all of us who do enjoy the Jaws movies and thought there was an outside chance a video game would be kind of neat were left with a complete flop. Although I would have loved to see Jaws Unleashed be more than it was, I think it just shows once again that a good idea only goes so far. When you have as poor gameplay as this game has, there is some serious thinking that needs to be done by the developers.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.