Review of Jaws Unleashed
The original Jaws movie came out in 1975, it won three Oscars and helped to make Stephen Spielberg a household name. Watching the movie again now, proves that even with dreadful special effects... a fantastic storyline, great actors and brilliant background music (you must have heard the Jaws theme tune), you can still make one of the greatest movies of all time.
Let's see if the PlayStation 2 game is a classic too ?
You are Jaws, a huge great white shark, the perfect killing machine. Guide him though four different types of underwater mission. Complete objectives without being seen, escape from tricky situations, chase down your prey, or just destroy everything in sight.
Jaws does two things well, swim, and eat. During the game, you will spend much of your time looking for various things for Jaws to consume. Thankfully, he's not too fussy and will happily eat anything from a license plate to a passing seal or dolphin.
Finding food is made easier when switching to shark vision mode. This detects movement and surrounds anything in motion with a bright yellow glow making them very easy to pick out in the water.
Being so large, has a few disadvantages. The main one being that smaller more agile fish can outmanoeuvre you easily, attacking whenever you stray into their territory. This drains your energy quickly and forces you to pause your mission objective until you find more food.
The shark has about 17 different moves it can carry out, including special bites, quick bursts of speed and a nice tail whip that will destroy just about anything smaller than you.
The first few levels within the game fairly simplistic with the aim being to learn how to control Jaws. While this isn't always easy, at times is made virtually impossible due to very poor camera angles being used throughout the game.
The first real mission starts just after you have been captured. You are trapped in a large pool and need to gain access to an electronic passkey that will unlock a large underwater door. As there is no one else in the water, you will need to find a way to get onto dry land, or alternatively flood areas so that you can swim through them.
Some of the puzzles require careful thought, while others just brute force. As you make your way to the end of this level you meet the first of the boss characters. All that is between jaws and freedom is a killer whale!
Once this mission has been completed the gameplay transforms into more of standard grand theft auto style. You have huge areas to swim within and can choose at any time to complete major tasks or minor sub-missions.
Occasionally you will be able to upgrade the abilities of your shark. The accuracy, power, speed, hunger and health ratings can all be improved over time.
Graphically this it is quite a nice game for the PS2, although quite cartoony in style.
Light refracts through the ocean water in a very realistic way. The levels are huge and inhabited with a nice variety of creatures.
In a nice tribute to the original movie, the shark looks like it is made out of rubber!
There are a few 'nice' touches, such as being able to knock sailors out of their boats and watch them try to swim to shore. Biting them can take off an arm or a leg, and they will continue swimming away, minus a limb or two.
The movie like cut scenes are pretty awful. The voice acting and animation are poor, adding nothing to the overall experience.
Everything you eat gushes with blood and while the graphical effect of it mixing with the ocean water is stunning, at times it seems a little bit tasteless.
Thankfully, the original John Williams theme tune and great orchestral background music have been incorporated into this game. The music changes pace nicely, depending on your current situation.
The sound effects are all adequate, but its worth mentioning the various underwater screams for help from swimmers and divers who are soon to become lunch. The hairs on the back of your neck will be standing to attention the first time you hear them.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Jaws Unleashed' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Jim Bolland © Absolute PlayStation
Click here to view our 32 Jaws Unleashed in-game screenshot slideshow
Parents Guide to Jaws Unleashed
During the reviewing process Jim Bolland made the following notes that we think parents of younger children may be interested in hearing before they deciding if they should allow them to play the PS2 version of Jaws Unleashed.
Jaws is a great white shark and during the course of the game needs to eat regularly. The meals consist of pretty much anything living or dead.
Sailors will be knocked from their boats and ripped in half.
Swimmers will have their arms and legs pulled off and consumed.
Various underwater creatures will be injured and killed in quite a graphic way.
There is a huge amount of blood in this game.
This game is rated 18 in the UK.
Please note that these points are not a complete guide to every mature element contained within Jaws Unleashed, only those that we found. They are not provided as facts, only information.
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