Being the kind of guy who finds it morally reprehensible to kill a fly, you might think that my opinion of Shark Attack Deathmatch was a given and that I would, naturally, hate it.
But let’s pause for one sec.
No real sharks were hurt in the making of Shark Attack Deathmatch. No real sharks get hurt when playing Shark Attack Deatchmach. And while I might be a firm supporter of animal right, I’m not a firm supporter of virtual-animal rights. And the idea that harming animals in a game inspires, motivates or encourages gamers to go and kill animals in real life is just bullshit.
I mean really. Given the number of people playing first person shooters, if a game was actually capable of making a person kill stuff, the population would be cut in half by now and we gamers would have all killed one another long ago.
So, now that that bullshit is out of the way, let’s take a look at the actual game of Shark Attack Deathmatch.
Shark Attack Deathmatch has split an audience in a way I thought only John Cena could. Many people hate it, many others love it. In reality, however, Shark Attack Deathmach is neither the best nor the worst game ever; it’s just a simple and fun game.
Shark Attack Deatmatch is a first person shooter underwater with sharks. The aim is to kill the other scubadivers using your spear gun and a knife. The game takes place in a medium-size environment which suffers the problem of going crazy any time you tread out of bounds; demanding you to get back to the play area with a massive arrow point you in the right direction. This is one of the game’s biggest issues. Quite why there aren’t just walls I’ve no idea (it would be a better solution).
There are turtles and eels about the arena, but you can’t shoot them. In fact they do nothing other than causing the frame rate to drop.
So, up to now I’ve pretty much trashed the game. But while the negative discussed above certainly are issues, there are just as many good points to Shark Attack Deathmatch as bad ones. For starters, it looks great. Shark Attack Deathmatch is hands down the best looking FPS on XBLIG. The audio is good too. There’s the Jaws-esque music cue to shark approaches. Between graphics and sound Shark Attack Deathmatch shows some great production values that make the gamemore than worthy of a quick play.
The game itself is really fun too. Even though the spawning is problematic (you’ll spawn next to a shark and die immediately). But forgiving this, you’ll have a blast playing, especially thanks to Shark Attack Deatmatches’ trump card: it has a full community.
Shark Attack Deathmatch’s healthy community is probably thanks to the originality of the game’s theme. People love trying something new, and in many ways they’re starved for genuinely unique content. Shark Attack delivers a fresh experience. Even if that experience isn’t perfect, it’s still new and exciting and a thousand times better than playing the same lame FPS rip-off over and over again.
For creativity and originality, I have to give Shark Attack Deathmach a thumbs up, even though there are more than enough apparent flaws that could seriously use a fix.
OVERALL: 3.5 out of 5