Sunday, October 29, 2006

Musings on a blood-thirsty game

Something new for the computer game-haters has turned up yesterday. At least the game I'm going to write about (one of two, actually, but the other one's much nicer) confirms their believes of how blood-thirsty and brutal computer games are these days.

The game is called "Jaws Unleashed" and - as you could expect from the name - it's about a certain shark that has featured in 4 movies going by the name "Jaws". And just as you would expect, there's a lot of blood in the game. I - as somebody who's been fascinated with sharks for quite some time - would say that comes from living things having blood in their bodies and sharks not exactly having the best table manners (but it's hard to use a napkin without hands, to be completely fair). Critics who see computer games as something evil might say that it comes from the game industry trying to get people to buy the game because of the violence. I didn't buy the game because of the violence (although admittedly I like giving those American hotheads, who decide that the first thing to do to a shark swimming close to the beach is shooting at it, a bit of a fright and maybe take a bite or two out of them...) but because after years of waiting it's the first interesting underwater game I've come across. The last was "Eco the Dolphin", definitely a game without much blood, even though Eco munches on fishes as well.

In Germany you have to be 18 to buy the game, and I think that's exactly the right thing. I've not come far - the game's not easy -, but I've already seen quite a lot of blood and, yes, I've already maimed and killed some people ... and some sharks ... and even some jellyfish, though probably nobody is going to complain about them.

Fact is that the Great White Shark is a predator and it doesn't look as cuddly as a lion or tiger. It's got a lot of teeth set in a very strong pair of jaws (hence the title of the movies and the game) and it's not afraid to use them. And even though there are only very few people killed by sharks in reality (and most of them are killed by Bull Sharks), the Great White Shark has had a shady reputation even before the movies ... or this game.

To a critic going on about the violence and level of blood in this game I'd like to ask this question: What do you find worse: a human shooting other humans or a shark just acting on it's instincts? And the shark looks and moves damn good, too...

To me "Jaws Unleashed" is a very good example of a game not belonging into the hands of kids or teens, but it's nevertheless interesting. For one thing there's a whole section about the animals you may encounter, giving you a lot of information about the underwater life, and in addition to that during the loading screen you get a lot of interesting information about the movies and the incident from which the idea came.

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