7. THE MINEFIELD
Late in the game, you’ll be given a mission called “Taste for Blood,” in which Jaws has to track a group of wounded divers by using Shark Vision to see the trail of blood they leave behind.
Above: Doesn’t seem so tough, right?
There’s just one problem: you have to chase them through an active aquatic minefield that Amity never bothered to clear.
Above: Ohhhh, shit
While the rest of the entries on this list are standouts because they’re funny or entertaining, Taste of Blood is easily the most frustrating stage in the entire game. This is because all of those tightly grouped mines are on a hair trigger, and the ONLY way to get past them alive is to figure out which ones won’t trigger a chain reaction, and then knock them out by spitting barrels at them.
Above: It’s sort of like trying to defuse a giant bomb that you’re inside of
Again, how a shark would know which mines to defuse is anyone’s guess, but regardless, this is what happens if you accidentally trigger any of the others. And you will, over and over again:
Above: At least those asshole divers probably died with you
On the other hand, this makes tracking the divers through the second half of the stage – a ship graveyard filled with rusting hulks and ancient wrecks – an absolute joy. Because after the hell those bastards just put you through, you’re guaranteed to relish tearing them to pieces.
Above: A perfectly intact galleon next to some WWII-era mines? Sure, why not?
8. THE DEEP
It’s hard to be scared of anything when you’re the meanest thing in the ocean, but the only time in Jaws Unleashed we ever felt a small twinge of fear was when diving into a massive, gloomy trench to tackle a gargantuan undersea mining facility.
Above: Ooh, spooky
Owned by the Enviroplus corporation, the station is a nightmare of dark tunnels and gloomy hazards that seems to serve no real purpose other than to satisfy developer Appaloosa’s weird fetish for huge, crushing machinery. Supporting this idea are the tubes running along the perimeter of the station, which look like tunnel entrances…
… but which actually turn out to be intake tubes for giant rock-grinders that will suck you straight up into their rollers.
Above: Hey, wait… why can’t we break free?
Above: OH BULLSHIT
Once you’re inside, the actual facility is little more than an extensive network of huge, hazardous, shark-infested tunnels through which Enviroplus employees – outfitted in little more than scuba gear – slowly swim, all but defenseless in the murky dark. Apparently Enviroplus thinks as little of OSHA regulations as Amity’s swimmers and boaters do of getting away from the giant shark that just poked its head up next to them.
Luckily, there are signs to help you get where you need to go.
Above: Good thing sharks can read
And when you get there, you’ll be asked to dismantle complicated industrial equipment – which, by this point, should not surprise you in the least.
Once you’ve miraculously navigated the tunnels and turned off the grinders, you’ll be able to squeeze your way into the facility’s main structure. And no sooner are you inside than a colossal squid boss shows up out of goddamn nowhere! Hey, why not?
Above: Seriously, how’d it even get in? Aren’t they supposed to be elusive? Why was it hanging around this giant machine?
Above: Oh well. As long as it’s here, we might as well rip off its tentacles and eat its eyeballs
Oh, and once that thing’s dead, Shaw, the Enviroplus CEO, shows up to challenge you to a duel for killing his son and wrecking his business. And by “duel” he means “swim away from you for as long as possible using that bomb-looking thing to move really fast.”
He dies, of course. Good planning there on his part.
9. BLOOD ON THE BEACH
While the action in Jaws Unleashed takes place entirely from Jaws’ perspective, the actual story unfolds on land. And through it all, you have one very powerful, very notable ally: the mayor of Amity. Throughout the game, he does his level best to reassure everyone that you’re not a threat and that the water is perfectly safe. He ridicules your nemesis, Brody, for crying wolf. And he completely ignores the fact that his predecessor copped the exact same attitude back in ’75, when the first Jaws made a bloody mess of the island’s beaches. It’s almost as if he has a hidden agenda…
Of course, you’re the villain in this story, so you’ll repay his dedication and constant intervention on your behalf the way villains so often do: by murdering him in as public and humiliating a fashion as possible. That’s why, when Amity’s Fourth of July beach celebrations go forward as planned, you’ll eventually seek him out for a big fat kill.
Above: It probably won’t be much trouble for a shark to figure out which one is the mayor’s yacht. Or what a mayor is, for that matter
First, though, you’ll have to soften Amity up by publicly devouring a few swimmers…
Above: BOOM, yummy!
…wrecking personal watercraft…
Above: AAGGGGHH, BANANA BOAT!
Above: See you in hell, Jaws: The Revenge reference!
… and sinking two giant Coast Guard ships, just because they’re in your way.
Once that’s done, it’s finally time to repay the mayor for his kindness. In the creepiest way possible.
Above: ‘DURR HURR HURR MAYOR CAN’T SEE ME NOPE NOPE NOPE’
The thing is, it’s not enough to just sink his tiny “yacht” the way you would any other boat, because the mayor pilots the only damn-near invincible boat in the game. Instead, you’ll have to memorize his driving patterns – again, like a shark would – and bash him into the side of a fireworks barge when he gets close enough.
This gives way to what would have been a beautiful finale for the game, if they’d have just let it end with the shark winning and Amity becoming an isolated ghost town. But no, they had to stretch it out with a frustrating Orca II showdown and lame ending.
Above: At least we’ll always have this
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