The Top 7... Deadliest shark attacks

When videogames and massive sea predators collide, things get ugly fast

Crysis takes place mostly on a huge, beautiful tropical island that you can explore more or less freely, without artificial borders. If you insist on venturing too far beyond where those borders would be, however, you’ll make a new friend for life. Specifically for the last few seconds of it.


Above: “Oh, hello! Are you following me, Mr. Shark?”

See, Crysis is filled with places to swim, and a lot of them are fairly shallow, safe and breathtakingly pretty, whether you’re beneath the surface or above it.

Keep swimming out toward the sea, however, and you’ll eventually come to a sandy reef that separates the island from the open ocean. And if you cross over that reef, then you’re taking your life into your own hands.


Above: Oooh, scary

For a little while after you’ve plunged into the deep, things will be fine – assuming you would call swimming alone in murky seawater with no bottom in sight “fine.” Before long, however, you’ll notice you have company. This is your cue to haul your dumb ass back to shore before the game changes its mind about not murdering you for breaking the rules.


Above: “Hey, is he getting closer?”


Above: “Oh look, he’s curious! I think he wants to play!”


Above: “Wait, no, he’s still just circling me in a menacing fashion”

Crysis deserves credit for portraying shark attacks as they’ve actually been reported in real life: when the shark shows up, it starts circling you passively, like it’s sizing you up while simultaneously trying to reassure you that it’s not a threat. Its movements are languid and graceful, and then it instantly tenses up and hones in like a rocket when it goes for the kill.


Above: “I knew it! He does want to be my friend!”


Above: “Hey little fella, do you wanna plaAAAAAAARRRRGGHH!”


Above: For the record, the only time you see things at angles like this in FPSes is when you’re very, very dead

The Crysis shark phenomenon has been thoroughly documented on YouTube. Here’s how a typical encounter with these aquatic fiends plays out:

And here’s a less typical encounter:

And another one with a whole lot of sharks at once:

Note: While Crysis’ shark attacks are easily the most realistic representation of such incidents in a game, real sharks don’t snarl. Just in case you were curious.


1. JAWS UNLEASHED


Site of incident:
Absolutely everywhere

The spiritual successor to Jaws: The Revenge, Jaws Unleashed was made not so much to be played as it was to be mocked on the internet. If you’re wondering exactly how terrible a game it really is, this screen should give you a pretty good idea:


Above: GODDAMMIT I’M A SHARK WHAT THE HELL DO THOSE WORDS SAY

Still, there’s one thing it does really well, and that’s giving you total control over the most gory and elaborate shark attacks ever to be featured in a videogame. As the eponymous shark, you can tear apart boats. You can sneak up on unsuspecting victims and drag them screaming across the surface of the water, like in the beginning of the first Jaws movie. And if you’re feeling really sadistic, you can pull them down into the depths and, with a quick shake of your massive head, rip their limbs off, one by one.


Above: The fun part is watching them try to swim away like that


Above: Chewing them lazily is also an option

Really, though, that’s only entertaining for so long, and it pales before the simple pleasure of chomping on a swimmer, spitting her out and catching her in midair, over and over again.


Above: Jaws practices catch-and-release humaning

This is a process that can be repeated almost indefinitely, to the point that if you start to feel guilty about it, you can carry your prey to the nearest beach and deposit them harmlessly on the sand, at which point they’ll run away, apparently unscathed. But that would make you a pretty crappy shark, so maybe you’d like to tail-whip them into the air instead, at which point they’ll explode for some unexplained reason.


Above: Looks like SOMEONE’S awful damn pleased with themselves

So, ignoring that Jaws Unleashed controls like raw sewage, has one of the worst camera systems ever and is filled with complicated activities no shark could ever understand, it at least features lots and lots of really over-the-top nasty shark attacks and puts you in complete control of them. And really, isn’t that the main reason you’d want to play as this dumb asshole?


Above: HAY GUYS

If you’d like to see what kind of antics our savage friend is capable of, here’s a sample attack caught on video. WARNING: it’s kind of gross:

Aug 3, 2009


Bite the bait and join us as we feast on all things shark


Shark gun, lightning gun, black hole gun, electric ninja star gun, lava gun…



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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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