New 'Jaws' game lets player fill shark role

Monday, August 23, 2004

LOS ANGELES -- A new video game will show that it's easier to be a bad shark than a good shark.

Majesco Games is working on a playable version of the movie "Jaws," with the gamer controlling a predatory Great White as it cruises the ocean waters.

The game is in the early stages of development, with a release planned for summer 2005.

To stay alive the shark must feed, and the game provides a smorgasbord of human appetizers: fishermen, water-polluting oil riggers and your average swimmer in the surf.

"If you just swim around forever you're going to get hungry. If you don't keep feeding that frenzy, that's how you die in the game," said Liz Buckley, a product manager at Majesco who is working on the "Jaws" title. "I don't know if you're going to have these moral choices, 'Do I want to eat this person or this person?' You have to keep eating."

But there will also be an array of natural sea creatures to satisfy the shark's hunger. You can choose to be good by eating seals, fish and other natural food sources.

"Everything you see on the Discovery Channel we're bringing into this product," Buckley said.

Or you can devour peaceful divers and beach lovers as they wade in the water or leap into the air to snatch poachers off of piers. Leaving the humans alone will make it hard to survive.

The story will be free-roaming for the player and will unfold around the same beach locations as Steven Spielberg's 1975 movie.

But it won't feature Roy Scheider's police chief or Richard Dreyfuss as the oceanographer. Instead, the main humans in the game will be the children of those characters, Buckley added.

"Jaws" will be available on PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC formats, and the developers are aiming for an M (mature) rating. This won't be a kid's game.

The human characters all have "25 points of disconnection," she said.

What's that mean?

"If there's a diver," Buckley said, "there are 25 different ways you can pull him apart."

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