Over at UGO they have reviewed Manhunt 2 and surprisingly they like the game
better than the original, this is easily one of the better reviews. They say
that the game is just right in terms of the length and that anymore and you
would be fed up with the game and any less and you would be wanting more from
it. Overall a positive review finally, they gave the game a grade B.
The controls and game play manage to work hand in hand. If you are franticly
nervous the controls seem to lend to you feeling even more frantic and nervous.
That's not to say that the game is overly loose feeling, but just that it's
loose enough to lend to the nervous and sketchy atmosphere that you pretty
much feel just from the presentation of the game.
Ambient sound effects, grainy video, and hollow screams do well to make you
absolutely pensive in turning that corner, even though your screen shows where
the bad guys are along with a color coded representation of their awareness
The Weapons and Enviromental Executions:
The weapons and environmental executions in this game improve over the formula
of the first as well as the way your progress is structured. The game is still
linear but the things you have to do to reach the end of a level are more
varied and not always obvious.
This game is better in just about every way than the original. The PS2 version
isn't overly a graphical masterpiece, but for what it is the PSP version looks
great for a portable game and the Wii version seems to have the best graphics
out of the lot with more immersive controls.
You can read the full review here.
There are a bunch of Manhunt 2 news reports popping up all over American TV
networks. Instead of wasting time telling you the particulars lets just all
assume they are complaining about the game and child safety with a little added
emphasis on the Wii version and lets not forget the ‘games expert’
that suspiciously looks as though they have rarely if ever touched a controller.
When I say assume I mean know.
Gaming Age have reviewed Manhunt 2 and awarded it a Grade B. They say that
they played all the way through the Wii version and 'dabbled a bit' with the
PS2 and PSP versions of the game.
As far as visuals go, the Wii and PS2 versions are nearly identical, but
the PSP version looks surprisingly nice, especially when compared to the two
GTA titles that have released on the platform. The character models are definitely
made in the Rockstar mold, and they don't look much improved from the stuff
we saw in Bully a year or so ago, but they hold up well. It would have been
nice to get a widescreen mode tossed into the Wii version, and some upgraded
textures, but the game is so dark and gritty that the downgraded visuals do
add a bit to the overall atmosphere. The levels are all pretty varied, and
while most of the early assets have featured some dark and gritty locations,
you'll come across more varied settings like a movie/TV set, a business high
rise, and a few other surprises.
The voiceover work is top notch, something we've all come to expect from
Rockstar, and the little character interactions and quips that you'll pick
up from enemies as you're sneaking around are just as well done as they were
in the original Manhunt. There's a lot of really dark humor in the game, and
there's some pretty funny pieces of dialogue that pop up. The music is pretty
subdued throughout the title, and rightfully so. You might not be humming
along to the tunes as you play, but everything fits the feel and mood of the
game quite nicely.
Obviously if you're a fan of the original, or most of the Rockstar titles,
you'll probably end up enjoying the content of Manhunt 2. Obviously it won't
be for everyone, but if you've been on the fence about trying it out, I'd
say give it a go. All three titles are identical in story and content, and
for the most part play the same way. They've done a good job of capturing
a niche style of horror and putting it into a game, and the overall effect
manages to walk a fine line between entertaining and disturbing.
Gamespot have published their review of Manhunt 2. They awarded the game a
7.5 on the PlayStation 2 and (unsurprisingly) a 7.0 on the Nintendo Wii. There
is no PSP review up as of yet, although it can be assumed it will score the
same as the PS2 version.
They cite poor graphical detail and frame-rate amongst their issues with the
Animations and character models look terribly dated. Some environments are
also washed out and textures aren't detailed. The Wii release tends to maintain
a better frame rate than the PS2, though there are occasional slight pauses
when the Wii accesses the disc, an issue that also crops up from time to time
on the PS2--just less often.
As ever the audio is considered outstanding:
The doomed ambience is further accentuated by a minimalist sound design that
features an eerie soundtrack and limited environmental noise. Silence is put
to good use here, creating moments of tension when you must remain perfectly
still and making the occasional eruption in the soundtrack even more effective.
The voice-overs are good too, not just from the leading men, but from the
random hunters you overhear. You'll hear guards in the sex dungeon whine about
their sexual frustration or masked patrolmen taunt you to come out of the
shadows, and most of it's acted with just the right amount of coarse charm.
In predictable Gamespot fashion they do whatever they can to demean the Wii,
in the process going against the (apparent) masses by saying that the camera
filters on the PS2 are actually better:
On the Wii, the entire scene is rendered through a blurry red filter that
gives you a merely vague idea of what's going taking place. The movement and
splattering sound effects make it clear that no one wants to die a death quite
that painful--you just don't get to see the details. As a result, you'll be
paying more attention to the motion prompts at the top left of the screen
than trying to figure out the onscreen action. On the PS2, the filter is less
blurry and blinks on/off so you can see more of the grisly kill--much more
of it. The PS2 version also features a geometric pattern that flashes at the
beginning and end of the execution. The more visible kills make this version
far more satisfying because the simulated motions with the Wii Remote can't
compare to the clarity of the PS2's gruesomeness.
But they do go out on a high note:
Yet there's no doubt that fans of sneaking will get a lot out of Manhunt
2. Aside from the occasionally flaccid gunplay, the game is highly challenging,
especially so on the appropriately titled insane difficulty level. Some of
the level designs are truly tricky, such as one in which a helicopter's spotlight
keeps you constantly on the move. This isn't for everyone; if you're prone
to fits of frustration when playing games like Splinter Cell and Hitman or
expect to recover from mistakes easily, Manhunt 2 won't do you any favors.
But if you're into that sort of thing, you'll enjoy the 15 hours or so of
gameplay it provides and may even want to try unlocking the alternate ending.
California State Senator Leland Yee has commented on Manhunt 2, you may remember
him discussing the game before in earlier press releases, well this time he
has said that parents should avoid buying the game for their children and that
they should review the games that they are playing, the full press release can
be found here under news then
This isn't too different from what Common Sense Media have said in an earlier
release. Since that time though they have released an updated
statement and shown footage from the leaked version of the game that they
illegally downloaded and played. CSM CEO Jim Steyer described the game as 'pornographic
violence' of all things and said that 'it’s the most senselessly violent
and offensive thing I’ve ever watched'.
Susan Linn of Campaign For a Commercial-Free Childhood has also gained some
much needed publicity and released a press
statement on Manhunt 2. She pretty much sums up what both Leland Yee and
Common Sense Media have said recently.
Take 2 Games have officially announced that Manhunt 2 is now available at
North American retail stores in time for Halloween:
New York, NY - October 30, 2007 - Rockstar Games, a publishing label of Take-Two
Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), is proud to announce that Manhunt
2 for the Wii™ home video game system from Nintendo, PlayStation®2
computer entertainment system, and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system
is now available at North American retail stores.
"Manhunt 2 has gone through much to reach this day," said Sam Houser,
Founder and Executive Producer of Rockstar Games. "We are very excited
that fans will finally get a chance to experience the magnificent horror experience
we've crafted with Manhunt 2."
The sequel to the critically acclaimed, best-selling franchise, Manhunt 2
is a dark and disturbing psychological story revolving around the sinister
events of a secretive research project called The Pickman Project.
Plunging into the depths of human psychosis, terror and paranoia, the twisted
plot and brutal gameplay conspire to create the most atmospheric gaming experience
ever, with GamesRadar.com stating, "Manhunt 2 looks to be a deeply, horrifyingly
unsettling experience, and we mean that as the highest possible compliment."
Manhunt 2 for the Wii, PlayStation 2 system, and PSP system is rated "M"
GameSpy's review of Manhunt 2 is now up, they have given the game a 2.5 out
of 5. They seem to love the storyline and characters but aren’t huge fans
of the combat:
To its credit, Manhunt 2 features a far more interesting storyline than you'd
find in most B-movie slasher flicks. The voice work is well-acted, and the
characters are alive with personality, even if they are suffering from severe
psychological disorders. Learning about and understanding the story behind
the game's main character and delving deeper and deeper into the truths behind
the malicious "Project" will keep players interested far longer
than the obfuscated death visuals or the rudimentary combat system which degrades
into a mindless and uninteresting button mash should you fail to sneak up
on a victim.
They have some praise for the Nintendo Wii version of the game:
The Wii controls for Manhunt 2 come fairly close to making the experience
more realistic, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on where you
stand. While the little mass murderer in us envisioned Wii Remote and nunchuk
strangulations, the context-sensitive execution mini-game comes close enough.
When you come close enough to a victim, a series of gesture-driven commands
will urge you to shake the controller left or right, for instance, or drive
both controllers down, as if you were smashing a heavy object on someone's
skull. It's not a challenge by any means, as the game doesn't seem to want
you to miss out on any of the juicy kills, but it does make the experience
They end the review by saying that the game is pretty much for no-one:
It's difficult to recommend Manhunt 2 in its current M-rated form to anyone.
This material isn't just inappropriate for children, it's not appropriate
for most of the people you know. The background material behind the storyline
is well developed enough, and those with considerable tolerance for over-the-top
gore and violence may derive some pleasure from it. But the game's execution
as a bland third-person stealth adventure with sub-par combat and annoyingly
stylized death sequences hamstrings what could have been a sleeper hit for
mature audiences. It's hard to completely blame Rockstar for all the failings
of Manhunt 2, considering the ESRB's hand in crippling the developer's vision.
Whether or not that vision should be considered artistic is up to you.
I am actually blown away by these reviews, these journalists are hacking this
game to pieces over a silly filter. The same journalists that harked on about
the extreme violence in the game are now complaining about it being less visible,
if anything it is their fault that these filters were applied or in the least
they helped aid in the ratings board coming down so hard on the game. A few
months ago the game was receiving praise from everyone and their mother, a slight
camera alteration and it turns into a below average game? Show some consistency
and rational, please!
What I don’t get is how in hell does this change the game play? It is
a visual tweak, same game, virtually same content. Had they not liked the game
play from before then fine I can see and accept their point, however, the alteration
of its presentation in no way changes the game.
I just hope enough people have common sense and enough about them to think
for themselves and go out and buy this game and make the game a success despite
the best efforts of these hypocritical journalists.
You know the drill; head over to GameSpy
for the entire review.
The US side of Games Radar have posted their review of Manhunt 2. They awarded
the game a 7/10.
The problems they have with the game seem to primarily focus around the gunplay
which is introduced through flashback missions where you play as Leo Kasper.
They say that Leo is ‘thoroughly unlikable’ and that during these
levels there is little to no stealth action. They seem to be very impressed
by the more stealthy levels and love the weapon variety and the hidden depths
the game has too it once you look beyond the violence.
It seems as though the Wii version even has additional hunters that are absent
from the PS2 and PSP versions:
... the Wii version, where the clientele wear smart black suits and animal
masks that, for whatever reason, don't appear on the PS2 or PSP.
But for the most part they say the game is the same across the board:
Flaws aside, the game is more or less identical across all three platforms,
although the Wii version - in addition to its unique controls - is more generous
about giving players cool weapons to play around with, and features a few
small, stylistic differences, such as the Hostel-inspired torture-goons. The
PS2 version, meanwhile, features lock-on aiming, less-interactive executions
and headset support, with that last one enabling you to verbally harass hunters
and listen more clearly to Leo's murderous advice.
There is a little love thrown to the rarely spoken of PSP version of the game:
Manhunt 2 actually translates to the handheld remarkably well, and is easily
one of the best-looking, best-playing things on the system right now.
Their review breaks down as follows:
When it's good, it's brilliant
Still brutal even with censorship
Strangely compelling story
Censored all to hell
Gunplay can get tedious
Can't rotate camera
Looking at the two online reviews released so far it is very clear that Manhunt
2 is still very much a matter of personal preference with much conflict between
the reviews. I think everyone should keep this in mind when reading these reviews,
despite what they say I believe that if you enjoyed the first game there is
a very high probability that you are going to enjoy Manhunt 2. So take these
reviews for what they are.
1up have now also published their review of Manhunt 2 and awarded it a shockingly
low score of 4.0 out of 10. They have very little in the way of anything nice
to say about the game and spend the better half of the review comparing it to
the original game.
Manhunt 2, on the other hand, doesn't really come close to nailing what made
the original...well, not exactly great, but at least tolerable and a little
thought-provoking. Manhunt 2's escaped-mental-patient story is more dull than
upsetting. The unreliable narrator is so taken for granted that any big plot
revelations and uncertainty of identity are expected before you even start.
The Most Dangerous Game premise is chucked for what amounts to The Suffering
In as close of a complement as they can muster they label the game ‘technically
Really, the game warrants a 4 because it's technically playable and, despite
its best efforts, probably won't plunge the industry into a period of navel-gazing
and political sanction. Everything else about it is largely forgettable.
You can read the slaughter in its entirety by heading over to 1up
now. Better yet, don't.
IGN have posted their review of Manhunt 2 they awarded the game a 7.5 on the
PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable and a 7.7 on the Nintendo Wii. Jeff Haynes
says that he like the visuals and the audio but that the AI in the game isn't
too hot, the story has been done better elsewhere and that the tension of the
original game is gone. Other problems include the (predctable) upset over the
The review breaks down as follows:
I've played through and beaten both the original and Manhunt 2 multiple times
on both difficulty levels, and while it's great to see Rockstar start to make
this into a "franchise," it feels as though a number of things went
missing in the sequel. The AI doesn't feel as good as the first game, the
setting and environments don't feel as menacing, and the story is definitely
weaker. That isn't to say that Manhunt 2 isn't a good game, because it is
– Danny and Leo's adventure is enjoyable, especially if you've played
the first title and have been waiting to eliminate enemies with plastic bags,
crowbars or other household items. But as a whole, Manhunt 2 isn't the tour
de force title that will grab your attention and keep you there like the first
The story about sanity and mental manipulation isn't nearly as intense, brooding
or engaging as the first game was. 8.0 Graphics
Striking with its sense of realism as well as implied insanity, the visuals
of Manhunt 2 are very well done. 8.0 Sound
Just like the first game, sound is excellently done and well balanced across
the title. 7.5 Gameplay
Sketchy AI, less menacing environments, toned down execution animations and
easier gameplay elements weaken the overall formula of the franchise. 7.0 Lasting Appeal
Even with the alternate ending, you may find yourself only playing through
this title once and only once.
That is a pretty disapointing review. I have no doubt in my mind that the censored
kills has brought their score down. I was sure that Matt Casamassina of the
Nintendo channel was going to handle the review seeing as he had been bigging
the game up for the past several months. There is no text review available for
the Wii version so presumably there is a Wii specific one on the way. On last
weeks podcast he said that he was playing the game over the weekend so we will
just need to wait and see if he posts a review also.
You can view the review by heading over to IGN
PS2. They have also posted some new images.
The IGN Wii review is now up as is a video review for the game: IGN Wii Review
- Video Review I have also uploaded the video to YouTube
for easy viewing.
Stephen Totilo of MTV games has posted an interview that he had with Rockstars'
Jeronimo Barrera this past Friday.
We all knew that during the revision period there was an execution removed
and the execution camera filters had been altered, what we didn't know was that
the scoring system has been removed from the game. But why? Mr. Barrera tells
The scoring was a hold-over from the first game, and when we had the opportunity
to make edits because of the rating, we decided to remove it. We felt it flowed
better without a score screen between levels.
Makes sense to me, but I am sure that it will upset some as over the years
improving your score has become a challenge for fans of the original. Including
it as a replay option might have been nice. When asked about introducting multiplayer
to the Manhunt franchise Mr. Barrera had the following to say:
That's a very interesting question. ... Who knows where the 'Manhunt' series
is going to go? And that's definitely something that warrants some exploring
on our part for sure.
Let me be the first to say it, I hope multiplayer isn’t introducted to
Manhunt. Past history with games has taught me that games don’t generally
have great single and multiplayer componets when married. I resent that fact
that it has become almost a standard feature of games and games tend to get
scored lower (by journalists) if it isn’t included. If it has to be a
multiplayer game then I think it should be developed as one wholy. I do think
that the whole hide and seek mechanic would make a pretty good multiplayer,
I am just not for it eating into the development of the single player.
So how about an AO rated PC version of Manhunt 2:
We have always considered the feedback of our fans. We believe it is very
important, but at this point in time, we have no announcements to make.
The question I have is, does releasing it on the PC with the original camera
filters demean the console version? But at the same time they had to make these
changes so perhaps it is the console version that demeans the original intension.
Oh, I don’t know, it is way over me. Another thing to think about as a
fan of the game when requesting it on the PC is that chances are it wouldn’t
be the case of simply porting it over, they have spent the past few months continuing
to work on the game so there is a great chance that further testing, enhancing
and ballancing was done to the game in that time so from a playing standpoint
the version that was to be releasing in July is likely inferior to what is being
released this week.
You can check out the article in its entirety by heading over to MTV.
York Times' have published a preview of Manhunt 2, and when I say preview
I mean linger on the negative and briefly mention that there is a game involved
at the end. Just like (almost) every other preview then. Quite a large part
of the article is spent drawing comparisons and (lack of) equality between movies
Manhunt 2 is certainly not for the squeamish, but it is no more violent than
so-called torture porn films like the “Hostel” and “Saw”
film series. (“Saw IV” opened with an R rating over the weekend.)
The British government is still banning the game, but in the United States
the Manhunt contretemps has probably been good for the industry, as it has
allowed the Entertainment Software Rating Board and its president, Patricia
Vance, to demonstrate they can stand up to major publishers.
Rockstar's Jeronimo Barrera had the following to say on the issue:
The most important thing is that we weren’t going to cut the story,
and we needed to keep the vibe, the mood, of the game intact. Absolutely,
though, there is some frustration because we wouldn’t have to put up
with this if we were working in another media like movies or graphic novels.
We set out to make a horror game and we knew it would be violent, but no more
violent than what adults already have access to.
Ok, so what of the game? Well here are their impressions of the game in its
As for the game itself, it appears fairly straightforward. It should take
about 20 hours to complete and most of the game play is about navigating Lamb,
a scientist, through prisons, brothels and haunted houses without being killed
by the forces “manhunting” him. In the end the game will probably
prove as luridly, fleetingly diverting as any slasher flick.
I guess Rockstar held a media day of sorts on Friday. Hopefully some more interviews
will start popping up, and not all ask the same five questions.
Gamespot have posted an interview with BBFC examiner Jim Cliff. The interview
is primarily focused around Manhunt 2 and as usual nothing is really answered
as much as words randomly thrown to the question. Those (in Britain) hoping
that they would be able to play the game later this year are in for some more
bad news as it looks like the appeal will run well into next year:
Can you tell us a little about the decision to ban Manhunt 2?
This is going to sound like a cop-out, but I can't talk about it because it's
under appeal. You know they submitted a modified version and had that been
passed, then obviously I would have been able to but I can't right now as
it stands. Sorry!
When is the appeal likely to finish?
Sometime next year, I really don't know specifics unfortunately.
Mr. Cliff also addresses how the BBFC view the Wii and how it’s unique
motion sensing controller may (or not) set it apart from other consoles:
How about the Wii controller? Does it make any difference, the fact
that you can kind of make gestures to strangle people or stab them?
I think it affects how you see the game, but it would have to be a demonstrably
different type of game, for example the Godfather and Scarface have both been
passed on the Wii without a difference in classification. It makes a difference
in as much as it changes how you approach the game and the impact it has on
you. But in order to have a difference to the category, it would need to be
a really very borderline decision to start with. So where I can envisage it
perhaps making a difference is maybe say between 12 and 15 or 15 and 18. Where
a game is right there, it could be either and that is the thing that makes
it seem stronger on one console than the other. But outside that context,
I really don't think it makes much of a difference.
And for those wondering if it is ok to import the game:
Just as a theoretical thing, Manhunt 2 has been rated as an 18 in
the US. So if I imported a copy of the 18 version, would I be breaking the
No, but if you sold it to anyone, then you would be.
You can read the interview in its entirety by heading over to Gamespot.
have posted an interview with Rockstar Games producer Jeronimo Barrera where
they discuss Manhunt 2. Throughout the interview they cover subjects related
why make another Manhunt, the development process and even the ratings issue
that unfortunately cropped up. At the end of the interview Gamespot ask if Manhunt
3 is on the cards:
Given the hassle on this title do you think this might mean the end
of the Manhunt series?
We enjoy making them, and if you enjoy playing them there is a good chance
we'll see more in the series, but only time will tell. If we feel like we
can make another compelling stealth game, we will.
I’d recommend that you check out the interview in its entirety. Mr. Barrera
responds with some quite lengthy answers and it comes across as though he does
genuinely enjoy the Manhunt series.
IGN have posted 6 executions from Manhunt 2 showing off what the modified
execution camera will look like and they don't look as bad as previously thought.
On offer in the PS2 section is the manhole, pen and pistol executions giving
you a look at both the environmental and gun executions. In the Nintendo Wii
section they have on offer the crowbar, syringe and the telephone executions.
You should also notice that the Wii and PS2 executions definitely differ from
each other in terms of the way the modified execution camera is used.
Is the modified execution camera as bad as you thought then? Just so you know
we have uploaded all of the Manhunt 2 videos onto YouTube.
Manhunt 2 News | Common Sense Media talk Manhunt 2
Common Sense Media have sent out a press release regarding Manhunt 2, they
say that no one knows what was cut in order for Rockstar to get the rating reduced
from “Adults Only” to “Mature”. This clearly shows they
know nothing about the actual game and that they have not read any online previews
as those clearly state the changes made to the game. They insist parents boycott
the game saying 'this game is NOT okay for kids' perhaps that is why game is
intended for adults and rated accordingly? I don't know if it really needs going
over by Common Sense Media who clearly feel we lack any common sense to judge
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The most violent and gruesome video game ever produced
for a mass market will hit shelves on Halloween, and Common Sense Media is
encouraging parents to boycott the game.
When it was initially submitted to the Entertainment Software Rating Board
in June, Rockstar Games’ “Manhunt 2” received an “Adults
Only” rating that would have prohibited it from being sold at major
retailers throughout the U.S.
But Rockstar resubmitted the game, and the ESRB dropped the rating from “Adults
Only” to “Mature”, meaning the game will be widely available
in stores across the country. What did Rockstar cut out to get the rating
reduced? No one knows, because neither the ESRB or Rockstar will comment on
the rerating process.
What we do know is this: The British Board of Film Classification banned
the game in June – and refused to lift the ban in August after Rockstar
submitted the same version of the game that got an M rating in the U.S.
Common Sense has obtained footage of the game being played, and will be showing
it to the press a day before the title hits stores on October 31. (The screenshot
on the left is taken from that footage).
Research suggests that nearly 60 percent of kids play M-rated games on a
regular basis. And data from the Federal Trade Commission shows that underage
kids can purchase M-rated games more than four out of ten times. Before “Manhunt
2” hits shelves on Halloween, Common Sense wants to make sure that parents
know this game is NOT okay for kids.
have posted an interview with BBFC senior examiner Gianni Zamo and as you can
imagine before the interview ends Manhunt 2 is brought up. Mr. Zamo attempts
to explain the difference between the American and British rating systems:
You rejected a revised version of Manhunt 2, whilst the US’s
ESRB granted it a mature rating. Rockstar has told us that both versions were
identical. Would you say that you are more stringent than your peers over
We classify for a UK audience and we make different decisions about films
from those made by the MPAA, sometimes taking a tougher line with violent
films. The BBFC operates on a quasi-legislative basis and has at its disposal
a number of sanctions available to it (cuts, reject, etc) authorised by that
legislation. The ESRB has no such measures available to it and, more importantly,
is bound by US First Amendment which makes it impossible for them to ban games.
Well not entirely, just stick an AO rating on it and it is effectively banned
in North America. So there you have it, you're British and as such you aren’t
allowed to play Manhunt 2 and if you want a reason for it then I direct you
back to fact 1: you’re British. Glad that is solved.
Hardware have published an article where they say that Rockstar could bypass
the BBFC by releasing Manhunt 2 through digital distribution. Everyone pretty
much knew this already but the reason I am posting this is to make sure that
everyone knows this is purely an option available and by no means confirmed
to be a plan of action for Rockstar.
There are also some other factors to take into consideration when pondering
It would be PC only distribution and Rockstar have not as much as entertained
a PC release for the game.
The last game Rockstar released for the PC was Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
It would be beside the point, Rockstar want the game out on home consoles.
I am in favour of the game being released on any and all platforms, but speaking
as an owner of both console and PC versions of the original game I would far
rather play the game on a games console. Supposing they were to release the
game on the PC it would still mean those who want to play the Wii or PlayStation
2 versions of the game would not be able to experience the game. The PSP is
region free and while it is a burden to import it, the option is still there
Manhunt 2 News | Kotaku Show Manhunt 2 Straight Jacket
Kotaku have posted images of a new piece of Manhunt 2 merchandise from Rockstar.
It is none other than a Dixmor Hospital straight jacket. How cool is that?
The marketing team over at Rockstar have really done a great job with this
game in my opinion. There was a break in the marketing for a little while there
(not Rockstar’s fault) and I was actually beginning to wonder if Rockstar
had given up on spreading the word of the game but now I am beginning to see
flash advertisements on gaming sites, the IGN trailers and hunter bios released
last week and now this.
Anyway, you can check out the images over at Kotaku.
Manhunt 2 News | Manhunt 2 Preview from Screamfest
Over the weekend Florida played host to the annual Orlando screamfest horror
convention at the Wyndham Orlando resort, as started by Rockstar earlier in
the week Manhunt 2 was in attendance, the full 'M' rated version of the game
was on offer with many people having the chance to play the game a full week
before it hits store shelves. I managed to track down a review from Robio_basic,
who was at the event he gives his thoughts and impressions of his short time
with the game:
I spent only 10 minutes playing it myself, but I watched a friend spend another
20 or 30 minutes on it, so I think I've got a pretty good hold on the game,
and frankly it's disturbing.
Technically the game is well done. The controls were very responsive. In
fact, I'm kind of surprised the game wasn't a Wii exclusive given how well
they were implemented. There were a few times the character didn't react the
way I wanted him to, but I think that's just something that happens with most
of the motion controlled games on the Wii. I still needed a little more time
with the game to fully understand the controls, but it's actually very simple,
so once again good job by Rockstar. And visually I think everyone probably
gets it. It looks like a great PS2 game. Oh well, we all knew that was coming.
And speaking of the action, I know a lot has been made about the special,
"sneak attack kills" or whatever the special kill mode was called
when you sneak up on a guy. Those scenes probably aren't as overtly graphic
as they originally were, but make no mistake about it if your kids are in
the room, you'll want them to leave. If anything I think the blur effects
they use only add to it, but not having seen the original I suppose I can't
really accurately judge.
The game has an extremely dark and moody and depressing feel to it. It's
ultimately one bad/violent/messed up scene after another.What makes it a little
tough to endure is that there's just no breaks for the player. In most horror/violent
games there's a little humor here and there to break things up. Not in Manhunt
2. It just seems to keep coming at you. Fortunately they keep things creative
so it's not something that really makes you numb to after a while.
Personally I'm not really sure I want to get this game. Generally I like
my games a little light and fluffy.I like horror movies, but that genre never
really crossed into gaming. As far as harder edge games, onlyRE4 and Vice
City were exceptions in the last gen,so it takes a pretty special game to
make me play it if it's excessively violent, and lord this one is. It certainly
makes those other two games I mentioned look more like Disney games. But the
thing is, the story is absolutely compelling. It's twisted as hell, but it's
quality. And I am generally curious to know what happens.
You can read the rest of his preview at his blog over at film spot.
Take Two have also confirmed more details in a statement about who leaked Manhunt
2. Here is the statement from Game Politics:
Take-Two Interactive has confirmed that a former employee of Sony Computer
Entertainment Europe (SCEE) has acknowledged his responsibility for the unauthorized
online distribution of an unrated play-test version of Manhunt 2 submitted
for the European PAL PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system.
The BBFC's Gianni Zamo who is the senior examiner cleared up a few issues
regarding the recent refusal to grant Manhunt 2 a release in the UK. In an interview
with trade magazine MCV Gianni went over how the Nintendo Wii's motion sensing
capabilities were not an issue when it came to deciding whether or not to grant
the game an 18 certificate, MCV say that many had thought that the capabilities
had encouraged the refusal. This was the statement given by Gianni:
Under certain circumstances and in certain contexts it is possible that motion-sensing
devices might have an effect on category decisions," explained Gianni
Zamo, senior examiner, but added: "It is not a prime consideration for
at the moment and has not affected any Wii games we have passed so far.
We certainly didn't single out the Wii version of Manhunt 2 from the PS2
version on the basis that users could stimulate the delivery of a blow more
realistically than the hand-controller of the PS2. Indeed, motion-sensing
devices are nothing new. Prior to the release of the Wii nobody had ever expressed
concern that one could buy peripherals such as pistols or flight/driving controls
to add to the game experience.
Developmag, MCV's sister site has more on the story.
IGN Wii have posted their ‘Wii-k
in Review’ podcast. Around 24 minutes into the podcast the discussion
moves onto Manhunt 2 and as is with all things in life there are good and bad
The good is that they have the review build of game in-office and are working
on the review right now. It sounds like they are going to be the first website
to publish a review for the game. I guess this also means that the Nintendo
Wii build is going to be the primary platform that online publications are going
to be using to rate the title.
Judging by what they say the game is going to score pretty high. They say that
publishers will allow them to get a first review of a game as long as they are
sure that the game will score higher than X – which likely means higher
than the lowest score already out there. The UK publication ‘games™’
gave the game a 6/10 several months ago so I guess that means we are looking
at a 7/10 at the worst for Manhunt 2.
And now for the bad news, they say that every cinematic kill has been filtered
- that will no doubt upset those that thought it was only level three executions.
They then go onto say that the modifications made to the game are going to bring
the review score down. They describe the execution filters as being ‘quick
fixes’ in order to get the game out for release on Halloween. As if to
add insult to injury they say that ‘Dementium: The Ward’ on the
Nintendo DS is probably a better Halloween game to buy.
They point out that the press (themselves included) are partly responsible
for how heavy the ratings board came down on Manhunt 2 and say that they wish
they had never written about the castration execution. They say that they put
to much emphasis on the brutality of the game and that it was no doubt observed
by the ratings board. They finish their discussion of Manhunt 2 by saying that
they strongly disagree with the ESRB over the game modifications.
Just so you know I uploaded the three Manhunt 2 hunter trailers released yesterday
onto YouTube. They are viewable here: Asylum
Staff – The
Pervs - The Project.
To celebrate the release of Manhunt 2 in North America this coming Halloween,
IGN have posted a new article entitled 'The Hunters of Manhunt 2' in which they
have what appears to be exclusive bios for 3 of the hunters within the game,
included in the bios are each hunters name, motivations and backgrounds. They
have also included 2 artwork images for both the orderlies and the pervs. I
have decided to cover the gangs below for easy viewing:
THE ASYLUM STAFF
Gang Members: Nurses and orderlies at the asylum
Background: These are employees at the Project facility charged with "managing"
difficult patients through a combination of brute force and overmedication.
They are aware of the implications if Danny were to escape, and will attempt
to lure him back with the intention of killing him in order to avert future
incidents. Unskilled and brutal, the Asylum staff are accustomed to wrestling
and restraining patients.
Gang Members: Violent, hardcore sexual deviants.
Motivation: Sado-masochism. They are primarily motivated by the thrill of
the hunt and the potential for violent release.
Background: The Pervs' primary role in the early days of the Project was to
recruit potential test subjects among the sadistically inclined denizens of
the city's red light district. Since then the gang has come into its own as
an autonomous underground society, pursuing extremes of experience including
man-hunting for the Project when required. Activities within their inner circle
include various illegal sexual and combative events. Cannibalistic events
are rare but important dates in their social calendar.
Some members are sadists, while others accept and enjoy their roles as masochists.
Unlike most of the other gangs, none of them are military or intelligence
professionals, but what they lack in expertise they make up for with their
enthusiasm for perverse cruelty.
Gang Members: They are the Projects' private army and / or security staff.
Motivation: Money (they may also be indentured to the Project, which has saved
Background: These are Death Row criminals whose executions have been faked,
much in the style of the previous Manhunt. The Project offers them a fresh
start and another shot at life in exchange for joining their private army.
Being officially dead, they have no records or identity, making them untraceable.
All identifying features are erased or drastically altered. Fingerprints and
tattoos are removed. Teeth are re-aligned to mess with dental records.
They are prohibited from having personal relationships and live for the Project
- the fact that they owe their continued existence to the Project's intervention
prevents them from leaving. Essentially these are men with nothing to lose.
Most having been career criminals before winding up on Death Row, they are
aggressive, brutal and enjoy flaunting their power over victims. The Project
has moulded them into a highly disciplined, ultra macho unit.
If that isn't enough for you head over to IGN's video page for 3 teaser videos
which include the respective hunters for each of the bios Ign were given, saving
the videos are for Ign insiders only If you're not an insider you still have
the option to stream them in high resolution.
Sony Computer Entertainment Canada recently took over a venue in downtown
Toronto to enable the media to preview various games that will be available
this holiday season for PlayStation 3, PSP and PlayStation 2. Manhunt 2 was
among the titles on offer to the media and over at gaming excellence Nicholas
Bale has posted his impressions of the game from the event:
I realized quickly that this is not a game for the squeamish. In mere minutes,
already the character had chopped apart an enemy, used his head like a puppet
to gain access to a locked room, beaten another character to a pulp, pinned
someone to a chair with spikes, and the list continues. Folks, this game earns
its mature rating.
At one point I was wielding a man’s head. This one most certainly pushes
Much of the gameplay is the same as its predecessor, so don’t expect
too many surprises. Though it’s possible to run into a room, baseball
bat/machete/skull flailing, it is far more efficient and safe to sneak behind
your enemies and take them out unsuspecting. The one-on-one combat did feel
a little clunky, but the controls otherwise felt decent enough for the task.
From what I could tell, it’s definitely ready to ship for Halloween,
and that is when issues like pacing and repetitiveness will need to be discerned.
Manhunt 2 has made the evening news in the UK, airing multiple times throughout
the evening on Channel 5. Some 42 days after we first posted about Manhunt 2
leaking onto the Internet Channel 5 has decided to cover this breaking news,
on the ball as usual then.
The update took me by surprise so I wasn’t able to prepare for it but
I did manage to record the news update with my video camera. The quality isn’t
great, but it is better than nothing.
Manhunt 2 News | Play Manhunt 2 at the Orlando Screamfest
Rockstar have updated the official Manhunt 2 website's news section with details
of how you can get some hands-on playtime with the game this weekend at the
Orlando Screamfest horror convention. The convention runs from Friday October
19th through Sunday October the 21st at the Wyndham Orlando Resort.
Manhunt 2 Playable at the Orlando Screamfest
Floridians, and horror fans traveling to the Orlando Screamfest horror convention
this weekend, will have a chance to play Manhunt 2 prior to release. The Screamfest,
one of the nation's largest annual horror events, is happening this weekend,
October 19-21st at the Wyndham Orlando Resort. Click
here for more details on the event.
You can check out the news update for yourself by clicking here.
If you attend the convention then be sure to drop us an e-mail
and let us know what you think of the game.
While sifting through my computer I have stumbled across a few updates that
I wrote up over the past few months that I never got around to posting. Rather
than just copy and paste them I will instead summarise everything.
Manhunt 2 Strategy Guide Update - Back in June when I first
posted about the Manhunt 2 strategy guide I said it would likely be written
by Tim Bogenn. I got word back about a month ago that this is the case. He also
wrote the guide for the first game and many other guides for Rockstar developed
titles. So there is some closure to that issue.
Rockstar London Images - I have a bunch of images taken of
Rockstar London’s studio. I don't remember much about the story of where
they came from but I do know they date back to June and were taken by the editor
of Germany’s Official Xbox Magazine. I have stuck them in the gallery
so you can view them here.
Manhunt 2 UK Retail Poster - I managed to find someone to
sell me a bunch of these back at the end of June. They are obviously pretty
rare now and will likely be obsolete before long, if not already. We plan to
give some away at some point. You can view both sides of the poster here: side
A – side
Manhunt 2 Print Advertisement - I have scanned in a Manhunt
2 advertisement taken from an issue of The Darkness comic book. It is taken
from The Darkness: Level 1 which is a mini series based around the events in
I received the comic for free for pre-ordering the game on the PlayStation
3 – the PS3 version of the game was delayed here for about a month so
I think they threw it in as a sorry, could be wrong though. Anyway my point
is I don’t know if this advertisement is in the retail version of the
comic as there are also advertisements for BioShock and Grand Theft Auto IV.
I would recommend anyone with a PlayStation 3 or an Xbox 360 to pick the game
up, it has received mixed reviews but I found it to be really well done. Anyway,
you can view that advertisement here.
Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis (Wii Edition) - For whatever
reason Rockstar hasn’t advertised this game much but it is due for release
this coming Tuesday (October 16th) in North America and this Friday (October
19th) in Europe. It should be worth checking out.
has posted the response of BBFC spokesperson Sue Clark in retaliation to Rockstars
comments on the BBFC’s refusal to rate Manhunt 2 for the second time and
refutes that the rating board is singling out video games.
We don’t differentiate how harsh we are on DVD or video games –
we have a duty to both under the Video Recordings Act.
If we were more tough on games than any other medium, don’t you think
we’d be banning far more titles? Manhunt 2 is the second game we have
rejected in 23 years. I’d hardly call that draconian.
DVD companies don’t complain when we reject their products. The creator
of the Struggle In Bondage didn’t get up in arms.
Manhunt 2 went beyond our guidelines when it came to gross violence and we
had a public duty to reject it.
I feel that she is manipulating Rockstar’s response here. The point that
Rockstar are making is that there is worse content in horror movies currently
accessible by anyone 18 and over than what is present in Manhunt 2. There is
no doubt about it that Manhunt 2 contains more gruesome acts than what is present
in most games on the market, but when you bring movies into the equation then
there are far worse out there. The BBFC is supposed to hold both formats to
the same standard, they clearly are not. Almost all of the executions that I
have read about or know of can in some way be sourced to one movie or another.
The BBFC cite the sadistic and bleak nature of Manhunt 2 as being highly problematic,
by comparison to the original I personally think that the original Manhunt is
more sadistic in nature. For 80% of the game you are taunted with heinous lines
of dialogue by Starkweather.
MCV also say that the VAC (Video Appeals Committee) is expected to hear Rockstar’s
plea later this year.
Has anyone emailed the BBFC over this? If you have please post their response
or email it in, I would love to read what they have to say.
Manhunt 2 News | Croal Talks to CNN about Manhunt 2
Newsweek's N'Gai Croal recently appeared on the CNN program American Morning
to discuss Manhunt 2 he reports on the interview at Newsweek. The same old questions
came up from Kiran Chetry but he says it didn't seem like she had an ax to grind
on the matter but she did make the assumption in some of her questions that
Manhunt 2 was intended for children in some way or another but he quickly told
her that the game is rated M and not for children. The following is a quote
from one of the questions:
Kiran Chetry: It does seem shocking, actually if you're not in the world
of gaming, to see this. I mean, it's so realistic. There's blood on the people
and you're actually--the kids are moving their hands in motions that simulate
killing. How--when do you cross the line? This fantasy world becomes so realistic
that it can't help but be damaging.
N'Gai Croal: The first thing I have to say is the game is like when you say
kids, the game is "M" rated which means you have to be 17 years
or older to purchase it. Obviously, that doesn't prevent some children from
getting their hands on it but really I would say that's the responsibility
of parents to make sure that they don't. As far as adults, I mean, you know,
you or I can make decisions about what kind of entertainment we do or do not
want. It might be to my taste, it might not be to yours but I feel like we
should be able to make that decision.
It seems from the interview that most adults still think videogames are for
kids no matter what the rating may be on the cover. You can read about the interview
and more over at Newsweek.
Manhunt 2 News | Rockstar comment on BBFC statement.
Rockstar have released a statement in regards to the BBFC refusing to give
a classification to Manhunt 2. They have hit out at the BBFC, they said the
changes they wanted to be made to the game were 'unacceptable' they fully intend
to appeal the decision with the Video Appeals Committee. Here is the full statement:
We are continuing to appeal the British Board of Film Classification's (BBFC)
decision to deny the edited version of Manhunt 2 an 18+ certificate and thereby
ban its release in the United Kingdom.
The changes necessary in order to publish the game in Britain are unacceptable
to us and represent a setback for video games. The BBFC allows adults the
freedom to decide for themselves when it comes to horror in movies and we
think adults should be similarly allowed to decide for themselves when it
comes to horror in video games, such as Manhunt 2.
Hopefully now that the appeal is underway we might hear some good news in the
future, but it is going to take a while. It does seem like the BBFC have it
in for video games like Manhunt 2 considering this particular one was allowed
by the ESRB. I would have to agree with Rockstar on this one, we should be allowed
to decide for ourselves what games we want to play just like we can pick what
movies we want to watch.
Manhunt 2 News | BBFC reject revised version of Manhunt 2.
Bad news, the BBFC have once again rejected Manhunt 2 a classification effectively
once again banning the game from sale in the UK. The revised version they rejected
is currently being released in North America on October 31st which received
an M rating from the ESRB. The appeal for the original version, which was filed
with the Video Appeals Committee was suspended while the BBFC looked over the
revised version. David Cooke had this to say in a statement from the BBFC:
We recognise that the distributor has made changes to the game, but we do
not consider that these go far enough to address our concerns about the original
version. The impact of the revisions on the bleakness and callousness of tone,
or the essential nature of the gameplay, is clearly insufficient. There has
been a reduction in the visual detail in some of the ‘execution kills’,
but in others they retain their original visceral and casually sadistic nature.
We did make suggestions for further changes to the game, but the distributor
has chosen not to make them, and as a result we have rejected the game on
both platforms. The decision on whether or not an appeal goes ahead lies with
Hopefully the appeal will go ahead but at this point Manhunt 2 will not be
on sale in the UK before October 31st which will be a major disappointment for
many I am sure. This also serves to point out that only some of the original
executions have had the blur effect added with many people saying that it was
only the gruesome level of execution that was altered.
You can check out the press release by clicking here.
Manhunt 2 News | USA Today Say Wii Doesn't Need Manhunt 2
Today's Mike Snider has published an article by the title of 'Nintendo Wii
takes a murderous turn'. In the article Snider argues that Nintendo does not
need games like Manhunt 2 on its system in order to expand its user base since
the Wii is doing so well.
Newsweek's N'gai Croal tends to agree with Snider:
It is a technological fit, and the gameplay works. But culturally, it's not
Nintendo of America's vice president of Marketing & Corporate Affairs Perrin
Kaplan justifies Manhunt 2 being on the Wii:
Manhunt 2 is simply the most radical example of Nintendo's ongoing strategy
to provide a breadth of games of all story lines and all genres.
Rockstar's Rodney Walker goes on to explain the experience of playing Manhunt
2 on the Wii:
It's a different level of engagement in video games. You can literally experience
the emotional responses of the character.
Manhunt 2 News | WABC News Report on ‘Killer Game Manhunt 2’
Channel 7 WABC News has made a news report, with the drastic title of ‘Killer
Game Manhunt 2’. Eyewitness reporter Tim Fleischer gets to the bottom
of if parents should be worried about the release of the game.
Seriously, this is what he is labelled as an ‘eyewitness reporter’,
as though he has just witnessed some crime taking place. Like someone being
raped or a hit and run. If only it was a hit and run and he wasn’t the
reporter but the vic... anyway.
My favourite line from the report:
The videogame, Manhunt 2 and clearly from video clips appearing on the website,
IGN.com, it lives up to its name, maybe even freaking you out.
Maybe it is just me, but I find that line to be pretty funny. I hope Rockstar
stick that on the box of the game, that would be awesome. Or at least like you
know, a poster or something.
Dan Ackerman says the first version was not a huge success for Rockstar Games.
By nature of there being a sequel it would imply that the success of the original
was more than marginal. I might be wrong on this but I am pretty sure the only
way to fund future products is by making a profit on previous releases.
The problem that all these journalists and analysts have is that they compare
the sales of every Rockstar/Take-Two published title to that of Grand Theft
Auto. The reality of it is that not many games do make that kind of money, short
of being Mario or Halo. A games financial success is gauged by how much profit
it makes in relation to how much money is invested into the product, not to
the companies other products.
You watch the comedy sketch in its entirety below:
Rockstar have updated the official Manhunt 2 website with details of a Manhunt
2 competition where you stand the chance of winning a customised Manhunt 2 Nintendo
Wii console and a 50” plasma television.
One runner up will receive a “Radio Rebellion Prize Pak” which
consists of a $50 Converse Gift Certificate, a Hurley backpack, shirt and hat,
assorted CDs featuring bands participating in the Radio Rebellion tour and Radio
Rebellion Tour t-shirts. Twenty-five first prize winners will also receive a
Manhunt 2 T-shirt.
The Manhunt 2 Radio Rebellion Sweepstakes
Rockstar Games and the Radio Rebellion Tour 2007 proudly present a chance
to win the ultimate Manhunt 2 entertainment system, featuring a 50”
plasma television and a custom Manhunt 2 branded Wii™. Visit www.rockstargames.com/manhunt2/contest
to check out some killer photos of the custom-branded Wii™, and enter
for your chance to win.
For more details on the 28-date Radio Rebellion Tour, including dates and
lineups, visit the official Radio Rebellion Tour page at www.radiorebellion.com.
The competition runs through October 01st 2007 - November 20th 2007 with an
estimated draw date of November 28th 2007. The competition is open to all American
residents. As for the rest of us, I guess crying helps.
You can enter the contest by clicking here
or view the news update by clicking here.