VideoGameTime : Manhunt 2 (2007) Video Game Review


Today we realize what makes a serial killer (and no its not video games) but rather its science, in Manhunt 2.

Manhunt 2 is a 2007 stealth game by Rockstar Games. It was developed by Rockstar London for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 2, Rockstar Leeds for the PlayStation Portable, and Rockstar Toronto for the Wii. It is the sequel to 2003’s Manhunt and was released in North America on 29 October 2007, and will be released in the UK on 31 October 2008. Set in the fictional city of Cottonmouth, the game follows Daniel Lamb, a mental patient suffering from amnesia as he tries to uncover his identity, and Leo Kasper, a sociopathic assassin who guides Daniel in his journey.

Originally scheduled for a North American and European release in July 2007, the game was suspended by Rockstar’s parent company Take-Two Interactive when it was refused classification in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and given an Adults Only (AO) rating in the United States. As Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony Computer Entertainment do not allow licensed releases of AO titles on their consoles, this would have severely limited their potential customer base in the US as well. In response to these ratings problems, Rockstar censored the game, blurring the screen during the game’s executions and removing the scoring system, which rewarded players for particularly brutal killings. This edited version was rated M in the US by the ESRB and was released on 29 October. However, the BBFC still refused to classify the edited version for its UK release. Rockstar appealed their decision, and ultimately, the Video Appeals Committee voted that the game could be released with an 18 certificate.

Manhunt 2 received largely polarized reviews from critics and audiences: the improved gameplay, game engine, plot twists, darker storyline, and use of extreme violence was praised, but its voice acting and outdated graphics drew mixed response. The title garnered controversy before and after its release, getting the attention of Leicester East MP Keith Vaz, anti-video game activist Jack Thompson, and various US senators. It was ranked first in Gameranx’ list of the “Top 25 Goriest Games of all Time”, and was nominated for GameSpy’s 2007 Game of the Year Award for the PS2.

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