Manhunt - PS2

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Manhunt (PS2)
Also for: PC, Xbox
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Strategy: Stealth
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Rockstar North Soft. Co.: Rockstar
Publishers: Rockstar (GB/GB)
Released: 21 Nov 2003 (GB)
14 Sept 2007 (GB)
Ratings: BBFC 18
Features: Vibration Function Compatible, Analogue Control Compatible: analogue sticks only
Accessories: Memory Card, USB Headset


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There's no denying Rockstar's tendency to court controversy. You'd think that, being the favourite scapegoat for the majority of American crime these days, the company would be inclined to start knocking out games about fluffy bunnies, rainbows and cooking. Or something. Obviously not - this latest PlayStation 2 title, heralding from the Scotland-based Rockstar North studio, is an uber-violent stealth adventure based on the fun, family subject of, er, snuff movies.

The game casts you as James Earl Cash, a guy on death row who, after waking from his 'lethal' injection, finds himself alone in a cell. Putting on an earpiece he finds nearby, Cash is soon introduced to Lionel Starkweather, who subsequently offers him his freedom in exchange for a number of 'tasks'. From here the game begins and Cash is plunged into an array of 'scenes', charged with the simple yet arduous task of staying alive, on the run from a gang of relentless thugs. Throughout the proceedings, Starkweather is on hand, camcorder at the ready, waiting for some fodder for his snuff movies, which he can then send to You've Been Framed. Or not.

The gameplay itself features a combination of stealth and straight-up shooting action. There are shadows aplenty and much sneaking around to be done - in fact, audio plays a large part in the game, alerting you to the whereabouts of the enemy via your radar and vice versa. Alternatively, the game features a rather clumsy hand-to-hand element, an assortment of the usual ballistic weapons (pistols, shotguns, machine guns, etc.), myriad melee weapons, and, for the more resourceful prey, a plentiful supply of household objects found strewn around each level, such as carrier bags, wire and shards of glass. How you go about murdering your way through the game's 20 levels is up to you. A stealthy approach is encouraged but by the later levels there are far too many baddies and the action tends to turn into A Team-style shoot-outs. Except in this case people do actually get shot. And quite gruesomely too.

Like its subject matter, Manhunt is basically the game equivalent of a video nasty. It's very graphic and quite disturbing at times. You'll love it.


Manhunt - PS2 Artwork