Gore, violence, death, destruction, mayhem, murder, and plenty of other stuff you’d expect from just about any Rockstar game included all in one little package. Manhunt 2 gives us more, more, more…though it does end up a bit censored and kinda silly by the end of it. All the same, if you’re a fan of the original, it’s definitely worth checking out.
Available For: PC, PS2 (reviewed), PSP, Wii
Release Date: 2007
Archetype: Action, Adventure, Horror, Stealth
When the first Manhunt came out, I thought “Man, this game is brutal! I can’t believe they got away with making something like this!” It wasn’t a great game (for most people anyway), but it was still a very good game and if you like violent titles, I highly recommend it. The premise of the original is you’re dropped into some sort of abandoned urban playground while some sadistic businessman of sorts records you essentially creating one giant snuff film for him.
Okay, I lied…the playground is MOSTLY deserted. Each series of levels offers some new type of enemy. At first, it’s some simple hoodlums. However, later in the game you’re trying to survive militias, psychopaths, and much more. The idea is they’re hunting you, a former mass murderer…and you’re expected to do what you do best. The idea is sick, but it works. The real question now, however, is how does the sequel compare to the original? What exactly did they censor and was there enough/too much censoring?
So what was it the last one did so well? For starters, the controls were simple, tight, and WORKED. In Manhunt 2, there are so many things they try to satisfy (bear in mind I played this on the PS2) that the controls get a little…slippy. For example, there’s no crouch button. Yeah, I have no idea what the fuck. I say this because, well, they didn’t exactly use the L3 button (click left stick) for anything, and that’s typically your universal crouch/stand button, so really…what the fuck?
Now, yes, if you’re pressed up against a low wall, you’ll crouch behind it…but again, why you can’t manually crouch is unknown to me. That’s another problem. Sometimes when you go to peek out from a wall, it treats it as if you want to STOP PRESSING AGAINST THE WALL. UM, YA THAT’S A PROBLEM! Spots where this seems to happen a lot are areas where you don’t have a lot of different structures to hide behind, so those that are there are CRUCIAL. So is there anything I can mention that was done RIGHT in the controls? Why yes, actually. But to properly explain this, I’ll need to move on to information as far as new innovations in the game.
As you may know, in the last one you execute hunters by sneaking up behind them, then holding down the attack button until you’ve reached “desired rage.” Basically put, just as soon as a hunter’s oblivious and you’re sneaking behind him, you have the option for a quick, simple kill with the weapon you’re holding (certain weapons can only be used once). The longer you hold down the attack button and kept close to the hunter, the more violent the kill would be. White = quick, yellow = angry, red = insane…or something like that.
Naturally red is QUITE violent and therefore, excessive. The point? Well, there is none, really. For me, I enjoy seeing all possible executions, but it’s not like you get points or anything that I’m aware of. Well, the same is true in this one, except they included a few new features…
– Environmental executions. You sneak up behind someone when they’re in certain areas and WHAM with an enviro executo, even unarmed!
– Aerial executions. Basically put, if you’re above an enemy and you’re able to sneak up on them (pretty easy in most cases), you’re able to INSTANTLY execute them with a sweet jumping execution.
– Firearm executions. In the last Manhunt, the only two types of weapons you couldn’t execute people with were guns and distraction objects (bricks, cans, etc.). Well, you still can’t execute people with distraction objects, but if you sneak up behind someone with a gun, you can pull off a sweet firearm execution.
As in the last one, there are three types of weapons…one time usage (ball point pens, plastic bags, garrote wire, etc.), small weapons (a lot of these also double as useful tools), and large weapons (typically the most powerful). The weapons, as usual, are all pretty cool…even the little stuff. The controls actually work pretty well as far as attacking, execution, etc. Plus, besides just hiding behind stuff, you can also climb or hop over stuff by pressing toward an object and hitting circle. This is nice, but for me at least, I accidentally get it confused with triangle, which means I hop over a barrier rather than take cover often!
Beyond this, you use the left stick to move and the D-pad to change weapons as well as reload. The control system actually works pretty well with the new stuff, but surprisingly feels slippery and a little loose with previously good working controls. The final feature that’s worth mentioning is that sometimes when a hunter approaches you in the shadows, you have to hit a key sequence in order to “hold your breath” AKA stay incognito.
Finally, we have the story. Now, in the last one, you played as James Earl Cash, a man whose death was faked by “The Director” to participate in his little…game. In this one, you play as Daniel Lamb, an escaped mental patient who has no idea WTF is going on. This is significant because in the first one, you’re a cold-blooded killer, but in this one…it’s almost as if they try to label you innocent, which kinda kills the mood from time to time.
Plus, Rockstar tries to do too much with the plot in this one. The great part about the last one is it’s very simple. You’re a killer. You kill. End of story. Yes yes…there’s more going on, but that’s the gist of it. There’s TOO MUCH going on in Manhunt 2 to the point that you really have no idea what to make of it…even after the crap they shill you on for the endings. And that’s that.
Is Manhunt 2 a bad game? Well, did you enjoy the first Manhunt? If so, then no, it’s not a bad game, but you won’t have the same experience you had with the first. There are so many new features that it seems like they could’ve made it SO much better. It’s better than the original in terms of what you can do, but it’s worse in how it operates. I’m sure there won’t be another one, which makes this experience that much more bitter.