Manhunt 2 is a video game developed by Rockstar Games and the sequel to 2003's Manhunt. The game was released in North America for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Wii on October 31, 2007. It was originally scheduled for release in July, but it was suspended by Take-Two due to a rating rejection in the United Kingdom and Ireland and an AO rating in the United States for being too violent. On August 24, it was announced that Rockstar submitted a modified version of the game, which was re-rated with an M by the ESRB and allowed for an October 31, 2007 release date in North America. It was, however, released in some stores on October 29, 2007. This modified version was again rejected by the BBFC; Rockstar won its appeal against this rejection on December 10, 2007, but the BBFC challenged that decision through the courts. On January 25, 2008 the BBFC won their case in the High Court that the game had been approved for release on a misinterpretation of the law. The VAC however approved the game for release a second time on March 14 and the game is now scheduled for release on October 31 2008 in the United Kingdom.
Similar to Manhunt
, players perform "executions
" in three deadly shades - Hasty (white), Violent (yellow) and Gruesome (red)
- Firearms can now be used for executions.
- A new feature to executions in the game are the environmental kills, which can be used to eliminate an opponent. For example, you can push an enemy face-first into a live fuse box, use telephone cords to strangle an enemy or you can beat an enemy to death in a toilet.
- Loud ambient noises can now be exploited by the player to drown out their foes.
- When hiding in shadows, if an enemy comes close to the playable character, the player will have to mimic a combination of buttons or motions in order to regulate the character's breathing to ensure that he remains calm and undetected. In the Wii version, the player must hold the Wii Remote completely still.
- Climbing and crawling have been included to increase exploration and exploitation of new hiding places.
- The player can smash lights to create extra pockets of shadow to be used for hiding.
- Some lights are provided with a motion sensor that activates when detecting movements in front of it, forcing the player to investigate the dark corners before taking advantage of them.
- "Jump Executions" can be performed from a higher platform.
entered development in 2004 at Rockstar Games' Vienna branch
Five voice actors have confirmed to have recorded dialogue for the game. Even though two of them chose to remain anonymous, the third voice actor James Urbaniak publicly announced it on his blog on March 16, 2006, only to remove it days later. Of the other two voice actors said to have recorded dialogue for the game, one of them also recorded dialogue for the original Manhunt, like Urbaniak.
Manhunt 2 was met with mixed reviews in comparison with the first game. 1UP.com stated that "really, the game warrants a 4 [out of 10] 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. Gamespot said the game's "not as shocking as you'd expect, but Manhunt 2 still satisfies your primal instincts." IGN declared that "Manhunt 2 isn't the tour de force title that will grab your attention and keep you there like the first one did." The review went on to state that "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." GamesRadar reviewed "if you're in the mood for something creepy and horrific that'll leave you feeling a little dirty, Manhunt 2's still-shocking murders and eerie, is-it-real-or-am-I-just-insane storyline won't disappoint. Game Informer gave the Wii version of the game 7.75/10, saying "Manhunt 2 is every bit as grim and brutal as the first... the writing, as is typical of Rockstar's games, is top-notch, and Daniel and the rest of the characters do come off the screen as very real and human. ... It's a testament to this quality that I was really driven to see the tale out to its end." Similarly, Nintendo Power gave the Wii version 7.5/10, stating that while the game does deliver for the most part, they (like most critics) were disappointed by the way external influences led Rockstar to change the game, and that the story, while interesting, is "highly predictable." They did, however, praise the game's audio and uses of the Wii Remote. X-Play's unforgiving review simply stated that "the only thing you need to know is that this...game...BLOWS! Yahoo! reviewed the PSP version, saying "there's simply never been a game quite as squeamishly immersive as this... it's even more terrifying for seeming like the most real thing in a game this year.
Following Manhunt 2
's announcement, attorney Jack Thompson
promised to file suit to block the sale of Manhunt 2
's Grand Theft Auto IV
petitioned U.S. District Court, SD FL
to block Thompson's pending lawsuit. Thompson immediately filed a counter-suit, accusing Take-Two and various other prominent game media outlets of racketeering
. The dispute was later settled: Thompson agreed to not sue or threaten to sue to block sale or distribution of any game published by Take-Two. In turn, Take-Two agreed to drop a prior suit accusing Thompson of contempt-of-court in a previous suit over Take-Two's Bully
In a letter to Wendy's CEO Kerrii Anderson, Thompson demanded that the restaurant drop an upcoming promotion featuring children's toys designed after the Wii games Excite Truck, Wii Sports and Super Mario Galaxy because Manhunt 2 was scheduled for release on the console. An excerpt from Thompson's letter states: "Dave Thomas never would have tolerated the use of Wendy’s good name to promote Nintendo’s Wii, not with this game available on the Wii platform. Particular controversy was repeatedly heaped upon the Wii version of the game due to the console's highly immersive nature, with certain gaming sites that had a hands-on preview of the game reporting that Manhunt 2 used the Wii Remote in an interactive manner; for instance, in order to stab someone in the game the player would have to flick the Wii Remote forward, in much the same fashion one would do when actually stabbing with a knife.
A method that removed the game's censoring code of the M rated
PSP and PS2 version thus restoring parts of the AO
state was released by a group of PSP crackers
commented on this crack stating that it was not Rockstar's fault that this occurred and stuck with the M rating. Later, it was discovered the same method also works on the Wii version of the game.
In September 2007, an uncensored PAL
PS2 copy of the game was leaked onto the internet, by an employee of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, who was later fired.
References to other Rockstar games
- According to the game's instruction manual, Danny Lamb, the game's protagonist, received his Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from the University of San Fierro in San Fierro, San Andreas, a setting in Rockstar's 2004 title Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Additionally some of the hunters in the game reference San Andreas, and even suggest that Lamb should return there.
- During the episode "Assassination", there is a crane inscribed with "J.E.C. and Sons Construction". These initials are likely a reference to the protagonist of Manhunt, James Earl Cash.
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories features a fast food chain called King Knuts, the logo of which is a king's crown. In Manhunt 2, The Red Kings' insignia is also a king's crown, which can be seen carved into the walls throughout the episode "Red Light".
- Lamb and Kasper hide behind a car as they scout the club up ahead in the introduction cinematic for the episode "Sexual Deviants". The car featured here is the Voodoo of the Grand Theft Auto series.
- Several lines of dialogue in Manhunt 2 specifically mention Vice City, the setting in Rockstar's 2002 title Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
- The background music during the introduction cinematic for San Andreas mission "Life's a Beach" is the same music heard in the porn theater in the episode "Safe House" in Manhunt 2.
- The episode "Assassination" features a billboard advertisement for Thirdleg Clothing. This advertisement was first used in the Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. The advertisement itself is a sexual reference to the male anatomy, as to suggest the member is so well hung their trousers require a third leg to be attached.
- The Red Kings gang are reminiscent of the Brooklyn gang the Warriors, from The Warriors, based on the film of the same name.
References to Popular Culture
- Leo is heard to say "Danny's not here". This is a reference to The Shining
- When acting as Leo, Danny is seen to kill his wife during a "Blackout". This is similar to the case of the character Torque from The Suffering, who claims to have blacked out during his family's murder.