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Manhunt 2

Manhunt 2 Boxart

Manhunt 2 is a stealth action psychological/survival horror video game developed by Rockstar Games and the sequel to 2003's Manhunt. The game was released in North America and Europe for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Wii on October 31, 2007. It was released on November 9, 2009 for the PC. 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.[1]

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.[2] It was, however, released in some stores on October 29, 2007.[3][4] This modified version was again rejected by the British Board of Film Classification;[5] Rockstar won its appeal against this rejection on December 10, 2007,[6] but the BBFC challenged that decision through the courts.[7] 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.[8]


Game development began in 2004 at Rockstar Vienna.[9] In 2006 Rockstar Vienna was closed, and Rockstar London took over development. Rockstar Toronto developed the Wii version.

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. [10]


Similar to the first Manhunt, players perform "executions" in three deadly shades - Hasty (white) Violent (yellow) and Gruesome (red) [11]

  • Firearms can now be used for executions. [12]
  • 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. [13]
  • Loud ambient noises can now be exploited by the player to drown out their foes. [14]
  • 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 controller completely still. In the PC version, the player must keep the cursor inside the circle.[15]
  • Climbing and crawling have been included to increase exploration and exploitation of new hiding places. [16]
  • The player can smash lights to create extra pockets of shadow to be used for hiding. [17]
  • 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.[18]
  • "Jump Executions" can be performed from a higher platform.[19]


In the year 2006, The Pickman Project dealt with a top secret weapon experiment which was led by Dr. Whyte. Everything looked to be going well until the project suddenly had its government funding cut due to its controversial work methods, which meant that ‘The Project’ would be shut down indefinitely. Dr. Pickman believed he was close to a break through and decided to do one last experiment, however he needed a subject in order to carry out his work. Daniel volunteered to becoming one of the many subjects for the experiments.

Six years later, Daniel finds himself locked away, with no memory of who he is or his past. Due to a defect in the treatment, unforeseen side effects began to appear in many of the subjects. It was decided to hide those with side effects in Dixmor's Asylum for the Criminally Insane.

Finding himself locked away in the asylum, Daniel begins to question his own sanity and if in fact his family and his life before being put into the asylum actually existed. Just at that moment of doubt an electrical storm knocks out the power in the asylum resulting in the security system shutting down and freeing the inmates from their cells.

Inmate Leo Kasper decides this would be a perfect time to escape the asylum and urges Daniel to follow his lead. The two then escape the asylum in search for Daniel's past. Their first stop is a now abandoned house which once belonged to Daniel. He finds a drug there which helps him remember some of his past.

Afterwards, Daniel and Leo go on a killing rampage to uncover the secrets of Daniel's past.

Weapons Edit

Yellow Class Weapons:

Green Class Weapons:

Blue Class Weapons:

Red Class Weapons:



Following Manhunt 2's announcement, attorney Jack Thompson promised to file suit to block the sale of Manhunt 2 and Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV. Take-Two petitioned United States District Court for the Southern Distict of Florida to block Thompson's pending lawsuit.[20] Thompson immediately filed a counter-suit, accusing Take-Two and various other prominent game media outlets of racketeering.[21] 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.[22]

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."[23] 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 which one would do when actually stabbing with a knife.[24][25] In the PC version of Manhunt 2, players use the mouse to execute Hunters in a similar manner to the Wii versions use of the Wii remote. However, the difference between the Wii and PC, is that on the PC, players have the option to turn this feature off, and executions can be played out normally like on the PS2 and PSP.

Certification difficulties Edit

United Kingdom Edit

On 19 June 2007, the British Board of Film Classification refused to certify Manhunt 2, meaning that it would be illegal to sell the game in the United Kingdom[26] in its current state.[27]

On 1 August 2007, Rockstar confirmed that they had filed an appeal with the Video Appeals Committee (VAC) in the UK to contest the BBFC decision.[28]

A petition was submitted to the British Prime Minister's Office, calling for the game to be released with an 18 rating.[29] It received 3,006 signatures.[30] The request was rejected; Her Majesty's Government supported the BBFC's procedure, and refused to get involved in their appeals process.[31][32]

On October 8 2007, the modified version was rejected by the BBFC.[5]

On December 10 2007, Rockstar won the appeal, meaning that the game could then go on sale unless the BBFC took further action to contest the case.[6]

On December 17 2007, the BBFC applied for Judicial Review concerning the VAC ruling. [33] The case was heard by the High Court in January 2008, and the ruling that the BBFC should grant a certificate to the game (which would allow it to be sold) was stayed until a verdict was reached. [7]

On January 25 2008, the High Court ruled that the game had to be sent back for verification after the BBFC's previously made argument about the approval for release being granted on a misinterpretation was confirmed and that VAC must now use new guidelines to evaluate the game.

On March 14, [2008 the Video Appeals Committee upheld an appeal by Rockstar games and advised the BBFC that they have no alternative but to issue an 18+ Certificate for the game, with Rockstar arguing successfully that there is no difference between the graphic violence in Manhunt 2 and that seen on other formats.[8] The same day, the BBFC went ahead and issued the 18 certificate [1].

Rest of EuropeEdit

The Irish Film Censor's Office announced that the game would also not be available for sale in the Republic of Ireland.[34] This is the first time a video game has been refused certification by the IFCO (although games do not normally require certification, if they do require it, they must receive a certificate to be released).[35] A poll of 1000 people undertaken by the IFCO showed that 80% of respondents agreed with the ban[36].

Italian Communications Minister Paolo Gentiloni described Manhunt 2 as, "cruel and sadistic, with a squalid environment and a continuous, insistent encouragement to violence and murder."[37]

Manhunt 2 would have been released uncut in Scandinavia[38][39] and Portugal October 2007 with an 18+ PEGI certificate if not for Take-Two's suspension.

It was also announced that Manhunt 2 can be released in uncut form in the Netherlands, despite a request by the Dutch parliament for the Ministry of Justice to intervene, as no legal mechanism is in place to ban its sale.[40] This does not mean that the game will in fact see an unedited release in the Netherlands or any other territory with similarly open legal policies, however.

United StatesEdit

In the United States the game initially received an Adults Only rating from the ESRB. AO is the most restrictive rating given by the ratings body; many American retailers will not carry AO rated titles[41] and Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft have policies prohibiting third-party AO rated titles from appearing on their consoles.[42][43]

In response to the BBFC and ESRB's decisions, Take-Two has said that they would stand by the game and release it.[44]

On 24 August 2007 Rockstar announced that a reworked version of the game had received an M rating from the ESRB, and would be released on 31 October in the United States.[45]

On 11 September 2007, IGN released a comparison between the Adults Only-rated version of Manhunt 2 and the censored, M-rated version on the Wii.[46] Although most content has remained unchanged, a nasty murder sequence in which the player castrates an enemy with pliers had been removed, and major death strikes have had blur effects, hue filters and darkening applied to obscure the animation.[47]

In 2009, an AO Microsoft Windows PC version of the game was released in North America, which featured most of the content cut out from the console release, and was much better recieved by critics than the console versions.

The post-stage scoring screen carried over from the original Manhunt was also removed. Players were graded on speed of stage completion and number of "Gruesome" level kills, but the scoring system was cut to avoid the appearance of rewarding murder. However, the AO PC version of the game still features the scoring system.


In January 2008, major gaming website, reported that the game was not submitted into the OFLC for classification.

Internet leakEdit

In September 2007, an uncensored PAL PS2 copy of the game was leaked onto the internet, [48] by an employee of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, who was later fired.[49]


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. [50] ESRB 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.[51] In the PC version of the game, the executions are uncensored by default.


Manhunt 2 was met with mixed reviews in comparison with the first game. The Wii version received an average score of 65% according to Metacritic, while the PS2 and PSP versions each received 67% and 69%, respectively. [52][53] In 2009 the Windows PC version was released, and was much better well received overall.

  • IGN gave the Wii version 7.7/10, saying "Manhunt 2 isn't the tour de force title that will grab your attention and keep you there like the first one did." also "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." The PS2 and PSP versions both received 7.5. [54][55][56]
  • North American publication Nintendo Power in issue 223 gave Manhunt 2 a total score of 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 controller.
  • gave the game 4/10, stating "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." [57]
  • Gamespot gave the Playstation 2 and Playstation Portable versions 7.5/10, saying "It's not as shocking as you'd expect, but Manhunt 2 still satisfies your primal instincts." The Wii version received a 7.0.[58][59]
  • Game Informer reviewed "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." The magazine scored the game 7.75/10. [60]
  • 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." [61]
  • Uk import-centric site NTSC-uk reviewed "With the furore objectively moved aside, Manhunt 2 is left a game which has tremendous atmosphere but that unfortunately counts for nothing...especially given that it is little more than the original release dressed up in new clothes but with the violence toned down." [62]
  • Yahoo reviewed "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." [63]
  • X-Play gave it a 2/5, citing simply that "The only thing you need to know is that!" [64]
  • It was nominated for GameSpy's 2007 Game of the Year Award for the PS2.
  • Because of its controversy the game is listed at #8 in IGN's "Top 10 Gaming Controversies"[65] and is also listed in UGO's "The Most Controversial Video Games".[66]


  • Most of the vehicles, weapons, and clothes are taken from the Grand Theft Auto games. E.g: Trashmaster, Mule, Rumpo, and Voodoo. Also the sound when Danny, or Leo picks up a weapon, or painkillers are from Grand Theft Auto III.
  • The game takes place within the same universe as the Grand Theft Auto games.
  • This is the final game within Rockstar's "3D Universe".
  • The game never specifies when is it set. A poster in the flashback level Assassination mentions 2006, but that would indicate that the rest of the game takes place five years after it was released. Since the story and the order of the levels changed lot during development, the poster is most likely just a leftover. The most likely theory is that the main story takes place in 2007 (in the year the game was released) and the flashback levels is 2001. According to the manual, the flashback scenes took place on Monday, May 14. This information fits the theory, as in 2001 the said date fell on Monday. 

External linksEdit

Official sites

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