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Manhunt

2007

With the upcoming release of "Manhunt 2", I went over to the local EB Games to pick up the 2003 original PS2 version of "Manhunt" just so I could be prepped for the sequel.

Understand me when I say this, folks--"Manhunt" is the most violent game I have ever played.  That's a big deal for me since I've played almost everything and seen it all in major-release video games...boy, this puppy is flat-out nasty at times.  Ripping a bit of plot from the great Schwarzenegger actioner "The Running Man", you play a convict who is dropped into a world of gangs whose only task is to kill you, all for TV entertainment run by a nasty TV producer (voiced by movie star Brian Cox).  Conversely, this producer can also benefit by watching you take out all of the even-worse-convicts, too, as long as you do it in the most violent means possible.

What does this mean?  In this world, it's most ideal to kill folks using some stealth--hiding in the shadows, waiting to take on baddies one-by-one in a third-person perspective--and creeping up behind guys to kill them with hatchets, sickles, glass shards, plastic bags, knives or billy clubs, all for the love of the audience.  When you execute bad guys successfully, the game cuts to a cinema of the kill, each with three varying levels of nastiness...man, when you get a guy with that hatchet for the first time, damn...

The game's good for a while, but the larger issue here is the game's length.  20 levels is too long for this nonsense, and the story development here is very, very poor.  Developed by the same guys that did "Grand Theft Auto", the graphics and targeting systems are generally not great but the recorded dialogue varies between frightening and hilarious, always to perfect effect.  Guns become a part of the arsenal later in the game, and "Manhunt" gets pretty hard in its last five levels or so.  It's an adventure that is pretty rough to sit through but as a gaming experience, it'll hook you, especially if you're cool with watching guys regularly get it in the worst possible way all game long.

Rating:  $40

 

Feedback?  Comments?  Hot doughnut tip?  justin@bellviewmovies.com

 

Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  Buy this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why that's a good move.  A game experience that will almost guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end. 

"$40":  Usually after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly, or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new games.  Usually, that's about $40.  You'll feel good getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.

"eBay":  This game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from either half.com or eBay.  You also might let a friend buy this game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make them feel better.  Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy Seconds."

"Rental":  Like my cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something worthwhile.  For games in this category, this is the maximum amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.  Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.

"Dogshit":  Games like this should have never been released.  If you play this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the experience.  Further, if you can get this game for free, don't do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience for you!

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All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/bellviewmovies.com except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09