Thursday, November 22, 2007

Manhunt 2

To celebrate the holiday a bit, I figured I’d give a little change of pace and do a video game review instead. After having loved the original Manhunt, I made this the first video game I’d purchased in a couple years (the last one, of course, being its predecessor).

For those that are unaware of the series, this is one of those dreaded murder simulators that you always hear politicians railing against. Like the original, about half of the game involves you hiding in shadows until an enemy wanders past, and then you sneak up behind him and execute him in a number of different ways, depending on what weapon you use and how long you stalk him. The other half, not to be outdone, involves a great many intense gun battles, perhaps even more prominent here than in the original.

The game is a great deal of fun, but it is noticeably weaker than the original game. For one, it’s both shorter and a lot easier, so you’ll breeze through it pretty quickly. For another, the ESRB bewilderingly rated it Adults Only, so to get a Mature rating they had to put obnoxious filters over the execution videos to make them more difficult to watch. I say bewilderingly because they aren’t noticeably different from the ones in the first game, so I’m not sure exactly why that was able to get a Mature rating but not this one.

Still, despite those flaws, the game is still a good deal of fun. After all, it’s about the only game series in existence where you get to actually play as the mad slasher, and not just one of his victims. More than that, the programmers seemed to be anticipating the ESRB smackdown, as they focused the game more on the gun fights rather than the sneaking around and executing people parts, so that problem is partially alleviated. It may not be as good a game as the first one was, but it’s still certainly worth playing.

Rating: ***

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