Review – Manhunt 2 (PSP)

Anticipation : 10
Expectation : 9
Initial Reaction : 8
Overall : 8
Genre : First Person

Back in 2003, Rockstar released called Manhunt.  The basis for the game is that a man on Death Row, James Earl Cash, is sent for execution, but is injected with a sedative instead.  Apparently, a director, Starkweather, bribed the doctors to not kill him.  The director is filming snuff films, and wants Cash for his latest movie.  Using his contacts with the corrupt police force and various gangs, he forces Cash into killing the various gang members to stay alive.

The controversy surrounding the game is the game mechanic itself.  The object is to sneak through the levels undetected and perform the most outrageous kills you can.  A variety of weaponry is available, ranging from plastic bags to knives and bats.  The player is “graded” on the style and number of kills.


Fast forward to 2007 and the sequel, Manhunt 2.  Manhunt 2 centers around a character named Daniel Lamb.  Lamb was part of an experiment, referred to as “The Project.”  During the experiment, something went wrong and Lamb was shipped off to an insane asylum.  Lamb escapes during a lightning storm and, working with a friend, Leo Kasper, he attempts to uncover the truth about what happened.

The gameplay is similar to that of the original Manhunt, but dispenses with the scoring screens.  The scoring screen was primarily removed to appease the ESRB, but Rockstar claims it distracted from the story as well.  The game was also altered slightly to obscure the kill scenes in accordance with ESRB requests.  Prior to these changes, the game was rated AO, the highest rating available for video games.  Unfortunately, AO rated games are not permitted to be release on any current console hardware.  As such, Rockstar worked with the ESRB to reduce the rating to M by making the aforementioned changes.

The game itself is pretty compelling, though it seems to be a little on the easy side.  The storyline seems to be pretty decent so far, though it can be hard to follow.  The story jumps occasionally from the present, back to events from the past.  Regardless, the game is quite fun to play.

There are a number of different kill styles, some of them pretty gruesome.  Rockstar also added a number of new kill styles and weapons.  For instance, there are environmental kills now, allowing the player to use objects in the environment to dispatch an enemy.  New weapons such as the circular saw and a number of new guns are available.

I have enjoyed my time playing so far.  Some of the levels are definitely a challenge, while others are incredibly easy.  To be fair, I’m not playing on the insane setting, yet.  I expect that the insane setting, however, merely increases the hardiness of the enemies, and possibly the number.

Overall, I’m pretty happy that I picked this game up.  I plan on picking up the Wii version of the game as well.  It’s definitely a controversial game, though well worth checking out.


Note : This is *NOT* a game for children.  Parents, please be responsible.

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