Newsweek's Croal, MTV's Totilo hands-on with Manhunt 2

Newsweek's N'gai Croal hasn't been afraid to defend his tastes on his LevelUp blog. The site's Vs. Mode debates feature some of the best back-and-forth gameplay analysis to be found anywhere. So when Croal and MTV News game writer Stephen Totilo got to play the first few levels of Manhunt 2 at Rockstar's office, you know the resulting conversation is going to be good.

Totilo's portion includes some graphic descriptions of the asylum escape in level one, which includes scenes of public urination, in-cell hangings and stealth kills via syringe and axe-based decapitation. The protagonist isn't completely cold to his role, though -- Totilo describes how he "watched Daniel vomit because of his quick-passing guilt."

Most of the discussion so far, though, deals with the game through the lens of comparative media studies, comparing it to controversial movies like Natural Born Killers and Taxi Driver. Croal and Totilo both harp on the idea of organizations like the BBFC and IFCO and companies like Nintendo and Sony imposing content decisions on consumers. As Croal aptly puts it, "Unless they have good reason to believe that this game is an imminent threat to the public order, or that it will in and of itself incite adults to violence, [the BBFC and IFCO's] decision seems to me to be based on taste, and I will never believe in substituting anyone else's tastes for my own." Amen!

This article was originally published on Joystiq.