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Metareview: Manhunt 2 (Wii, PS2)


The horror, HORROR; Manhunt 2 is apparently bloody -- bloody awful. Reviews are starting to squirt out of outlets like a punctured carotid artery about Rockstar's juggernaut of controversy and it's pretty much what most were expecting. Looks like little Timmy won't be getting that "murder simulator" he wanted for the Wii this holiday, unless his parents want to punish him with bad gameplay. According to many of the reviews, the edits forced on the game by the ESRB actually hurt the overall Manhunt experience.
  • IGN (77/100): "Manhunt 2 for Wii is, in my opinion, the version to buy, if only because it looks ever-so-slightly better and offers a deeper level of interactivity since the Wii remote is used to act out executions. I've referred to this game as Splatter Cell before and I still think that's a fair comparison. Even with its blurred and darkened executions, Manhunt 2 is still an incredibly violent game – easily the most brutal you will find on Nintendo's console. ... The ESRB has forced Rockstar to make content changes which have in turn significantly reduced the impact of the franchise's trademark executions. In fact, oftentimes you won't even able to see who Danny is murdering or how he's doing it – instead, you'll behold a big, dark, motiony blur accompanied by gruesome sound effects. By comparison, many of the executions in the original Manhunt are much more satisfying."
  • GameSpy (50/100): "The biggest issue that fans of the original Manhunt will have with Manhunt 2 is the way that Rockstar toned down the violence in the game in order to appease the ESRB's ratings board. The game's trademark executions have been altered significantly, to the point where the player loses nearly all recognition of the events taking place onscreen. Initiating a killing maneuver cuts the camera to an angle more suitable for viewing, which is then browbeat by an unwieldy series of camera edits and obnoxious crimson filters that distort the images to the point where it's anyone's guess what exactly is taking place."
  • 1UP (40/100): "Finally, and most unforgivably, the Wii version plays host to unskippable cut-scenes. Better still, they're frequently positioned after checkpoints so you can enjoy them over and over again whether you want to or not. Just in case the adolescent violence, clunky exposition, and lengthy visual explorations of 'kinky' S&M bars weren't embarrassing enough the first time around. 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. "

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