the resigned gamer, everything I hate about the thing I love the most

Manhunt 2: Uncensored murder is easy on the eyes

Posted by Doomeru Woebashi at 11:55 AM on Thursday, November 8, 2007

doomeru woebashi's soggy cardboard-covered exhaust grate, the resigned gamerI'm currently playing Manhunt 2 on my my cracked psp, modded so I can see all the delicious torture sequences uncensored. And though I've been generally enthused about getting the chance to act out my innermost violent urges I'm really more pleased to just be playing it before Sir Cucumber.

To be sure, the executions have gotten all the attention prior to Manhunt 2's release and I agree that they are chillingly violent, but on the psp and ps2 the graphics are so muddy and the characters so sparsely rendered (seriously, you can count the polygons) that you can barely make anything out. What modding does do is remove the jarring, blinding, mind-searing colorform crapfest that flashes on the screen any time you kill someone. You are already squinting at the psp, hunched close to make anything out even with the brightness cranked up, and then suddenly it feels like you've been hit with a hot poker in the brain via entry through the left nostril.

I'm of a mind that this is the ultimate victory for ESRB: In order to satisfy their demands Rockstar didn't just obscure the death sequences but did so in a way that conditions you to NOT want to perform them. Also, your avatar will occasionally vomit on his victim's corpse afterward, as if to press the point further home.

Manhunt 2 masks, the resigned gamer

Why do they always wear masks in Manhunt games?

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In terms of gameplay, I haven't found anything to differentiate this one from the first Manhunt. You walk- not run- around poorly lit spaces and wait for masked baddies to skulk by without their friends, then you walk up behind them until your reticule changes, execute, watch hilarious sequence, rinse, repeat. I haven't gotten any guns yet so I can't comment on the faster aspects of gameplay.

What bothers me is that there doesn't seem to be a good reason for all the killing this time around. In the original, James Earl Cash was forced to kill for the entertainment of others, and got extra points for more brutal snuff. The only motivation in Manhunt 2 is your friend from the asylum, who I must say is a terrible influence and seems to only appear in cutscenes. I don't think I'm spoiling anything by suggesting he might end up revealing himself to be an imaginary friend or the ghost of some kid you killed in your childhood who's expressing himself now in the form of blah blah blah…

Manhunt 2 eye, the resigned gamer
This is how you'll look if you play Manhunt 2 censored

So, with three versions of Manhunt 2, which do you get? I recommend the psp version, so long as you play the iso from the memory stick. This way you get virtually no loading time and you have the option of scaring children when you play in the subway. The Wii version lets you spastically act out all the executions, which is probably an excellent way to lose your girlfriend, but going back to a previous point, the psp version doesn't punish you for killing anyone. The ps2 version lets you play with a controller that doesn't suck, but that is the only thing I can say in its favor.

Rip, mod, execute, then vomit. Rinse, repeat. Manhunt 2.