Manhunt - The Hunter Becomes The Hunted
Manhunt, perhaps one of the most contoversial video games of all time and certainly one of the sickest and darkest ever to be released. Released under Rockstar (the genuises behind Grand Theft Auto Series) comes Manhunt, the game where the hunter becomes the hunted. You play James Cash, a man facing the lethal injection under death row. You appear to be injected and die but soon awaken to what only can be described as utter madness. You hear a man talking claiming he can get you out of this whole mess alive before the night is over. He describes himself as 'The Director' but we soon discover his real identity later on in the game as 'Mr Starkweather'. Starkweather is a sick, psychotic director of Snuff films (Films that are surprisingly dark and sick that feature real deaths on camera !) And you become his latest project for his new movie. You get guided through many levels killing off many freakish people from weird gangs under instruction from the Director. He claims if you kill those people you will be released back into society a free man. This is where the story begins.
Manhunt's gameplay is sick. But in a good way. By that I mean the killing system, the gore and the utter violence of it all is sick but at the same time highly enjoyable. The levels are rather big with certain places to explore and there is amny weapons to collect for your executions. Weapons include Baseball Bats, Knifes, Cleavers, Glass Shards, Plastic Bags, Pistols, Shotguns, Fiber Wire, Rifles, Chainsaws etc... These weapons all get used for you to perform your killings in many different ways. The way you kill is determined by how long you are able to sneak behind someone with the 'execute' button held down. The longer you hold it down, the more ferocious and sick your kill will be. There is many different ways in which you can carry out the kills and many different ways in which you can evade kills. The levels are well planned out and are very dark and gritty which is just perfect for a game like this. Locations featured are: run down flats, ghetto parks, underground train stations, abandoned streets, alleyways, mansions, estates etc... (I think you get the picture) The combat system in this game is pretty well done apart from the aiming system, I think it needed some work put into it as it felt a bit off and rather easy.
So the gameplay is solid and well constructed overall.
Dark, Gritty, Eerie, Messed Up, Shadowed, Scary, Dim, Gloomish (Shall I go on ?) The graphics are meant to be like this for a delibrate effect which is to make the game darker as a whole (as if the lethal executions werent enough) But I must say the graphics are good at giving this effect. They seem grainy in a good way and are still able to provide you 'the player' with detail and visual enjoyment. They can be bland and empty at times but your mind is going to be so focused on escaping from that crazed, heavy breathing, fat gang member that your eyes will focus more on your legs than the surrounding graphics. The graphics from this game sure give it a great scary and most of all Dark/Draconian effect but its meant to be like this making them great as a whole.
Manhunt features many sounds that will make you jump. From heart beats, gates slamming shut, wind, breathing, pipes dropping, shouting, gunshots, screaming, the constant running you will be enduring on the gravel, the sick sound of a man chocking on his own blood as you literally chop his head off, the bones breaking and cracking... (Ok i'll stop) Manhunts sound is as sick as its gameplay and graphics but this is obiviously done for obvious effect and its really well done, thats something i guarantee. This game focuses on so many realistic noises (breathing, heart beats, shouting) other than soundtrack and music, making this game as scary and realistic as possible.
My Personal Thoughts
A sick game that also happens to be very enjoyable to play. The use of clever gameplay and tactics as well as the variety of weapons, eerie locations and darn right freaky people that you would pray never to meet in real life make this game a very worthwhile playthrough. It might be too scary or too sick for some people but if i was you, Just take comfort in knowing its only a game !
A great game that should be owned by people who are looking for something different and scary. Forget zombies, vampires and cannibalistic freaks, this is real, messed up lunatics chasing you through darkened alleys and unlit streets making this much scarier a game than and of your resident evils. Plus its as cheap as a fiver these days so buy it now, or just forget about this review and my thoughts and go play your light hearted stuff like Sonic, Pokemon and Mario !
You are James Earl Cash, set to be executed by lethal injection. Oddly your wrist ties come undone and you hear a voice in your ear. This voice belongs to the Director who promises your freedom in exchange for you taking part in his game. However his game is one of blood and violence. You're released onto the streets in an area where a gang known as the Hoods are looking for you. This is where the game begins.
There are different weapons for you to use ranging from bricks and paperbags to chainsaws. The quicker you complete the levels and the gorier the deaths the more stars you receive for your level rating. To perform gorier deaths hold down the left mouse key, the goriest will be executions but these take some time so it's not possible to perform these on every enemy. With these stars you can then open things like the artwork and four extra levels.
Also if you were thinking your only enemy is the Hoods, think again. The gangs you will have to defeat are: the Hoods, the Skins, the Wardogs, the Innocentz, the Smileys, the Cerberus, Carcer City Police Department, SWAT team and the Monkeys.
Despite the gore emphasis Manhunt is not a game where you can charge in and attack the enemies head on. You'll need to be stealthy as they are quite strong, you'll spend a lot of time in the shadows unless you want to die very quickly.
The sound is very good and adds to the atmosphere. The graphics could be better but they're not awful. It'll take you quite a long time to complete the game on the hardest level and there's certainly some replay value due to the level difficulty differences. The gameplay is also good, it takes a while to get used to the amount of stealth but once you're used to it you should be fine.
Overall it is a very good game but I'm going to give it 4/5 as when I played it again around a year ago I was less taken with it than previously.
You're forced to sneak around a series of maze-like levels killing "hunters" and SWAT-team members as you go, using such unsavoury methods as suffocating them with plastic bags and cutting their throats with shards of glass. This is primarily a stealth-based title, using many of the same techniques as Metal Gear Solid--you shuffle around walls, peer round corners and use noise to attract and distract the enemy.