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Manhunt 2 is an action/adventure video game developed by Rockstar Games and the sequel to 2003's Manhunt. The game was released in North America for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Wii on October 31, 2007. It was originally scheduled for release in July, but it was suspended by Take-Two due to a rating rejection in the United Kingdom and Irelandmarker and an AO rating in the United States for being too violent. On August 24, it was announced that Rockstar submitted a modified version of the game, which was re-rated with an M by the ESRB and allowed for an October 31, 2007 release date in North America. It was, however, released in some stores on October 29, 2007. This modified version was again rejected by the BBFC; Rockstar won its appeal against this rejection on December 10, 2007, but the BBFC challenged that decision through the courts. On January 25, 2008 the BBFC won their case in the High Court that the game had been approved for release on a misinterpretation of the law. The VAC however approved the game for release a second time on March 14 and the game was released on October 31, 2008 in the United Kingdom.

Story

The player takes on the role of Dr. Daniel Lamb, a scientist who worked on 'The Pickman Project', which is named after its founding scientist, Dr Pickman. 'The Pickman Project' deals with a top secret weapon experiment and is led by Dr. Whyte. Everything looked to be going well until the project suddenly had its government funding cut due to its controversial work methods, which meant that ‘The Project’ would be shut down indefinitely.Dr. Pickman believed he was close to a break through and decided to do one last experiment, however he needed a guinea pig in order to carry out his work. Daniel volunteered to becoming one of the many guinea pigs for the experiments.

Six years later, Daniel finds himself locked away, with no memory of who he is or his past. Due to a defect in the treatment, unforeseen side effects began to appear in many of the subjects. It was decided to hide those with side effects in Dixmor's Asylum for the Criminally Insane.

Finding himself locked away in the Asylum, Daniel begins to question his own sanity and if in fact his family and his life before being put into the asylum actually existed. Just at that moment of doubt an electrical storm knocks out the power in the asylum resulting in the security system shutting down and freeing the inmates from their cells.

Inmate Leo Kasper decides this would be a perfect time to escape the asylum and urges Daniel to follow his lead. Unknown to Daniel the events following this freak storm will change his life forever and allow him to discover what happened during the last 6 years of his life.

Characters

The game features a variety of characters, both major and minor. The characters that have a significant influence in the game are four, Daniel Lamb, Leo Kasper, Dr. Laura Whyte and Dr. Pickman. Along with the important characters, the player will also meet few supporting characters, like the wife of the protagonist (Mrs Lamb) and scientists. Finally, there are many enemy gangs, such as The Project Militia, that hunt the main player to kill him.

Development

Manhunt 2 entered development in 2004 at Rockstar Games' Vienna studio with a PSP port entering development shortly after at Rockstar Games' Leeds studio . Development summary of Manhunt 2 at Projectmanhunt.com

Intelligent Artifice, November 1 2007: Rockstar Vienna's missing credits for Manhunt 2 In 2006, Rockstar Vienna was closed by Rockstar and main development of the game was handed to London studio. A little while later, Rockstar Games' Toronto studio was tasked with developing a Nintendo Wii version. On June 19, 2007, the game received an ESRB rating of Adults Only, effectively blocking the game from being sold in the US, with the UK ratings board BBFC preventing it from being sold. As a result, Rockstar was forced to censor the game in order to get a Mature rating. In August 2007, Rockstar submitted a censored version of the game to the ESRB and received a Mature rating allowing the game to be sold in the US. In the United Kingdommarker, the BBFC refused to pass the censored version. The game was released in the US on October 31, 2007. On March 14, 2008, the censored version was finally passed by the BBFC when the Video Appeals Committee ruled in Rockstar's favour. Manhunt 2 was finally released in the UK on October 31, 2008, a year after the game was released in the US.

Five voice actors are confirmed to have recorded dialogue for the game. Even though two of them chose to remain anonymous, the third voice actor James Urbaniak publicly announced it on his blog on March 16, 2006, only to remove it days later. Of the other two voice actors said to have recorded dialogue for the game, one of them also recorded dialogue for the original Manhunt, like Urbaniak.

Windows Version

On October 31, 2009, Rockstar started taking pre-orders for a PC version of the game. The PC version was released on November 6, 2009.

Reception

Manhunt 2 was met with mixed reviews. 1UP.com stated that "really, the game warrants a 4 [out of 10] 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." Gamespot said the game's "not as shocking as you'd expect, but Manhunt 2 still satisfies your primal instincts." IGN declared that "Manhunt 2 isn't the tour de force title that will grab your attention and keep you there like the first one did." The review went on to state that "the AI doesn't feel as good as the first game, the setting and environments don't feel as menacing, and the story is definitely weaker. That isn't to say that Manhunt 2 isn't a good game, because it is." GamesRadar reviewed "if you're in the mood for something creepy and horrific that'll leave you feeling a little dirty, Manhunt 2's still-shocking murders and eerie, is-it-real-or-am-I-just-insane storyline won't disappoint." Game Informer gave the Wii version of the game 7.75/10, saying "Manhunt 2 is every bit as grim and brutal as the first... the writing, as is typical of Rockstar's games, is top-notch, and Daniel and the rest of the characters do come off the screen as very real and human. ... It's a testament to this quality that I was really driven to see the tale out to its end." Similarly, Nintendo Power gave the Wii version 7.5/10, stating that while the game does deliver for the most part, they were disappointed by the way external influences led Rockstar to change the game, and that the story, while interesting, is "highly predictable." They did praise the game's audio and uses of the Wii Remote. X-Play's unforgiving review simply stated that "the only thing you need to know is that this...game...BLOWS!" Yahoo! reviewed the PSP version, saying "there's simply never been a game quite as squeamishly immersive as this... it's even more terrifying for seeming like the most real thing in a game this year."

Controversy

Following Manhunt 2's announcement, former attorney Jack Thompson promised to file suit to block the sale of Manhunt 2 and Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV. Take-Two petitioned U.S. District Court, SD FL to block Thompson's pending lawsuit. Thompson immediately filed a counter-suit, accusing Take-Two and various other prominent game media outlets of racketeering. The dispute was later settled: Thompson agreed to not sue or threaten to sue to block sale or distribution of any game published by Take-Two. In turn, Take-Two agreed to drop a prior suit accusing Thompson of contempt-of-court in a previous suit over Take-Two's Bully.

In a letter to Wendy's CEO Kerrii Anderson, Thompson demanded that the restaurant drop an upcoming promotion featuring children's toys designed after the Wii games Excite Truck, Wii Sports and Super Mario Galaxy because Manhunt 2 was scheduled for release on the console. An excerpt from Thompson's letter states: "Dave Thomas never would have tolerated the use of Wendy’s good name to promote Nintendo’s Wii, not with this game available on the Wii platform." Particular controversy was repeatedly heaped upon the Wii version of the game due to the console's highly immersive nature, with certain gaming sites that had a hands-on preview of the game reporting that Manhunt 2 used the Wii Remote in an interactive manner; for instance, in order to stab someone in the game the player would have to flick the Wii Remote forward, in much the same fashion one would do when actually stabbing with a knife.

Uncensoring

A method that removed the game's censoring code of the M rated PSP and PS2 version thus restoring parts of the AO state was released by a group of PSP crackers. ESRB commented on this crack stating that it was not Rockstar's fault that this occurred and stuck with the M rating. Later, it was discovered the same method also works on the Wii version of the game.

In September 2007, an uncensored PAL PS2 copy of the game was leaked onto the internet by an employee of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, who was later fired.

References

External links




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