Manhunt 2 is a violent, stealth-action game developed and published by Rockstar Games. It is the sequel to 2003's Manhunt, though shares no connection to the first game's plot or characters. The game was released October 31, 2007 for PSP, Playstation 2, PC, Wii and later ported to PSN.
Manhunt 2 begins at the Dixmor Aslyum for The Criminally Insane when one night, the security systems go offline due to a severe lightning storm. All hell breaks loose as the inmates run amuck at the asylum, which allows inmates Daniel Lamb and Leo Kasper to escape. Daniel is disoriented and amnesiac, unable to remember anything about himself. Under Leo's guidance, he is able to recall bits and pieces of his former life but as they unravel more of Daniel's past, they soon discover that they are being pursued by bounty hunters and agents of a mysterious organization called "the Project". Apparently, Daniel has a connection with the Project and it's up to him to unravel the mysteries behind this manhunt, even if it means killing people in the process.
The gameplay in Manhunt 2 is very straightforward: Grab a weapon, hide in the shadows, execute your enemies stealthily. There are three ways to execute someone, which, when the player is about to strike, is shown as a colored cross-hair around the enemy. The longer the player locks onto their enemy, the more gruesome the execution will be. The three execution types are Hasty (white), Violent (yellow), and Gruesome (red).
Being the sequel to the original Manhunt, Manhunt 2 brings a load of new features to the mix:
- If the player is higher than the enemy, a new "Jump Execution" may be performed.
- Firearms can be used for executions.
- New environmental kills, in which the player ignores their weapon and uses the environment to their advantage.
- Crawling and climbing is now possible.
Almost immediately after Manhunt 2 was announced, attorney and anti-violent video game crusader Jack Thompson filed suit to block the sale of both Manhunt 2 and Rockstar's upcoming video game Grand Theft Auto IV. Following this announcement, Take-Two petitioned the U.S. District Court to block Thompson's pending lawsuit. The ever endearing Thompson then went to file a counter-suit, accusing Take-Two and other media outlets (those that would eventually sell Manhunt 2 and Grand Theft Auto IV in their stores) of racketeering. The case finally settled with Thompson agreeing to not sue, threaten, or block the sale or distribution of any game published by Take-Two. In return, Take-Two agreed to drop a prior (and similar) suit against Thompson, in which he tried to block the sale of the game Bully, but was accused of contempt-of-court as a result.
In addition to Jack Thompson's crusade against the game, Manhunt 2's controversy continued when the ESRB gave the game an AO rating, effectively banning the game from store shelves in North America. This resulted in the game's delay as Rockstar was forced to edit some of the game's more objectionable content to secure an M rating. This was eventually granted and the game was released, though many claim the versions are not equal in terms of violence. The Nintendo Wii version of the game seems to have been toned down slightly more than the PSP and PS2 iterations.
Controversy surrounding Manhunt 2 also took place overseas where the BBFC refused to rate the game, therefore banning it in Britain. After a lengthy back and forth of appeals the game was finally rated and then eventually released on October 31, 2008. Note this is exactly a year after the game was released in North America.
- Sexual Deviants
- Red Light
- Best Friends
- Safe House
- Bees' Honey Pot
- Most Wanted
- Ritual Cleansing
- Broadcast Interrupted
- Altered State
- Domestic Disturbance
- Personality Clash
- Release Therapy
An uncensored PC version was released (in the U.S. only) exclusively on Direct2Drive on November 6, 2009 with an AO rating from the ESRB In July of 2011, Manhunt 2 was removed from the Direct2Drive store after its acquisition by Gamefly. Although initially intended to be a Direct2Drive exclusive, Manhunt 2 was later released on GamersGate in November of 2011.