The basic simple story is that Ethan is framed and you hunt him down and make your choice. And in the end you fight a man-like creature The Hate, who's the reason everybody is insane in the city. I like the game but didn't get the second one. They changed the characters a bit too much. Ethan was an average man with average face, now he's bad-ass butt-kicker. And Rosa was kinda dumpy character, now she's a supermodel.
Ethan Thomas is a police detective who specializes in capturing serial killers. One night he and two other officers arrive at the scene of the murder of a young lady. They suspect that it is the work of "The Matchmaker." The investigation is interrupted by a man in an orange jumpsuit, who takes Thomas's gun and kills the other two police officers with it. The man throws Ethan out the window, and he passes out.
Later, he wakes up in his apartment to find Malcolm Vanhorn, a friend of his father's. Ethan is told that he has been framed, and he sets out to prove his innocence. Across the street, he finds out that the man in the orange jumpsuit, who he believes to be the Matchmaker, has been watching him and following his cases. Ethan's attacked by the "Matchmaker," and he chases him. Insert several levels of nothing of real important happening.
At the Department Store woahmagawd mannequinns Ethan finds out that the man in the orange jumpsuit isn't the Matchmaker, but actually a serial killer who hunts other serial killers - a Serial Killer X. Insert another level that's pretty much filler. He meets Rosa at the library, where she reveals that Ethan is different than other children. They also discover SKX's next target - The Torturer.
Ethan tracks The Torturer down to an apple orchard. While searching the house, he is attacked by strange paranormal creatures who know martial arts for some reason. He finds The Torturer dead, impaled on a fireplace poker. SKX enters the house, looking to finish his hunt. Ethan disguises himself as SKX's quarry and ambushes him. They fight, but Malcolm hits Ethan with a shovel before he delivers the finishing blow. It is revealed that SKX is Leland Vanhorn, Malcolm's nephew. Leland attempts to kill his uncle, who only loses consciousness.
SKX drags them both out to the farm, and delivers the standard villain speech to Ethan. During the speech, he cuts off one of Ethan's fingers. Then the leader of the weird kung-fu paranormal guys appears and the elder Vanhorn saves you. Ethan kills the paranormal guy, escapes the burning farm, and is picked up by Vanhorn. Ethan finds SKX hogtied in the trunk of the car. Either Ethan shoots him or he shoots himself.
Then he proceeds to become an alcoholic and grow a beard and a different voice actor.