Review by kindred thug

"A gruesome excercise in repetition"

I, like so many, had very high hopes in Manhunt. Most games from Rockstar kick major butt but this one is going into the failure pile along with State of Emergency for me at least.

Graphics :8/10: - The graphics in the game are based off the same engine for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City but they have been drastically cleaned up since they don't have to render an entire city at once. The textures are well done and I didn't notice any clipping issues during my gameplay. The entire game is always incredibly dark and is near impossible to play with any glare on your screen.

Music :2/10: - Most of the game is played without much of any music at all. In their quest for ''realism'' (pfft, yea right) they tried to mimic the real world so that there really isn't music at all. There are a couple cut scenes or important fights where it will come up with a score but other than that, bring a CD player.

Story :3/10: - The games story is kind of rushed, which is understandable I guess. Basically you are James Earl Cash, a man sentenced to death. However, your execution was faked and ''The Director'' stole your ''corpse'' before you were buried and brought you to Carter City. Here, you wake up and are talked to by The Director via an earpiece he leaves for you. Now you have to make your way through the city, while there are gangs of people looking for you to collect a bounty on your head. The Director set up the entire thing so he could record the gruesome fights for use as snuff films. The way I just stated it seems pretty decent but once you get into the game, all you do is run around killing them all and The Director eggs you on or tells you where to go next, no real plot development after the first 15 minutes.

Gameplay :1/10: - This is where the game falls and breaks. The game is so repetitive I found myself playing cards with friends or doing other things while I played. Here's how the game works. 1)Find a weapon, 2)Find a thug but don't let him see you, 3)Hide in a a shadowed area and hit the wall or object near you, 4)Wait for the thug to come investigate, 5)Wait some more until he decides there is nothing there, 6)As he walks away, you walk up behind him and follow him slowly holding square until you get a red cursor and kill him, 7)Repeat. That's it, the entire game.

I will admit that the scenes you get for performing executions are very gory and sometimes I was even physically ill after watching it but most of them were fun. There are 3 tiers or executions you can perform depending on how long you walk behind them holding the square button. If you hold it for a very short time, you only do a tier 1 execution. If you hold it for about 2-3 seconds it will be a level 2 execution. If you hold it longer than that, you will do the most gruesome execution you can with that weapon. These are the ones that will make people sick. Here's an example of the tiers using the bat for example:

Level 1:A pair of quick hits to the head with it, knocking him unconscious or possibly killing him.
Level 2:A fierce blow to the back of the skull causing him to spit blood out of his mouth as he falls to the ground, most definitely dead.
Level 3:You choke him with the length of the bat. After that you let him to his knees where he totters around and then you do a running swing into his head which causes his skulls to shatter and the top half of his head splatters onto the surrounding objects.

You will get VERY accustomed to the bat executions as it will be your only weapon pretty much for a couple of the first few stages. The executions are cool at first but it does get very boring after seeing the same thing done 20 times before. And some items cannot be used to kill people. I found a brick in the middle of one of those levels but you can't use that to bludgeon people to death, no, you can only throw it to create a diversion. Also, once you find the guns in the game, you cannot do executions with them, which annoyed the crap outta me. I wanted to see him take the nail gun to their eyes or something but no. The aiming system is also a giant pain in the butt. It is very similar to that of the Grand Theft Auto series, making it very hard to deal with more than one person at a time, and sometimes you will be thrown into firefights with 2 or 3 people at once with no where to hide near.

Replay Value :3/10: - As you go through the game, you will collect pieces of production art if you get high enough ratings for completing the levels. These pictures have parts of codes on them. Once you beat the game, you can use the codes but they aren't that interesting anyways. Once I beat it, I went through the first couple levels again and that was it.

Overall :3/10: - This game just doesn't live up to it Rockstar image. The game is incredibly gory but that just can't carry the sub-par gameplay. The most I can recommend for the game is a rental.


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 12/18/03


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