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Manhunt

Developer: Rockstar North | Publisher: Rockstar Games
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 11/18/03 | Genre: Action

Rockstar is back with their most violent game yet. No, this is not a new version of Grand Theft Auto but Manhunt. In this game, you control James Earl Cash, a deathrow inmate who is put to eath by lethal injection at the beginning of the game. The game starts out with this disturbing scene and by the time it is over, you will no long be concerned about violence in videogames. After Manhunt, no amount of violence will disturb you. Unfortunately, this is a little bit too much for me and I did not enjoy Manhunt.

After James Earl Cash is given his lethal injection, he wakes up in a dark basement all alone with an earpiece in his ear. The man on the other end, Lionel Starkweather, says he is the savior to Cash and will free him if Cash will complete a few tasks for him. You are then commanded to exit the building you are in and thus begins the madness that is Manhunt. Each level is referred to as a scene and it requires you to complete specific task. During each of these scenes, you will have Starkweather give you instructions through your ear piece. The most important piece of advice you can be given is to kill first and ask questions later. Each scene has been setup with thugs who want to kill Cash.

Killing is what Cash does best. And you can locate items on the ground you can use to exterminate your foes in a brutal way. For example, you can suffacate one of the first thugs you encounter by using a plastic bag you find on the ground. This and all the other brutal ways to kill people has no place in a video game in my opinion. Why are we glammerizing brutal murder? Manhunt also makes use of stealthy action. At times, especially in the latter parts of the game, it can get frustratingly tough. However, if you are patient, don't give up, and can stomach the violence, you can overcome the frustration. When Cash gets his hands on guns later on in the game, the need for stealth goes away. Who needs to hide from shadow to shadow when you can just blow someone's head off? Besides using guns and sneaking around, you can get into fist fight with others. However, this is not the preferred method.

Each scene is very linear and doesn't require that you crouch or lie down. Cash is unable to perform these actions and he cannot lie down. You will be given instructions as to what your objective is at the beginning of each scene. Pay close attention to these as they will give you clues to stay on the right path and get through the level.

I could go on about the AI of the enemies, details on all the weapons you can get your hands on, and the grainy look of the game. However, I don't really have much else to say about Manhunt. I coudln't stomach the violence and feel like that the minds who dreamed up this game have some pretty serious problems. I don't see how anyone could come up with this and it really bothers me that a game like this will probably sell almost as many copies as Grand Theft Auto. Perhaps you feel I am being a bit harsh. But I just can't justify anything overa C- for this one.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 12/28/03
ESRB Details: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language
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Screenshots for Manhunt

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