The Final Say!
by Tory Favro
(not based on an average)
Distributed By: Take 2 Interactive
Games are responsible for one of my favourite games of all time,
Grand Theft Auto Vice City and here they are with another
installment of insanity for gamers to sink their teeth, fists,
glass shards and plastic bags into. Manhunt, the name of the new
title and the way that you play the game would have to be one of
the bloodiest, creepiest titles I have played in a long time.
a world of fetish and of S&M tendencies. Welcome to a world where
the public demands and craves snuff movies. Welcome to death by
video. This game has it all and afterward you'll have a dirty
taste in your mouth, yes it is that hardcore.
say that you haven't been warned if you buy this game and are
shocked by the level of violence and language that you see in it.
I'm sorry as normally I am an advocate for free speech and against
censorship, however I believe this game was misrated and should be
18 years and over. Parents should understand that this is not a
good game for the kids and I think will be troubling for most
players. For those of us who can stomach this sort of thing,
welcome to the review proper and a game that I am sure that you
the part of James Earl Cash, a convicted felon who has been on
Death Row for years and finally met his maker, or so the public
thought. In reality he has been spared to "perform" in vicious
snuff movies for the buying public under the speculative eye of
overseer Director Starkweather who has set up an entire city
called Carcer to be his personal entertainment area where the only
form of enjoyment is to be derived from killing others whilst
Starkweather films it all on close circuit television. This is as
close to a real story as we get folks, the game is not about the
tale but how we get there.
combination of stealth and direct fighting is the key to
this title and you are walked through it to a certain extent. I do
recommend getting a USB Headset before undertaking this game as it
will totally change your perceptions about the title and indeed
the way you play the game in the first place.
utilises the USB headset in a special way that certainly had me
impressed and I am sure that other games will copy this and use it
in a similar fashion. If you wear the headset at the start of the
game, the game will detect it and send all of Starkweather's
communications directly to your ear, making it incredibly creepy.
I can recommend getting the headset for this reason alone, it is
without a doubt one of the creepiest things I have experienced on
a headset yet on a console. Add to this the fact that Starkweather
is voiced by actor Brian Cox (you will no doubt have seen him play
the role of William Stryker in X-Men 2).
Now we get to the
true part of what makes the headset such an essential part of the game
is that the hunters in the game can actually hear you and will react to
sounds that you make in the real world. To say that this adds an element
of tension to the game is an understatement that cannot be overlooked
nor forgiven. It makes every noise count and there is nothing worse that
sneaking up on a hunter and accidentally coughing in the real world
which causes the game to react to you. It's amazing and I am sure that
other developers will copy it quick smart.
Some will be thrown also by the fact
that there are only two difficulty settings on the game as well, medium
and hard. Hopefully this and the fact that the game is quite unforgiving
will also prove to be a deterrent to younger gamers who might have
gotten this game on the sly. I cannot stress enough that it is an adults
Graphically this game is going to
remind gamers of Grand Theft Auto but with a far better control of Cash
than you had over Tommy Vercetti when on foot. This is a stealth title
and the ways in which Cash gets through the world almost all rely on him
not getting outnumbered at any one time. Frankly for at least half of
the game he will only have the most basic of weapons and the focus of
the title will most certainly ride on your staying hidden and taking
action when it is safe to do so. Detail in the title is wonderful and
considering how gruesome the game is, this is sometimes a disturbing
thing! Streets and characters have a life of their own and after a few
days playing this game you will be more than glad that their life is not
yours other than when you are playing.
In terms of difficulty, players are
going to find themselves repeating a lot of stuff as the game is just
damn hard, there's no other way of facing that fact. You are going to
need to practice and practice, however the sheer challenge of getting
through some of these ungodly goals will no doubt keep player's interest
levels up. Those who are after even more goals would be well advised
that the bloodier the kill the better the rewards that will be given in
the form or behind the scenes footage and even hidden levels to run Cash
There are two forms of attack and
murder and they can be done in a number of ways that escalate in
violence. Using the X button does a light attack whereas the square one
will do a more violent attack. Holding down the button will see an even
more violent event take place. An example of this is a light tap will
see Cash suffocate someone will a plastic bag, holding it down and then
releasing will see you suffocate your victim and punch him in the face,
filling the bag with blood. These gory attacks are played in a brutal
easy to see fashion with the insidious voice of Starkweather goading you
on in your ear the whole time. It's the most sadistic incentive to play
a game that I have encountered, even more so than Postal or Carmageddon,
which don't hold a candle to this title, despite even Postal 2's try
hard attempt to shock.
The amount of realism in the game is
also disturbing with the killings being motion captured so that every
little nuance in the way that the character's move being thoroughly
placed on display and visually documented for your benefit along with an
incredibly ambient audio soundtrack that will have you uneasy for the
duration of the entire game.
Your opposition in the hunters is not
to be overlooked either with an uncanny amount of intelligence having
been given to your main foe. Not only can they hear you through the
microphone and in game noise, they are also possessed of a cunning that
will astound, being able to track you through the huge levels if you are
not wiley enough to give them the slip. Cash can hide in black shadows
where hunters cannot see him even if they are right next to him. It
suspends the reality of the title, however also provides a much needed
way out as well and I think a brilliant addition to the game. As you
make your way through the title, the enemies that Cash comes up against
will be of greater cunning and your earlier tactics frankly don't work
anymore, which is awesome as the game evolves into it's own lumbering
In summation, this is one game that you
have to own if you have a touch of darkness in you that needs some
harmless expression. Manhunt would have to be without doubt the most
full on title I have ever dealt with, yet addictively enjoyable.
Rockstar are to be congratulated on yet ANOTHER title that pushes
boundaries and gets adults to assess the way that they perceive
videogames. It's a must own and play in the dark kind of game that gets
a wholehearted recommendation from me.
Get it now or possibly miss out as I
believe we have not heard the last of this game, possibly with the press
or other busy bodies.
Triple A Recommended!
- Tory Favro