The eerie setting of Rockstars Manhunt leaves you battling away hordes of enemies in a bleak, corrupt world of death and deceit. The sheer gore of this almost insane game keeps you killing for thrills, and not so much trying to survive. Manhunt is by far the epitome of what all governors and statesmen complain about when they discuss the violence in video games and other entertainment methods. Never has there been a game with as much gore, and violence then this.
In the terror ridden game of Manhunt, you play the death row convict James Earl Cash. You receive the lethal injection, awaiting your quick and painless death, but the next thing you know, you awaken in a small room with a loud voice blaring at you from a loudspeaker up above. The man explains that you are not dead, and that if you listen to him and help create his snuff films, he will promise that you will escape with your life before the night is out. Agreeing to follow along, your man Cash sets off on a masochistic adventure, trying to dodge the various gangs of Carcer City , which are all after you for a reason not known to you at first.
The game of manhunt is a long and twisted one. Instead of killing enemy guards or sentries that are not known to your presence, you kill enemies that are well aware of you. They are called Hunters for a reason, and they show no mercy in wanting to rip you apart. The majority of the game places you in the depths of shadows, where the Hunters cannot see you. Only in the light can they see you, in which they will then call for back up, and chase you down until you have found another place to hide. But then, once you have a weapon, Hunters become as weak as their prey and by sneaking behind them, and holding down the attack button, you can easily kill the fool with a well executed stealth kill. These kills are shown to you in a very original way, by having you look behind the point of view from the cameras that are filming your movements. It is from these kills that Manhunt has gained its gory and sick reputation. Depending on your weapon, you can decapitate, maim, castrate, impale, or even amputate your enemies. Blood is indefinitely insured, as it sprays or flows from the bodies like a fountain after the attack.
The slasher film-esque game requires you to be stealthy. If you are not, it almost insures death. It is close to impossible to kill a group of armed hunters with melee weapons. Sometimes, the gunplay in the game can be strenuous, and ammo is very scarce. If you happen to run out of ammo during a heated gunfight, there is almost no way to recover, and it is best to just restart the level. Although the weapons are assorted, some of them seem to be no different then other weapons they feature. For instance, the Heavy Handgun holds more ammo then the Revolver Six Shooter but has the same sound effects and pretty much has the same rate of fire. This lack of originality can be annoying at some points, but doesnt really take away from the fun factor of the game.
After players complete levels of Manhunt, they can go back and try to complete them on harder difficulties, or try completing them faster. By doing this, secret modes are unlocked, allowing bonus games to be played. Even cheating is unlocked by beating the levels under certain objectives, which makes the replay value of the game high. The sheer enjoyment of slaughtering hunters in the darkness, and gunning down tons of guards replaces the void left by having absolutely no multiplayer.
The AI in the game can be quite erratic at points, leaving you battling hordes of impossible enemies constantly slinging lead at you as you cower behind a car or a box, or you could take out an entire platoon of enemies by just making noise and slitting their throats. This diverse AI is sometimes impossible, or easy, depending on what you are doing. Another thing that is hard to swallow is the fact that many of the enemies stare you straight in the face and stare at you, blurting out some crazy phrase, but cant see you, because you are covered with one foot of shadow. Its just really hard to not hold back in amazement when witnessing a hunter stare at you, and not realize your existence.
In short, manhunt is a game, moderate in visuals, and stunning in gore. It relays Rockstars usual violent and vulgar reputation into a story wrapped in lies, and treachery. Although it lacks a multiplayer mode, has erratic AI, and couldnt not get any gorier, it is still an enjoyable experience for all horror/suspense lovers or if youre just a huge fan of Rockstars games.
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