Manhunt 2: The Real Scoop.

Yeah I’m sure we have all heard it, “Manhunt 2 – Banned in the UK”, for its Casual Sadism blah blah blah. Yeah the game uses a pretty nasty format, stalking and killing but hey I would like people to remember that it is a game. I would like to draw comparisons to Deerhunter: sneak up on the poor defenceless animal, blow its brains out…

“Rejecting a work is a very serious action and one which we do not take lightly,” BBFC director David Cooke stated. “Where possible we try to consider cuts or, in the case of games, modifications which remove the material which contravenes the Board’s published Guidelines."

Where do the differences lie then? Rather than a VIRTUAL generic forest, the game is set in VIRTUAL, dark, sordid, rust world. And rather than kill VIRTUAL mighty stags, the player can kill VIRTUAL human beings in VIRTUAL brutal ways.

But yeah, we all know the generic formulae of Manhunt, stalk, sneak, kill. Seen a million times before, since the first stalk-em-ups on the original playstation. The brutality is no different than that of Splinter cell, or indeed a certain italian plumber jumping on mushrooms with underbites. The thing that most seems to be put on trial here is the tone and mood to which these killings are peformed.

“In the case of Manhunt 2 this has not been possible. Manhunt 2 is distinguishable from recent high-end video games by its unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone in an overall game context which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing.”

So, where does this end? I agree that there should be ratings and certifications for games to prevent porn, religion and racism breaching into the general public.

It has been 10 years since the last time a game was banned (Carmageddon), and with all the controversy from the JT’s and the Daily Mail’s of the world, will this make companies like the BBFC more trigger-happy with banning titles?

“There is sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged, in the game.”

So what is manhunt, from the information released from BBFC it seems to be nothing more than a killing simulator with little to no plot or story or background, which I’m sure we will all agree, does not seem in keeping with traditional Rockstar games.

“Although the difference should not be exaggerated the fact of the game’s unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying and the sheer lack of alternative pleasures on offer to the gamer, together with the different overall narrative context, contribute towards differentiating this submission from the original Manhunt game.”

The original manhunt… Well the game was not brilliant, but the plot was intriguing, a madman sets you free from jail and you have to kill based on his orders. It’s an interesting concept, even to go as far as have the mad man talking to you directly through headphones. And to be honest the actual kills were not even as bad as the ones seen in the recent influx of gore flicks, such as Hostel, Saw or even (to go a bit more retro) Se7en.

“That work was classified ‘18’ in 2003, before the BBFC’s recent games research had been undertaken, but was already at the very top end of what the Board judged to be acceptable at that category.”

However the reviews Manhunt 2 has got have given the game a score kicking about the 90% range, which means that, despite the context, the game is quite good, it seems a shame to let a high percentile game fade in to obscurity because of irresponsible parents who will buy the game for their kids, if we are to keep games as a medium which does not get “censored” we do have to make a stand against companies , media and persons.

“Against this background, the Board’s carefully considered view is that to issue a certificate to Manhunt 2, on either platform, would involve a range of unjustifiable harm risks, to both adults and minors, within the terms of the Video Recordings Act, and accordingly that its availability, even if statutorily confined to adults, would be unacceptable to the public.”

But above all, the thing that pisses me off in this whole “Scandal” (which all seemed to open up with that Resistance game using a church in their game), is the way it was reported. At the time of going to the press it was not only one game that had been banned, but two, “Law and Order” and “Manhunt 2” and of course because the Media hates Rockstar, Manhunt 2 was scrutinised the most.

Facts:

1. Manhunt 2 banned due to the overly graphic deaths/killings and the tone of the game.
2. Law and Order banned due to a depiction in-game of the James Bulger case.

However it was implied by the media that Manhunt 2 had the references to James Bulger. On top of this the original Manhunt was accused yet again of the murder of a 14 year old, to which it was acquitted long ago. Which goes to show one of two things, either the media is stupid and didn’t get their facts straight, or that the media is trying (yet again) to construe that games are “evil”.

In either case 1 fact can be ascertained… Media = Cunts. But we all knew that.

Signing out

/Richie

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