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Manhunt is like a super-violent Truman Show. It is a very dark, disturbing and creepy video game. Most certainly NOT to be played by children or teenagers. There are no heroes here. Only villains. Not one single character is the type of person you'd want to run into a dark alley with. Including the main character. The game is filled with nothing but thugs, Neo-Nazi skinheads, psychopaths, corrupt police officers, lots of cursing, gore, and violence. The star of Manhunt is a serial killer on Death Row who goes by the name of James Earl Cash. On the day he's set to be executed, they take him to the chamber and he is then put to death....or was he? It turns out the "lethal injection" he received was nothing more then a strong sedative. In one of the first scenes, Cash wakes up in a locked dark hospital-like room, alive and well. Over the intercom a strange man's voice speaks to him and tells him to put on a wireless earpiece that is on a table next to him. He does this and then the voice tells him that if he does exactly as he says, he promises that this will be over before the night is out. Cash then enters a Hellish City and is told that the streets are being patrolled by gangs. That they are scum.....just like him. And that they are there to hunt him down and cut him up. The voice tells him that he will try to direct him the best that he can but other then that, Cash is on his own. Cash now has to sneak around the dark ghetto and stealthily kill gang members with whatever objects he can get his hands on since he is completely unarmed and outnumbered. If Cash can get past the first gang, he will have to take on many other gangs afterwards. Same rules apply with each gang he takes on. After he is done with one gang, he has to drop all his weapons and start off on the next level yet again with no weapons and has to use whatever weapons and objects he can get his hands on. In this whole process, he is being recorded by surveillance cameras which is being watched by "The Director," the man speaking to him through the earpiece. It turns out this man has the power to pull a killer off Death Row and place him into an enclosed city where he has to fight to stay alive amongst gangs and what not. It's a night of kill or be killed for the delight of The Director. If James Earl Cash does as The Director directs, he might just survive with his sanity..........and quite possibility his life.
Death-row inmate James Earl Cash awakens from his "execution" to discover that prison officials were bribed to fake his death and deliver him into the clutches of a snuff film ring that wants to use him as its newest star.
One word can be used to describe this game,....WOW. From the word go you are thrown into a dark, depressing and lonely Carcer City. Taking on the role of convicted killer James Earl Cash you are thrust into the middle of a snuff movie with only the directors voice in your earpeice for company. From there on, the game gets more psychollogically disturbing. Its kill or be killed and with each gruesome decapitation you begin to feel more and more comfortable with sneeking up behind people and driving a crowbar through their neck. eventually u will begin to enjoy the mindless killing that this game thrives on. there isnt an outstanding plot or anything that sets it apart. the only thing that may keep you coming back is the satisfaction you get from offing a hunter in one of several gruesome styles. anyway, it aint a game for the logical gamer, and it aint a game for those interested in shoot em ups but if u like insane violence and endless profanity mixed in with a touch of black humour courtesy of the director (voiced brilliantly by fellow scotsman Brian Cox) then there may be just enough here to keep you going until the predictable conclusion. It wont be most peoples cup of tea though and it will definately cause alot of controversy but its still gonna be a modern classic.
'Manhunt' is perhaps best remembered now for the controversy it provoked when it first appeared in 2003. In fact, one person even referred to it as 'The 'Clockwork Orange' of video games!'. It was all about a death row prisoner who was bent on getting revenge on those who attempted to take his life. The game's gory and bloodthirsty nature unfortunately made too much of an impact on impressionable young kids, particularly on a young boy in England who killed his best friend with a hammer after playing it, which led to the subsequent banning of the game in some countries ( in fact, in some parts of the world it was allegedly deemed an offence to own a copy ). For that reason, 'Manhunt' has sadly not received the acclaim it deserves. A great shame as in my view, it is a highly enjoyable ( if extremely gory ) and chilling gaming experience. A superb way to get pent-up frustration and anger out of your system after a hard day's grind.
The whole thing takes place in the desolate, run-down area of Carcer City, where a female news anchor is investigating into the case of the execution of James Earl Cash, a death row prisoner who is sentenced to execution via a lethal injection, which actually turns out to be a sedative, as James finds out when he regains consciousness and is instructed by a sinister voice coming from an earpiece which has been lodged into his ear to carry out a mission. The voice turns out to be Lionel Starkweather ( or 'The Director' as he calls himself ), a corrupt Los Santos filmmaker who the news-lady is attempting to dig up dirt upon.
Starkweather promises Cash his freedom, but only upon completion of his mission. He must commit murder against a number of violent criminal gangs such as The Hoods, The Skinz, The Wardogs, The Smileys and The Cerberus to name but several. Other villains include the psychotic Ramirez and the hideously deformed Piggsy.
Cash is seen to be fighting in a number of places, even in a mental asylum of all places. Each and every murder he commits is more gruesome than the last. Starkweather's comeuppance when it finally comes is greatly satisfying.
I think by now you have managed to sum things up pretty well. Made by Rockstar North, the same lot behind the 'Grand Theft Auto' games, 'Manhunt' is a little forgotten gem of a game. Granted it may not be for everyone but then not everyone likes the same thing. The killing scenes are immensely terrifying, especially the execution scenes ( which can be performed by any number of weapons ranging from plastic bags, baseball bats, crowbars etc ) which if performed properly can be extremely wince-inducing. Some of the dialogue in the game is hilarious, such as one of the guys in the lunatic asylum saying to himself: ''I recognise these footprints, they are from my shoes!''. Also funny is the gangs, whilst waiting to attack you, singing children's nursery rhymes to themselves such as 'One Potato, Two Potato' or 'B-I-N-G-O' ).
Despite the controversy stirred up by the game, the sequel, 'Manhunt 2' was released in 2007. It met with some very mixed opinions from fans and critics alike.
For those with no fear factor, this is the game for you. For the squeamish, stay well clear.
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