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May 20 2007
Manhunt 2 - PS2 Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
2007RockstarRockstar London1$99.95

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There's a tonne of blood.
Announced back in February 2007 Manhunt 2 is the sequel to quite possibly the most controversial videogame of all time - Manhunt. In fact the original game was eventually banned for sale in Australia by the Office of Film & Literature Classification. What made it all so amusing was that despite the fact that the game went on sale on December 15 2003 and promptly sold thousands of copies, it wasn't until September 29 2004 that the game was banned. The banning in Australia only fueled the game to further sales in other territories around the world. The original is a game we absolutely loved though and our review (available here) awarded the game an impressive 86%. We never thought though that we would ever see a sequel, but here we are...

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It's execution time...
Manhunt 2 takes a bit of a departure from the storyline in the first game. Not only are we introduced to a new main character, but the storyline is quite different too. James Earl Cash has been replaced this time with Doctor Daniel Lamb - he's the character with the glasses in these screenshots. Following a failed experiment Danny is locked up in an asylum. One night the power is cut during an electrical storm and it's his chance to escape. Escape he will, but there are plenty of people out to stop and/or harm him.

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About to hit him from behind!
One of the key components to playing this game is the ability to remain stealthy, and in the shadows. This will certainly help you avoid detection, but will also allow you to sneak up on enemies before attacking them. Speaking of attacking there are a tonne of weapons in the game including everything including glass shards, pens, baseball bats, pistols, shotguns and even parts of the environment. As with the previous game there are three levels of brutality in the executions - hasty, violent and gruesome. The longer you hold the attack button the more brutal the attack will be.

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Graphics look pretty gritty.
In terms of gameplay Rockstar have made it quite clear that this game is aimed at an adult audience and they expect an 18 rating in the UK. Not only is it quite brutal in terms of the weapons and the way in which you kill people but the entire premise is quite disturbing. Manhunt 2 is bound to generate controversy like the previous game in the series, and we can only hope it gets past the OFLC without getting that ugly "Refused Classification" slapped on it. Time will tell if this passes the OFLC, or requires cuts to be made, so keep an eye on the news page for more info in the lead up to release.

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One of many visual effects.
Graphically Manhunt 2 looks extremely impressive for a PS2 title. The developers are using the same techniques to give the image a "video" like quality with static and TV scan lines in certain scenes. There is also gallons of blood being spilled in this game - it's certainly not one for the squeamish that's for sure.

Manhunt 2 is currently being developed by Rockstar's new studio called Rockstar London. Fortunately it already looks like they will match up to their other studios. At this stage there is no specific date for the game in Australia, but it's not too far off.