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Forgotten Games: Manhunt

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  • Forgotten Games: Manhunt

    Here is where I bumble about games forgotten by the past.

    Todays game, Manhunt.

    Manhunt was released in 2003. Developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games, it was released with positive reception, yet very bad publicity. The game had a rocky release due to its content, and was related to murders. It recieved reviews ranging from 75ish percent to 100 percent.

    The premise of the game is odd. You play as a death row inmate named James Earl Cash (Sorta related?). After a faked execution, Cash's life is bought by a snuff film director named Starkweather. James's new life doesn't come without cost. He is then forced to participate in the directors twisted game, make the best snuff film possible by massacreing numerous gang members. The best way to describe it is slasher film meets The Running Man meets The Warriors.

    The graphics and feeling of the game were good for the time. The game runs on and feels super similar to the GTA games. They even reused the GTA3 pickup sound, which still fits in with the game. It came out during a period when developers were trying different styles, like XIII or Beyond Good and Evil. The game has nice touches, like exploded heads, decapitation, heads covered in bags. Other touches include weapons being shown on Cash as he collects them. Most of the game takes place in Seedy "Carcer City". Cash is adorned in prison blues, looking like a Con Air escapee. A man of few harsh words, he is only heard talking a few times in the game. His enemies are WAY more interesting. You have gangs such as the Skinz, white supremacists, the Warbirds, war veterens, or the Innocentz, perverted psychopaths paired with Latino Gangsters. Their words can be absolutely chilling, especially with the Innocentz. The music in the game is very reminiscent of slasher films, which is appropriate considering the feel they gave you. When you are spotted, the music amps up, when creeping around, the music will mellow out. This provides a pretty fluid feeling of being the hunter and being the hunted.

    Gameplay is fairly simple, make your way to the end of the level, killing anyone that stands in your way. Much of your time will be spent in Shadows that mask areas of the level. When in the shadows, Cash cannot be spotted by enemies. This SEEMS OP, but sometimes the shadows are set up in a way that enemies will sometimes bump into you, alerting them to your presence. When the enemy turns their back to you, this is when it gets interesting. Cash can use his weapon to execute them. There are 3 different levels of executions for 3 different types of weapons. The longer you ready behind an enemy, the more intense the execution. Strangling an enemy with a wire until they die is quick, but strangling an enemy with wire until their head comes off is way worse. The weapons in the game are standard affair. For the single use weapons, you have plastic bags, glass shards, wires for strangulation. Smaller reusable weapons include blackjacks, hatchets, and a crowbar. Heavier weapons include the baseball bat, a shotgun, or a rifle. This will be your main means of combat, stalking prey until the perfect moment strikes. If your execution does get botched, then you need to either need to fight it out, which is suicide if there is more than one person, or run away back into the shadows. To help with your executions, you can use different items to throw as distractions, such as decapitated heads, bottles, and bricks. At the end of each level, you are given a score based on how many different weapons you used and how brutally you killed them, so there is a risk vs reward.

    The game does change it up by putting a couple fetch quests in and levels based around shooting, but I feel like it couldve gone without.

    The game is not perfect in my opinion. Like I said, hiding in the shadows is pretty overpowered. It IS balanced from being pummelled by enemies, but it shouldnt be a total safe haven. You can also spam hitting the wall to get the attention from the shadows. Since you are always in the shadows, you can smack the wall and get the gang members to investigate. And once they are done searching, they go back to their robotic searching of the area, so it can be fairly easy to memorize and attack. Another fairly upsetting thing is the game changes gears near the end, introducing guns. This is where the game loses its touch. You go from slowly stalking prey to shooting things with a bit of stalking here and there. It is nice facing enemies with guns, but its also not fun when a game shifts the entire focus to gunplay. The game is also a B I T C H to run on newer versions of windows, so be prepared to patch the game and hope it works.

    If you havent picked up the game yet, I feel like it is definitely something to be experienced if you like stealth games. Thankfully, it goes on sale often so obtaining it shouldn't be too hard. However be warned, it DOES fall down near the end.

  • #2
    This is a great writeup, T-Rizz. You should record a playthrough! Any you recommend watching?
    Originally posted by Dan
    My name is Edward


    • #3
      Id love to do a playthrough of it. If I can make it work, I might take you up on that. I havent seen a good one since its a haed game to play