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    dkirschner's Manhunt 2 (PS2)

    [July 6, 2010 03:38:04 AM]
    Contrary to my previous post about God of War 2, Manhunt 2 is not as good as its predecessor, nowhere near it. I played directly after GoW 2, so I was even in the mood for sequels. I believe I'll sound off similar to the majority of people who have played both the 1st and 2nd Manhunts.

    The Manhunt series is ultra-violent. It's not just the blood and the shooting, it's the brutality in the role the player takes while having to kill or be killed. You don't just kill bad guys. You creep up from behind them out of the shadows and strangle them with razor wire, or you wait around a corner to execute them with a baseball bat, or suffocate them with a plastic bag. Manhunt 2 introduces gun executions. Instead of shooting someone, make them beg first. Also, environmental executions. That cop enjoying taking a leak in the bathroom? Well smash his head on the toilet seat. I don't mind the violence, personally. It makes the experience gritty, somewhat emotional, and full of desperation. What I do mind is the censorship from Manhunt 1 to Manhunt 2. In the 2nd instance, the execution scenes have this distorted effect so you can't really see the violence happening. You know you're clubbing a guy with a bat, but you can't quite make it out due to this visual effect. On one level, the visual effect fits with the story (you've been made a psycho with a split personality by participating in some experiments) in that you don't know if what the character is seeing is real, a figment, or which "personality" you really are. But if that's the rationale, it's a cheap trick for dumbing down the violence of the game that did so much for pulling me into the terrifying world of the first one. Although I will say I've read about plans being nixed for the Wii version because you actually act out the executions with Wiimote movements. That I believe crosses the line. I also understand wanting that lower rating for more sales, but I feel the game suffered for it.

    The story in Manhunt 2 was predictable. I intuited very early on that the two characters were really one and there was two personalities inside one head, and as usual, the violent one tries to subjugate the milder one. I'm always reminded of the movie, Identity, with the twist at the end. That movie killed all twists of multiple personalities because few will be able to compare. The experiment was very Clockwork Orange, though not done sadistically, but brainwashing by exposure to increasingly disturbing images and themes. I remember the back-to-the-past levels as being irritating. Sometimes games make the right choice having playable back story. Other games, it's a poor decision. I felt it was a poor decision here because I (don't know about other people) didn't care too much about my protagonist(s) and didn't care to divert from the present to explore the past. Cut scene please.

    The AI was. really. really. stupid. Or buggy. Or both. Sometimes they saw me in the shadows when they weren't supposed to be able to. I could slip them by running in circles around an object, and hide in the one shadow out of their line of sight. He couldn't have gone in that dark, shadowy corner! He must have disappeared! Oh well, I'll just turn my back to the dark shadowy corner for 15 seconds or so. They also didn't respond as well to the knocking as the first game. If you knock on a wall, the sound alerts enemies, who come running to investigate. Oftentimes, they'd ignore the sound, or come part of the way and stop. Enemies seemed to have a range past which they wouldn't move in some areas. It makes sense if they're in a fortified position with guns, but sometimes they just didn't want to come past a certain point for no explicable reason. Sometimes the enemy would stand in the open with a gun aimed at me and not shoot. Sometimes the enemy would stare at a wall for a long time. They were so stupid sometimes that it made it difficult to kill them. Let me explain. You expect enemies to patrol a path. If they don't patrol a path, they could be intelligent, changing up where they walk. Or, they could be stupid, walking into walls, standing in corners, standing still, following right behind another enemy, suddenly stopping, turning, walking 5 feet, stopping, turning, turning, for no apparent reason. This makes them unpredictable, which is a challenge, but also an irritation because there is no apparent motivation for their actions.

    One more topic: the enemies themselves. In Manhunt 1, you are a convict, freed (or escaped, I don't remember) and held in this compound by a madman who records everything for a sick movie. The filmmaker's henchmen are hired gangs, who are completely and utterly depraved psychotics, which makes them terrifying. You are afraid of being hacked to bits by psychos. Staying in the shadows, avoiding fighting, seemed more important in the 1st game. In the second game, there are less gangs, and they're certainly not as weird. One inhabit a sleazy night club, but that's the only really strange one. The rest are suits or cops or mercenaries, fairly normal stuff. They seemed less formidable for their normalcy, as in I wasn't hesitant to engage them face-to-face. So the second game was much less interesting and immersive, which is too bad, because I so enjoyed the first.
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    dkirschner's Manhunt 2 (PS2)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 24 May, 2010

    GameLog closed on: Monday 31 May, 2010

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Not half as good as the first, lame and predictable story, dumbed down violence, executions not as cool, enemies not as psychotic.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstar

    Related Links

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    1 : Manhunt 2 (PS2) by LordKanti309 (rating: 3)


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