In the early 2000s, Scottish developers Rockstar North dominated the gaming scene with the first 3D installments of their Grand Theft Auto series. The GTA games were famed for pushing the boundaries of good taste from the very beginning, but when their exclusivity to the Playstation 2 pushed that console to the top of the gaming market, good taste in gaming went out the window and a new era of immoral, consequence-free violence against human targets was born. Rockstar, either trying to ensure their place as the leaders of the trend they started or simply proving themselves to be natural born killers, followed up their second smash hit GTA game with Manhunt, their first game without "Grand Theft Auto" in the title in four years.
Manhunt was a huge departure from the formula they made their fortune on. The colorful, humorous GTA setting was replaced with dark alleys and a darker story, and the freedom and overwhelming power players had grown to love was completely inverted, instead forcing linear progression and slow-paced stealth with the constant threat of a swift death hanging over the player's head. It was generally well-liked by critics and gamers, a feat considering they were working so far outside of their comfort zone, but the positive reviews were quickly overshadowed by controversy. The game's gimmick of rewarding the player for producing the most grisly, sadistic gore ever seen in an interactive medium was considered reprehensible by many, and the term "murder simulators" was coined for or at least popularized by its association with Manhunt. Naturally, the brutality and notoriety made for an experience that sticks in your head like an ice pick and is something any gamer should at least be familiar with, provided they can handle it. It's also fun, tense, and well-presented, for what that's worth.
A sequel, Manhunt 2, was developed by a completely different team and released in 2007. It tops its predecessor in almost every way imaginable except quality, and makes no attempt to relate to the story or intent of the original. As such, familiarity with Manhunt 2 will have no direct effect on your experience with Manhunt, and I would go so far as to recommend watching Nickmeister's very thorough and hilarious LP of Manhunt 2 to satisfy any curiosity about the game without playing it yourself (although you might want to hold off on the final video in which Nickmeister spoils the end of Manhunt).
About the LET'S PLAY
To preserve the game's intended pace and tone, I'll be taking a thorough and methodical approach to each scene while keeping things interesting by varying my tactics and executions (we will be seeing every execution over the course of the LP), and I'll be playing on the lower of the game's difficulties. As such, my ranking at the end of each scene will be ruinous and will yield little to no reward, but I will be getting the best possible rating for each scene off camera so I can discuss any interesting challenge doing so poses and ultimately show off the unlockables earned. Before we get started, take heed of the following:
If you know nothing else going into this, know that Manhunt depicts extreme violence and gore pervasively. If you are morally opposed to or physically repulsed by such things being gleefully reveled in, you are unlikely to find anything enjoyable within these videos and should proceed with caution or look elsewhere for entertainment. If simulated bloodshed by the gallon is your thing like it is mine, though, I invite you to join me and discover or rediscover this classic gaming milestone.
Scene Selection(Play All)
Born Again/Doorway Into Hell
Road To Ruin
Fuelled By Hate
Grounds For Assault
Strapped For Cash
View Of Innocence
Mouth Of Madness
Kill The Rabbit
Divided They Fall
Wrong Side Of The Tracks
Trained To Kill
Grimwit puts a smile on Cash's face (this smile, in fact)
Catalog(Full catalog available here and here. Warning: Contains spoilers)
OTHER VALIANT VIDEO TITLES
If you've enjoyed the career of rising star JAMES EARL CASH, you might be interested to see how his many co-stars earned the honor of coming face-to-face with the master. Check out this back catalogue of classics, currently at a discount, with more titles being added all the time! (Note: Website services are currently unavailable)
OFFICIAL HUNTER WEAPONS
VALIANT VIDEO ENTERPRISES is now offering the originals and reproductions of the weapons used by the hunters in STARKWEATHER's productions. Note that the weapons are being offered to our members only and will be delivered by a Valiant Video Enterprises Courier via specified drop location. FOR ALL ORDERS CALL MESSAGE BOX 606
BLACKJACK: A short, blunt instrument, better for incapacitation than elimination. Ideal for the collector or would-be hunter on a budget, or one that wants a target to suffer as many blows as possible before succumbing. - CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE
CROWBAR: Some people want a little more out of their weapon, and this is the perfect tool for them. With a little creativity, there's no situation you can't pry, bash, or stab your way through with a crowbar! - CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE