So I'm a retro gamer.
Meaning, I bought a PS2 on sale, and get my games used. Cheap=retro. Also, I avoided video games for quite a while because I have a history of obsessive behavior concerning them. Something about endorphins. Whatever. So as a result, I missed out on all of the PlayStation generation of games. The ps1 was the big thing when I quit gaming. What am I getting at? I play ps2 games thinking they are pretty cool. I'm not quite warmed up yet to the glossy realism of ps3 stuff. Maybe by the time I get thru every ps2 game I want to play I will be, but until then I am here to give you reviews from a decade ago.
Manhunt, 3rd person stealth action, Playstation 2. Developed by Rockstar Games North, 2003.
What attracted me to this game was the stealth aspect. I'd played Ghost Recon on the pc (one of the only games i played in this period) and really dug the stealth and sniper levels. A game entirely like this? FUN! Plus, I am a sucker for crime documentaries on serial killers and forensics shows like "the new detectives", "the first 48", et al. It felt like this was the game for me. And it was. It took me a while to get some of the controls down, but I chalk this up to just being rusty with a game controller (I believe it was only the 2nd dual stick game I'd played). 2 years later on the second playthrough I am getting vicious and gruesome executions pretty easily.
The plot is simple:
You are James Earl Cash, notorious killer, and you are executed by lethal injection in the opening cinematic. As game play begins, you find that your death was faked, and now you are at the mercy of a Mr. Starkweather, former big-shot Hollywood director, who now makes his living making snuff films, and you are his new star. He talks you through several levels of Carcer City decay, beckoning you to kill the gang members he's populated them with. Through your earpiece, he catcalls you when you are slow, berates you when you mess up, and praises you on good kills. About halfway through the game, Starkweather figures he's done with you and has you disposed of, but Cash is just too tough to be bested by some hired mercenary security outfit. Now you are in control, and you are gunning for the Director. The games are over, and rather than gangs you are facing Carcer City PD, SWAT, and Cerebus- the aforementioned "Black Water" types. Oh, and the crazy guy in the pig's head mask who wields a chainsaw.
Divide and conquer:
Not being seen or heard, baiting your enemies into dividing, and rarely being able to quickly overpower groups with surprise and firepower are your main tools in gameplay. Hunters will fall behind their comrades to check out a noise by themselves, or simply pass unwittingly by your particular pool of shadow, giving you an opportunity to sneak up from behind and dispatch them. Initially this is done with simple objects like plastic bags and glass shards, but soon you are using crowbars and machetes. Later levels involve firearms, but these require you to run like hell for a new hiding spot because every enemy in earshot will close in on you once the trigger is pulled. Occasionally it is a good idea to surprise a crowd and deliver a round of headshots to all before they can fire back, but this is reserved for just a few circumstances.
list compiled by the NRA, no less). It's sequel gets the #2 spot. Can you say "deflection", NRA?
I love the atmosphere of Manhunt. I tried to play Splinter Cell directly after Manhunt and just hated it. It was anal and sterile. I don't know if I will ever go back to it, but Manhunt I will play again. It's on my "comfort games" list. Is that creepy?
The following is the full piece of fan art I created for Manhunt, which I chopped up to use throughout this article. Enjoy!
|"Don't hurt 'em, Cash!" by Dave Davenport, pen and ink, digital coloring. 2013.|
thanks to http://www.projectmanhunt.com/