Back in 2003; 'Manhunt' broke all the boundaries for what was considered acceptable violence. Now one of the most controversial games is available for the PlayStation 3 via PlayStation Network.
Manhunt was an unorthodox horror game that broke from the traditional worst creations of science or terrors from other worlds for another demon; the evil of humanity. At best it could be described as is a modern retelling of The Most Dangerous Game.
Gamers take on the role of James Earl Cash; a convict who was thought to have been executed only to wake up in an abandon room. He is greeted by film director Lionel Starkweather (aka The Director) who informs Cash that he has been given a second chance and will earn his freedom if he participates in his snuff film. These films will involve Cash murdering people at different locations for Starkweathers amusement or risk getting killed.
At its core Manhunt is a horror game in the traditional sense but the horror the player must over come is that of human nature. It presents a character study of two evil men, one is a death row convict while the other is an artist with a sinister ambition. Its never explained what Cash did, but one can assume his sins are pale compared to the atrocities of Starkweather.
Adding to the grotesque nature of Starkweather is the performance of Brian Cox, well known to horror fans as the first actor to portray Dr. Hannibal Lecter in Manhunter.
Manhunt success was overshadowed by the storm of controversy that followed after its release. The game has been banned in multiple countries while some had to rewrite their rating the code.
Yet a lot of people overlook the fact that Manhunt was released during the height of the popularity of torture porn. But credit needs to be due for Rockstar's attempt at actually making a horror game that had a focus on fear rather than solely on grotesque violence.
Final Score: 4/5