posted 5/4/2004 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: Xbox
Rockstar, master of the controversial game, released Manhunt initially for the PlayStation 2. After a few months, the game is now coming to other systems and today we’ll be looking at the Xbox version. You can read the PlayStation 2 version review here.

Manhunt puts you in the shoes of James Earl Cash, a criminal who was suppose to be executed but is instead an unwitting pawn of the Director. From this point, you’re the star of a sadistic “Running Man” like scenario. Cameras littered throughout the city that you are moving through records all the gruesome action as you take out the people sent to go after you in very graphic ways.

A big departure from the fast paced action of Grand Theft Auto, Manhunt is all about stealth. If you want to run around and take on your opponents head on, you’ll die pretty quickly. Your objective is to quietly take out your opposition in the sickest way possible and that means sneaking up behind them and using the environment to your advantage, hiding in the dark shadows and jumping on the enemy when they aren’t looking.

Various objects become deadly weapons in your hands and the deadliest comes when you catch an enemy from behind. You’ll be presented with the opportunity to use whatever you hold in your hand and dispatch the person if they don’t notice you. The longer you hold down the action button, the more gruesome the death. Don’t wait too long as the person can turn around and spot you, causing you to miss your opportunity. If you successfully manage to pull off one of these automatic kills, you’ll be treated to a very gruesome cut scene of your execution. It’s definitely not for the squeamish with blood and sometimes body parts flying around. For those that love violence, this game is for you.

Hiding in shadows is very important and you’ll have an indicator in the bottom right to signify an action and/or visibility rating. If the icon is dark blue, you’re hiding. White means you’re out in the open. And flashing red means you’re spotted. Like Metal Gear Solid, you can put your back against a wall and knock in it to attract your enemy. If you’re hidden they’ll usually stand there searching the area near you and walk away. Sometimes they will spot you if they walk close enough to you. You’ll be using this method a lot to lure enemies to your position and take them out. Once they start walking away, you’ll have a good chance of sneaking up behind but I did find some inconsistencies in that during times when you should be able to easily kill the person, they’ll spot you out of the blue. And there are times when you absolutely think you’ve been spotted and they’ll just walk by. There aren’t too many times I experienced this but it was enough to be noticeable.
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