posted 5/4/2004 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: Xbox
A neat feature of the game takes advantage of an attached mic. In the game, the Director talks to you through an earpiece giving you directions on what to do and where to go. With the Xbox live headset, you’ll hear the voice exclusively through the headphone. And you can even speak into the mic to create some sound to draw hunters towards you. In fact, I like doing that more than banging on an object. Be careful that you don’t shout anything into the mic when you don’t want to as you’ll alert anyone that’s in listening distance. The louder you do shout, the greater your voice carries in the game. The use of the headset does add some level of immersion into the game.

Manhunt’s environments are modeled very nicely with good textures and good architecture. It’s dark and gritty where you are hunted and Rockstar’s artists did a good job conveying that. Levels are designed well and do convey a sense of being in the slums. Most of them are pretty linear but you are being led by the Director from one scene he’s filming to another. The great textures compliment the good modeling job that the development team has done. I don’t have the PlayStation 2 version to compare but the graphics are pretty clean on the Xbox. I enjoyed the wide variety of characters, unlike Charlie. Seeing the different characters helps add some variety to the game and to the people I kill. There’s also a very camera like look to the game with video noise. If you get annoyed at it, you can turn it off. Most of the cut scenes are in this shaky interlaced video.

The motions of the characters are also done well with Cash moving pretty lifelike around the areas. Sneaking around, hiding in the shadows, swinging with the bat: all these movements are conveyed well in the game. The weapons you pick up are visible on the body and you’re only allowed to carry one of a certain type of weapon.

The game is definitely hard and can be frustrating at times. There’s no easy level and you must have very good patience to play Manhunt. Because of the high difficulty, you’ll be replaying sequences multiple times. Most of the time the save points are positioned before the difficult areas. The game does get artificially long because of the multiple times that are needed to get by certain portions of the game.

Manhunt is definitely not a game for everyone. It’s sadistic, hard, and requires a lot of patience. If you enjoy graphic violence and stealth games, Manhunt is perfect for you. It’s definitely a game with a limited crowd and I don’t think it’s got a broad audience. Even so, it’s an interesting game to check out if you can stomach it.

Big on violence and long because of the trial and error factor. Manhunt's not for everyone but can be fun for those who enjoy stealth and gore.

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