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Manhunt 2 Banned in UK


Daley
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In Manhunt, I don't actually have to do anything to see someone get killed other than press a button, just like in Hostel 2 when I hit play. Is that a murder simulator? Where does the active experience give way to the passive?

So is Manhunt more like Dragon's Lair than a traditional videogame?

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So is Manhunt more like Dragon's Lair than a traditional videogame?

Not the whole game, but the brutal kills are as Dragons Lair would be if you only had one button, and it told you when to press it. It's like Tenchu. You get no control over what happens in a stealth kill at all beyond how vicious they supposedly are, which you select by holding down a button longer.

As for the rest of the game, the stealth is nice and open plan, the gunplay is deliciously powerful, and neither are cause for uproar. Except perhaps celebratory uproar for being good.

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Well, no, not like that then, obviously. Christ.

...

It's actually quite depressing that people are patiently explaining why your position is woefully underdeveloped and you keep ignoring them over and over and over again, but I'll have one last go.

Oh, yeah... How did I miss that? :lol:

MH2 is a game about a lunatic* because it lets them include acts of implausible, sadistic violence with minimal justification.

There is plenty justification. I pointed it out to you yet you do not want to see it. You remind me of BBFC... :P

*Let's not even open the can of worms about how unbelievably dated and embarrassing the exploitative use of 'mental illness' as a get out of jail free card is.

Yeah... All those games you mentioned like Hitman and Splinter Cell are not dated at all... They are the future of narrative. Especially Hitman which is a really laughable attempt at story-telling.

Anyway, no reason to pursuit this anymore. We do not see things eye to eye as to what an adult is entitled to.

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I find that concept quite patronising. Anyway, it just wouldn't fit with the Manhunt style. Maybe another game.

Oh, and GI.biz's editorial is appalling. What a bunch of intellectually weak pussies.

I'm really quite disgusted by it. They're saying let's self censor because some people think some games should be censored and that's bad for our image. Pricks.

so - what's patronising about it? They've added a score to Manhunt 2. Giving you a higher score based on how extreme your executions are is asking for trouble. They're going out of their way to encourage you to take part in the saddism that BBFC is talking about. If they reversed it, gave you less of a score for the nasty kills and a higher score for a clean kill - then it could make a difference to how the game is viewed and played.

I don't see this as being any different as choosing the dark side or the light side in Kotor.

Personally, I don't think a game like Manhunt 2 should have a concept of 'score' in it if it's trying to portray itself as 'fine art'.

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I wrote something similar to this a while ago but have a bit of patience. This is going somewhere.

When I was a kid I went through a stage of being bullied. It started as name calling and it eventually esculated to assualt. One of the things that got me through this dark period was playing videogames. I could feel empowered even though it was a false empowerment. I could escape my problems and the best part of this was that this was a world that my bullies could not follow me into. Never mind the technical issues, the games just didn't appeal to them.

Fast forward 20 years and now we see the emergence of games that creep me out partially because these are the very sort of games that would appeal to my tormentors. Would it have given them extra ideas? Who knows, they would have had access to other media that would have shown torture I guess.

So what's my point?

The point is I could be incredibly wrong about Manhunt 2.

Because I wrote something very similar to the above back when R* had started to promote Bully (now Canis Canin Edit).

I have to say that I'm very much with Ste Pickford on this one. Don't ban, just don't advertise in kid's mags and sell it either in restricted outlets or make it a behind the counter job.

As for gi's editorial being written by a bunch of whatever. Given what happened to the Edge staff after the Red Eye article and given the craven caving in and rewriting of history by other outlets (one mag in particular, you know who you are) I think their editorial is very brave.

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So is Manhunt more like Dragon's Lair than a traditional videogame?

I'm not sure if you've already played the game and that was a rhetorical question, but since I'm not doing any actual work until I've had a cup of coffee, and assuming you really want to know:

No, not in the slightest. While it's true they only require a single button, that could be said of vital aspects of any number of games - there are people who can complete Mario levels blindfolded by holding run and knowing when to jump, but that hardly puts Super Mario Bros on a par with Dragon's Lair.

The executions in Manhunt are very well designed in terms of gameplay; you need to work at the stealth aspect of the game to get into position for them (beyond the first introductory encounter it's just about impossible to execute anyone without playing the stealth parts properly), and when you are in position you get to press the appropriate button. If you tap it quickly you trigger a quick, low-scoring kill, but the longer you hold onto the button the more spectacular and higher-scoring your kill. To unlock various extras you need to get a certain number of high-level kills in a certain time - the reward isn't merely the graphic kills, which are actually pretty repetitive and delivered via a grainy security camera filter ( reminiscent, of course, of bootleg video nasties).

Setting aside the question of the nature of the kills, the game mechanic works very well; you'll always want to get a three-star rating, but the short wait for that regularly becomes a nightmarish risk/reward near-eternity - because if the person you're standing behind turns round or you get spotted by someone else, there's a definite chance of game over. In combination with the level design and general aesthetic of the game - using the Xbox headset and having the director goad you through that while you wait for the three-star indicator ups the pressure brilliantly - this single-button mechanic delivers some palm-soaking and memorable moments of gameplay. You'll kick yourself every time you panic and release the button early, and make a note to approach that particular kill more carefully next time.

So, no. Manhunt's gruesome, but that gruesomeness is never used (and not required) to cover up a lack of gameplay.

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Just a thought about regulating the sales of games like Manhunt 2: Would digital distribution models assist with or compound the problem of age certification? I don't think existing models (Steam, EA Link, etc.) are very good examples as these feature few or no restrictions, but what if the only way to buy a game like Manhunt 2 were to supply credit card details?

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Just a thought about regulating the sales of games like Manhunt 2: Would digital distribution models assist with or compound the problem of age certification? I don't think existing models (Steam, EA Link, etc.) are very good examples as these feature few or no restrictions, but what if the only way to buy a game like Manhunt 2 were to supply credit card details?

It wouldn't satisfy those who are concerned enough to want it banned, because it could (and would) still fall into the wrong hands post-purchase. I realise the BBFC don't "want it banned", but I do think the actions of those who do play a part in the BBFC's decisions, which can effectively result in a ban at the moment but, as I've mentioned before, don't have to - the law could be changed in that respect. In fact your idea there could play a part in a solution - if the BBFC refuse a film or game a certificate, have a controlled distribution and purchasing scheme set up that ensures the film or game is only sold to adults. But, as I say, that wouldn't wash with the busybodies - and anyway, such a scheme ought to work perfectly well in standard shops using various forms of ID or common bloody sense.

All that needs to be changed in this scenario is the modern incarnation of the VRA, which should be amended to ensure that the BBFC's input only results in classification - they changed their name to suggest this a good while ago, and it's only the effect of the VRA that transforms classification into censorship. If such a situation should arise and then Sony or Nintendo still decide not to publish, well, that's just bad luck (though of course then the likes of me would just start moaning about the pressure tactics of the self-appointed moral majority, blah blah blah).

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What IS the story behind manhunt 2? Because people are making out that you go around killing innocent people but I slightly remember some preview talking about how there is this secret group who do tests on people including the the player. Some compound run by 'nasty' people who are happy to do this (similar to hostel) and you have a chance to escape and all people you kill are members of this 'evil' group?

...is it like that or do you REALLY just go around killing innocent people?

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What IS the story behind manhunt 2? Because people are making out that you go around killing innocent people but I slightly remember some preview talking about how there is this secret group who do tests on people including the the player. Some compound run by 'nasty' people who are happy to do this (similar to hostel) and you have a chance to escape and all people you kill are members of this 'evil' group?

...is it like that or do you REALLY just go around killing innocent people?

Yeah but who really is innocent these days? Aside from "SAINT KILLER: THE UNHOLY SLAUGHTER", I couldn't think of a game were your virtual victims are totally without sin, and therefore the killing of which would be unjustified.

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Yeah but who really is innocent these days? Aside from "SAINT KILLER: THE UNHOLY SLAUGHTER", I couldn't think of a game were your virtual victims are totally without sin, and therefore the killing of which would be unjustified.

And even in the case you describe, you've only got to decide to angle it such that your protagonist is a radical atheist and all will be forgiven.

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Just a thought about regulating the sales of games like Manhunt 2: Would digital distribution models assist with or compound the problem of age certification? I don't think existing models (Steam, EA Link, etc.) are very good examples as these feature few or no restrictions, but what if the only way to buy a game like Manhunt 2 were to supply credit card details?

Because kiddies would steal mummy or daddy's credit cards, or the parents would be too stupid not to provide the details when asked.

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An experiment at a secret research facility has gone catastrophically wrong. Daniel Lamb and Leo Kasper are the only surviving subjects. The Pickman Project will stop at nothing to hunt them down and stop the truth from getting out.

Demented screams echo around the dank asylum that has caged you for the last six years. You open your eyes. A white-coated body slumps to the floor through your shaking hands. A bloody syringe slips from your arm. Waves of confusion and paranoia crash over you. You have no idea who you are or how you got here.

The door to your cell is open. One choice. One chance. They took your life. Time to take it back.

Thats hardly going around killing innocent people just for the sake of it is it? I'm also guessing as the game goes on you realize just how evil this group is etc

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Fast forward 20 years and now we see the emergence of games that creep me out partially because these are the very sort of games that would appeal to my tormentors. Would it have given them extra ideas? Who knows, they would have had access to other media that would have shown torture I guess.

I have to say that I'm very much with Ste Pickford on this one. Don't ban, just don't advertise in kid's mags and sell it either in restricted outlets or make it a behind the counter job.

On the other hand, would you have played Manhunt 2 to "act out" the violence against those who were tormenting you? I probably would've, in a "virtual Columbine" sort of way. I'm not saying that it would necessarily have been a good idea to do so, but I know that if I'd played such a game as a child that's exactly what I would've done.

Having said that, there is no way in the world my parents would've bought me an 18-rated game. It took a lot to persuade my mum to buy Reservoir Dogs for me one Christmas - when I was 17.

I agree that games such as Manhunt 2 should not be advertised in kids' mags - remember the RedEye column in Edge about this very subject? Have Gamesmaster covered it at all? They really shouldn't.

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Thats hardly going around killing innocent people just for the sake of it is it? I'm also guessing as the game goes on you realize just how evil this group is etc

The BBFC are quite liberal these days - I'm sure all this will have been taken into account. From what I gather, (gleaned from this thread), their decision was reached on the basis that the game allows you no alternatives, (to solving the problems in the game), to sadistically killing all in your path. Coupled with the fact that the killing, in their opinion, is brutally sadistic and unrelenting.

That said, I don't remember there being an option to 'make nice' with the Strogg in Quakes 2 & 4.

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Interesting to hear that the guys from 1-Up (on this week's podcast) thought that after playing it, that there were more violent games out there and that the original's content was far more disturbing. Seemed baffled by its AO rating and seem to think it will be seeing a release before too long, Stateside.

Seriously, go listen to this and hear to their reaction to the rating.

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Because kiddies would steal mummy or daddy's credit cards, or the parents would be too stupid not to provide the details when asked.

I don't think there's a real problem with kids managing to get hold of adult-only material, by hook or by crook somehow. It's all part of the grand adventure of childhood.

Although I'm strongly opposed to extreme adult material being freely available to kids, I'm not at all convinced that a kid would necessarily be damaged by getting hold of adult material and experiencing it.

For me, I think the danger (if there is any) only comes from the kind of casual, unrestricted exposure we seem to be looking at with video games like Manhunt 2.

At the danger of sounding repetitive, I think it's when stuff like this is being promoted in bottom shelf magazines, is on the shelves of child friendly shops and supermarkets, or in places where the general population aren't expecting there to be adult material available, that it's a problem. It's when it's casually available, and pretty much shoved in the faces of kids, and therefore presented as normal, everyday material, that I worry.

We all grew up with taboos associated with 18 certificate films, and video nasties etc., and I think that this is broadly OK. Adults can get this material if they want it, and kids can't stumble across it by accident. They can seek it out, and smart kids will work out a way to sneak in to see 18 movies, or get hold of adult videos one way or another. But when they do that they know full well they're not officially allowed to see this stuff, and they're being a bit naughty. It remains clear that there are taboos associated with this stuff, and I think that's the significant point.

It's the casual, accidental exposure to kids which I think is the worry, not the actual experience of seeing the material if you've had to jump through some hoops to get to it.

If Manhunt 2 was only available for download (via credit card) or only through more obviously adult-only channels, I don't think I'd have any personal worries about it (not that my opinion matters especially), and I think Rockstar would have a much better case for being hard done to by the authorities. This wouldn't change the BBFC ruling, but it might mean that Manhunt 2 would be helping to bring forth a sensible change to the law, and might have a chance of doing something positive for the image of video games, rather than confirming ignorant people's worst fears.

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R18 products aren't allowed to be sold mail order in this country. Face to face only.

Manhunt 2 isn't R18. It's unrated. Besides, my question was less about MH2 specifically, but more about better approaches to videogame retail where adult content is involved. As has been speculated many times in this thread, part of the BBFC's reason for refusing certification could be a lack of faith in the current retail model's ability to prevent minors' access to adult content. As I see it, that leaves us with two options; either reinforce the current model and the laws surrounding it, or introduce a new one.

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*Detailed description of the gameplay.*

Thanks. Can you now answer the all important question? Does any aspect of the game justify the refusal to rate, in your opinion? In relation to what has gone before in the way of violent games/games of questionable morality, of course.

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The whole issue of this game being played by minors is moot though isn't it? What the BBFC are saying is this game is not sutable for a an 18 year old student, a 45 year old police officer, an 80 year grandmother, anyone, and without question. It really is absurd when you consider it.

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The whole issue of this game being played by minors is moot though isn't it? What the BBFC are saying is this game is not sutable for a an 18 year old student, a 45 year old police officer, an 80 year grandmother, anyone, and without question. It really is absurd when you consider it.

Yes, and to be fair to the BBFC, I haven't read any such concerns from them.

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The whole issue of this game being played by minors is moot though isn't it? What the BBFC are saying is this game is not sutable for a an 18 year old student, a 45 year old police officer, an 80 year grandmother, anyone, and without question. It really is absurd when you consider it.

And off we go round in circles again.

I wonder what Gordon Brown thinks?

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Manhunt 2 isn't R18. It's unrated. Besides, my question was less about MH2 specifically, but more about better approaches to videogame retail where adult content is involved. As has been speculated many times in this thread, part of the BBFC's reason for refusing certification could be a lack of faith in the current retail model's ability to prevent minors' access to adult content. As I see it, that leaves us with two options; either reinforce the current model and the laws surrounding it, or introduce a new one.

Yeah, I know, I wasn't answering your question, just dropping some facts about how things are sold when people are determined that children shouldn't get them.

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Thanks. Can you now answer the all important question? Does any aspect of the game justify the refusal to rate, in your opinion? In relation to what has gone before in the way of violent games/games of questionable morality, of course.

I was describing the mechanism of the first game, which tssk had asked about. I can't accurately comment on the content of the sequel, but I can guarantee you my answer would be no (definitely a no for the first game, which of course was rated). In all fairness I probably wouldn't get a job at the BBFC, though. Although actually I think I'd be pretty responsible in such a role, I'd just never refuse a rating. I wouldn't be giving U certificates to Saw 9 or anything like that. Once you're 18, anything goes - that'd be my motto and I'd do my best to make it the official BBFC motto, too. Maybe put it in Latin for an extra touch of class.

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I was describing the mechanism of the first game, which tssk had asked about. I can't accurately comment on the content of the sequel, but I can guarantee you my answer would be no (definitely a no for the first game, which of course was rated). In all fairness I probably wouldn't get a job at the BBFC, though. Although actually I think I'd be pretty responsible in such a role, I'd just never refuse a rating. I wouldn't be giving U certificates to Saw 9 or anything like that. Once you're 18, anything goes - that'd be my motto and I'd do my best to make it the official BBFC motto, too. Maybe put it in Latin for an extra touch of class.

Aww buggery. Sorry, I must pay more attention. Thanks anyway. I'm with you all the way on the rating business, just thought you could compare this game to those that had gained a certification.

I've ordered Manhunt on the strength of people's comments about it in this thread. It's quite hard to come by now, so I guess quite a few others have had the same idea since all the hoohah.

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Due to all of this, i've been looking through some of the old Manhunt topics. I'm well up for completing it a third time now.

I recently bought a second hand PS2 copy because I'm not online with my 360. Started, but realised the XB version has A and B control choices, one of which is miles better than the PS2 version. I'll wait to get it online, and play XB version.

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Due to all of this, i've been looking through some of the old Manhunt topics. I'm well up for completing it a third time now.

I didn't even bother finishing the first one... got to the bit where

you have to use a crane to kill bad guys

and got bored/frustrated. Thankfully the sequel being banned has probably saved the country from some more tedious computer game violence.

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