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Manhunt


Rocko
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Damn, you lot weren't wrong about the shooting sections of Manhunt. Rockstar have really managed to capture the essence of the shootouts from gritty cop thrillers like 48 Hours and Narc.

The way you exchange fire from cover, the authentic reloading/swapping animations, the devestating effect of the weapons, being restricted to just two guns - brilliant.

I also like the way the stealth gameplay can be used in conjunction with guns. Luring someone over to your dark corner, popping out at the last second and blowing their head clean off. Both barrells - BANG. ;)

If only there were grenades.

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  • 8 months later...

RIGHT.

So after finally getting this game the same time as Halo 2, I completed it the other day. All I can say is: nowt special. Annoying in places, extremely boring at the start, some stupid triggers (most specifically getting into the crane). And I thought the gunplay was meant to redeem all of this. But for the gunplay to redeem it it would have had to be very special indeed. But it was simply a case of hiding behind cover, hitting left trigger, shooting and releasing left trigger. And if someone ran right infront of you when you had your back to the wall you were screwed.

That, the grey dullness of it all, the waiting (so much waiting), the redundant guiding you had to do, all made it a lot less special then it had been built up to be. I stopped playing it out of boredom far too many times (even when I had the guns).

That said, it wasn't that bad, just nowhere near as good as to deserve that edge award. The stealth sections were purely average, the shooting was quite novel, but not mindblowingly brilliant. Just average.

Sorry to dig up a dead thread, but I didn't want to start another one about this game, I just don't understand all the praise. :)

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RIGHT.

So after finally getting this game the same time as Halo 2, I completed it the other day. All I can say is: nowt special. Annoying in places, extremely boring at the start, some stupid triggers (most specifically getting into the crane). And I thought the gunplay was meant to redeem all of this. But for the gunplay to redeem it it would have had to be very special indeed. But it was simply a case of hiding behind cover, hitting left trigger, shooting and releasing left trigger. And if someone ran right infront of you when you had your back to the wall you were screwed.

That, the grey dullness of it all, the waiting (so much waiting), the redundant guiding you had to do, all made it a lot less special then it had been built up to be. I stopped playing it out of boredom far too many times (even when I had the guns).

That said, it wasn't that bad, just nowhere near as good as to deserve that edge award. The stealth sections were purely average, the shooting was quite novel, but not mindblowingly brilliant. Just average.

Sorry to dig up a dead thread, but I didn't want to start another one about this game, I just don't understand all the praise. :)

o/\o

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This is why I love it:

Ever since I saw '48 Hours' I wanted a game that captured the intensity of the opening gunfight in the seedy motel: Popping round corners, earsplitting gunshots, moving from cover to cover, kicking in doors, bullets that hurt.

Manhunt does this perfectly. It dispenses entirely with the idea of fiddly aiming (see the Halo vs Half Life thread for more on this), instead focusing on making the player use the environment and out-maneouvre the enemy. Bullets do so much damage to both the player and the enemies, that your priority is to use your wits to get the drop on the bad guys and under no circumstances get hit. This is what sets it apart.

I like the stealth element because the rules are simple and there's no 'instant failure' aspect that blights other stealth games (you can run away and hide). The open arenas also help, in contrast with the very narrow spaces on Splinter Cell.

Also, the atmosphere is fab.

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The pleasure was all mine.

Back to Manhunt though, the stealth aspect was far too simplistic to carry the first half. And for the second half, I found using the scenery amounted to nothing more then crouching behind walls and hitting left trigger shoot release left trigger. Bang on the wall to make enemies run towards you. Even if there is a pile of dead bodies they will still walk to the pile for you to swing out bang and swing back again.

I know the gereal consensus is that the first half is lousy, I just can't see what's so amazing about the second half that it justifies the first, never mind justifies the amount of praise it gets.

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I love it- it's one of the most grown-up games this generation. The excessive gore makes it look a bit childish and gimmicky, but the whole aesthetic of the game is extremely mature, consistent and original. From the growly Brad Fiedel/John Carpenter electronic score to the grainy VHS visuals, everything in the game is the product of solid, bold art direction.

Combine this with excellent cinematics, grippingly creepy dialogue, heart-rending tension, and The Best Level Ever in the form of 'Border Patrol', and you've got a real auteur's game. In terms of stealth gaming, it positively embarrasses po-faced pedant-fodder like Splinter Fucking Cell.

Best bits:

Click For Spoiler
Everything on 'Kill The Rabbit' after the gunfight in the prison workshop- the fact that you survive the bit where you're supposed to be killed is a wicked twist, and the dialogue really makes you feel that the hunters are shitting themselves. You can almost smell the fear as they realise just what they're up against- taking out an entire Cerberus team is the icing on a vicious cake

Click For Spoiler
The only thing I didn't like was the way that Starkweather disappears at 'Press Coverage'. It would have been great if, for the rest of the game, you had the Director cursing at you, trying to shit you up. And then, as you near the end of the game, he starts to plead with you to back off- offering you freedom, money, power, if only you back off and stop killing his men. That would have been staggeringly cool.
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It would have been great if, for the rest of the game, you had the Director cursing at you, trying to shit you up. And then, as you near the end of the game, he starts to plead with you to back off- offering you freedom, money, power, if only you back off and stop killing his men. That would have been staggeringly cool.

Yeah, having that in-the-ear commentary is a great innovation (especially if you use the headset).

I also think it dicks on stuff like Splinter Cell. It streamlines the whole stealth genre and takes away the frustration factor.

I think the following scenario sums up why the game is so good:

You're hiding behind a hedge. There are five hunters in the vicinity, but you've managed to lure one a way from the pack. He's wandering towards you, but you're ready with your double-barreled shotgun. He gets nearer and nearer, like a lamb to the slaughter. Suddenly you spin out from around the corner, shotgun at the ready. BANG! SPLAT! His head explodes in a shower of crimson. Before his lifeless corpse even slumps to the floor you've ducked away into the shadows.

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Yeah, having that in-the-ear commentary is a great innovation (especially if you use the headset).

I also think it dicks on stuff like Splinter Cell. It streamlines the whole stealth genre and takes away the frustration factor.

I think the following scenario sums up why the game is so good:

You're hiding behind a hedge. There are five hunters in the vicinity, but you've managed to lure one a way from the pack. He's wandering towards you, but you're ready with your double-barreled shotgun. He gets nearer and nearer, like a lamb to the slaughter. Suddenly you spin out from around the corner, shotgun at the ready. BANG! SPLAT! His head explodes in a shower of crimson. Before his lifeless corpse even slumps to the floor you've ducked away into the shadows.

Yeah, but the following explains why it's really dull.

You're hiding behind a hedge. There are five hunters in the vicinity, but you've managed to lure one a way from the pack (with a tap on the floor). He's wandering towards you, but you're ready with your double-barreled shotgun. He gets nearer and nearer, like a lamb to the slaughter. Suddenly you spin out from around the corner, shotgun at the ready. BANG! SPLAT! His head explodes in a shower of crimson. Before his lifeless corpse even slumps to the floor you've ducked away into the shadows.

You're hiding behind a hedge. There are five hunters in the vicinity, but you've managed to lure one a way from the pack (with a tap on the floor). He's wandering towards you, but you're ready with your double-barreled shotgun. He gets nearer and nearer, like a lamb to the slaughter. Suddenly you spin out from around the corner, shotgun at the ready. BANG! SPLAT! His head explodes in a shower of crimson. Before his lifeless corpse even slumps to the floor you've ducked away into the shadows.

You're hiding behind a hedge. There are four hunters in the vicinity, but you've managed to lure one a way from the pack (with a tap on the floor). He's wandering towards you, but you're ready with your double-barreled shotgun. He gets nearer and nearer, like a lamb to the slaughter. Suddenly you spin out from around the corner, shotgun at the ready. BANG! SPLAT! His head explodes in a shower of crimson. Before his lifeless corpse even slumps to the floor you've ducked away into the shadows.

You're hiding behind a hedge. There are three hunters in the vicinity, but you've managed to lure one a way from the pack (with a tap on the floor). He's wandering towards you, but you're ready with your double-barreled shotgun. He gets nearer and nearer, like a lamb to the slaughter. Suddenly you spin out from around the corner, shotgun at the ready. BANG! SPLAT! His head explodes in a shower of crimson. Before his lifeless corpse even slumps to the floor you've ducked away into the shadows.

You're hiding behind a hedge. There are two hunters in the vicinity, but you've managed to lure one a way from the pack (with a tap on the floor). He's wandering towards you, but you're ready with your double-barreled shotgun. He gets nearer and nearer, like a lamb to the slaughter. Suddenly you spin out from around the corner, shotgun at the ready. BANG! SPLAT! His head explodes in a shower of crimson. Before his lifeless corpse even slumps to the floor you've ducked away into the shadows.

You're hiding behind a hedge. There is one hunter in the vicinity, you've managed to lure him (with a tap on the floor). He's wandering towards you, but you're ready with your double-barreled shotgun. He gets nearer and nearer, like a lamb to the slaughter. Suddenly you spin out from around the corner, shotgun at the ready. BANG! SPLAT! His head explodes in a shower of crimson. Before his lifeless corpse even slumps to the floor you've ducked away into the shadows.

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The game could arguably have been a bit more effective if, instead of a convicted murderer, the game cast you as a regular guy who gets slipped a mickey in a bar somewhere, and wakes up at the start of Manhunt. Obviously there'd be a bit of a credibility gap, what with you suddenly knowing how to use firearms and being a dab hand at stealth killing, but it'd boost the game's 'video nasty' vibe a shedload.

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The game could arguably have been a bit more effective if, instead of a convicted murderer, the game cast you as a regular guy who gets slipped a mickey in a bar somewhere, and wakes up at the start of Manhunt. Obviously there'd be a bit of a credibility gap, what with you suddenly knowing how to use firearms and being a dab hand at stealth killing, but it'd boost the game's 'video nasty' vibe a shedload.

No way. It would have been a complete and utter cop-out.

"You're a regular, honest Joe. Suddenly you're content to stab the eyes out of complete strangers with a shard of broken glass."

Cash is videogaming's first real antihero. He's not some wisecracking loveable rogue; he's a stone cold killer.

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Therearerules, the lack of repetition in Manhunt is one of the things that marks it out from other stealth games. Games like Splinter Fucking Cell or Metal gear Solid make learning guards patrol patterns a key element of gameplay- you have to watch, observe, and memorise until you've got the sequence down pat. Any deviation from the correct technique is severely punished.

Manhunt makes things a bit more freeform, what with the variation in hunter movement and the freeform arenas. On most of the levels, no two kills happen in the same place- a cat and mouse chase between you and half a dozen hunters can gradually shift across an entire level, as you slowly pick them off one by one.

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No way. It would have been a complete and utter cop-out.

"You're a regular, honest Joe. Suddenly you're content to stab the eyes out of complete strangers with a shard of broken glass."

Cash is videogaming's first real antihero. He's not some wisecracking loveable rogue; he's a stone cold killer.

I dunno- Cash is already a psycho when the game starts. It could be very effective to see the main character descend into sociopathic functionality as they play through the game.

And they wouldn't have to be content to kill people- it's kill or be killed. It's a fairly strong incentive.

Hmm. Perhaps you're right, it could well be shit.

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Snip

There's quite a lot of freedom to tackle situations as you choose, though. The levels are very big and open, the weapons are quite varied. You can use stealth or tackle enemies toe to toe, and the controls are simple enough to let you improvise on the fly.

I prefer it to Splinter Cell, because Splinter Cell has an obvious designer-imposed route that you are expected to follow. Manhunt is much freer than that. In SC, improvisation is made tough by fiddly controls and its unforgiving nature.

It is repetitive, though, I'll give you that. It could have been about 30% shorter IMO.

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I dunno- Cash is already a psycho when the game starts. It could be very effective to see the main character descend into sociopathic functionality as they play through the game.

And they wouldn't have to be content to kill people- it's kill or be killed. It's a fairly strong incentive.

Hmm. Perhaps you're right, it could well be shit.

Honestly, I think it would ruin the entire tone of the game. It would be comparable with the eye-rollingly apologetic plot in Driver. "You're not REALLY a criminal, honest! Don't sue us!"

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