Considering the furore that greeted the release of the first game its a genuine surprise to see it get a sequel, especially one as uncompromising as this. However unpleasant the original was though there was no denying it was an excellent game and one of the most original and effective stealth-based titles of recent years. The story in the sequel is at least slightly less disturbing than before, as the snuff movie theme of the first game is ditched in favour of you escaping from a mysterious research facility.
The gameplay is more familiar, as your limited access to heavy weaponry and the large number of enemies out to get you mean that you have to spend much of the time creeping about in the shadows. It gets to the point where you have to shoot out lights to increase the gloom and have to regulate your breathing when an enemy is nearby to ensure you arent spotted. The stealth aspects work just as well as Metal Gear or any of its progeny, the difference here being that hiding isnt an occasional novelty or plot device but the only way to survive the game.
Of course what Manhunt is most famous for is the violence and that has not been toned down in any way as you use everything from a ball point pen to a plastic bag to perform some of the most gruesome attacks in gaming. There are also new environmental kills, similar to those in THQs The Punisher, where you can drown enemies in a toilet or strangle them with telephone cord. Its not a game for the faint of heart, but for those that can stomach it theres plenty of gameplay here amongst the gore.
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.