is perhaps the most violent, amoral video game ever made, and it's entirely unapologetic about it. Produced by the same team that created Grand Theft Auto
, it sees you cast as a death-row inmate reprieved from the chair to take part in a sick game run by a snuff-movie producer. You're forced to sneak around a series of maze-like levels killing "hunters" and SWAT-team members as you go, using such unsavoury methods as suffocating them with plastic bags and cutting their throats with shards of glass. The game is primarily a stealth-based title, using many of the same techniques as Metal Gear Solid
--you shuffle around walls, peer round corners and use noise to attract and distract the enemy.
This aspect of the game works extremely well thanks to the superb graphics and sound, which create an intense level of tension, so that when you mistakenly knock into an abandoned shopping trolley and alert a hunter, it's really quite terrifying. The combat, just like in GTA, is handled rather less well--but it's not anywhere bad enough to ruin the whole game. Indeed, in gameplay terms the only real fault with Manhunt is a lack of variety, with the game seemingly running out of new ideas well before the end. The true problem then is whether it's simply too depraved--but that's a decision you must make for yourself. It's definitely not for under-18s, though. --David Jenkins
's totally unique gameplay premise makes you rely on skill and cunning rather than brute force, placing you in the role of Cash--the prey in a hunter's game. Survive the hellish experience, evading hired killers while searching for the identity of the "the Director", the man who has made you his pawn. Fight for your life against packs of vicious hunters, off-duty cops letting off steam, and full-blown psychopaths with a taste for blood. It's them or you.
Sophisticated graphical techniques bring to life the dirt, grime, shadow and slime of deserted neighbourhoods in Carcer City. The sound design for Manhunt is central to gameplay, with audio production on a level heretofore unseen in a game--the incredible 3-D audio system is completely dynamic, and as a result the player becomes the star.
As the twisted tale of one man's obsession and the lengths he'll go to in fulfilling it, Manhunt's narrative is told through cinematics that show you both Cash's, and the Director's, points of view.