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The Heroes Issue

Games

Let's make a snuff film with Rockstar.
December 1, 2003, 12:00am

Manhunt
Publisher: Rockstar
Developer: Rockstar North
Platform: PS2
Genre: Snuff If you’re one of those casual Rockstar Games fans expecting the instant thrills and multiple explosions of death and tits that the GTA series delivers, then initially you’re going to be a little disappointed at their new one. Wait! I said “initially”, because although there’s no instant explosions or racial stereotypes or fast cars, the payback from putting in the hours (and days) on this brutal murder fantasy EPIC is easily as rewarding as your favourite other games. Even though Manhunt is exactly 3.8 times more violent than anything ever made before, there’s no blasting and smashing your way through the levels. Instead you have to creep and crawl round corners and silently assassinate these meathead guys who’ve been sent to kill you as part of some elaborate snuff movie plot. Yeah, I know it sounds hokey but it works amazingly well, mainly because of the natural tension that the hide and seek gameplay creates and the grimy death scenes where you get to garrotte, gut and destroy your enemies till there’s nothing left but a bloody pulp. The main idea of the game being: the more violently you kill somebody, the more points you get. If, like me, you’ve got obsessive-compulsive disorder and were so affected by GTA3 that you broke your ankle by jumping on a people carrier on New Year’s Day two years ago, then please approach this game with caution. After just a couple of days playing it I found myself subconsciously trying to find places in my road where I could hide in the shadows and jump out at people. Yes, I’m fucking weird. All I do is fucking write about fucking computer fucking games. What the fuck do you want? Anyfuckingway, as well as the amazing PC-like graphics and the tense gameplay, one of my favourite things about Manhunt is the music. While there’s no Flock Of Seagulls or Slayer on the soundtrack, the creepy synthesizers they’ve used sound like they’ve been lifted out of one of those Lucio Fulci movies where the topless women get drilled in the face by rusty screwdrivers every 20 minutes—all nasty cheap sounds played by an Italian guy called Frizinilli with a big moustache and shades and a greasy brown paper bag of sexual proclivities so jampacked with sweaty meatballs of rape fantasies that it leaves a trail of foul penis fat across the keys of his Moog. Oh, and the sound effects when you’re gashing somebody in the neck with a shard of a Jack Daniels bottle are pretty nasty sounding too—not like in Hollywood where it sounds like “DUMPH” or “CRAAAACK”. This is more like “sssttttsmidge”. Ouch. So, there you go. My favourite game of 2003, no contest. SYRUP DAVIES