|October 29, 2007
|Stealth Action, Survival Horror
|PC, PlayStation 2, PSP, Wii
Manhunt 2 is a Stealth Action/Survival Horror video game developed by Rockstar Games and the sequel to 2003's Manhunt. The game was released in North America for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Wii on October 29, 2007.
Originally scheduled for release in July, it was suspended by Take-Two due to a rating rejection in the United Kingdom, Italy and Ireland and an AO rating in the United States, effectively banning the game. Rockstar eventually submitted a modified version of the game, which was re-rated with an M by the ESRB and allowed for an October 29 release date in North America. On November 6, 2009 an uncut version of the game was released for PC through Direct to Drive, it's rated AO (Adults Only).
Much like the original Manhunt, Manhunt 2 also references Rockstar North’s other established franchise, Grand Theft Auto. Both Grand Theft Auto III Era and Manhunt exist in the same gaming world as such similarities are to be expected.
During a severe lightning storm, the security systems at the Dixmor Asylum for the Criminally Insane go offline, allowing inmates Daniel Lamb and Leo Kasper to escape. Daniel is disoriented and amnesiac, unable to remember anything about himself. Under Leo's guidance, he makes his way back to the ruins of his old home, which is located nearby. Inside, Daniel recovers drugs which help to clear his head, and discovers hints about the details of his former life. He and Leo follow a series of clues to unravel the secrets of Daniel's past, killing anyone who interferes; along the way, they are pursued by bounty hunters and agents of a mysterious organization called "The Project".
As the plot unfolds, Daniel learns that he was once a scientist in the employ of the "Pickman Project", a government-sponsored weapons program involving brainwashing and mind control techniques. The Project's goal was to create the perfect assassin; to accomplish this, they developed the "Pickman Bridge", a brain implant containing the personality of a ruthless killer which could be activated on command. In theory, the two personalities would coexist in the same mind and would be completely unaware of each other, allowing the assassin to be remotely triggered, carry out his mission, and then revert back to normal; this would leave the subject with no memory of the killing, meaning they would show no signs of guilt, and would effectively be immune to interrogation.
While searching for Dr. Whyte, a Project researcher and one of Daniel's former coworkers, Daniel and Leo are ambushed and sedated. Daniel wakes up in a room with Whyte, who reveals the whole truth to him. Six years ago, Daniel volunteered to be implanted with the Pickman Bridge, hoping that the resulting payoff from the Project's work would allow him to clear his family's debts and provide them with a financially secure future. However, the Bridge malfunctioned soon after it was implanted, causing Daniel to suffer from dissociative identity disorder, resulting in him being able to directly communicate with the "assassin" personality—Leo—whom Daniel perceives as a real person. Furthermore, Leo is dangerously unstable, and has been working against Daniel from the very beginning; after the implant went haywire, Leo—in Daniel's body—went on a rampage across the city, murdering police officers and members of the Project, destroying the Project's records of Daniel and himself, and finally making his way to the Lamb household where he killed Daniel's wife, all for the purpose of weakening Daniel's grip on reality so that Leo could take complete control of his mind. Afterward, to cover up Leo's killing spree, the Project erased Daniel's memory, torched his house, and had Daniel committed to Dixmor, where they had been working to study the effects of the implant and repair the damage, without success.
The game's final level is a surreal, introspective experience where Daniel enters a deep hypnotic state and faces off against Leo within the confines of his own mind. Daniel is able to let go of the guilt he feels over his wife's death, allowing him to "kill" Leo once and for all. Daniel awakes on a deserted road with his memory erased once more; he is left with an envelope informing him that his name is "David Joiner", providing him with a new home address and wishing him luck. Daniel briefly hesitates before walking down the road and toward his future. An alternate ending portrays these events from Leo's perspective, in which he is able to defeat Daniel and wakes up in full control of Lamb's body.
References and crossovers with the Grand Theft Auto series
- In the instruction booklet that comes with Manhunt 2 it states that Daniel Lamb graduated from San Fierro University in San Andreas.
- Some of the hunters in Manhunt 2 make reference to San Andreas, including one line suggesting that Daniel should return there.
- If you listen to the background music during the introduction cut scene for the mission ‘Life’s a Beach’ in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas you will notice that it is the very same piece of music used in the porn theater for the episode ‘Safe House’ in Manhunt 2.
- There are several lines of dialogue in Manhunt 2 that specifically mentions Vice City.
- The intro cut scene for Sexual Deviants shows Daniel and Leo hiding behind a car as they scout the club up ahead. The car featured is known within the Grand Theft Auto franchise as a Voodoo.
- Other vehicles seen in the GTA universe also make an appearance such as the Trashmaster, Yankee, Mule, Kuruma, Blista, Greenwood, Stinger, Admiral, Linerunner, Patriot, Forklift, Burrito, Burrito, Enforcer, Police Car, Three variations of the Maverick helicopter, the Reefer, and the Speeder.
- During several levels in Manhunt 2, Burger Shot paper bags and cups can be seen scattered around the ground.
- A Sprunk billboard can be seen during the level Assassination.
- A t-shirt in Daniel's Safe House has a Sub Urban logo on it. Sub Urban is a clothing store in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
- The Pissh Draft beer that can be seen in several levels in the game first appeared in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
- Silent Death is a movie featured in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. A movie billboard can be seen in the level Assassination. Also, the star of the movie is Barbara Schternvart, a character from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
- The episode ‘Assassination’ features a billboard advertisement for 'Thirdleg Clothing', this advertisement was first seen in the October 2005 release of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories.
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories features fast food chain by the name of 'KING KNUTS', the logo of which is a king's crown. In Manhunt 2 there is a street gang known as the 'Red Kings' who also have a king's crown as their insignia, which can be seen carved into the walls surrounding ‘Red Light’. Vice City Stories was initially released for the PlayStation Portable in October 2006 and was developed by Rockstar Leeds in conjunction with Rockstar North, both of which were involved in the development of Manhunt 2.
- If you enter the building complex in which Dwayne Forge resides (Vespucci Circus, Northwood) you will find various pieces of graffiti on the walls of almost every floor. One such piece features the word ‘King’ with a crown next to it, both of which are colored red, this could possibly be a reference to a pack of hunters from Manhunt 2, the Red Kings. There is also another piece of graffiti that reads 'Welcome to Hell', this could be another reference to Manhunt 2, in the initial teaser for Manhunt 2 Daniel said he lived in hell during the narration. It could also be a throw back to the original Manhunt, throughout Carcer City you would find various quotes spray painted throughout the environment, some biblical, some insults and others instructions.