Let it be said that one of my favorite games of the previous console generation was the original Manhunt. It was one of those games that people either loved or hated. While critics of the game decried its slow pace and repetitiveness, I enjoyed the tense stealth action gameplay, the 8mm-style atmosphere, and the lunatics that made up the game’s adversaries. So, when I heard that Rockstar was developing a Wii-based sequel that utilized the Wiimote for motion-controlled killing, I was ecstatic. Then the controversy came. You see, the game received an AO (Adults Only) rating from the ESRB, and both Sony and Nintendo would refuse to allow an AO-rated product to be released for their consoles (and just for good measure, Microsoft also would not allow an AO-rated product to be released on its console, although there were no plans to bring the game to Xbox 360). I was worried that I would never get to see Rockstar’s vision. Then miraculously, the game was green-lighted for release after some censoring. Sadly, to finally play the game after the controversy was akin to dying, going to heaven, and finding Jesus strung out on heroin. Yes, the game was that bad.

You play as an escaped mental patient named Daniel Lamb. Him and his [imaginary] buddy Leo escape from the asylum in order to find out the truth about the secret government experiment that led to him being committed in the first place. Oh yes, you’ll noticed that I placed the word ‘imaginary’ in brackets. That’s because later in the game, it’s revealed that Leo is nothing more than Daniel’s split personality. This is not a spoiler by the way, well it would be, except that this becomes BLATANTLY OBVIOUS within moments of taking control. For you see, while Leo shows up in cinematics, he is nowhere to be found during the game, yet his voice is clear as if he is next to you! Only way someone would not be shocked by this ‘plot twist’ is if they didn’t see Fight Club, and even then, it’s not difficult to deduce what’s going on.

It only goes downhill from there. The disturbingly colorful gangs of the first game have been replaced by a bunch of generic losers. The more graphic kills have been blurred out thanks to Rockstar’s censorship, although it wouldn’t make much of a difference even if it wasn’t censored. The painful repetitiveness of the first game is even more apparent in this entry since the game’s mundane atmosphere doesn’t balance it out like it did in the first game. Besides an alternate ending, there is no incentive to do well in the levels, whereas in the original Manhunt, you could unlock secret stages.

Manhunt 2 embodies the very reason why this column exists. It clearly is not one of Rockstar’s best games, and for all the controversy and noise surrounding its release, playing the finished product is akin to dying, going to heaven, and finding Jesus strung out on heroin. I know I said that already. Frankly, I don’t care. I’m tired.