[Game Review] Manhunt 2 (Wii)

manhunt_2_wii_box_artSystem: Wii (Also on PS2, PSP, PC)
Developer: Rockstar Toronto/Rockstar London
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Genre: Stealth/Action

I’m a video game elitist. I’m picky about the games I play, and I’m extremely particular about games I enjoy. Oftentimes I feel like games are TOO complicated and complex for me to enjoy. I get lost, and not in the good way, between missions and tasks and side missions and side tasks that I never feel like I’m progressing enough in the game to warrant the amount of time I invest into the game. You fly through the first couple of missions, feeling good, and then all of a sudden you end up between 30% and 60% completed before you really hit the wall, where the game becomes a chore rather than entertaining.

Manhunt 2 centers around Danny Lamb, an escapee from a mental hospital, and his pursuit of the truth. Now, I didn’t play Manhunt so I probably missed a lot of backstory because of that, and perhaps that actually allows me to enjoy the game enough for what it is. I have no expectations from the previous game for the sequel to live up to.

The tutorial to get you acclimated to the controls is simple enough, and the Wiimote paired with the Nunchuk does lead to some pretty funny moments, where you can sneak up on unsuspecting people and gruesomely end their days, thrashing your hands forward and back, side to side, shaking even. It’s fun, and it allows for a lot of relieved aggression. The rest of the gameplay is simple enough to pick up quickly, and that is something I always appreciate.  They don’t lose you by making controls so intricate that specificity is necessary.

The graphics are solid, but far from ground-breaking, and it looks like the other titles from Rockstar Games that I have played before. Everything is technically sound, dark, fairly graphic in terms of content, and the lack of graphic proficiency hardly hinders the gaming experience.

The sound effects are effective if not perfect. Most of the sounds are of you bludgeoning or slicing people open, and they’re exactly what you would think. The voice acting is typical of video games that are rated M, a decent amount of foul language is used, and and sometimes the voice acting itself is over the top and hammy. It gets distracting at points, bordering on tedious, but it’s easy enough to substitute the game’s sound with music coming off my iPod dock, so all was well.

The storyline progresses nicely, each mission adding another piece to the puzzle and opening another door. You learn new techniques, find new weapons, and the game does grow in difficulty as you get further along in it. It never gets to the impossible region, which is much welcomed, because there are few things I hate more than getting hung up on a level just because I missed some trite, seemingly meaningless detail along the way.

Final Words

Manhunt 2 offers enough entertainment to make it a worthwhile play, while at the same time never bringing anything new to the table.  Like many games for the Wii, the fully interactive and unique controlling make the game a lot more fun than it would have been on a traditional gaming platform, and in the end, it’s fun and engrossing,.

Score: 7.75/10 (Good)

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