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The Countdown Horror Obscura – Day 5: Manhunt

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Day 5: Manhunt


Manhunt is a game that I feel to this day I have to tread very carefully when I discuss it. This was one of the very few titles that was actually banned in the UK due to a very unfortunate link to a horrific news story which I will not be discussing in this article. With that short intro out the way lets get into why I’m featuring this title in the Horror Obscura.

I view Manhunt as a title in time with those gore fest films like Saw only a lot worse. Manhunt is a game that is really uncomfortable to play. For starters you don’t even play the good guy, you take control as James Earl Cash who is a pawn in a game where he is directed by a psychopath known as “The Director,” to brutally murder members of gangs and other crazy people. This game is incredibly dark and not for everyone. There are no redeeming qualities to Cash either. He is bad, he kills without remorse and even when he does meet support characters he has no interest in making friends. This is a rare video game that forces you down the dark path. If you are able to get past this you will actually be in for quite an impressive stealth title.

Manhunt cutscene

Manhunt cutscene

Manhunt has you playing the game mostly in the shadows. If you’re unlucky to get caught by the crazies walking around, you’ll soon discover that cash is rather terrible at defending himself. Your better off fleeing and huddling in the corner somewhere until your pursuer looses interest. Its this design that creates a huge amount of tension in the game which in turn makes it quite the effective horror title. The people searching for you are the sort of crazies you don’t want to get caught by and on playing through this game I would literally jump if I was spotted.

Other than the tense stealth action Manhunt is incredibly gory. You can brutally murder baddies with an assortment of weapons. If you sneak up behind some one you can sort of charge your stealth kill with the weapon you have in hand. The longer you hold out the more brutal and grotesque the kill will most likely be. This mechanic is quite interesting from a horror perceptive as it preys on the players general curiosity into just how awful the kill will be the longer you hold out for it. An interesting mechanic is you can not use the same weapon more than once. Once its been used once for a stealth kill that is it, so you constantly have to search for new weapons. As well as melee weapons there are also guns in this game, I remember the headshots in particular being some of the nastiest graphics I’d seen in a game up to this point.

Manhunt is a very slow game though. But if you love stealth games, this is definitely worth checking out. The main hurdle of course is if you can look past the incredible dark tone. If your able to watch incredibly dark gory horror titles such as Hostel, Human Centipede and Hobo With a Shotgun which are violent because they can be and not be offended by them, then you will have no problem with the tone of this game.

The Verdict: Unrated straight to VHS.

Written by jamalais

October 27, 2015 at 11:00 am

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