Finished Manhunt (PlayStation 2) today for the first time. It was an interesting experience. Although it certainly lives up to its reputation as being an extremely graphic and gory game, there was a lot more to it than just that… the story and setting (death-row convict is rescued from the chair only to be thrust into a kill-or-be-killed game of hide and seek) were engaging, and the work with tone and mood were excellent. The stark, brutal feel and incredibly bleak outlook of the game’s entire world were very well-realized. There's also quite a bit of meat to chew on for people who like to delve into meta-commentary, but I'll save that for another post.
I would love to have a chance to sit down with Hideo Kojima, one of the industry's most well-known, well-respected auteurs and find out exactly what place Guns of the Patriots holds in his mind. Why? Quite honestly, the game is a shadow of what it could, and should have been.
Game Description: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, is a next-gen experience complete with top-of-the-line graphics and surround sound designed for the Sony PlayStation 3. Featuring the most revealing display of Kojima Production's premier title, MSG4 details the world where Snake must under go his final mission. Joined by a familiar cast of characters, Snake must once again return to the battlefield to confront his lifelong rival, Liquid Ocelot, who is manipulating the world's wars from the one world where soldiers will always have a place. But Liquid Ocelot is not the only one who will be able to manipulate the world's wars—Snake can destabilize opposing forces by working behind the scenes, supporting the local militia as they fight PMCs, creating a smokescreen that allows Snake to move freely within the war-zone.
I wish I could talk about Manhunt 2 without addressing the endless debacle over its censorship. The press coverage of the game's AO rating, its near-cancellation, and eventual bowdlerized release has been so overpowering that it drowned out any discussion of the game's actual merits and flaws.
Game Description: The sequel to Rockstar's sinister action game about a man who wakes up in a living nightmare where he is being stalked for sport and must sneak through the shadows and kill by whatever means he can devise in order to fight his way out. The sequel picks up with a new lead character, new gangs, a new storyline with gruesome twists and turns, and much more. The urban horrors of Cancer City are gone. Manhunt 2 takes place in a dark, shadowy, asylum filled with dark realities and psychological turmoil.
Game Description: The setting is 1191 AD. The Third Crusade is tearing the Holy Land apart. You, Altair, intend to stop the hostilities by suppressing both sides of the conflict. You are an Assassin, a warrior shrouded in secrecy and feared for your ruthlessness. Your actions can throw your immediate environment into chaos, and your existence will shape events during this pivotal moment in history.
I have to hand it to Ubisoft. The people they've got in their PR department are marketing geniuses. They could sell refrigerators to people living on an iceberg, or a stack of Bibles to a group of atheists. Look at Assassin's Creed. The smooth operators behind the ad campaign have taken what is essentially a tech demo propped up by a rudimentary mission structure and parlayed it into one of the most anticipated titles of the season.
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