I don’t know if this should be seen as good or bad news, but according to MCV, Manhunt 2 has finally received the M rating it needs to be able to find its way into stores and home video consoles after a modified version of the game was submitted to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB).
The original Manhunt caused no small amount of controversy in its release, being associated with more than one real life crime, so when the brutal horror sequel added motion controls on the Wii and was said to be even more violent, no one was surprised when the game started getting banned in various countries, or when it received the kiss of death Adults Only rating in America (no major retailer will stock Adults Only games, and Sony and Nintendo do not allow Adults Only games to be released on their systems).
While this means that people will finally be able to play Manhunt 2 in October (on PC, PS2 and Wii) there is pretty much no chance of an uncut version of the game being released for the main system the game was designed for, the Nintendo Wii.
There is a chance the game will be released in downloadable format uncut on the PC at a later date (as has happened to previous titles that got the AO initially which edited themselves down to an M) but without the motion controls of the Nintendo Wii, one of the game’s biggest selling points to many gamers, it won’t be the complete experience.
As horror fans we’re used to seeing the things we love suffer at the scissors of “those who know best,” but at least in recent years we’ve always been able to buy films uncut on DVD. That we can buy uncut horror movies from Wal-Mart (who may not stock NC-17 films but have no problems selling the unrated cut of Saw III) but not uncut horror games is bad. That I can walk into stores and buy pornography while AO games continue to be refused by retailers makes me angry as a horror fan.
Personally I don’t want to play a wussed up version of Manhunt 2. I want to play the game in all its shocking violence as Rockstar designed it.
I do wish Rockstar the best of luck with the censored version of the game. It isn’t their fault that the ESRB is more worried about protecting their own asses than protecting the speech of video games. It isn’t their fault that major retailers and console manufacturers turn the other way. I really hope they can make back some of the money that they’ve lost through this whole ordeal … it’s just not going to be money from me.
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