Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 47
  2. Negative: 4 out of 47
  1. 85
    The grisly cutscenes are just icing on the cake of a superbly honed stealth and tactical action game. Manhunt is a solid, deep experience for seasoned gamers pining for some hardcore, challenging games this fall.
  2. Seriously intense, and anyone with a stomach for the game's concept ought to find it fiendishly entertaining.
  3. The controls are responsive and worked well, both for the sneaking around aspect and the heads up melee fighting if you happen to get spotted.
  4. This game is one of the most dark and disturbing games I have ever played and I'm still not sure if that's a good thing or not...Underneath it all I found the game one part infectious and one part repetitious. I enjoyed skulking in the shadows for the first half of the game, but after that it wore thin.
  5. You would be hard-pressed to find a more intense experience in any entertainment medium. [Jan 2004, p.120]
  6. 85
    Forget it if pure action is your bag, but fans of MGS-style thievery owe it to themselves to check this one out. Just keep a couple of puke bags handy if you're a little emotionally sensitive.
  7. When it's firing on all cylinders Manhunt is a disturbingly entertaining take on the stealth action genre with the trademark high quality Rockstar production that mask some of its shortcomings. But scratch beneath its grimy surface and it's blighted by serious AI issues, repetitive gameplay and frustrating combat.
  8. 80
    Yes, this is all very gory, grisly, and absolutely not for kids or anyone with a weak stomach as people are decapitated, disemboweled, perforated, shot, and chainsawed—all to the cackling delight of your offscreen savior (brilliantly voiced by Brian Cox) who relishes each kill.
  9. Just plain fun. I haven't been this addicted to a game in some time, and I'm looking forward to wrapping up this review so I can get back to playing it.
  10. It doesn't advance the stealth genre in too many areas other than the aforementioned headset idea, but what's assembled here is such a strong core of atmosphere, gameplay, and overall tension that the game as a whole doesn't suffer as much for its linearity as it probably should.
  11. These movies was pretty good, but after the first ten bloody murders I was like, "Eh, seen it all." The more you watch, the more it just looks like what you just watched. The murders even got a little thin for Cash after a while, I think.
  12. 50
    Manhunt's biggest problem is pacing. Like Richard Nixon, it peaks too early. It has a lot of smaller problems, but all of those issues contribute to the unfortunate fact that I was tired of Manhunt long before it was over. I was tired of its violence, certainly, but I was also tired of its AI quirks, tired of its repetitive level design, and tired of the growing impression that I was just the main character in a geek show.
  13. If you enjoy slow, strategic, stealth gameplay, if you hacked your way through "Tenchu" and wanted more blood and violence then look no further. You won’t find a more stylish or disturbing game than this.
  14. The sound quality of Manhunt is surreal, simply because the game seems like a living, breathing entity by itself.
  15. 40
    It's just one gruesome kill after another until the violence loses its punch. Too bad that happens after the first couple missions. If you want a stealth game, there are better ones out there. If you want blood, do yourself a favor a buy a tube of red dye #5, instead.
  16. Like "GTA" there's more to this than shock and awe. Within its linear structure there is a lot of freedom within which to act, much more so than both "Splinter Cell" and "Metal Gear Solid 2," the titles which Manhunt most closely resembles. [Jan 2004, p.96]
  17. What we have here is the absolute bare bones of the stealth genre mixed with shock video scenes that attempt to add flavour to the otherwise bland action. Essentially, the gameplay works as follows: track down a Hunter, get behind him, hold down the X-button...and...that's it. [Jan 2004, p.122]
  18. Not that there's anything wrong with cashing in on America's bloodlust, but to call Manhunt a "mature" game, I think, is an affront to mature people. [Jan 2004, p.65]
  19. All the constant hiding and tiptoeing and sneaking doesn't scream "action-packed!" after all. [Feb 2004, p.118]
  20. Not even the innovation with the headset or the cruel dismemberments can blot out a maddening linearity.
  21. Its linearity and concentration on stealth is quite a contrast to the open freedom of the GTA games. Its explicit violence can be gimmicky, but it fits so well with the theme that nobody could (or should, at any rate,) call it gratuitous.
  22. Manhunt is boring. Cash's standard walking pace is painfully slow, press R1 and his running speed is ridiculously fast. Navigating the game is therefore less than pleasurable and, should you not have anyone to dice up, a tedious experience.
  23. But what baffles me most about Manhunt is that I'm not exactly sure how I'm supposed to feel about those executions. What do the game's producers want me to feel? Should I feel...vindicated? Exhilarated? Vengeful? Empowered? I'll tell you how I did feel: I felt evil, and queasy, and numb. Eventually, a strange kind of self-loathing set in, followed by a low-level depression.
  24. Beneath the gore and gritty urban realism is a well-designed and challenging game. Killing is never meant to be fun, but in Manhunt there is a sick satisfaction to be gleaned from each and every kill.
  25. Besides the shocking, desensitizing violence that borders on being pornographic (there's no actual sex, but there is plenty of penetration and spraying of bodily fluids, all viewed from lurid camera angles), Manhunt turns out to be a pretty solid game.
  26. It creates a superbly tense atmosphere that draws you in and completely immerses you, we can’t think of any other stealth game that’s managed this to such good effect. We also like to see developers stretch beyond the barriers and explore ways to touch the players’ emotions – this game certainly does that. But on the other hand the repetition soon becomes apparent and its lack of depth.
  27. More variety, be it "Ico"-style environmental puzzles, "GTA"-type missions, "MGS"-inspired boss battles, greater AI diversity, or simply deeper interactivity with the environment, would have really helped keep things fresh. [Jan 2004, p.28]
  28. It's unfortunate that Manhunt becomes such a redundant game so quickly. The game employs a few very good concepts, but they are off-set by the game's mediocrity and pointless gore.
  29. It is incredibly easy to screw up and get killed in this game, which sometimes forces you to repeat lengthy and difficult sections of each level. Thankfully, there are mid-stage save points that allow you to restart there instead of at the beginning of the level.
  30. I liked the game sometimes and other times I despised it. Then again, maybe that is what they were shooting for.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 119 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 62
  2. Negative: 6 out of 62
  1. CoryP.
    Oct 9, 2005
    Smash or trash time, and this game well deserves a perfect score. Sure there is better stealth games out there and better graphics and all Smash or trash time, and this game well deserves a perfect score. Sure there is better stealth games out there and better graphics and all that other special crap, but this game didn't need it to pull of a great experience. I love the fact that this game of very,very,very, few can pull off a well deserved mature rating ( I don't know how many other titles try to pull it off and fail to succeed). I am not a pyschopath, i know the difference between reality and virtual reality, but I believe there should be a sequel (pray to the almighty Rockstar) if not more games of its kind.... but again please let there be a sequel. Full Review »
  2. Oct 12, 2012
    Disturbing, scary, graphically violent. Rockstar North's urban horror game is a tense and taut spin on "The Most Dangerous Game". PlayersDisturbing, scary, graphically violent. Rockstar North's urban horror game is a tense and taut spin on "The Most Dangerous Game". Players control James Earle Cash, an inmate who is busted out of prison by The Director; a mystery man who sees your every move. Once Cash escapes the prison facility, his journey home becomes a literal fight for survival. Armed with bladed weapons and firearms, Cash uses both stealth and full-out assaults as to fight off the creepy gangs who are out to kill him. The macrbe twist is that The Director aids Cash through an earpiece throughout the game. He directs Cash to his final destination, ordering him to kill as gruesomely as possible every step of the way. The disturbing aspect of the game is that it rewards you for doing so. You are encouraged to perform the most graphic killings to unlock challenge rooms. In movie terms, "Manhunt" is "The Running Man" meets "The Warriors" with a touch of "8MM". Gameplay-wise, it is very similar to "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell" and "Hitman 2". This game features shooting segments, but it's very much a stealth game. The horror atmosphere is extremely thick with a synth musical score straight out of an 80's slasher flick. In a sense, "Manhunt" is a survival game as much as it is an action title. In fact, you'll probably creep out when you first get spotted by a crazed gang member.

    Rockstar North made three great "Grand Theft Auto" games for the PS2. This game is nowhere as grandiose as those mammoth titles. But it is an efficient and effective actioner that is truly creepy. 8.5 out of 10.
    Full Review »
  3. May 11, 2015
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. wow this game. i enjoy it. I do not have to say anything more. But i need to write one hundred and fifty characters. i think my score can describe it. Full Review »