Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 47
  2. Negative: 4 out of 47
  1. 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.
  2. More than just a gimmick. Sure, the brutal animations are great fun to watch, but the true satisfaction lies in getting to that point and finding a way to overcome even the largest obstacles.
  3. Not even the innovation with the headset or the cruel dismemberments can blot out a maddening linearity.
  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. 80
    I don't doubt that the violence used in this game is used at least particularly for shock value – but what happens when batting someone’s head off becomes boring? Will Manhunt 2 feature the ability to rape a victim – will some other game in the immediate future? It’s a fair question.
  6. 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]
  7. All the constant hiding and tiptoeing and sneaking doesn't scream "action-packed!" after all. [Feb 2004, p.118]
  8. An engrossing thrill ride. [19 Dec 2003, p.L2T 20]
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. You would be hard-pressed to find a more intense experience in any entertainment medium. [Jan 2004, p.120]
  14. The sound quality of Manhunt is surreal, simply because the game seems like a living, breathing entity by itself.
  15. 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.
  16. 84
    An extremely violent game, but its strength comes from the strong mix of atmosphere, stealth and gameplay.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. An amazing stress reliever as well – there’s nothing like beating the crap out of someone with a bat who only has their hands to defend themselves.
  20. Attempts to combine excessive violence with stealth-action gameplay, but fails to invoke a sense of value and worth in play.
  21. The phenomenal use of sound and the "snuff" executions are exceptional, and the attention to detail in both the environments, the gangs, hell, even the instruction booklet is top notch.
  22. 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]
  23. Seriously intense, and anyone with a stomach for the game's concept ought to find it fiendishly entertaining.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. I liked the game sometimes and other times I despised it. Then again, maybe that is what they were shooting for.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. Violent or not, Manhunt contains substance that other games can only wish for, and does so while pulling off some excellent and original play mechanics, executed to near-perfection.
  30. Ultimately, however, Manhunt becomes more laborious than shocking. Along the way, the vaunted enemy A.I. turns transparent, detracting considerably from its aura of paranoia.
  31. 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.
  32. A word of caution should probably be added; the overall pace of Manhunt is rather slow. This is in keeping with the overall feel of the game and somewhat necessary for development of the linear story line.
  33. A very good game, it's just hidden under a coat of blood and filth. The game engine is good, and the gameplay, graphics and audio are well done. If you can stomach the disturbing images and violence, you'll find a solid stealth/action game.
  34. A subversive parody that cleverly indicts our depraved culture? If it makes you feel better about having a shitload of sadistic fun, sure.
  35. 88
    Extremely violent and even a bit disturbing, but it is also one of the finest games to grace the Playstation 2 in some time.
  36. I just didn't quite get into Manhunt the way I wanted to because of the wierd control setup. This game just doesn't do justice with a GTA-style control system. It's not the same game.
  37. A dirty, grisly, filthy but brilliant game experience. [Jan 2007, p.106]
  38. 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.
  39. 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]
  40. 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]
  41. 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.
  42. With all of the variety and unlockable content, you'd be hard-pressed to find a game more gut-wrenchingly intense and disturbing as this one. That being said, it makes for one hell of a good time.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. A fun game that’s utterly and completely bone-chilling in some parts. If you’re old enough, this is one hunt worth going on.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
User Score
8.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 105 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 59
  2. Negative: 5 out of 59
  1. Oct 12, 2012
    8
    Disturbing, 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 »
  2. Nov 16, 2013
    10
    i wish i can go back to the same day this came out in 03. i still got the same magazine of game informer with manhunt gameplay pics. this was the main game we wanted out of the game books of 2003. still play one and two in 2013. these classics i hope, wont ever be forgot. Full Review »
  3. Jun 24, 2013
    5
    I admit that I never played Manhunt until the year 2013 when I anxiously downloaded it from psn. I have no problem with the violence or the blood, I actually find it entertaining but I do hate poor controls (a rockstar trademark during the ps2 era), I also despise the poor camera angles, lack of save points, lack of choice, and the dull graphics (even for the ps2, this is not good). I do love the story and the premise of the game but unfortunately at some point you have to actually use the controller and that is when the game fails. Its different, its violent, and at first its exciting--if you can deal with its many, many problems. Full Review »