User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 118 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 97 out of 118
  2. Negative: 8 out of 118

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  1. Jan 15, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. You are put into the shoes of convicted criminal James Cash. Sentenced to death (for a crime that is unknown to the player), his execution is staged, and rather than being put to death, he is simply given a sedative, and then abducted. Thus, he ends up in the clutches of a sick snuff film director, who intends to use James in his latest movie. Left in an abandoned part of city, with paid gangs hunting him down, James has no choice but to listen to his instructions given to him through an ear piece. He must survive by killing those that are hunting him, and remain hidden, whilst the director catches it all on film.

    Throughout the game, the whole point is to remain hidden from the gangs hunting you down, and then either creep past them without them seeing you, distract them, or creep up behind them and kill them. If you walk, rather than run, your footsteps are too quiet for the hunters to hear. If you run, they will hear you and investigate, similarly, if you bump into a trash can or walk on a noisy surface, then they will hear. The game is set at night, and so there are lots of dark shadowy areas to hide in. Once you are completely within a shadow, hunters will not be able to see you.

    The game is split up into scenes, and each scene involves a particular gang of hunters. Each of them has their own kind of dress code and way of speaking. You start off against The Hoods, who are basically just thugs in balaclavas. You later face a gang of racist skin heads, some lunatics, some ex-army nutcases and so on. Each gang uses different weapons, starting unarmed, then gradually getting more dangerous with knives, bats, and eventually guns.

    The hunters will actively search for you. They do not follow set paths as they look for you, unlike other stealth games. Some hunters in the game are reluctant to leave a certain post that they are defending, but 99% of the time, hunters will look anywhere for you. This means that you constantly have to be careful about what you're doing, and where you are.

    If a hunter is at long distance, and he catches a glimpse of you, he will just walk over and examine the area, he won't know that it's you instantly. Similarly, if you make a slight noise, he will check it out. If you are close by and he sees you, he will recognise you and chase you, and call any of his partners nearby. With this in mind, the best thing to do is wait in shadows, or out of sight, and wait for opportunities to strike, or to creep past. By tapping walls with your hand, you can lure hunters to your position, and then creep away, leaving them where you were. This becomes a basic tactic that you will continually use in order to get past hunters, or to lure them in to kill them.

    Once a hunter has been alerted and is chasing you, he will run as fast as he can, and so you must run away. You can decide to fight hunters face-to-face, but you will normally get defeated if they gang up, which they normally do. The best thing to do is to try and lose them. If you just run straight ahead down an alleyway or corridor, you will never lose them because they will be able to see you. You have to break the line of sight, by taking a corner. After you do this, the hunter will run to the junction or corner, and turn in the direction that he saw you take. But if by then you're hidden somewhere, he won't know where you went, so he will stop and search. Depending on what gang you are against, they will search for longer periods of time, and they can run faster and have a higher state of alert and awareness.

    Whilst you could try to get through the game by avoiding the hunters, your best bet is to try and take them down if they're in the way of progress. The best way to do this is by using stealth kills. The way this works is by targetting a hunter from behind, when they are unaware of you, then getting in range and then holding down the kill button. Then, when you release the kill button, James will perform the stealth kill, which the hunter cannot escape from. You must use a weapon in order to perform a stealth kill, James can't do it with his bare hands.

    Each weapon has three kills. While you hold down the kill button, the target around the hunter's head will turn from white to yellow to red. Thus, there are three levels of execution. The level 1 (white) executions tend to be instant kills, level 2 (yellow) involves a more brutal killing, and level 3 (red) will have James trying to inflict as much pain as he can whilst executing the hunter. The purpose of this is to satisfy the director, who insists that James makes his movie as brutal as he can. Ultimately, however, it is up to the player how James deals with the hunters, and you can choose to punish the hunters with level 3 executions if you feel like it; it allows you to vent your frustration especially if the hunter is badmouthing you, or has been difficult to stalk. On the other hand, you can give the hunters a break and kill them instantly
  2. Nov 16, 2013
    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.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 47
  2. Negative: 4 out of 47
  1. An engrossing thrill ride. [19 Dec 2003, p.L2T 20]
  2. 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.
  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.