Mixed or average reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 37
  2. Negative: 2 out of 37
Buy On
  1. 83
    When it comes down to it, the grisly cutscenes are just icing on the cake of a well-honed stealth and tactical action game. Manhunt is a solid, deep experience for seasoned gamers pining for a hardcore, challenging game.
  2. Manhunt is seriously intense, and anyone with a stomach for the game's concept ought to find it fiendishly entertaining...An audacious game that backs up its extremely violent subject matter with solid stealth action gameplay.
  3. One of the bravest works of game creation I've ever played. [June 2004, p.132]
  4. If you’ve played the PS2 version, nothing you’ll find here will make you see this game in a new light but this is truly the version to own if you own both systems for the bonus missions and crisper visuals.
  5. Cheat Code Central
    The animations of the kills are the star of the show. They not only transcend the PS2's graphics but they rival some movies in realism.
  6. The killing can become repetitive, but the large variety of weapons helps keep some of the stagnant game play fresh.
  7. 85
    Once the initial shock value wears off, you're left with a very challenging and rewarding video game. You might, however, want to keep a barf-bag handy just in case.
  8. But while it does output a far greater degree of detail than the open spaces of GTA can afford, at no stage does it get anywhere near matching the accomplished environments of, say, "Splinter Cell," and its almost complete lack of narrative gives the proceedings a completely hollow feel to them.
  9. A dark, difficult, bloody stealth game that puts fell weapons in the player’s hands, and almost taunts them into action.
  10. GamePro
    If you don't enjoy a challenge just for the sake of doing it, though, Manhunt isn't going to appeal to you. [Aug 2004, p.66]
  11. 50
    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.
  12. If you enjoy slow, strategic, stealth gameplay, if you hacked your way through "Tenchu: Return from Darkness" and wanted more blood and violence then look no further. You won’t find a more stylish or disturbing game than this.
  13. It possesses excellent technical qualities with a run-down view of the world that Nostradamus would be proud of. But it lacks any heart.
  14. Like a creepy, surly teenager on his first day of high school, this game simply tries too hard to be cool and achieves very little of what it sets out to accomplish.
  15. Official Xbox Magazine
    Don't avoid buying Manhunt because it's sick; avoid Manhunt because it has virtually no redeemable gameplay quality, period. [July 2004, p.87]
  16. 50
    After you see through its repetitive gameplay, gimmicky execution scenes, and tiresome, self-consciously obscene dialogue, there isn't much left. Manhunt's gameplay isn't deep or varied enough to match up to the alternatives on any platform.
  17. The camera doesn’t always provide the most beneficial view of your surroundings.
  18. Repetitive and tiresome at times but that's not the problem. The problem is that the developer has made no effort at all with the shadow/lighting system.
  19. An experience like no other. The gameplay isn’t revolutionary, but when all factors are brought together, the game will not disappoint those looking for a departure from the normal spy-like stealth action genre.
  20. That said it creates a tense and chilling experience like no other videogame we’ve played, which certainly provides the main allure for the game.
  21. The foul language and large amounts of brutality should be considered before buying. It does however offer solid stealth action gameplay and a unique experience.
  22. Get past the controls and you're good. That's really my only sticking point, even on the newer Xbox version, but it's unfortunately an important one.
  23. Play it if your stomach is strong and you're not easily offended; if you're feeling jaded about carjacking in Liberty City, maybe this is exactly what you need.
  24. 77
    Where "Grand Theft Auto" was rather playful in its depictions of crime and violence, Manhunt is simply very blunt and all too real. It doesn’t attempt to present itself as anything other than what it is: a grim and somber representation of cold-blooded murder.
  25. The game looks a lot better since Rockstar has made use of the Xbox’s visual processor for higher resolutions, better textures and a much better framerate.
  26. GMR Magazine
    Say it with us: Poorly implemented gimmicks do not make for entertaining games. [July 2004, p.89]
  27. The game play does get repetitive as you simply go from A to B doing the same things over and over with little variation except in weapons and levels.
  28. Manhunt attempts to combine excessive violence with stealth-action gameplay, but fails to invoke a sense of value and worth in play.
  29. If you are after a guns-out shooting fest then you better get your stealthy ninja mate to play through the first two thirds of the game for you as you will quickly tire of the games slow pace and relentless punishment of mistakes early on. If you are looking for an original well designed devilishly dark gaming experience and can deal with all the gore and swearing then Manhunt is highly recommended.
  30. Xbox Nation Magazine
    A stealth game that dramatically overstays its welcome. [July 2004, p.86]
  31. If you're looking for your next stealth fix and can stomach the games storyline and content, then Manhunt offers an adult experience with a tough challenge for even the most seasoned gamer.
  32. 81
    Playing with headphones, and in complete darkness, this game is like playing a movie, except you star in it. Warning, it gave me a nightmare the first night I played, maybe you too.
  33. 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.
  34. This game is perfect for people that are really into horror games and adventure games because this is exactly what the game is combined into one.
  35. 68
    Perhaps the next time around, we will be surprised when we go in expecting to control a killing machine and instead find a deep (and/or deeply disturbed) man in our hands. Perhaps not. Hopefully, it will just be a little more memorable than this.
  36. If you manage to look past the extreme gore and violence overkill, there’s a pretty good game hidden away in there.

Awards & Rankings

#32 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2004
#34 Most Shared Xbox Game of 2004
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Negative: 2 out of 20
  1. Feb 25, 2015
    They certainly don't make them like they used to. Ballsy story with great acting, great game play and an ever growing arsenal of weapons. OneThey certainly don't make them like they used to. Ballsy story with great acting, great game play and an ever growing arsenal of weapons. One of my favorite features when I played the game on my XBOX 360 was how the director spoke to you only through headphones - just like the character in the game. Full Review »
  2. Aug 3, 2011
    I recently decided to play some old games, only a few from this generation I can actually still REALLY enjoy... manhunt over 7 years old atI recently decided to play some old games, only a few from this generation I can actually still REALLY enjoy... manhunt over 7 years old at the time of this review holds up. Sure the controls are shaky that's why the new generation of consoles came out. This game is one of the best survival horror games ever, maybe the best. Full Review »
  3. LiamP.
    Feb 22, 2007
    Manhunt is obviously a well thought out, complex survival game. But tedious repetition and limited replay value detract from the experience. Manhunt is obviously a well thought out, complex survival game. But tedious repetition and limited replay value detract from the experience. The weapon system is often frustrating but there are many creative aspects to the game which should not be overlooked. Manhunt would be worth a rental except the game is too difficult to pick up and play for a few hours, but too boring to be worth owning. Full Review »