A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game is one of the most graphically violent and gory titles in video game history. In it you must kill people to complete the adventure; you perform dramatic "execution" moves by following on-screen instructions; and on the Wii version, you mimic the murderous actions using the motion-sensing remote. There are many instances of swearing: the first two words in the game are "Holy f--k!" Drugs, alcohol, and partial nudity are also part of this game.
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What's it about?
Available for the Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation 2, and Sony PlayStation Portable, MANHUNT 2 begins as your character, Dr. Daniel Lamb, escapes the Dixmor Asylum for the Criminally Insane, after being injected with a mysterious drug that unleashes his homicidal tendencies. Without giving much of the plot away, Lamb finds himself outside in the real world, beginning with a visit to the now-dilapidated home of his youth. But not without going on a killing spree first. Even though the killings appear to be out of Lamb's control, it's not unusual for him to vomit and utter remorseful words after committing these grotesque murders.
Is it any good?
This disturbing psychological story is even more controversial on the Nintendo Wii: With the Wii's wireless motion-sensing controllers all of your killing is performed by mimicking the movements with your hands in front of the TV. This includes stabbing by thrusting the controller forward, slashing up and down, or whacking someone over the head with a sledgehammer by moving your arms accordingly.
If the developers who created Manhunt 2 put half as much effort into making the game fun as they did into making it shocking, then maybe it would be worth picking up -- if you were a grown-up who was into truly violent entertainment. But this is not the case. What you're left with is a game that's an appalling choice for kid gamers who manage to get their hands on it and a mediocre yet disgusting experience for everyone else.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about ultra-violent gaming. What do your kids think is appealing? Why do they think people play games like this? If your kids say they know the difference between "real" and "fantasy" violence, you might point out the fact that studies show engaging in this kind of violent material increases aggression. Is this just a way to live out a horror movie or does this fulfill violent tendencies?
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