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Manhunt 2 rated AO by ESRB

Manhunt 2 rated AO by ESRB

Manhunt 2, already banned in the UK, has recieved a preliminary AO rating in the US from the ESRB.

Game Publisher Take-Two has recently confirmed that the ESRB has issued a preliminary rating of AO, or Adults Only, to both the PlayStation 2 and Wii versions of the controversial Manhunt 2.

Adults Only is the highest rating the ESRB can issue to a game.

Manhunt 2 has been the subject of continued controversy for its bleak, gory depiction of murder and executions that go beyond that previously seen in games. The Nintendo Wii version of the game has been especially controversial as the Wii's capabilities enable players to mimic the moves of their on-screen character, essentially stabbing the in-game opponents.

Take-Two issued the following statement to Kotaku earlier today;

"We believe the process of rating videogames is to help people make informed entertainment choices and not to limit them. Manhunt 2 was created for mature audiences and we strongly believe it should receive an M (Mature) rating, aligning it with similar content created in other forms of media."

The Mature rating is a step down from the AO rating which the ESRB has preliminarily issued, but games with an M rating are significantly easier to locate and purchase than those with an AO rating, especially as retailers like Wal-mart will not stock any AO rated games.

This mirrors the severe reaction of the BBFC in the UK, which recently banned the game from going on sale within the United Kingdom. The Board cited "unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone" and "sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged" as the main objections.

The original Manhunt game was blamed for the death of a boy killed in Leicester in 2004, with some parties claiming the murderer trained himself on the game despite the police opinion that it was a 'robbery gone wrong.'

The ESRB rating, unlike the BBFC rating, is not legally enforceable and the game may still be sold in the US without age-verification.

Tried the original? Did you get dark thoughts and a lust for blood, or did you just want to go hug a kitten and play a semi-decent game instead? Let us know what you think in the forums.

13 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Spacecowboy92 20th June 2007, 20:46 Quote
Why not just ban it there? or cant they do that.
CardJoe 20th June 2007, 21:22 Quote
ESRB doesn't have the right. Unlike the BBFC they are a voluntary ratings system, not a legally approved body, though like the BBFC they are still independant of the government.

Retailers like Wal-mart use them as a guideline however, and won't stock games with an AO rating, so developers often prefer a maximum of an M rating as places like Target and Wal-Mart have a significant effect on sales.

At least, thats my understanding of it and I'm not American.
SNIPERMikeUK 20th June 2007, 21:42 Quote
These games are crap, now if Grand Theft Auto was banned then that would be a travesty....
docodine 20th June 2007, 21:59 Quote
Oh no, there goes my one chance at playing an educational game on the Wii.

But really, the main premise of the Manhunt series seems the reason why it's being banned. (pretty much, anyway.)

Hell, in Zelda you swing your sword at human-like opponents, and they fly backwards and explode. You then go on to consume their heart.

They really have to stop freaking out about a little violence, just as much violence was in the movie Saw, and that wasn't banned...
Morphine-Kitty 20th June 2007, 23:15 Quote
This is stupid. Like was said above me, Saw was never banned and they're the same level of violence. For those who say it's the "interaction" with the game that makes it bad, if you are impressionable enough to murder someone because a bunch of pixels "told you to", you need some help and SHOULDN'T BE PLAYING THE GAME IN THE FIRST PLACE. I honestly think when all these parents start complaining about video games and how they inspire violence, they need to sit down and think if its really their parenting thats bad.

By the way CardJoe, you got it spot-on. It's just a SUGGESTED rating, and they have no legal standing on banning games and the like.
Yemerich 21st June 2007, 00:50 Quote
Well if its a AO rating they want so let it be! I am pretty sure that still will sell good. Because its a very good game (at least the first was). Perhaps they can sell online, like "steam" or such.

The only real complain i have is...
WHAT??? NO PC VERSION?!?!?
Aankhen 21st June 2007, 03:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morphine-Kitty
This is stupid. Like was said above me, Saw was never banned and they're the same level of violence. For those who say it's the "interaction" with the game that makes it bad, if you are impressionable enough to murder someone because a bunch of pixels "told you to", you need some help and SHOULDN'T BE PLAYING THE GAME IN THE FIRST PLACE.
Certainly. May I just point out that people do a lot of things that they "SHOULDN'T BE DOING IN THE FIRST PLACE"?
Quote:
I honestly think when all these parents start complaining about video games and how they inspire violence, they need to sit down and think if its really their parenting thats bad.
Yes, they need to. But they won't. They'll always look for something else to blame it on, with the end result being that society gains more and more twisted inhabitants.
Tulatin 21st June 2007, 07:42 Quote
Y'know, if i was rockstar at this point, i would COMPLETELY change the game before submitting it. Make it into a kid's game, a satirical - albeit clean, look at a penile colony where an idea of violence gets cut out of the picture. Make the UK board and the ESRB look like a bunch of twats it would.
CardJoe 21st June 2007, 08:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulatin
penile colony

Um, you mean penal colony, right?
Havok154 21st June 2007, 09:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yemerich
Well if its a AO rating they want so let it be! I am pretty sure that still will sell good. Because its a very good game (at least the first was). Perhaps they can sell online, like "steam" or such.

The only real complain i have is...
WHAT??? NO PC VERSION?!?!?

Well SONY and Nintendo have already come out and said that they do not allow AO rated games to be released on their systems, which means Rockstar either has to scrap the game or do some heavy editing.
mikeuk2004 21st June 2007, 11:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SNIPERMikeUK
These games are crap, now if Grand Theft Auto was banned then that would be a travesty....

GTA 1 was banned in the UK for a period.
Lucidity 21st June 2007, 14:00 Quote
Take 2 should grow a pair, code it for the 360, and release it as AO. If the game sells well it will be a major step for the gaming industry. It will tell other developers and companies that they can sell more mature games. As long as retailers card people, I'm not sure how much trouble will be stirred up.
Morphine-Kitty 21st June 2007, 19:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aankhen
Certainly. May I just point out that people do a lot of things that they "SHOULDN'T BE DOING IN THE FIRST PLACE"?

Very valid point. In fact, thats the exact reason the Darwins exist. :)
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