Manhunt 2 re-banned by BBFC

Manhunt 2 re-banned by BBFC

Manhunt 2 has been refused classification in the UK. Again.

Manhunt 2 was refused classification in the UK a while ago for being too bleak and callous in tone and encouraging needless sadism. No word on the poor gameplay or control scheme which has been reported in numerous pre-controversy previews, but I suppose that isn't really the BBFCs area anyway.

Anyway, the situation quickly escalated for Rockstar and the game was soon banned in numerous countries and left entirely without a platform to be released on. Rockstar appealed the ban but were ultimately forced to cut portions of the game.

That cut version is now approved for sale in the US, and suspecting it may be on a roll, Rockstar recently re-submitted the game to the BBFC for re-consideration. They got bad news back and the BBFC released the following explanation to MCV:

"We recognise that the distributor has made changes to the game, but we do not consider that these go far enough to address our concerns about the original version. The impact of the revisions on the bleakness and callousness of tone, or the essential nature of the gameplay, is clearly insufficient. There has been a reduction in the visual detail in some of the 'execution kills', but in others they retain their original visceral and casually sadistic nature.

We did make suggestions for further changes to the game, but the distributor has chosen not to make them, and as a result we have rejected the game on both platforms. The decision on whether or not an appeal goes ahead lies with the distributor."

Sounds fair to me, but then I've always been of the opinion that the Manhunt series has relied on shock and gore to compensate for a complete lack of other merit. What do you think and have you played the original? Let us know in the forums.


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Sam0r 8th October 2007, 14:20 Quote
I honestly can't see why this game has been banned (twice!), it really isn't that gory. Although I've only played the PS2 version where the graphics aren't that brilliant.
chrisb2e9 8th October 2007, 14:24 Quote
I haven't played it or really looked at it but I will say good for the bbfc for sticking to its guns.
Veles 8th October 2007, 14:27 Quote

Not that I actually want to play the game, but if I did want to, I want to be able to without the BBFC telling me what I can and cannot play.
CardJoe 8th October 2007, 14:49 Quote
Originally Posted by Veles

Not that I actually want to play the game, but if I did want to, I want to be able to without the BBFC telling me what I can and cannot play.

It's surprising how many people say that about this game. Then they play it, see how bad it is and either don't care about that game for its bad gameplay or they recognise the game as being hugely inappropriate and want to protect their children etc from it.
GoodBytes 8th October 2007, 15:05 Quote
When it gets released, just buy it from eBay or something...
And use this trick:

NOTE: I did not actually try it.
sub routine 8th October 2007, 15:35 Quote
OH what a shame, a pi55 poor game has been banned. I mean if c&vg`s are going to be taken as a serious art form they need to be good. A poorly constructed game which only wants to be controversial sounds like a waste of all our times. It`s not something that I`ll lose sleep over.
But then again it does say something about the social condition I haven`t seen saw or hostel they sound crap but something in the human condition must decide that it`s fun somewhere? Which makes it kinda art, but not in a good way. It seems theres more wrong with folks than games, I mean you sit in and watch the entire collection of Sopranos or go see goodfellas as a re-run in the cinema. IN real life though those kinda guys would kill you in a minute but something makes this alluring? Enjoyable? Is it because gangsters played doom as kids? I doubt it they probably battered kids like me who played doom as kids lol.

We have a right as gamers to play well constructed interactive stories without twats like Jack trying to say it`s not socially acceptable.
Joeymac 8th October 2007, 16:15 Quote
The quality of game is irrelevant to whether it should be banned or not. Who the hell is the BBFC to decide on what constitutes "a bleakness and callousness of tone". They passed **** like Norbit for public viewing, 99% of people would probably prefer to play Manhunt 2 than Norbit!
BUT it's down to the British Board of Film CLASSIFICATION to inform people of the content. NOT to censor. If some retards what to watch Norbit then that's up to them.
The examiners at the BBFC have obviously played this games through a few times now. Have they been locked up in mental health facilities? I hope so, we wouldn't want them walking the streets! They are clearly going to kill people and rape puppies. Oh wait, I forgot, they have super human intellects and a constitution above that of us proles.
rewind 8th October 2007, 16:23 Quote
It's sort of backwards that the BBFC seem to be sure that despite any rating this game is given parents will buy it for their children and so it can't be released (although sadly they are right).

Otherwise (and this has been said many times before) there is no argument for banning this while allowing rating many of the slash and murder films out there.

Kind of makes a mockery of the whole game ratings system in the UK.

Have they secretly employed Jack Thompson or something ?
rewind 8th October 2007, 16:26 Quote
Joeymac, apparently the BBFC don't actually play games, the developer plays them videos of it.

Thus they don't get to experience the 'feel' of the game, only watch it.

If it's been unbanned in the US I think we should immediately stop any Americans coming into the UK in case they have played Manhunt. Personally I'm keeping my puppies in doors just in case one of them comes to my village.
Joeymac 8th October 2007, 16:47 Quote
Originally Posted by rewind
Joeymac, apparently the BBFC don't actually play games, the developer plays them videos of it.

Thus they don't get to experience the 'feel' of the game, only watch it.

Oh yes..I remember having read that somewhere now. It's shows how out of touch they are. If they aren't prepared or have experience playing computer games where the hell do they get off deciding what the rest of us should be allowed to do.

Manhunt 2 is probably a crap game. But what happens when a good game comes along and they stick their nose in and get it cut or ban it; the ruling on this one DOES effect what they decide on future content.
I think they have been great at putting certificates on film's over the past few years but are stuck back in the early 90's when it comes to games.
To play devils advocate and flip this on it's head slightly. If they don't play the games then how can they properly review a game's potential psychological effects. We all know that playing "in" the game is a different experience to watching some one else play. I remember playing Resident Evil back in the day and to play it with friends, swapping goes, was far less scary than doing it on your own. I'm not a parent but I sure as hell would want the BBFC to play games and replicate that experience.. they aren't rating it for kids watching it.
I'm a person who watched Nightmare on Elm Street and Alien from when I was 11 and my parents let me decide for myself what I could watch so I don't generally agree fully with how age rating are done. But if they are going to do it.. do it properly.
whisperwolf 8th October 2007, 19:30 Quote
I have the following view, it should not be banned but it should also not be available for sale in outlets frequented by minors, give it an adults only rating sell if from authorised adults goods vendors and the internet. Additionally no advertising in mainstream magazines, TV or radio. Sends a clear warning to the idiot parents who buy 18 games for the sprogs that it's not suitable for kids, stops kids picking it up and crying for the parents to buy it for them.

the original manhunt turned into a hide in shadows and whistle till the bad guy comes up, waits with his back towards you till you killed him, it wasn't overly varied. however I did find the option to have the eccentric film director talking in your ear via the xbox headset to be both clever and very creepy.
mikeuk2004 9th October 2007, 00:51 Quote
Just import it :)
mmorgue 9th October 2007, 12:54 Quote
Regardless of whether the game is rubbish or not, based on what the BBFC website says (
Originally Posted by BBFC Vision Statement
The BBFC regulates not just as a statutory designated authority but also because we serve a socially useful function.

Through the efficient classification of the moving image into advisory and age-related categories, the provision of consumer advice and the maintenance of our archive:

we give the public information that empowers them to make appropriate viewing decisions for themselves and those in their care. We help to protect vulnerable viewers and society from the effects of viewing potentially harmful or unsuitable content while respecting adult freedom of choice.

we provide media industries with the security and confidence of cost-effective, publicly trusted regulation and help to protect providers of moving image content from inadvertent breaches of UK law.

we are able to assist Trading Standards officers in their enforcement role

Now, can someone explain to me how banning the game outright has provided me, an adult, the "freedom of choice" ??

In this case they have gone beyond providing me with information -- they've gone a step further and decided that I cannot have/play this game here in the UK because they don't think it adheres to their morals and values.

To me, this is the worst part of this debacle. Not that it's "Manhunt 2" being banned -- to be honest I could care less about that game. But the fact that they simply decide what I can watch/play! I never gave them that power over me and certainly never signed any waiver or contract to allow that freedom to be taken from me.

BBFC -- DO what you say you're doing, inform us, educate us and help provide a comprehensive, readble ratings system that can be enforced to whatever degree is needed to help parents.

But DO NOT tell me what I can/cannot watch or play.
whisperwolf 9th October 2007, 13:07 Quote
they get away with it because they don't actually Ban anything they refuse to give it a classification, but the outcome of both is we don't get to play it. If there was a highter rating for games than 18, much like dvd has the Adult rating for pornography, then it would probably be shoved into that catagory. as there isn't a higher rating and it can not be sold without a rating we can't buy it. bring on a new rating for games something along the lines of the "will turn you into a blithering idiot or a raving loony" rating, the BIRL for short
sub routine 9th October 2007, 19:15 Quote
ok quality of the game is not the issue but trying to play into the hands of bad publicity just to grab headlines is stupid. They should get back to more well constructed games like GTA3, now thats a game. It reminded me of old school gameplay, like a sandbox manic minor. Wait that was Jet set Willy, well it was like that but on steroids. I understand the point though as what happens when they listen to all those whiney fools and ban good games because they dont like it.

The thing is though games are like the new rock and roll they`re scared of what they don`t understand so they try to throw it in the lake to see if it floats. Obviously if it did they would burn it. :(

So someone somewhere has decided to test to see if violent games make kids violent? What a load of non-sense. I mean we are all a sum of our parts, If you were brought up on A Night-mare on Elm Street and neo nazi propoganda at school who would you become? Do they have any idea of what on earth they are up to? Ok so there is no direct proven link but come on, what do you think they are gonna find? Games IMO are as harmful as books and films as tv and anything else you want to use to tell a story.
It might actually be more interesting to look at why people lfind violent content so interesting, like Andy Mcnabb literature or Pulp fiction ( I always laugh when that guy gets his head blown off ine th back seat of the car ) does that make me a raving socio-path?)

Games consoles are more accessible to kids these days and games are considered more cool. I say don`t let kids have ANY consoles :)

Imagine a yank pre-pubescent free x-box live :):)
Nexxo 9th October 2007, 19:30 Quote
Perhaps this whole "should games depicting violence be banned" debate is a bit like gun ownership debates. Thew majority of sensible, level-headed people (like most of us) can handle a violent game responsibly as we can handle a gun responsibly. The unhinged minority can't. Pity, but that's how it is. We have speed cameras and drink-driving laws because basically, some people are irresponsible drivers. We have censorship laws because some people will let their kids watch and play anything. We have gun laws because --well, you get the picture.

What I think is ironic is that in some countries there is more of a fuss over violent video games, than over guns...
Jack The Mad 10th October 2007, 16:43 Quote
It’s not illegal to play it it’s just that the shops just aren’t aloud to sell it, so buy a French version that’s still pal isn’t it
Cinnander 10th October 2007, 19:14 Quote
Oui, mais c'est possiblement il sera en Francais :\
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