While an amended version of Manhunt 2 has now been cleared for release in North America after it was given an M for Mature rating by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, British gamers are still out of luck.
The British Board of Film Classification today announced that a revised version of the game was recently submitted for assessment, after the original became only the second game in the country to be banned.
The original version of Manhunt 2, which was due out on July 13, was denied a classification in June due to its "unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone," effectively banning the title in the UK. The Irish Film Censor's Office followed suit, and the game was also given an AO for Adults Only rating in the States. The AO rating also works as a ban, since both Sony and Nintendo refuse to allow AO-rated games on their systems.
Rockstar Games is currently appealing the UK ban on the original game, although this appeal was suspended while the board considered the new version.
BBFC director David Cooke said that the changes that were made to the game "did not go far enough." He said in a statement, "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."
Cooke added that the board had made suggestions for further changes to the game, but these were ignored. The title has been rejected on two platforms--presumably the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Wii, although a PlayStation Portable version is also planned. Rockstar has the right to appeal this decision alongside its appeal against the original ban.
Rockstar representatives had not returned calls for comment as of press time.