Manhunt 2 PC gets AO rating

ESRB suggests an uncut release for Rockstar's controversial stealth action game is in the works.

In June of 2007, Rockstar Games' Manhunt 2 for the PlayStation 2, PSP, and Wii was slapped with an AO-for-Adults-Only from the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Given that Sony and Nintendo forbid third-party publishers from releasing AO-rated games on their platforms, Rockstar and parent company Take-Two quickly toned the game down and resubmitted it to the ESRB, receiving an M-for-Mature as a result.

Rockstar took the axe to its game on the consoles and PSP in order to get an M-for-Mature rating.

Now the game has been given an AO from the ESRB once more, this time for a new platform. The ratings board's online database has been updated to include Manhunt 2 on the PC, with the age-restrictive rating applied for "Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs." The M-rated editions of the game feature the same content descriptors.

Manhunt 2 was Take-Two's third time running into ratings trouble. In 2005, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on the PlayStation 2 and PC had its ESRB rating bumped up from an M to an AO after a sex-themed minigame dubbed "Hot Coffee"--inaccessible through normal gameplay--was discovered on the disc. The game was yanked off shelves, damaging Take-Two's bottom line, sparking a federal investigation and multiple lawsuits, and ultimately contributing to a change in management.

The second time Take-Two ran afoul of the ESRB was with the release of Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for the Xbox 360 and PC. Launched in March of 2006 with a T-for-Teen rating, Oblivion was on shelves roughly six weeks before the ESRB decided it deserved an M rating, citing "more detailed depictions of blood and gore than were considered in the original rating," as well as nude female skin textures in the game accessible through user-made mod programs.

As of press time, representatives with Take-Two and Rockstar Games had not returned GameSpot's requests for comment.

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Discussion

76 comments
layno11
layno11

give it an AO rating and kids are gonna want to play it more just ask me im 12 and i love this game

Re-Skull
Re-Skull

Hey "TxtBin" your a Genius Dude. you have told my tongue ! i vote u up...

TxtBin
TxtBin

I don't give a crap about the rating. What big difference is in between M and AO. Nothing. You think one year is gonna make you more mature? Are you saying 17 year olds don't know whats wrong and right? Really, people are just protecting people. Kids start watching porn as soon as they hit 10 and have a very vast knowledge of how "bad" stuff works. Technology is so advanced these days. I really don't understand what point there is in lousy ratings of 1 year differences and of damned parents just overreacting. It's just a game. Get over it. Your fine with watching uncut versions of Saw and Hostel which is far more disgusting and realistic, but don't watch kids to see badly-animated, pixelised red stuff squirting about. Fine, you might argue that the child has to interact but I can counter-argue, don't buy the bloody game then. It's called "Manhunt", sweet jesus. Your not gonna expect a freakin' game where you gonna be riding ponies now are you? But I am looking forward to an uncensored PC release. I didn't like Manhunt 2 that much, but I had Manhunt for the PC, the seuel might be worth adding to my collection.

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

I bought Manhunt 2 for PS2 and quickly returned it because it was heavily censored. If R* release an uncensored PC version I'll definitely be a very happy man.

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

This game was not anyway near as bad as it is made out to be. I played the uncensored psp version and it was absolutely no worse than the original.

bcroger2
bcroger2

Interesting... why would the ESBR suggest an uncut release for the game. But i mean this is a great reason to try to make a super scary game, i played manhunt 1 and i have to say i felt very uncomfortable playing the game. Am not into this game, but with all the graphic technology PC has to offer, and all the violence the game has this is a perfect time ti make this game a horror game.

dr_satan666
dr_satan666

Sweet! Good on Rockstar! Release the game YOUR way, as it was originally intended. We never even got the censored Manhunt 2 in Australia but we had the original Manhunt for 2 years before it was banned (in case you haven't heard our government are f***ing nazis), digital download huh? try and stop me now! Will definitely be picking this up....

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

I doubt someone can stop a kid, who's determined to play Manhunt 2 or watch some porn, so don't be rediculuos it's inevitable and it's better for you to know when it's gonna happen and keep it under control, then to forbid it and miss the moment your kid get used to words such as decapitation and/or threesome gangbang.

gangsterjc
gangsterjc

Also if it does get a pc release some one is Obviously Guna Un-censor it,and even then pirating aswell.

gangsterjc
gangsterjc

@Morphine_OD Horrible Parents FTW!

squarejp
squarejp

I think Manhunt is just insane. It's definitely not for the faint of heart. I was pretty uncomfortable when playing that game, not to mention it's pretty challenging. Everytime when I die, I have to look at the cruel scene and moves again. Which leads to learning passively how to kill people using the in game tools such as plastic bags, pipe, glass fragment, etc. AO for sure.

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

So what. Give it an AO it would sell just as good as the M stamped box... which is little.

smzee27
smzee27

I can't believe we're still talking about Manhunt 2. Though for PC, I think it's still pretty OK even if it gets an AO rating because most core PC gamers seem to be above 18 anyway.

hollow56771
hollow56771

Lol i still have the teen rated box of Oblivion

Andrex1212
Andrex1212

In all honesty, I played Prototype and was ASTONISHED by how insanely gruesome that game was. I am not one to be urked by blood or gore, but I just found it quite ridiculous that Prototype had NO problems whatsoever with being released when one of the main arguments against GTA was that you could get a hooker in your car, pay her to have sex with you to regain health, and then kill her after to get your money back. The rebuttle was "Who the hell does that as a means to get health?" In prototype, you have to consume people in a gruesome fashion to regain health, and you are CONSTANTLY slaughtering people without even MEANING to as you run through the streets. What's with the favoritism?

thetravman
thetravman

Dang, this game is old and it's still being ported? Especially since the PC supports next gen graphics. In a way, that sounds more interesting since we can actually see what's going on in the death scenes. That was actually the best part of the game, and the censorship sort of killed it.

Cetanu07
Cetanu07

AO games should be sold in american retail stores

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

This is great news. I've wanted to play Manhunt 2 since it was released but I refuse to buy that censored version. I'll definitely buy this uncut version when it's released.

chakkerz
chakkerz

Morphine_OD and it is your kid, so who better to mess him up, right?

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

I would buy my kid a copy, if he asked me. It's just a matter of trust, I know he's playing manhunt, he knows that I don't mind, it raises my rep with him. Also I can explain a few things to him, if he's coming up with some trouble, even help him with some "damn I'm stuck" places.

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

As long as you can purchase these games with an I.D. check, I have no problem with this. Hell, I support it: the more I.D. checking we have, the less ammunition the government has when it comes to gaming censorship. As others have pointed out, though, this absurd obsession with banning sex and nudity really needs to cool down. If I had to choose between having my kid watch a stupid porno flick or footage of a guy beating carved up by a chainsaw, then my kid is gonna suffer through 'Buffy Does Boston.' I doubt he'll be scarred in any way, other than when he gets older, when he wonders why his girlfriends never wear clear high heels to bed.

Torque203
Torque203

Well if ESRB isnt going to attack a game for violence and sex then Fox New will. just like Mass Effect. THE SEX BOX. i cant believe they really made a story out of that. Rated M games Should Be allowed The same type of material that a Rated R movie has. Its rated M not E or T for a reason.

mgsforever
mgsforever

Still from what I've seen manhunt 2 doesn't deserve to be rated AO.

mgsforever
mgsforever

I didn't even know what manhunt even was(or heaven forbid "hot coffee") until a little while ago. It's just plain stupid. Why make games that are rated AO when first of all it would hurt your sales, publishers, fans, and all that other crap. I dont even want AO rated games. I have no desire to play something so stupid or insane. It's just plain stupidity.

jojoforpres
jojoforpres

This is just another case of too little too late. Why on earth would it take this long to release? When Rockstar decided to concede and release a censored version, I made the decision to never buy censored video games ever again. I had already made that decision about the movies I buy, so it was really the straw that broke this camel's back. I personally think it would be easier if all video games had to be purchased by someone over the age of eighteen. That would kill Nintendo's profits though... and put ESRB out of buisiness. (P.S. @ breakdown84: You are only the fifth user I've spotted using one of the avatars I made for Gamespot. Thanks for choosing Jojo!)

Noavar
Noavar

I find ratings on games stupid, it should be up to the parents what games their kids are allowed to play, not other people. Unfortunately parents dont have a clue what their kids are playing.

poorisaac
poorisaac

I am also agreeing with Stiler. I find it strange that a game like Manhunt would get hated on by something like the ESRB, a game that HAS to be purchased by an adult, when it is just as easy for adult to buy a ticket for a child to go to a R rated movie with content MUCH MORE extreme content and it gets no flak whatsoever

poorisaac
poorisaac

Manhunt 2 was good, there really is no denying.But I honestly think that guns were introduced way too quickly. Plus without the ranking system it felt like it was pointless(other than just to watch) to take your time and use the most gruesome kills. Hopefully, if Rockstar decides for a third outing they will take a bit more time to make it more like the first one.

solidine
solidine

Meh, I didn't think Manhunt 2 was anywhere near as brutal as the first one. It wasn't as good a game overall, either. Having said that, I don't think the game deserves an A/O ratign in any way shape or form. Sure, it's violent and brutal, but still in a way that can't be taken all that seriously.

schesak
schesak

The ESRB is okay with kids playing games where they kill people as long as there is no graphic display of blood and gore to go with it...but heaven forbid there be nudity. And somehow that makes sense to alot of people?

PS3M
PS3M

o well the average gamer age is in the 30s.

Stiler
Stiler

[quote]You guys do realize thats it's not the ESRB's fault, I hope. Ninty and Sony have banned the sale of AO games on their consoles, and stores like walmart and the like have banned AO games from their shelves. An AO rating isn't deadly on the PC; it can be downloaded from multiple sources and there are stores out there that sell them. So don't hate on the ESRB, hate on Ninty and Sony for banning them.[/quote] I'll hate on the ESRB for having slanted ratings that rate nudity and things more harshly to the equilivant of movies and other mediums. The M rating hsould be fully able to containt nudity/violence that any R rated film would have, however that's not possible with the ESRB's ratings. Films like the more recent popular Saw franchise which rack up big bucks at teh box office would easily get an AO rating by the ESRB.

Kashuno
Kashuno

You guys do realize thats it's not the ESRB's fault, I hope. Ninty and Sony have banned the sale of AO games on their consoles, and stores like walmart and the like have banned AO games from their shelves. An AO rating isn't deadly on the PC; it can be downloaded from multiple sources and there are stores out there that sell them. So don't hate on the ESRB, hate on Ninty and Sony for banning them.

kong_sevixnine
kong_sevixnine

@ MafiaBroad82 I agree. In fact, the biggest part of the industry are adults.

metalguitar13
metalguitar13

Mortal Kombat started ESRB......if there was no ESRB....GTA would of started ESRB.

MafiaBroad82
MafiaBroad82

Damn the ESRB! There should be nothing blocking the gaming industry from releasing games of any rating, if the music and movie industries can do anything they want. Plus games aren't just for kids, adults should be able to buy any game they want regardless of ratings, as a matter of fact damn the ratings system all together. We want more AO games!!!

darkcomedian
darkcomedian

oh ESRB how we hate you, how we want to destroy your organization, and completely disregard you without second thought, especially when you censor our game experience, ohhh ESRB. Nobody loves you.

Guzthon
Guzthon

"Long live the video game players' rights". "R.I.P. to the censorship". I hope that RockStar Games release Manhunt 2 for the PS3 and XBOX 360.

NuKkU
NuKkU

woah thats crazy a AO rating!!! for a game that isnt adult

Zloth2
Zloth2

"How come WoW, Sims, FF and every single other game out there doesn't receive an AO rating because of user made mods? Were the skins in Oblivion available on the game disc?" Yep, you got it -Celeste-. The skins were on the game disks. However, the game made it impossible to go without clothes unless you modified it. You could just as easily modify the game to put (probably much better looking) nudes into the game with downloaded textures so really there's no practical difference, it's just where they decided to draw the line. That's hardly anything new - there's no practical difference between a person who's one day short of 18 years old and one day past 18 years old, but all kinds of laws change anyway.

OnionTree
OnionTree

AO? Nice! Death to censorship.

MetalCore84
MetalCore84

lhscouchmonster, When is the last time you saw an AO game for sale? The studios want to go M or under because most retailers will not sell a game rated AO. Also, the lower the rating, the more consumers that can buy it.

BloodMist
BloodMist

Oh that would be just fantastic considering the way that the game was edited was unforgivable.It shouldn't have even gotten an AO rating considering how many absurdly violent games are out there with M ratings.

VengfulOne
VengfulOne

Uncut? Yes please. I hope they bump up the graphics too.

Blood_Diamond
Blood_Diamond

I hope they do make a uncut version i would kill for that... not really... but i would do almost anything for that version of the game