Rockstar on the Manhunt again

Developer's new London studio debuts with sequel to controversial stealth action game for PS2, PSP, and Wii; teaser trailer inside.

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Rockstar Games today announced that it is working on a sequel to Manhunt, the violent 2003 stealth action game that cast players as a death-row inmate forced to run a sadistic gauntlet of armed killers. Manhunt 2 is expected to release this summer for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and the Wii, where it will be the first Rockstar title for Nintendo's new platform.

Development on the game is a family affair for the company. Rockstar has confirmed it as the debut title for Rockstar London, which is working in conjunction with Rockstar North, the studio responsible for the first Manhunt, and Rockstar Leeds. Rockstar Toronto is also getting into the act by handling development of the Wii version of the game.

"With Manhunt 2 we have tried to create a game that stays close to the original concept of chilling suspense and stealth, whilst pushing the game design and storytelling forward," said Rockstar cofounder Sam Houser.

In 2004, the parents of a murdered 14-year-old blamed their son's death on Manhunt, saying his 17-year-old killer was influenced by the game's brutality. UK retailer Dixons pulled the game from its shelves in the wake of the attack, while a spokesperson for rival retailer HMV said his chain experienced significantly increased demand for the game in the wake of the tragedy. Police went on record as saying the game hadn't been connected to the boy's death, and the killer's motive was actually robbery.

Manhunt 2 has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

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