Tips and Hints
Style PointsAs you play through the game, you'll notice that you're ranked on a scale of one to five stars after every mission. One of these stars is an automatic boost that you receive for playing on Hardcore mode, meaning that you're limited to four stars if you're playing through the game on the Fetish difficulty. Another star is a time bonus; this will appear if you finish a mission underneath a certain time limit. The last three stars are your style points; you can gain anywhere from zero to the full three by killing large numbers of Hunters, with a large number of full-gore executions (the ones with the red targeting arrows) thrown into the mix. The kill count, execution numbers, and time limits can all be found alongside an individual mission's entry in the walk-through. These star ratings have two effects: First, if you finish a mission with three stars, you unlock an art entry that can be accessed through the "Bonus Material" selection in the main menu. Getting three stars in five consecutive missions will also unlock a bonus scene, which can be selected from the end of the Scene Listing.
Getting five stars in a mission (which is obviously only possible in Hardcore mode) grants you parts of a password, which can be combined to make codes. These codes can be entered into the main menu to access special gameplay features that will give you a bit more replay value for the game, but you can only enter them after you've unlocked them, so even though we give them to you below, you'll still have to slog through the game if you want to use them.
Difficulty LevelsManhunt has two difficulties: Fetish and Hardcore. Both are accessible before you start your first game, and you can toggle them on and off for individual missions. Hardcore is functionally similar to Fetish mode: there'll always be the same number of enemies in the same locations. The difference is that you take a noticeably increased amount of damage, and, most importantly, the radar that fills you in on enemy positions is eliminated. You'll still be able to pick up on the Hunters' general location by listening for audio clues, but you won't know for certain where a target is until you make visual contact. For this reason, it's generally going to better to play through the game on Fetish mode first, concentrating on learning the levels and/or getting the three stars to unlock the bonus missions, before heading up to Hardcore mode to get the full five star rankings.
Getting ExecutionsThe execution is the design feature that's central to Manhunt's gameplay experience, and the game, indeed, will force you into executing as many of your enemies as you can, both to survive and to gain the style point bonuses necessary to unlock bonus materials. You can, of course, run through the game going toe-to-toe with every Hunter you come across, but you won't live long. Alternatively, you can use firearms and blow away everyone who stands in your path, but you won't unlock any bonus features. (This is a great way to play through the game for the first time, though). Getting executions and, more importantly, getting full-blown, red arrow, Gruesome executions, revolves around three key skills: the catch, the bait, and the lure. You are truly a fisher of men in Manhunt, although not in the sense that that phrase is normally applied .
The easiest way to execute a Hunter is to get him as he goes about his normal business. Most of the enemies in the game will patrol an area along a set path, deviating from it only if they spot you, hear a suspicious sound, or otherwise become alerted. If you can maneuver yourself into a position from which you can pick up their trail, you can usually sneak up behind them and overtake them, since your walking speed is quicker than that of the Hunters. After you get within range of an execution, it's a simple matter of holding down the button until the targeting arrows turn red to get the full style points.
Catching enemies isn't without complications, however. First off, you'll need to make sure that you don't wander into any other enemy's line of sight while you're skulking along behind your potential victim. If even a single opponent spots you tracking your prey, you'll have to deal with both him and the person you've been stalking, since the spotter will call out and warn your victim. Second, catching people as they walk their routes is often time-consuming, both because you'll often have avoid other enemies, as noted, and because they walk slowly enough to make them generally take a minute or more to complete a full circuit along their appointed path. (This depends on the target, of course; many take less.) Waiting this long will usually prevent you from coming in under the time limit for a mission, and is also, well, kind of boring. Still, if you have an opportunity to get an easy execution on a route-running enemy, a catch can be a wonderful thing.