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Manhunt 2 - first look

We'll just go ahead and cut to the chase for those of you who've been following the development of Manhunt 2: we've seen the infamous bit where a guy gets his testicles and one of his vertebrae removed by a pair of wire cutters, and yes, it's nasty. Not as nasty as the scene playing out in your head right now - the actual gore is limited to spraying blood and horrible fleshy wrenching noises - but nasty nonetheless.

We've also seen a pen broken off in a man's throat, a sex-hotel receptionist strangled with his own phone and a hitman's head splattered by a shotgun at point-blank range. And once Manhunt 2 hits this summer, you'll be able to see all this stuff for yourself, as often as you like - assuming schlocky, wince-inducing gore is what you like to see, of course.

If it isn't, then Manhunt 2 won't do much for you. Like the first game, it's a deeply creepy stealth-horror game that'll have you sneaking through the shadows, trying to get the drop on armed "hunters" before they can kill you. The action mostly revolves around creeping up behind your enemies and murdering them with a quick, brutal execution; the longer you can stand close behind them undetected, the more brutal the kill. If you're seen, you'll have to put up a fight, and unless you're heavily armed you probably won't last long. Lucky for you, then, that standing in shadowy places makes you practically invisible to the roving killers that populate each level.

There's more to Manhunt 2 than murder, of course. The story this time involves Dr. Daniel Lamb, a relatively harmless family man and scientist working for a neurological weapons program called the Pickman Project. When the project's funding is cut, Dr. Lamb volunteers himself as a test subject and is predictably driven insane.

Cut ahead to six years later, when a freak power outage gives Lamb, now a deeply disturbed amnesiac, the chance to escape from the Pickman Project's secret asylum. With only vague memories to go on, he's hungry for answers, but the project's sent out hired killers to make sure he doesn't get them. Unless he wants to die without ever understanding what happened to him, Lamb (along with his sociopathic new buddy, Leo Kasper) will have to kill his way to the truth.

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