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Manhunt 2: Thrill of the Hunt

Kill. Or be killed. It's an extreme choice for extreme circumstances. And, at the moment, no videogame is quite as extreme as Rockstar Games' Manhunt 2, recently banned in the U.K. and New Zealand, and assigned the Adults Only rating in the U.S. alongside games like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

The first Manhunt was released four years ago to much fanfare, confusion, and, in true Rockstar fashion, controversy. The game, modeled after such films as 8MM, A Clockwork Orange, and The Running Man, revolved around a death-row inmate forced to sneak his way to freedom and brutally execute anyone who got in his way, all for the pleasure of a demented snuff-film Svengali who taped the whole horrifying episode. Playing out like an even more demented Chris Cunningham video, with an amazing digital hardcore soundtrack to match, it was a reality show that thrust a spotlight on the murkiest depths of human behavior. Complaints from concerned parents, lawsuits, and commercial success followed, as did similarly themed flicks like Saw and Hostel.

Manhunt 2 presents an all-new storyline, tight, stealth-action gameplay, and, naturally, even more faces of death as the game carries down the original's gruesome path of twisted violence on the PlayStation 2, PSP, and most interestingly, the motion-sensitive Wii. XLR8R takes an inside look at what could be the most shocking game ever. Oh, and if we aren't back in 10 minutes, call the President.

Daniel Lamb
One-time scientist and current guinea pig, the bespectacled Daniel Lamb awakens from a drug-induced stupor to find himself part of a demented government experiment to create unwitting assassins known as the Pickman Project. (Think Naked Gun with fewer laughs and more shanking.) A freak electrical storm knocks out power to the facility, presenting Daniel the opportunity to escape from his frenzied captors and uncover the truth.

Leo Kasper
A highly trained government assassin thrust into captivity by the Pickman Project, Leo finds himself assisting in Daniel's escape and subsequently training him in the finer points of murder. But aside from being a sociopathic killer, something just ain't right about old Leo.

Doctors Pickman and Whyte
Dr. Whyte carries out wild mind-control experiments on Daniel and his fellow test subjects at the Dixmor Hospital for the Criminally Insane as instructed by the mysterious Dr. Pickman, head of the Pickman Project (duh). We have a feeling these guys may be due for some comeuppance.

Finish Him
Executions are the, erm, meat of the Manhunt series. Here are some of the latest ways to do in your captors.

Guns
Anyone can shoot a dude from 20 feet away. But only a true badass could sneak up on him and blow a hole through the back of his dome.

Wire Cutters
In addition to removing a few very necessary vertebrae, this little devil can also relieve your hunters of their family jewels. Yowza!

Environment
You may not always have a weapon handy so just use whatever your surroundings present: Fry your captor's face in a fuse box or drown him in a feces-filled toilet. You know, dignified ways to meet your maker.

Fun Facts!
The Wii version of Manhunt 2 allows you to physically carry out the onscreen executions in your very own living room! Need to strangle a guy with a phone cord? Get those arm muscles a-twistin'!

James Urbaniak, the voice of Dr. Thaddeus Venture on Adult Swim's amazing Venture Brothers, has long been rumored to have a part in Manhunt 2.

Manhunt 2 is available from Rockstar Games for use on the Wii, PlayStation 2, and PSP.

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