Speaking in a recent MTV interview, Rockstar Games’ Jeronimo Barrera took the time to talk about the controversial videogame studio’s upcoming Manhunt 2, which has easily been the most talked about game of the year – for all the wrong reasons.
Not exactly known for his open candour regarding Rockstar’s creations, Barrera (a VP of product development) opened proceedings by noting that he doesn’t especially enjoy talking about the titles he helps create, though he does rather like the idea that people are out there playing them.
However, with regard to Manhunt 2, which has already been banned in the United Kingdom by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), and been put through the rating wringer in the United States before an edited version received a hard-fought ‘M for Mature’, Barrera said the following:
“You know, a lot of people just believe this is a murder simulator and all you do is kill people,” outlined Barrera. “But the reality is that there’s a really strong narrative. And I think we’ve built something that’s really unique in the sense that it puts the player in a position that you absolutely would never get into in the real world.”
While revealing that Rockstar was “floored” by the initial ‘Adults Only’ rating slapped on the game by the ESRB, Barrera maintains that the marginally revised ‘M for Mature’ version has not been neutered in any way and that all the game’s scenes remain in place.
In terms of what has been altered, Barrera describes that successful executions have been blurred somewhat, touched up in an impressionistic sense – while the action remains the same. The only thing to have been completely culled from Manhunt 2 appears to be an incentive-based scoring mechanic that rewarded players for extremely graphic kills, an editing decision that Barrera notes made the final game flow better.
The meat of MTV’s interview cropped up when Barrera was asked to comment on the idea that the Manhunt franchise could evolve into online multiplayer territory (an eventuality that could potentially open the floodgates of condemnation and criticism).
“That’s a very interesting question,” teased Barrera. “Who knows where the ‘Manhunt’ series is going to go? And that’s definitely something that warrants some exploring on our part for sure.”
And, on the fan-prompted subject of the studio releasing an uncut Manhunt 2 via the PC platform (where an Adults Only rating is not a hindrance), Barrera offered that while Rockstar has always taken fan feedback into consideration and believes it to be very important, the studio currently has “no announcements to make” regarding the appearance of an uncut version of the game.
Although the revised version of Manhunt 2 has failed to sidestep the BBFC ban in the UK and is still the subject of considerable focused criticism in the US, the whole, uncut game will be released in Holland.
Manhunt 2 is due for release this very day (October 31) on the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Nintendo Wii.