OpiumHerz blog header photo
OpiumHerz's c-blog
Fronts 1Posts 0Blogs 93Following 0Followers 49



The worst thing about censorship is ███████ - 009 - Manhunt

Salida dear readers,
my name is Jim aka "OpiumHerz" and as some of you may already guess by that nickname: I am german. With the blog series "The worst thing about censorship is ███████ " I want to simply give you a little insight in videogame censorhsip, which is still pretty much alive and kicking here in Germany (but I won't restrict myself to Germany exklusively). I'll try to post entries at least all two weeks or so. Feel free to comment for suggestions, corrections or critique.

This episode is about: Manhunt

Manhunt got pretty infamous pretty soon. Developed by Rockstar, who were already infamous for their Grand Theft Auto-series, the bloody murder fun had a reputation already before it's release. And it should live up to it. Manhunt was a bloddy stealth game with gore that was legendary. It's detailed and not unrealistic depiction of murder was unprecedented. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the game: you get through levels by eliminating the enemies in your way one after another. You have only two weapons and are usually outnumbered, so you have to use stealth. When you get behind an enemy a crosshair appears. It turns from grey to yellow to red, depending on how long you are holding the attack button (the higher levels give you more points in the end). The executions were gruesome and, of course, were blamed for some real life murders.

However, Manhunt didn't really face many problems. Only the US state of Ontario gave it some trouble and the game was banned in New Zealand, Australia (it was refused a rating which is as good as banning a game) and, of course, Germany. The interesting thing is: since Mortal Kombat 3 in 1997 there has been not a single game confiscation in Germany. And even ever since it rarely happened, while indexing is something that is quite common. As it stands right now there are only 12 confiscated games in Germany and Manhunt was the first after a long time.

But shit really hit the fan with the release of Manhunt 2. This time it was even too crass for the USA. The ESRB gave it an AO rating which means that big stores like WalMart etc. won't sell it, because they have to keep their family friendly images and the AO rating is associated with pornography. Also none of the big three (Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony) allow AO titles on their consoles. The principle of the game was the same as in part 1: sneak up to enemies and watch a murder sequence.
So the game was edited. The kill scenes got a filter which gave some players actual headaches (while I myself was unaffected by this, I can seriously understand why - the filter was horrible, as it was a mixture of "dancing" black, red and white distortion). Besides that some kills were changed and levels were edited. Also the score system in the game itself was removed.

After these edits the game was rated M in the USA and could be sold. However there was still one market that could get the completly uncensored version: the PC. Thanks to online distribution Rockstar could have simply released the original version in all it's gruesomeness - and they did. The online service Direct2Drive sold the uncensored version for a while. After it was swallowed by GameFly, however, this game was removed from the library.

The fans, however, were already head over heels into this. No only was uncensored material leaked by an internal source, but there were also hacks that removed the filter and tried to restore the censored content. They had mixed successes as some of the kills, especially the infamous pliers kill, look very much like beta material.
The sad thing is: they could have released a normal, boxed retail version of this in many countries - but didn't. Netherlands was a hot candidate as they don't have laws to ban videogames and there are many others, where a release would have been possible. The ban from Direct2Drive took about one a half year and anybody who wants the game surely did get it in that timeframe, but still. Manhunt 2 is a one of a kind. I have never seen so much hate against a game, so much work to get a rating and so much fan effort to remove censorship in a game ever since. And it's really not easy to see through all the things that were in fact changed from beta to AO, and from AO to M rated version. There are whole websites dedicated to it and if you are really interested in ALL of it, you better go there.
As for the "rating war" that happened here... well, after the censored version came out, it got very quiet. Just with the first one: some countries still banned it, others rated it, and every player who wanted to play it played it. End of story.
Login to vote this up!


taterchimp   1
TheDustinThomas   1
qlum   1
ShadeOfLight   1
DeaviL   1
Roberto Plankton   1



Please login (or) make a quick account (free)
to view and post comments.

 Login with Twitter

 Login with Dtoid

Three day old threads are only visible to verified humans - this helps our small community management team stay on top of spam

Sorry for the extra step!


About OpiumHerzone of us since 3:54 AM on 04.10.2013

German Blogger, writing the series "The worst thing about censorship is ███████ " (go check it out!) since I like to write about that topic and am invested in it a whole lot. Also writes some other stuff sometimes. Likes to listen to very strange bands and has the ultimate goal in life to taste every soft drink there is at least once.
Pure Gonzo - and while I thank god for Jim Sterling sometimes, I thank god for Hunter S. Thompson every day.

I'm a bastard. Don't trust me. Always keep asking, don let yourself get fed bullshit - not even by me.

I like good games. Yes, that's quite general, but I don't really like confining myself to certain genres. I like interesting approaches, invention and creativity. But I can enjoy a straight-up shooter as much as a "Bastion". It just has to be done well and appeal to me on some level.

Want to know anything else? Just leave a comment under a blog or write a message. Same goes for corrections (please), as English isn't my native language and thus isn't nearly perfect.

Censorship Blogs so far:
001: The System (Part 1)
002: The System (Part 2)
003: The stupid publishers
004: How Germans get uncensored games
005: Bioshock Infinite
006: Call Of Duty
007: Grand Theft Auto
008: Dead Space
009: Manhunt
010: Sniper Elite V2 (again)
011: Fallout
012: Various Games #1
013: Nazis
014: Mortal Kombat 9 on Steam
015: Contra
016: Halo
017: Saints Row
018: All the other stuff
019: Command & Conquer
020: The Lanzarote Convention
021: Various Games #2
022: Half-Life
023: The Legend Of Zelda
024: Various Games #3
025: Various Games #4

026: What system would you prefer
027: South Park - The Stick Of Truth
028: South Park - The Stick Of Truth (Part 2)
029: Various Games #5
030: Wolfenstein
031: Resident Evil (main series)
032: Resident Evil (spin offs)
033: Various Games #6
034: Turning Point: Fall Of Liberty
035: Blacks and women
036: Pokemon
037: Left 4 Dead
038: Left 4 Dead 2

039: 2015 Predictions
040: Dying Light
041: Coca-Cola
042: Pillars of Eternity
043: The Order: 1886
044: Mortal Kombat X

Stuff I also wrote and you should read:

~ Punish the individuals - not the scene they move in
~ My consoles don't fight each other - what's your excuse?
~ But what about the men?
~ Fake gamer girls and the damage they do
~ The Raid On Castle DToid
~ My little guide to german music (NVGR)
~ You should buy Goat Simulator - no, seriously...
~ Gravelord Nito, I love you more than Vanilla Coke
~ Let's clear up the console wars, shall we?

... und Pan spielt die Fl�te.