Bad news if you were looking forward to some happy nights dismembering strangers in Rockstar Games’ Manhunt 2. It’s been refused a certificate by the British Board of Film Classification, meaning the game can’t be legally sold anywhere in the UK. And crikey, the BBFC hasn’t pulled any punches in its explanation of why.
“Manhunt 2 is distinguishable from recent high-end video games by its unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone in an overall game context which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing,” says director David Cooke.
“There is sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged, in the game. The game’s unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying and the sheer lack of alternative pleasures on offer to the gamer, together with the different overall narrative context, contribute towards differentiating this submission from the original Manhunt game.”
It’s the first console game to be refused a certificate in the UK since Carmageddon back in 1997, although Rockstar now has six weeks to file an appeal to try to overturn the decision.