Staffers at the gaming website Gamespot played through parts of a prototype version of the controversial title Manhunt 2 in both its Wii and PlayStation 2 iterations, calling the violence at times "unsettling" and "gruesome," but also in line with a number of widely-released horror films and not gratuituous.
The setting, available weapons, and methods for snuffing out enemies are a natural extension of the original, the reviewers said. One area is a nightclub for sexual fetishes, where people can be dispatched using environmental itmes like ropes, fuses, and toilets.
More extreme kills can be executed with glass and syringes as well as buzz saws and hammers; one level progression requires the player to axe off a guard's head and hold it in front of a window.
On the Wii, staffers described the developers' implementation of the control mechanism as a logical way to crank up the creepiness factor:
"The big hook to the action is the way the controller is used during the various kills. You'll now have to actively follow onscreen motions that approximate your actions. Throwing a chair? Hold the Wii Remote and analog stick as if you've got the chair in your hands and move it accordingly. Stabbing someone? Jab that Wii Remote. The kills we saw typically involved three steps that varied according to the level of the kill."
Summing up their assessment of the level of violence within the game, the staffers said it was certainly "in full effect" but no more extreme than recent slasher titles.
"What we saw was graphic for sure, and given a slightly unsettling twist by the interactivity offered by the Wii game, but ultimately it's nothing we haven't seen before in other games, movies, or even some television," they said.