Manhunt 2 PC No Longer Available Anywhere


Manhunt 2 is gone. There was one online store left selling Rockstar’s extraordinarily controversial, Adult rated game – Direct2Drive – which under new management has removed the title from its catalogue. As spotted by Gamersbook, the game disappeared shortly after Gamefly acquired the business. Which means it’s now completely impossible to buy on PC.

Interestingly, in a comment given to customer who asked where the game had gone, Direct2Drive attempted to imply that the removal was due to Rockstar:

“Unfortunately not all games are offered on Direct2Drive. Games offered are decided by the game’s publisher and can be removed at their disgression. We regret that we do not have any detailed information in regards to titles recently removed from our site. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this has caused you.”

However, when Gamersbook contacted Rockstar, the developer was surprised by the news and told the site they’d get back to them once things had been “straightened out”. A day later Rockstar reported back:

“There has been a change in ownership over at Direct2Drive. Gamefly, who is the new owner, does not approve of Adult Rated games, and refused to offer it on their Website now. And we also realize there is now no way for you to acquire this game for your desired platform (PC).”

They then went on to offer the correspondent a bag of R* goodies, which they suggested may contain a boxed copy of the game.

You may well not care about the availability of Manhunt 2. The game received mediocre reviews on all console formats, even somehow being okayed by Nintendo for release on Wii, back in 2007. This was a neutered version to give it an M rating, such that anywhere would stock it. The PC version was the uncut original that had angered so many previously. But there’s no PC review of the game I can find – even PC Gamer US seemed to ignore it on its eventual US-only PC release in 2009. This was a release, however, that was exclusive to Direct2Drive, then under the ownership of everybody’s favourite media mogul, Rupert Murdoch.

But the reason this is interesting, beyond the scope of one dodgy gross-em-up, is the completely unavailability of AO or “adult” rated games. Games deemed too adult for the US 17 rating have nowhere to go. It seems that nowhere is prepared to sell them, which asks the question: what happens? Will we see a day when adult videogames are sold in dodgy shops in dark alleys? Or will specialist sites appear, focusing on the games that certification forgot? Will no one ever dare make mainstream games truly for adults?


  1. Javier-de-Ass says:

    oh is it gone from gamersgate as well?
    edit: ah yep. “This title is not available in your country.” from europe and “This product is not available for purchase” from usa
    here btw. link to
    it was available there previously from both europe and america. added to gamersgate on the 24th of april.

    • nofing says:

      Oh, let me check, maybe it’s still available here in Germany… :D

    • Kent says:

      Isn’t Manhunt illegal in Germany? I think even singles 2 received a ban over there.

    • Commenter says:

      You must have mistaken us with the USA. We like dicks, hate gibs.
      And no, it’s not. The game actually is from Germany (Singles 2 that is).

  2. Prince says:

    Good thing I already got it then. No, wait – it was rubbish!

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Yeah, but now that I CAN’T have it, I kind of want it. Even though it never even crossed my mind to buy it before.

    • Balobam says:

      ResonanceCascade, same here, now I read this, I want to download it. I think that’s how the Steam sales get me, the slightly higher prices may aswell mean it’s not for sale. “I do not desire this game, but it’s just so freaking cheap, and if I wait longer, it won’t be cheap. I NEED THIS GAME!”

  3. Hairious Maximus says:

    “Will no one ever dare make mainstream games truly for adults?”

    Since when was Manhunt 2 ever made for adults?

    • Berzee says:

      Beat me to it.

      To answer the quoted question — I’m sure some already have, but you won’t find them emanating from Rockstar. =)

    • Raziel_aXd says:

      Also beat me to it.

    • Berzee says:

      I even beat you to saying beat me to it.

    • tstapp1026 says:

      With all the beatings going on, should someone call social services?

    • wisnoskij says:

      Having played the original I have to agree with you there, no one who is not a sociopath or young enough to enjoy the game simply because they think playing it makes them mature, cool, or a rebel would enjoy either game.

    • DSDan says:

      Making a game for adults involves addressing mature themes in a realistic and interesting way. It does not involve flinging gratuitous sex and violence at the viewer like a monkey flinging feces at the zoo.

    • Harkkum says:

      Not that I would be familiar with them ratings, but aren’t the mature themes you mentioned just those that give something an adult rating?

  4. Cerzi says:

    Well, it’s available on all our favourite naughty pirate websites, so it is at least preserved. Not exactly a financial incentive for future developers, though. Unless some kind of commercial bittorrent-based digital distribution platform opened up for games too nefarious to be hosted centrally.

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      I think pirate distributions would qualify as John’s “dodgy shops in dark alleys”.

      Except no shops, just free. If only drugs were free…

  5. DeathHamsterDude says:

    Will developers who make AO games actually develop good games instead of relying on controversy for sales?

    Played Manhunt years ago. It was okay. I didn’t quite see what all the hubbub was about. But I wasn’t interested in returning to the Manhunt universe again. I wouldn’t mind a game that portrays some shocking violence/sex/whatever, just as long as it justifies it, and doesn’t rely on it.

    • Jumwa says:

      I suppose no company is willing or able to put the time and resources into developing a quality adult-only game that wont even be allowed to sell anywhere and will be guaranteed abysmal sales because of it. That is, after all, the reason why gamers opposed the legal framework for video games in the US; because it would mean retailers would stop carrying anything restricted. It still exists now, just to a lesser degree.

    • DSDan says:

      They’ll make good AO-rated games when they start making good X-rated movies. For the same reasons.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      There are excellent movies that you’ve never heard of because they got the NC-17 (aka X-rated) shaft.
      Usually for things like “brief images of women’s pubic hair/labia” or “contains frank and detailed discussion of sex.”

      These aren’t exploitation movies, they’re good films that got dicked over by an incompetent and barely-relevant MPAA. Even Blue Valentine was originally slapped with an NC-17, but they eventually got the MPAA to overturn it with no edits.

      Looking at the current crop of AO rated games, I would guess that a good adult title is still far off, but it’s not beyond possibility.

  6. helmehytte says:

    I have heard that the game will likely be up on GamersGate very soon!

  7. Jams O'Donnell says:

    There’s always eBay if you’re that desperate to play a mediocre game.

    link to

    • squirrel says:

      I used to think this PC port only has download version. This fact is reported by this site I believe. Surprise to see disc version. Do they have DRM that require online activation?

    • Text_Fish says:

      Amazon Marketplace has it too.

  8. OJSlaughter says:

    This game barely got released in the UK anyway… I’ve never played it and kinda want to now :(

  9. Xaos says:

    Good, good, we need to rid the world of crappy games that try to sell only by means of pseudo-shock marketing.

  10. Igor Hardy says:

    Poor adults – they have nowhere to go.

  11. diebroken says:

    And the Postal series of games is “strictly for adults”, right?

    ( sorry forgot to add sarcasm quotes XD )

    • thegooseking says:

      Nope. They’re M-rated. Murder, torture, humiliation and desecration of fresh corpses are all fine material for youngsters today. It’s sex that’s vile and evil! Get with the program!

    • Balobam says:

      Very true, I would much rather have my child set alight to a woman in the street and then piss her flames out than have him know that the same woman also has a vagina. God forbid.

    • malkav11 says:

      Pretty sure there’s no sex in Manhunt 2.

  12. johnpeat says:

    The original had it’s moments – having someone talking in your ear (if you used a headset on PS2 the instructions came from that and the rest of the sound from your TV!!) telling you to kill people was actually pretty gripping in it’s own, weird, way.

    I didn’t really feel that format had anywhere to go tho – other than MORE shock and MORE gore.

    What we need is a return to the creepy feeling you get having someone tell you to kill people – I sort of liked that (I understand some people get this away from games consoles too??)

  13. Ba5 says:

    Torrenting is too hard? If they don’t want money, too bad.

    • squirrel says:

      In my city it’s illegal to pirate only if you damage commercial interest of copyright holders and their related parties. In this case, since they don’t offer this game for a price anymore, can we consider that too?

    • FakeAssName says:

      no sale = fair game …. so long as your not distributing it for a profit.

      downloading a product that is not for sale is pretty safe, not that it’s entirely legal, but the primary grounds for suing someone because they stole a copy of your product kinda hinges on the concept that they provide you with a means to legitimately give them money for the product before you can say “wahhhh! he stole it.”

      especially since your only taking a copy and not the original. (you wouldn’t steal a car would you? no, but I sure as hell would download a copy of one.)

      where most piracy laws come into play is if you were to download a copy of something that is not for sale in your region … then burn it to disk, print up photocopied reproductions of the box art, shrink wrap it, and start selling it on amazon. that’s a real good way to get yourself an assload of your cell mate Buba’s cock.

  14. Rii says:

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  15. thegooseking says:

    The twenty-three AO games.

    The only one on that list of any adult (or perhaps I should say “grown-up” to distinguish it from “adult entertainment”, that fun euphemism for porn) merit is Fahrenheit, and the M-rated vanilla edition was just fine. Similarly, the cuts to The Witcher that got it bumped down from AO to M were not exactly an evisceration of the game.

    The question is, is that because people refuse to stock AO games, or is it because games don’t need to be AO to be grown up?

    • Big Murray says:

      Whether The Witcher or Fahrenheit or any other game which has made edits to avoid an AO-rating have suffered artistically surely isn’t the point … the point is that the artists producing them wanted to include some content because they thought it would benefit the game, and they couldn’t.

    • Rii says:

      Or is it because there are actually so few games that could be described as ‘mature’ with a straight face? Where’s the game in which the player is raped?

    • Berzee says:

      Litmus test for maturity right there, Rii.


    • thegooseking says:

      Whether The Witcher or Fahrenheit or any other game which has made edits to avoid an AO-rating have suffered artistically surely isn’t the point … the point is that the artists producing them wanted to include some content because they thought it would benefit the game, and they couldn’t.

      Saying that they couldn’t is a bit strange, given that they could and did. Fahrenheit has a Director’s Cut that put the cut content back in, and The Witcher has an official patch that does the same. But they could still make money on it by selling the M-rated version.

    • Milky1985 says:

      It can’t be sex that makes a game AO, otherwise FEAR 2 would have been AO due to the fact that the main character get raped during the game.

    • Rii says:

      Sorry, perhaps you’d care to provide an alternative example of a theme able to be explored only within the context of an adult-rated title?

      Fear-the-second? Hmm, I am intrigued.

    • thegooseking says:

      Rii, torture.

      I seem to remember reading that The Punisher’s treatment of the torture sequences had to made more irresponsible to get an M rating rather than an AO rating. Previously the Punisher’s victims had been like real people who would beg for mercy, perhaps making torture seem like the horrific act it is. That was cut, and they were turned into cardboard cutouts so that we would think torture is ok.

      Yep. That was a great victory for the ratings system there. As someone implied elsewhere in the comments, gratuitous violence seems to be considered more acceptable than consequential violence by the ratings system. Which is, let’s face it, fucked up.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Fahrenheit was written by a 12 year old for kids. “Oooh sex!” Swooshy swishy fights against the internet. It’s was truly awful, and far more offensive than Manhunt or Manhunt 2 could ever be (even if it was unintentional).

      The Manhunt games aren’t fantastic, but they are quite entertaining. Yes, they are shocking for the sake of shocking, but it is quite amusing and well aware of itself.

      Fahrenheit was pretentious terrible crap. If you hate games so much, make a film!

    • Rii says:


      Great answer, thanks!

    • wisnoskij says:

      Fahrenheit was a great game and in no way was the sex at all for show.

    • BobsLawnService says:

      Because really, someone questioning his sanity, reaching out for the scant comfort of human contact and intimacy from the woman he loves is such an immature, childish idea. *rolly eyes*

    • thegooseking says:

      The whole fighting against the internet thing was stupid, though. Fahrenheit’s pretty much only good if you ignore the last act.

    • Berzee says:


    • malkav11 says:

      I’m a little weirded out by this news in part because The Witcher decensored itself and all the digital distributors that sell it now sell the decensored version as far as I know. Which would probably be AO rated, if the ESRB were to see it again.

  16. vash47 says:

    Thank god for piracy.

  17. AndrewC says:

    Hey! It’s a game situation that actually does have direct comparisons to a film situation! The big american retail and cinema chains are always big on being ‘family’ businesses and refused to stock ‘NC-17’ rated movies. Of course that didn’t mean the films were banned, but if the big places refused to show them, it was basically the same thing.
    Ooo, there’s lots more, but the end point is that, broadly speaking, movies stopped being made with this ‘adult’ content. The popularity and slightly more lax rules regarding the PG-13 rating compared to the ‘kiddie’ PG rating compounded this. Movies, to get this rating, started to be filled with intense but bloodless and mostly consequenceless violence and absolutely no sex ever. And one use of the word ‘fuck’, which is just plain silly.
    So: retail (ie entirely non-artisitc) decisions like this can shift the direction, content and tone of entire mediums, which is no good thing. This is already TL:DR, but I think it is fascinating to see the ways capitalism affects culture and you should all watch the doc: ‘this movie is not yet rated’.

    • Rii says:

      Indeed, America has probably the best formal arrangements on matters of free speech of any nation, but if the on-the-ground situation there regarding the dissemination of the free expression of individuals is the best humanity can do we might as well give up now. Replace the iron boot of the state with the iron boot of capitalism and distract the masses with irrelevant minutiae like whether the ratings board is industry or state-run.

    • squirrel says:

      That’s exactly the beauty of PC gaming. Freedom of speech. No retailers / large publishers can control what kind of games to be forbidden from game market.

      Game console gaming, on the other hands, has platform owners strictly controlling game contents.

    • malkav11 says:

      No single retailer. However, collectively they can, and just have.

    • Nalano says:

      No retailers/large publishers on the PC market?

      The electronics department stores like Fry’s and Best Buy won’t sell ’em, regular department stores like Walmart definitely won’t sell ’em, and gaming stores like Gamestop don’t hardly stock PC games at all, good or bad.

      That leaves D2D, Steam and Impulse, and look what just happened to this game on D2D.

  18. ColdSpiral says:

    Welcome to Australia.

  19. Rii says:


  20. Nallen says:

    It wasn’t worth any money any way. I can’t imagine anyone that was interested didn’t torrent it already.

  21. jonfitt says:

    What’s Valve’s policy for Steam?

  22. rareh says:

    You can still buy it on ebay.

    link to

  23. pyjamarama says:

    AO shouldn’t exist, if they bothered rating the game in Europe they would receive a PEGI 18, and sell the game just fine over here. Unfortunately there is no going back and AO is not going away, if your game is going for a AO rating be prepared to sell it yourself in USA or have Europe, except Germany, be your main market.

  24. CaspianRoach says:

    Why would any sane adult want to play this game anyway, this kind of violence ‘BECAUSE VIOLENCE’ is clearly orienteed on teens who enjoy exaggerating and boasting to friends that they’ve played the game where they sawed the person’s head off.

    • malkav11 says:

      The first Manhunt was a tense and gritty stealth game that awakened me to the joys of the stealth action genre. Of course I’m going to want to play the sequel. (Though I hadn’t gotten around to it yet.)

    • Nalano says:

      I hate how the discussion with censorship repeatedly devolves to “but it’s crude and ugly anyway, so I don’t care.”

      Until it isn’t and you do. Overtones of Larry Flynt abound.

  25. squirrel says:

    I used to have Playstation 2 before I started to game solely on PC, though I was too scared to try this one out. Some gamers commented positively for this game. Most of those negative reviews, I believe, were politically motivated. If the first installment earned “The Greatest Hit” status, it is unbelievable that its sequel would be mediocre or even poor….. with the exception of Xenosaga maybe.

    Actually, we should be more worrying about spread of H games, rather than those violent yet unrealistic “AO” game. I’ve been playing shooter games for more than a decade, and i was never in one moment having thoughts of holding real firearms to shoot any living thing just for excitement. Currently existing action / shooter games, no matter how cinematic they are, are far from being true “virtual reality”. Video game technology available to consumer market is not that advanced yet. Furthermore, wasn’t Manhunt 2 censored enough to be “M” game?

    BTW, is this game the damn buggy PC port that doesn’t work on 64bit system (cannot run on a system with more than 4GB system ram)? Or is it Bully?

    • wisnoskij says:

      Bully is available on steam so I am sure at least that version of the game works on all modern systems.

  26. Radiant says:

    I can not believe some people are ok with disregarding AO rated games.
    Fuck your sensibilities.

  27. CMaster says:

    “at their disgression”

    Is a disgression the opposite or a regression?

  28. jay35 says:

    “Will no one ever dare make mainstream games truly for adults?”

    Will anyone ever stop misusing the term “adult” to refer to immature things like pointless gore and nudity being shoved into mainstream entertainment products?

    There’s really nothing adult about “adult entertainment” but it’s easy to understand why the term would be borrowed by its proponents.

    You know what games are “truly for adults”? All of them.

    • Thants says:

      Words can have more than one meaning.

    • Kaira- says:

      When someone mentions games with adult themes, for some reason my brain brings up images of Silent Hill 2, 4 and Shattered Memories. Especially 2 and Shattered Memories, due to way they handle adult fears and issues.

    • malkav11 says:

      Because surely there is no possible way violence or sex could contribute to a genuinely mature narrative or gaming experience.

    • Nalano says:

      “Because surely there is no possible way violence or sex could contribute to a genuinely mature narrative or gaming experience.”

      This this this, sarcasm and all.

      ‘Adult’ means “people who have achieved their maturity and have a reasonable understanding of the world are able to understand the role and implications of these scenes depicted.” What artistic merit those scenes have is a completely different discussion.

      Yes, adults like stupid stuff, too. How else would you explain the porn industry, the torture porn industry (formerly known as the horror film genre), and Seth Rogen’s career?

    • Rii says:


      Guess what: WalMart doesn’t sell porn either. But you’re right that games like Manhunt are to violence what porn is to sexuality. Course one is intrinsically rather more problematic than the other. I’ll leave you to figure out which is which.

    • Nalano says:


      You’re actually trying to argue that this is harmful?

      Down that path lies madness, and Jack Thompson.

    • malkav11 says:

      Porn doesn’t usually have a (serious) narrative or anything to say – it’s just about showing people fucking. That’s what makes it porn. But, weirdly enough, there are thousands of places to buy porn.It’s only the stuff that’s actually using it in context (yes, including Manhunt – believe it or not, there’s more to the first game than just brutal violence, and the little I’ve played of the second game suggests the same is true of it) that gets shunned.

  29. wisnoskij says:

    Why would Rockstar not just sell it themselves, it is not like setting up a digital download store has to cost much money.

    And for anyone who really wants it it is obviously still available on torrents sites, and abandon-ware is controversially, semi, kindof, legal but not really.

  30. Frank says:

    “You may well not care about the availability of Manhunt 2.”

    Yes. In fact, the less attention given to this series, and Postal, the better.

  31. Blandford says:

    I’m okay with this.

  32. BobsLawnService says:

    Over-the-top sadistic violence is an adult theme to explore.
    For the monocle crowd who think that they are above this sort of thing I’d like to say “Get over yourselves”. Some of us enjoy playing hyper-violent games for the same reason a lot of people watch torture porn like The Hills Have eyes or Hostel or the Saw movies and I don’t see how anyone can say that those are not films for mature audiences.

    • Rii says:

      The audience for the Manhunt games is the same as that for the equally contemptible Saw films? No, really?


    • BobsLawnService says:

      The old “Anything I don’t like is childish and without merit” argument.
      Tell me, did you also think that the snuff storyline in Vampite the Masquerade : Bloodlines was childish? Or maybe it is because it does not involve rape.

    • Rii says:

      @BobsLawnService: “The old “Anything I don’t like is childish and without merit” argument.”

      On the contrary, there’s an awful lot of art I don’t like yet wouldn’t say was without merit. I reserve contempt for the contemptible.

    • BobsLawnService says:

      I’m trying to get a handle on your viewpoint. Would you say that Natural Born Killers’ usage of extreme violence was contemptable? Should we write it off completely because Oliver Stone chose to use graphic depictions of sadism and violence?

    • Deano2099 says:

      @Rii – was trying to think of a good example and you quoted from it: Fight Club. Extreme violence and a point to the film.

    • Rii says:

      @BobsLawnService: “I’m trying to get a handle on your viewpoint.”

      That context matters. I think Antichrist – a film which features a man ejaculating blood and a woman cutting off her own clitoris – is a great film. Because it’s About Stuff, and the horrific imagery serves its purpose in the context of the film. A film in which that imagery is itself the point is not something I want to see. And I freely admit, I’m suspicious of those who do.

      More broadly, I don’t at all subscribe to the idea of games or film as mere entertainment. The art we partake of shapes us just as surely as any other experience. To borrow from Nietzche: as you look into the abyss, so the abyss looks into you.

    • Nalano says:

      Guess what, Rii: Without the safeguards in place for freedom of speech and the ability to get one’s works produced, even the movies that you find acceptable will not be available. You have to take the bad with the good. That’s kinda the point of free speech.

      Bandit Queen was, to me, a very good – and very moving – film. Bandit Queen was banned in India and never made it to American theaters. It probably would have been given an NC-17 rating if it did, for a gang rape scene.

      Considering it’s just a dramatization of something that actually happened, what does that say about our media?

    • Rii says:


      I don’t oppose anyone’s right to free speech, I merely reserve the right to judge them for it. Odd how folks are always getting those things confused.

    • Nalano says:

      I don’t want your personal judgment to determine whether or not it’s available.

      That’s the whole point.


      The whole.


      That’s why I hate “but in this instance it’s crap.” Because next time it won’t be but this will be the precedent for why it didn’t get released.

  33. Zogtee says:

    Regardless of what anyone thinks of the game itself, it will go down in gaming history as one of the most epically mismanaged games ever. The person who gave the green light to develop it for the Wii (of all platforms) should be dragged out on the street and shot.

    The first game is one of the best *modern* survival horror games made.

    • dethtoll says:

      I have to agree. Manhunt, the original, is one of my favourite games ever. I like its dilapidated urban settings and deconstruction of the snuff film myth. I like that the main character isn’t a good guy.

      It’s a horror game. It’s violent, brutal, and dark- the main character has almost no redeeming qualities and neither does anyone else except the reporter; but that’s the whole POINT. Where games like Resident Evil or Silent Hill pit you against monsters of biological, supernatural, or psychosymbolic origin, in Manhunt the only monsters, the true monsters, are other people, showing them at their worst, showing just how awful they can be.

      As to Manhunt 2… not that great. It’s a passable game, but it gets rid of the non-linear nature of the original, the plot is fairly silly, and the censorship does a lot of damage.

  34. Zogtee says:

    Still available on everyone’s favorite digital distribution platform, though. I just had a look. ;)

  35. Mr Chug says:

    We need Murdoch back in charge!
    Wait a sec…

  36. hamster says:

    jadsfasdklfjasdjflaksdf it’s DISCRETION for god’s sake.


  37. obvioustroll says:

    This news justifies piracy. Released games cannot be left in the hands of publishers.

    Say no to Origin.

  38. aircool says:

    So we’re unlikely to see ‘NWA: Straight Outta Compton’ the Videogame?

  39. Calabi says:

    Who needs laws when you have everyone unto themselves.

  40. Bennyjh says:

    Oh well, it was shit anyway.

  41. Theodoric says:

    Bloody americans and their siliconite vaginality about R-rated games.

  42. sabrage says:

    I had no interest in this game until this moment, but I think I’m going to try to find a pirate copy now.

  43. Deano2099 says:

    While this isn’t a good example there are plenty of reasons this sort of thing could be necessary for good reasons. Someone hinted at it earlier with The Punisher. A game where you have realistically torture someone could probably get across better than any other medium how abhorrent torture was.

  44. Rii says:

    Sowwy. Again.

    • JB says:

      It’s just not good enough Rii. You ‘ve got 30 minutes to clear your desk off and get out of the building.

  45. Matzerath says:

    It appears that Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy ‘Director’s Cut’ is not available on D2D’s American site anymore, either — though still on the UK one (and tackily hyped there with screenshots of the few seconds of naughtiness that made the game AO.) Double standard-arama!

  46. geldonyetich says:

    What a shame.

  47. treat says:

    How does “sorry for the inconvenience” make up for what in essence amounts to robbery? I bought Tribes: Vengeance from D2D years ago only to have it removed from the site shortly after without a word, much less an apology. They simply acted like it had never existed in the first place.

  48. UK_John says:

    I wouldn’t worry about D2D and “adult” games. It carries the Witcher 2, surely one of the most mature games of the last 5 years.
    I worry much more about the messages given by AAA hyped games like Dragon Age, where as a female elf in one of the origins stories, you are forced to live in a ghetto in disgusting conditions, where your family and parents are constantly threatened. You have a corrupt, sadistic human Prince that oversees this hovel, and see your friends raped and murdered by him and his henchmen in a cruel and sadistic way
    You are then invited, by a human, to join a human organisation, and to go and see and support the human king. This is Bioware throwing away rape and murder as a sideline to “fill” a game and somehow provide gravitas. You are supposed to treat it as fluff. Your character, as the female elf has no option to murder the king as soon as she sees him, for example and have the game continue without him, or indeed have the game end on his death.
    Either of the above would be better than having the elf ignore her previous life and be with these humans that have done her, her family, her friends and her race no good at all.
    The fact that Bioware expects you to just treat this back-story as “light entertainment” and move on, paying it no thought, is much more dangerous than an AO Manhunt 2.

    • Ragnar says:

      While I was disappointed that there wasn’t a more aggressive option towards the King, it does make sense from a common sense perspective. You may hate the humans, and hate the king, but you’re not going to try to kill the King while his two body guards are standing right there. They’d just cut you down.

      And while they could let you chose to kill yourself on a hopeless attempt at the King’s life, I feel like games have moved beyond choice X leads to insta-death.

      There were plenty of places where you could get your human hatred on, but I agree that Bioware didn’t take it nearly far enough, based on the origin. I loved that origin, but it felt like the rest of the game didn’t fully take it into account and wasn’t nearly as dark and gritty as the beginning.

    • UK_John says:

      The option to kill the King didn’t have to be there and then at the first meeting. Her burning hatred would have allowed her to wait, and saviour the moment she was able to enter the Kings tent…. The game could have been written to show much more angst there and throughout the story if they really wanted to deal with rape and murder of her friends/family in a meaningful way. the fact this sort of game writing is done all the time is what I find the most scary.

  49. mbp says:

    To help me put this in perspective can someone give me a better idea of the distinction between a US 17 rating and a AO ratiing in movie terms? Do mainstream movies that have strong sex violence whatever get AO ratings or is that only reserved for “official” pornography.

    • Ragnar says:

      NC-17 replaced X in 1990. Non-porn films were rated X, if they had “strong graphic violence with loads of blood and gore, sex scenes, depraved, abhorrent behavior, sexual nudity, or any other elements which, at present, most parents would consider too strong and therefore off-limits for viewing by their children and teenagers.” However, no one would release a mainstream film rated X (or NC17) since theaters would refuse to show them, media would refuse to advertise them, retailers would refuse to stock them. Robocop was originally rated X, then edited down to R.

      So, basically, if you make an NC17 film, or AO game, it’s lumped in with porn and must be purchased through the same channels. Thus, you either edit it down, or doom your product not to sell.

  50. Navagon says:

    Probably the only interesting thing about the game is that all the people who never wanted to buy it anyway now can’t. I think that, with the fact that the US certification is due for reform and the fact that developers usually try and keep away from the AO rating, we won’t see many such cases. If in fact, any ever again.