That Ain’t Ketchup… Review

Joe Dodson
Manhunt Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • 1

Publisher

  • Rockstar

Developer

  • Rockstar
  • Rockstar North

Release Date

  • 11/30/1999
  • Out Now

Platform

  • PC
  • PS2
  • Xbox

rating

That Ain’t Ketchup”

So I’m sittin in Crooked Hank’s basement siftin’ through his assortment of snuff

videos, when I happens upon this tape called Manhunt. Says it’s

published by Rockstar (who I’s of course heard of) and directed by some guy calls

himself the “Director.” I pops it into Hank’s PS2 and gives it a whirl, and I

gotta tell ya – it was some violent #$*@!

Turns out, it’s a wacko bunch of films starrin’ this bad-ass ex-con (ex cuz

he got executed, I heard, years ago) by the name o’ James Earl Cash. The flicks

start with Cash wakin’ up on the slab and this nasty voice chimin’ in about

second chances and little favors. Turns out ‘The Director’ bought this guy off

death row, faked his death, and moved him to this entire freakin’ city he owns.

To top it off, he filled the whole damn thing with the craziest buncha thugs

you ever seen. Guys walkin’ around looking like Jason

Voorhies
, crazy necro types, and even some psychotic

ex-army guys.

All

Cash gots to do for his freedom is kill ’em all, violent like. I figures he’s

screwed, right? But the guy practically lives in the shadows! A thug goes over

to take a piss, and the next thing he knows he’s kissin’ the business end of

a Louisville slugger. It’s nuts, too, cuz he’s gotta use stealth, but the director

(who talks to him through this earpiece) keeps eggin’ him on.

Anyway, when Cash sticks to the shadows the guy’s invisible. I mean, still as a damn corpse. Generally, he sneaks from shadow to shadow, and when he’s figured out where the bad guys are he lures ’em into a vulnerable position by throwin’ a can or kickin’ a trash can. Then he just sits and watches. The dumb thug comes and looks, don’t see nothing, usually says something stupid like “Where are yah!” and then just…fuhgetaboutit. Short term memory loss or something. Anyway, when they lets their guards down, that’s when he gets ’em.

He walks fast for a silent type, and usually can get right up behind ’em. When he gets close, he uses whatever weapon he gots ready. Sometimes, he goes for a quick kill: wham-bam, thank-you mam. But sometimes, when he’s feelin’ real nasty or when the Director’s really ridin’ him for some carnage, he’ll cut loose. Usually in these cases, he’ll swing the guy around so he can get a look of the weapon before he shoves it down their throats. But sometimes, well, lemme just tell ya, this Cash guy’s gotta thing for decapitation. That’s right – this guy cuts off heads like nobody’s business. I even saw him cut a head off with a baseball bat, or at least splatter it all over the ground.

From what I seen, Cash will use just about anything to kill people: plastic bags, glass, I even saw him cut a guy’s head off with a piece of piano wire, and then throw the bloody thing at another guy before he ducked back into the shadows. The bastard wasn’t even done pissin’ his pants before Cash crept out of the shadows behind him and rammed a black-jack through his throat. Cash likes his blunt objects (hey, who don’t), but he’s good with a knife too, and not a bad shot with a gun, neither. He can be real slow and quiet when he gots ta, but he can be pretty quick, too. I thought he might really be something when I seen him run sideways while facin’ forward around this corner, only to see him automatically slow to a walking speed when he got an enemy in his sights. I think that surprised him, too, cuz he took a couple bullets before he turned and ran back to the shadows.

Lucky for him, he found some painkillers. They musta been real good ones, cuz this cat was shot, but after he ate the meds he seemed all better. Even though his gun fightin’ skills wasn’t the greatest, he still got the job done poppin’ suckers from the shadows. Funny thing, though, the guy sucks eggs in fist fights. If he somehow got into a one on one, he wasn’t no tougher than your average crackhead. An’ it was weird, cuz at one point he figured out that if he took this big baseball bat and just made quick attacks (as opposed to windin’ up and tryin’ to knock one out of the park), his victims would never attack back. I think it relieved Cash; he didn’t seem to like fair fights anyway.

Good thing for him, this Carcer City was one of the darkest places you ever saw. Shadows seemed to have minds of their own in this place, creepin’ into the light where they didn’t belong. And either they was darker than they looked, or the baddies was the dumbest suckers you ever saw. The first ones was anyway. I actually fell asleep watchin’ Cash use the same brick to lure rubes into bad spots so he could cut ’em up or whack ’em real quick with his baseball bat. Sometimes he’d even let himself be seen, then run around a corner into a shadow. As soon as the bad guy showed up, he’d just give up and turn around. Then… whack! Blood and guts.

However,

when I woked up, he was cuttin’ up some guy covered in camouflage. He seemed

a lot more tense judging from the way he laid into the guy with a machete. I

could tell he was takin’ these goons real serious; they weren’t dumb. They’d

hunt him in packs and even stick together. And that was still just the beginning!

This Cash guy had to kill suckers like it was a full-time job, ‘cept instead

of goin’ home to bed, these commandos would nab, him, drug him and then take

him to the next area. According to Crooked Hank, towards the end of the movies

you learn a little bit about the characters, but it was a long flick, and I

had to be back at the docks way before it ended.

Anyway, most of the areas was big, but somehow Cash never got lost because he always knew right where to go, like he was in a hallway or somethin’. Most of the places looked drab; I guess there wasn’t nothing flashy ’bout the whole thing ‘cept some of the executions and a couple random parts I caught. Like, once, he hadda operate this crane to ice these goons with nailguns. So he picks up a metal refrigerator and cleans house with it. The way this refrigerator would whip through the air was something incredible. And even crazier was that it would hit guys and then they would get up! Must notta’ been real heavy. Anyway, I thought that was some real genius on Cash’s part, usin’ a crane like that. Wow.

And I still haven’t mentioned how these movies sounded! The thick, sick crack of the bat, the footsteps, you could hear it all. The bad guys would whistle and chat a lot, from your usual “Hello” to chicken talk like “Cockadoodle doo.” Hank told me that back when he was first watchin’ the movies they was live, and you could use this headset that came with his PS2, USB or something, and you could speak into the microphone to make noises to mess with Cash. It drove him nuts! If Hank’d scream into the headset, it would come out on the screen, and these baddies, they’d hear it and come a runnin’! Didn’t trip Cash up, though. Was like he expected it, he’d just kill ’em when they came to investigate.

These movies was pretty good, but after the first ten bloody murders I was like, “Eh, seen it all.” The more you watch, the more it just looks like what you just watched. The murders even got a little thin for Cash after a while, I think. He pretty much always used the quick-kills, think they made him feel professional, as opposed to the os-tent-ation the Director was always beggin’ for.

But I guess that wasn’t really what this here Manhunt is

about. It’s about how crazy these situations are and how tense it gets for this

Cash guy. You oughta see it, but don’t go showin’ it to any kids. It’s the kinda

thing drives parents nuts. I almost wanna let my nephews play it just to see

my sister get all red in the face and start talking ’bout Jesus. But that’s

another story, and I’m late for a date with my Russian mail-order bride. See

yas.





REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

3.5
Rating
Good stealth action
Creative, creepy enemies
Gets hard
Also gets repetitive
Not much plot
Violence for the sake of violence?