The controversy surrounding Manhunt 2
has pretty much died down now, or so you might think if you aren't constantly immersed in the business of developing, selling and discussing computer games.
The reality is that the banning and censorship of Manhunt 2
has stripped away another level of innocence for this young medium which we call computer games and questionable content is something developers now have to weigh up considerably.
Producer of Condemned 2: Bloodshot
, Constantine Hantzopoulos, spoke in a recent interview
about how his game has been censored and trimmed down even before more than a handful of screenshots and trailers have been released.
"I worked on Indigo Prophecy (Fahrenheit in Europe) and had to cut the sex scenes out of the game for the US...It sucked because I don't believe in that, right. But you've got to do what you've got to do. We're working closely with the ESRB to make sure everything goes through okay but there's stuff we've cut already. There were things we were doing that even I couldn't believe we were going to those places....An example of what we cut would be putting someone's head in a vice. That was too much, you know."
The original Condemned: Criminal Origins
, which is a PC favourite for some bit-tech
staff, was rated 18 in the UK for its language and viscerally violent themes, but it sounds as if the sequel has raised the violence level a little above the predesscor.
So, on the one hand we have a producer who clearly thinks that his game has pushed the boundaries too far in some respects. On the other hand, the same developer laments that the ESRB are meddling with his creative output and taking away from the violence which was actually a powerful and intense theme to the game
series, creating an interesting subtext about violence in society as the main character battled a manifestation of Metro City's hate.
What strikes us as odd is that this is all going on while the game is still in development and that the ESRB are monitoring and guiding the shape of the game before they can be presented with finalised data.
Are we only one step away from the ESRB being listed as a co-developer for the level of input it has had on the creative process which the game has gone through? Let us know what you think by posting in the forums
or comment below.