Controversy abounds with this nasty little gem from Rockstar. In Manhunt you play as James Earl Cash, a death row inmate who on the night of his execution is kidnapped and forced to participate in a series of live “snuff” films. At it’s heart, Manhunt is a stealth game as you sneak through a series of decaying urban settings avoiding detection and ultimately death. Being outnumbered and out armed, Cash must hide in the shadows only emerging to kill an enemy until none remain. Patience and restraint is paid off with some of the most realistically depicted video game violence as Cash dispatches his enemies. The kills pushed the envelope when it came to on screen violence and the game was banned in several countries. Dark, gritty, and violent the game is scored with a superb, ominous synth soundtrack reminiscent of John Carpenter’s early work. The whole Manhunt experience comes across as a super violent interactive movie (especially when you kill someone and the screen goes all VHS and has tracking lines and “REC” in the upper corner).
I’ve written about Resident Evil: Director’s Cut before and while we here in the United States got shafted in regards to the “uncensored” content we were promised in the re-release of the original Resident Evil, the comic book and magazine advertising held nothing back. Admittedly, I haven’t been reading a lot of comic books lately but I don’t think I’d run into a video game ad nowadays which showed absolutely no game screens and featured a realistic looking human eyeball soaking in a specimen jar. Resident Evil: Director’s Cut (Playstation) Advertisement circa fall 1997
Tecmo’s Deception: Invitation to Darkness (1996) Playstation
An underrated little horror/RPG gem for the PSX. You play the game as an unjustly executed man that with his dying breath forges a pact with Satan (yes, in the game he is called “Satan”). Once this dark pact is sealed you come into possession of a castle with which you use to set traps and kill unsuspecting visitors. All with the intention of delivering more souls unto the dark lord. The back of the game was even emblazoned with this warning: “This game contains satanic references and may be inappropriate for some individuals.”
Released on March 22, 1996, in Japan and known there as Biohazard, this is the full, uncensored version of the opening cinematic that was extremely cut when the game was released as Resident Evil here in the United States.
Most notably the color was completely washed out making the intro of the US version black and white. Also in the US version when Joseph finds the severed hand in the weeds the picture freezes before he brings the bloody stump into frame. The blood sprays as the Cerberus get shot are completely cut out and the US version also shows a different character profile for Chris Redfield; one in which he doesn’t light up a cigarette.
All in all, we got cheated in the US. It was even worse when Capcom promised to reintroduce all of the uncensored footage into Resident Evil: Director’s Cut. However, when released all of the cutscenes were unchanged form the previous game. Capcom claimed the uncensored opening was left out as a result of a localization mistake made by the developers. They eventually offered the uncensored intro as a free download from their website as a consolation.
Below you can check out the censored, US version of the introduction.