If you haven’t been keeping up with the news surrounding Rockstar’s most recent title, Manhunt 2, then here is a quick refresher…
During production of Manhunt 2, Rockstar sent a demo of their game to be rated by the ESRB, but it turned out that the ESRB decided to give it a rating of "Adults Only" due to the amount gore and sadistic torturing methods. Rockstar, knowing that the game was effectively banned as neither Sony nor Nintendo allow AO games to be licenced on their platforms, had to tone down the game. Afterwards they sent another demo to be rated and this time it was rated M for "Mature", although it wasn’t good enough for the British Board of Film Classification who banned the title in its entirety.
Rockstar’s fix: smoke, mirrors, and a couple of blurred lines that all amount to a blurry filter to make all the executions harder to make out.
With the changes that Rockstar did make, it appears it wasn’t that difficult of a task as some Russian hackers may have found a way to reverse the fix which pretty much un-censors the game. The hack requires a disk image of Manhunt 2, a software back-up tool called "UMDGen" and the editing of two different initialization files.
Back in July 2006, Take-Two Interactive Software announced that a Consent Order had been approved, stating: "the Company shall not misrepresent a video game’s ratings or content descriptors and that the Company shall implement a system to ensure that all game content is reviewed in connection with submissions to ratings authorities."
The publisher may not face repercussions this time though, with the reinstated Manhunt 2 content only being accessible by those able to modify the original game code. So you won’t click here to find out how to do it.
Look out for more soon.