Manhunter: New York
First posted on 21 August 2000. Last updated on 09 August 2009.
About a year after Sierra On-Line establishes itself a firm ground in the computer gaming industry, it decides to take a chance with a new development team. The end result of this effort is Manhunter: New York. I can still remember flipping through the company's game catalog at 8 years old and seeing the advertisement for this game. The Manhunter series has been an experimental project headed by…
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By Steve • On 25 March 2013 • From Newcastle, UK
By nonamrequired • On 22 January 2007 • From Somewhere
By UK_John • On 19 September 2006 • From London, UK
By man • On 27 May 2006 • From California
By Geoff • On 09 April 2006 • From Somewhere
By Mark Palasits • On 17 January 2004 • From San Francisco, CA USA
By a fan • On 20 December 2001 • From Europe
By Paul Gregory • On 19 January 2001 • From Atlanta, Georgia
The unique part of the game is piecing the story together yourself. It is superior to many games which are labelled as best games in the field, due to its care in making puzzles logical and solvable but also difficult. Most of the inventory items are used, which makes this aspect of the review mistaken.
The arcade games are a bit of an annoying distraction at times, but with Save & Load they can be overcome quite quickly. The main annoyance for me was due to playing this on the Wii, as I had to load it onto PC to complete some of the arcade parts, as arrow keys are not yet mapped on Wii's ScummVM. This was swiftly done though, and if anything it seemed to add to the whole espionage atmosphere! Objections of the linearity of gameplay are always absurd when the genre is of the espionage ilk. Graphics are extraordinary for the time (1988).
I feel that their could have been some explanation/resolution towards the end, as a reward for working it all out, but the lack of explanation early on made the game more compelling. The sewer sequence is difficult at first, but there is a secret to it, and this type of attention to detail is unusual in many adventure games. I have played many adventure games over the years, but only played this one in 2013, and it is of high quality. If a few details like the arcade bits were ironed out, I would have scored this excellent, but my overall enjoyment was definitely in the 5 category.
This is probably Sierra's darkest game. Think about it. Your essentially in the shoes of a traitor, a collaborator with an invading force. The fact that they keep the identity of the Manhunter secret plays in a "what would you do?" kinda idea, along the same lines of the unnamed narrator in the War of the Worlds novel.
It's frustrating though, the sewer sequence and building especially since you leave one area and return to the same and it looks different, making it hard for you to figure out where you are and what direction you should go.
Despite the negatives said here, I disagree. I am not looking back like most people here, subconsciously comparing this game with games that came out months and years after this game and then complaining the game did not do this or that as though the game had come out 3 or 4 years later.
I remember playing through this game and enjoying it, thinking it was ahead of it's time. I remember it got the equivelant of 90% revuees everywhere and I seem to remember this or Manhunter 2 getting lots of year end awards as well. This was the only game that was dark and Orwellian and had an art style and gameplay all of it's own. It was different from other games for quite a while as it was surrounded by 'lighter' games that were not comparable.
This is being looked on with black coloured glasses in the same wrong way as many past games are looked at with rose coloured glass in many case both are equally wrong when it comes to retro gaming.
The review is right on the money. It was a frustrating, sometimes stupid game that had a really exciting premise and some great 'cinematography'.
Real plot development would have been nice, and the arcade sequences needed to be canned.
Still a truly innovative and unique game, got a game of the year award somewhere I think.
One of the most unusual and unique games ever created. Very ahead of its time. Definitely recommended.
I agree with the undeveloped plot line comments in the above review. I also *strongly* agree that the arcade sequences are a real drag.
I liked your Manhunter: New York review; I totally agree with your assessment of the game as really badly executed yet worthwhile. I recently replayed this enigmatic game and found myself caught up in the atmosphere so much that I scoured the Web to see whether other people had the same ambivalent feelings about the game.
I hadn't thought about this game in many years, having played all of the early Sierra games with my (then) young son. I agree with the review here, but thoroughly enjoyed both Manhunter games, different as they were from any others around. I'd love to find a copy of it to play again.