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Manhunt 2 banned by UK censor - again

Heads won't roll

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The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has once again refused to grant controversial videogame Manhunt 2 a release certificate in the UK, effectively banning the title.

Manhunt2
Manhunt 2: no axe please, we're British

Manhunt 2 was originally refused a classification by the BBFC back in June, preventing the game from being sold legally in Britain. At the time, the organisation claimed the game had an "unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone in an overall game context which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing".

Developer Rockstar did make subsequent changes to the game, including a reduction in the visual detail of some "execution" kills. But the BBFC still reckons that other forms of killing retain their original "casually sadistic nature", and that the changes don't go far enough to address its concerns about the original version.

Any decision to appeal against the BBFC's latest decision now lies with Rockstar's publisher, Take-Two Interactive.

The game was initially awarded an an Adults Only (AO) rating in the US. However, Rockstar tweaks later allowed the title to pass with an Mature (M) rating, allowing it to be bought by anyone aged 17 or more.

While US ratings have no legislative backing, bigger stores will not stock AO-rated games, and both Sony and Nintendo take a dim view of any company releasing a title with that classification on their respective gaming platforms. Not so, M, and with the new, lower rating Manhunt 2 will be able to go on sale in the States when it's released on 31 October.

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