JamesO writes: "The BBFC has today announced that Manhunt 2 for Wii and PlayStation 2 has been rejected, meaning the game cannot be legally supplied anywhere within the UK. The last video game to be rejected was Carmageddon back in 1997, although that decision was later overturned on appeal by the Video Appeals Committee.
The decision to reject Manhunt 2 was taken by the Director and the Presidential Team of Sir Quentin Thomas, Lord Taylor of Warwick and Janet Lewis-Jones.
"Rejecting a work is a very serious action and one which we do not take lightly. Where possible we try to consider cuts or, in the case of games, modifications which remove the material which contravenes the Board's published Guidelines. In the case of Manhunt 2 this has not been possible," said David Cooke, Director of the BBFC. "Manhunt 2 is distinguishable from recent high-end video games by its unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone in an overall game context which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing. There is sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged, in the game."
Cooke goes on to say: "Although the difference should not be exaggerated the fact of the game's unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying and the sheer lack of alternative pleasures on offer to the gamer, together with the different overall narrative context, contribute towards differentiating this submission from the original Manhunt game. That work was classified '18' in 2003, before the BBFC's recent games research had been undertaken, but was already at the very top end of what the Board judged to be acceptable at that category."
Under the terms of the Video Recordings Act an appeal can be made against the Board's decision. Manhunt 2 had been scheduled for release on Wii, PS2 and PSP on July 13."