The ESRB's decision to give Manhunt 2 an Adults Only rating in the US seems to have already sent shockwaves throughout the industry about what it can and can't get away with. Condemned: Bloodshot senior producer, Constantine Hantzopoulos, tells CVG that a few features have already been pulled from the game in light of the ESRB / Manhunt situation.
During E3 we met up with Hantzopoulos for a look at Condemned: Bloodshot. For us the original was a prize pick of the 360 launch line-up and we're looking forward to the second one. But we were keen to know if the Manhunt ban made him think twice about how far the brutal aspect of Condemned's gameplay could be pushed. Would the ban make him (and other developers) think twice about what he could get away with?
"Absolutely it did," he told CVG. "And one of the things I want to make clear is that this does not take place in the real world. This is a fictional universe. That said we're pretty cognisant of the ESRB and the Manhunt thing."
Hantzopoulos has been on the wrong end of the ESRB in the past. "I worked on Fahrenheit (known as Indigo Prophecy in the States) and had to cut the sex scenes out of the game for the US. Yes, I was the guy that did that. It sucked because I don't believe in that, right. But you've got to do what you've got to do. We're working closely with the ESRB to make sure everything goes through okay but there's stuff we've cut already. There were things we were doing that even I couldn't believe we were going to those places."
When asked for examples of what we might now never see in a game again, we were told, "An example of what we cut would be putting someone's head in a vice. That was too much, you know. There are also some decapitations we've lost. But this is more Sin City than it is real world and we want people to know that this is not a real world.
"Manhunt kind of takes place in a real world where you're killing prisoners and people. This is a sensitive subject and we'll pull back if we need to. If someone says we can't that, we'll pull back a little. We're actually in pretty good shape. Putting someone in a dumpster is comical, it's funny. But putting someone through a TV set..."
Look out for CVG's full interview and Condemned 2 impressions later this week.