Manhunt 2 rejected by BBFC due to "casual sadism"

Kotaku reports that today the British Board of Film Classification, the UK's independent regulator of film, video and gaming, announced that it has rejected both the PS2 and Wii version of Manhunt 2.

Manhunt 2 is, unsuprisingly, the sequel to the ultra-violent gang-based Manhunt, a game banned in various countries.

Manhunt was removed from retailer's shelves in the UK when it hit the headlines in 2004 as a result of the media linking it to the tragic murder of a school boy, although the police did later discount the connection.

This means that Manhunt 2 cannot be sold legally in the UK.

Director of the BBFC, David Cooke made a statement about the rejection clearly stating why the BBFC felt the game could not be approved, or could not be edited in such a way as to allow a release:

"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."

"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."

Kotaku points out that this is the first game to be rejected by the BBFC since Carmageddon in 1997.