Manhunt 2 has been out only a very short time. But it’s already been hacked, and some of the original AO content made visible on the PSP.

Not all of of it (so far), but some. Which means that when Rockstar edited the game for its re-rating, they didn’t remove anything, just deactivated it or “covered it up” with filtering.

After the big “Hot Coffee” brouhaha, you’d think they’d have learned something. Apparently, they haven’t. I have no doubt that now, with the AO content hack being confirmed, hackers are looking into the other MH2 versions to perform similar “revivals”.

The big question is: will the ESRB require the game be rated back to AO, since the content is still in there and able to be accessed? That could be tough, as the game is already out. However, the ESRB did do it before, so they might do it again.

This business does a great disservice to games, particularly now when there’s so much heat on the industry over “violent games”. I find it incredible that Rockstar didn’t do a better job of removing the AO content. One would almost think they didn’t care, so long as they get enough publicity and the game sells.

Maybe they need it. I’ve scanned some of the early reviews on the net about MH2. Most of them – no surprise – dwell on the killing and the need for extreme stealth in the game, with a fair amount of disappointment over the “filtered” death scenes.

Little is said about the story or plot, despite Rockstar’s insistence that there’s a story here along with the violence. A number of reviewers did not find it especially engrossing, and remarked they could see where things were going.

In any case, I suspect that Manhunt 2 and Rockstar are about to have a bumpy ride in the days ahead.

MH2 Hack on Gamasutra

MH2 Hack on Game Politics