Manhunter: New York (A Review)

Reprinted by permission of Computer Entertainer, Copyright 1988 Computer Entertainer and Video Game Update.

Manhunter: New York is a Sierra 3-D Animated Adventure Game that's quite unlike any the company has ever released before. It's also a new and unexpected direction for the design team of Dave, Barry Murray, Barry, and Dee Dee Murray, who also created "The Ancient Art of War" and "The Ancient Art of War at Sea" for Broderbund.


Manhunter: New York is a first-person science fiction adventure that takes place in New York City in the year 2004, shortly after an alien invasion and subsequent world takeover. The alien Orb Alliance has subjegated all humans, implanted them with tracking devices, ordered that they wear brown robes, and not speak to other humans under pain of death, and generally devasted the city of New York. To maintain their iron-handed dictatorship over humans, the Alliance enlists the aid of select humans to become Manhunters - detectives who spy on their fellow humans, track them with the aid of hand-held computers, and report subversive human activities to the Alliance.


Play the game, and you become one of these Manhunters, racing scores of unimaginable dangers as you track your fellow humans through a representation of New York that is familiar, yet strangly different. The designers have crafted a very compelling story, filled it with moments of both sheer horror and tension-relieving humor, and used the framework of Sierra's now-familiar 3-D Animated Adventure system in a whole new way. Views switch from first-person participant to third-person observer, and cinematic techniques such as zooms and close-ups add visual interest.


The story can be played several ways, depending on whether you choose to align with the evil aliens or take the risk of joining fellow humans in an underground movement. Keyboard entry is minimal, and the sense of really being part of the story is heightened by the use of real New York locales and overall excellent programming. We found Manhunter: New York a fascinating and very sophisticated role-playing game that is quite out of the ordinary.

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