Developer(s) Rockstar North
Publisher(s) Rockstar Games
Release date(s) November 18, 2003
Genre(s) Action
Mode(s) Single player
Rating(s) ESRB:ESRB M Mature
Platform(s) PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
Media DVD

Manhunt is a stealth, horror-survival videogame developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It was originally released for the PlayStation 2 on November 18, 2003. The game was later released on the Xbox and PC on April 20, 2004.

A psychological horror title in which players are forced to participate in a series of snuff films, Manhunt was highly controversial among videogame critics at the time of its release, although it received positive responses from game reviewers for its atmosphere and depiction of violence.

Manhunt is notable for its tie-ins with Rockstar Games' flagship series, Grand Theft Auto, especially with games within the 3D Universe continuity. It is noted for its usage of Carcer City as its primary setting; a location originally mentioned in 2001's Grand Theft Auto III.

A sequel, Manhunt 2, was released in 2007, containing less references and relations to the Grand Theft Auto franchise.

References and crossovers with the Grand Theft Auto series

Grand Theft Auto 2

  • GTA 2 features a series of gangs, one of which goes by the name The Loonies, they are described as ‘Mental Patients’ and have a very similar look to the Smileys gang from Manhunt. The cars they drive have a small smiley face on the top of them, similar to the simplistic design the Smileys use for their masks, or draw on walls. In Manhunt, the Smilieys are referred to as ‘Loonies’ by Starkweather, during the scene ‘Mouth of Madness’ The fact that they are also mental patients bears too much of a similarity to the ‘Loonies’ from GTA 2 to simply be a coincidence.

Grand Theft Auto III

  • On the Lips 106 radio station, the news reporter Andy states: "So I'm sitting here, reading the Liberty Tree, and it says 'In nearby Carcer City, a good day for law and order as police chief Gary Schaffer was cleared of corruption charges in a controversial decision by the court.' Let's hope those missing witnesses turn up safe and sound.” This is also a potential timeline conflict. Grand Theft Auto III is supposed to take place around 2001, yet at the journalists apartment in Manhunt we can see from the calendar on her kitchen wall that the events of Manhunt take place around November 2003. The only other explanation is that this is the second time that the Police Chief has found himself in trouble.
  • The bathroom which the player must jump down to during the third scene in Manhunt (Road to Ruin) was originally used in Grand Theft Auto III, where the player meet up for missions from Ray Machowski in Staunton Island.
  • When the player picks up a weapon, or other pickups, the sound that it produces is the same as in GTA III.
  • Sometimes, a Hoods member might mention the Maibatsu Monstrosity.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

  • There is a Sprunk soda machine that can just be seen in the background during one of the cut-scenes backstage at the Love Fist show. The Sprunk logo design was significantly changed for Manhunt and has maintained the aesthetic designed for Manhunt in later Grand Theft Auto Games.
  • During the introduction, titles and opening scene in Manhunt there is a drug store called Ryton Aide. The same store can be found at Little Haiti.
  • There is a mattress store that has a poster that says ‘The Best Mattresses in Carcer’, this is likely a reference to Joe's Beds from Manhunt.
  • The junkyard in the scene 'Fuelled by Hate' has the same car crusher and surroundings as the junkyard of Vice City.
  • During one scene (View of Innocence) on the second floor of the shopping mall, one of the counters has the words Tarbrush Café and a picture of a coffee cup. In GTA, the characters Tommy and Lance had to destroy the Tarbrush Café during the mission Cop Land.
  • The player can find multiple blue and white shopping bags with the word Gash written on them in the journalists apartment during the scene ‘Press Coverage’. In GTA Vice City, there is a department store of the same name, the store is located at the North Point Mall.
  • One of the idle comments members of the Hoods make is "Yeah, we got it all, a BJ Smith grill, the works, she’s real happy." In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, BJ Smith is the former tight-end of the Vice City Mambas football team. This line is clearly a spoof of the real world George Foreman Grill.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

  • While at Zero's RC Shop in San Fierro mock-up action figures from past games developed by Rockstar North, including Cash and Piggsy from Manhunt can be seen on the shelves. These figurines were originally found in the bonus art gallery once the player had gained a 3 star ranking on 'Trained to Kill'. The image has since been altered to display the final design for Cash, as opposed to the beta model shown in the bonus art panel in Manhunt.
  • Inside some bars like the Ten Green Bottles, the artwork on the walls includes a Cerberus guard mural.
  • At the Police Department Headquarters in Las Venturas there are two pictures of Cash and three wanted pictures of members of the Hoods posted on a bulletin board.
  • During the Casino Heist mission "Architectural Espionage", the player is required to enter the City Planning Department within Las Venturas. There are various blueprints pinned within a few of the rooms, one of the blueprints is of Starkweather's mansion, as featured in the last few scenes of Manhunt. The blueprint is titled ‘Starkweather’s Estate’. Also there is a picture of Carcer Church and surrounding districts in another room. It titled ‘Development site’.
  • San Andreas makes use of a minimalist Manhunt inspired stealth mechanic on select missions (particularly Madd Dogg's Rhymes); CJ can perform a level one execution from Manhunt with the knife by creeping up behind a pedestrian. After performing a stealth kill in San Andreas the fallen victim's death pose is exactly the same animation as in Manhunt. There are other animations that were originally used in Manhunt.
  • Using the same aiming and targeting system featured in Manhunt, when a pedestrian is targeted three triangles circle the targets head, the triangles are color coded: green triangles indicating an alive pedestrian, which progresses to yellow, then orange, red and finally black, which indicates dead pedestrians. In Manhunt, however, these indicate the level of violence: the darker the color or the target, the more gruesome the execution.
  • Other in game models that look to be taken from Manhunt include the boxes of ammunition and nail gun boxes that can be found laying around in the various Ammu-Nation stores.
  • The wheelchairs within San Andreas appear to be exactly the same models from Manhunt, including the textures used.
  • In the countryside a few of the pedestrians wear overalls with a tartan shirt on, which appears to be a reused texture from one of the Smilieys.
  • One of the gangs that roam the San Fierro countryside mhas a tattoo of the word RIFA on his chest; in Manhunt the Innocentz have this same tattoo in exactly the same location.
  • During one of the commercial breaks on K-Rose and several other radio stations, Carcer City is advertised.
  • During the radio talk show Area 53, a caller by the name of Vivian calls in from Carcer City and talks about crop circles. On another radio station WCTR, a woman calls into the show The Wild Traveler from Carcer City.
  • There are pedestrians that can be heard saying comments about Carcer City such as "this is why I am moving to Carcer City" other lines of dialogue include "Hey! This isn't Carcer City, okay!" when bumped in to. There is a male pedestrian that sometime says "Where do you think this is, Carcer City? Watch out!"
  • In Manhunt 2, there is a billboard advertising a tour for a band called "ManZone". Clearly a parody of Boyzone, the billboard depicts some crude renderings of San Andreas pedestrians and Marco Forelli.
  • Some objects were reused from Manhunt, such as the explosive Carcer Gas barrels or the hippo statues around Santa Maria and Verona Beach.
  • Several doors the player encounters inside interiors are re-used, such as the doors inside Big Smoke's Crack Palace and Madd Dogg's Crib.
  • The same junkyard model from Manhunt and GTA Vice City is reused in GTA San Andreas.

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories

  • Many weapons in GTA LCS also appeared in Manhunt. The weapons include a hand axe, baseball bat (aluminum), and a handgun. Some of them even appear to be the same weapon model as used in Manhunt, if not then certainly based on the same designs.
  • Another possible hint to Manhunt include a mission titled Snuff, in this mission the player has to eliminate members of the Sindacco Family that are putting pressure on a fellow Sindacco member who would like to become a member of the Leone Family. The turn coat in question is JD O'Toole, he runs a sex shop. During the mission he is watching from a nearby building and video tapes it all for his very own snuff movie, he calls Toni to express his gratitude for the clip.
  • A man calls up from Carcer City on Chatterbox FM.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

  • Various pedestrians in the game can be heard claiming to have had previous occupations in Carcer City, such as 'I was a plumber in Carcer City!’

Grand Theft Auto IV

  • Some of the pedestrians in Grand Theft Auto IV have familiar Manhunt characters printed on their shirts. It can be hard to locate some of these pedestrians due to the fact that they seemingly only appear in specific locations and at certain hours of the day. These characters include The Smileys among beta gangs and characters that were cut from the final game including The Jury, The Scarecrow, and The Monkeys.
  • The criminals section of the Liberty City Police Department's website includes two characters that are listed as originating from Carcer City. 
  • One of the statistics maintained in Grand Theft Auto IV is 'Distance traveled', under this statistic it is possible to achieve 'Liberty City to Carcer City' as the distance traveled. This is achieved fairly early into the game, no more than a few game hours, this further indicates that Carcer City is in close proximity to Liberty City.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto Online

  • As part of The Diamond Casino Heist update, several new masks based on Manhunt gangs. This includes the Smileys, Innocentz, and Wardogs. Also included are the Piggsy and White Rabbit masks and an Ape mask based off a bonus mission called "Monkey See, Monkey Die!" in Manhunt.


  • Multiple vehicles that have appeared prior in GTA III and GTA Vice City have appeared in some form in both Manhunt games. Including but not limited to the Stallion, Pony, Yankee, Forklift, Blista Compact, Boxville, Securicar, and the Carcer City police cruisers share the model seen in Vice City. The only difference is the white and black color scheme instead of white and green. It should be noted that driving is not something the player can do in Manhunt, these vehicles are placed strictly for scenic and aesthetic purposes.
    • Interestingly, the Blista Compact found in Manhunt is a beta model, which was visible on some pre-release screenshots of GTA Vice City. Later, in Manhunt release, the player can find an all-red Blista ingame, using same model and textures as it did in the screenshots, however with different wheels.
  • Many models for objects that enhance the scenery can be found around 3D Universe games are shared with Manhunt. This includes, but is not limited to, chairs, tables, flower beddings, buildings and billboards. This is done to maintain a certain level of consistency between games due to them all being in the same universe.
  • The 24/7 rendition from GTA Vice City made a brief appearance in Manhunt.
  • Footstep sounds in Manhunt are identical to those in the 3D Universe games.


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