Manhunt 2 is an action/adventure video game developed by Rockstar Games and the spiritual successor to 2003's Manhunt. The game was released in North America for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Wii on October 29, 2007.
Originally scheduled for release in July, it was suspended by Take-Two due to a rating rejection in the United Kingdom, Italy andIreland and an AO rating in the United States. Rockstar eventually submitted a modified version of the game, which was re-rated with an M by the ESRB and allowed for an October 29 release date in North America.
During a severe lightning storm, the security systems at the Dixmor Asylum for the Criminally Insane go offline, allowing inmates Daniel Lamb (Ptolemy Slocum) and Leo Kasper (Holter Graham) to escape. Daniel is disoriented and amnesiac, unable to remember anything about himself. Under Leo's guidance, he makes his way back to the ruins of his old home, which is located nearby. Inside, Daniel recovers drugs which help to clear his head, and discovers hints about the details of his former life. He and Leo follow a series of clues to unravel the secrets of Daniel's past, killing anyone who interferes; along the way, they are pursued by bounty hunters and agents of a mysterious organization called "the Project".
As the plot unfolds, Daniel learns that he was once a scientist in the employ of the "Pickman Project", a government-sponsored weapons program involving brainwashing and mind control techniques. The Project's goal was to create the perfect assassin; to accomplish this, they developed the "Pickman Bridge", a brain implant containing the personality of a ruthless killer which could be activated on command. In theory, the two personalities would coexist in the same mind and would be completely unaware of each other, allowing the assassin to be remotely triggered, carry out his mission, and then revert back to normal; this would leave the subject with no memory of the killing, meaning they would show no signs of guilt, and would effectively be immune to interrogation.
While searching for Dr. Whyte (Linda Orth Pallavincini), a Project researcher and one of Daniel's former coworkers, Daniel and Leo are ambushed and sedated. Daniel wakes up in a room with Whyte, who reveals the whole truth to him. Six years ago, Daniel volunteered to be implanted with the Pickman Bridge, hoping that the resulting payoff from the Project's work would allow him to clear his family's debts and provide them with a financially secure future. However, the Bridge malfunctioned soon after it was implanted, causing Daniel to suffer from dissociative identity disorder, resulting in him being able to directly communicate with the "assassin" personality—Leo—whom Daniel perceives as a real person. Furthermore, Leo is dangerously unstable, and has been working against Daniel from the very beginning; after the implant went haywire, Leo—in Daniel's body—went on a rampage across the city of Cottonmouth, murdering police officers and members of the Project, destroying the Project's records of Daniel and himself, and finally making his way to the Lamb household where he killed Daniel's wife, all for the purpose of weakening Daniel's grip on reality so that Leo could take complete control of his mind. Afterward, to cover up Leo's killing spree, the Project erased Daniel's memory, torched his house, and had Daniel committed to Dixmor, where they had been working to study the effects of the implant and repair the damage, without success.
The game's final level is a surreal, introspective experience where Daniel enters a deep hypnotic state and faces off against Leo within the confines of his own mind. Daniel is able to let go of the guilt he feels over his wife's death, allowing him to "kill" Leo once and for all. Daniel awakes on a deserted road with his memory erased once more; he is left with an envelope informing him that his name is "David Joiner", providing him with a new home address in San Fierro and wishing him luck. Daniel briefly hesitates before walking down the road and toward his future. An alternate ending portrays these events from Leo's perspective, in which he is able to defeat Daniel and wakes up in full control of Lamb's body.