The developer of controversial video game Manhunt 2 has failed in its latest attempt to release the game in the UK.

A high court judge ruled that the Rockstar Games' title must be re-evaluated by an appeals committee.

The violent game was first banned in June 2007 and has since been subject to numerous reviews and court cases.

Developer Rockstar Games said it did not understand the decision to spend public money repeating a certification process it had already passed.

The latest court case is the result of a ruling in December 2007 that allowed British censors to fight a decision by the Video Appeals Committee (VAC), which said the game could be classified and released.

The British Board of Film Classification's successfully argued that the game had been approved for release on a misinterpretation of the law.

The latest ruling means that the VAC must now re-evaluate the game under new guidelines.

But the game's developers believe the move is expensive and unnecessary.

"We believe the Video Appeals Committee decision was correct and do not understand the court's decision to expend further public resources to censor a game that contains content well within the bounds established by the British Board of Film Classification's 18-plus ratings certification," Rockstar said in a statement.

The game follows two survivors of a secret experiment that must fight their way out of an asylum.

When the game was first refused certification, effectively banning it, the BBFC said the game featured "sustained, casual sadism".

But games experts have pointed out that the violence in the game is no different to that seen in other titles.

It is already on sale in other regions, including the US.

No timescale has been given for the VAC to re-evaluate the game, according to a BBFC spokesperson.

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