The classic bespoke suit, the fiber wire, and those twin Silverballers. Automatically, Agent 47 comes to mind. How does this latest Hitman game fare in our books? No, the title is just to poke fun at Agent 47.
The bald dude with a bar code behind his head needs no introduction. Genetically-enhanced and cloned via gene augmentation, Agent 47′s genome was derived from a group of investors and their DNA. The assassin for hire is now ready to embrace the new console as well as PC platforms. The story begins right after Hitman: Blood Money. Ordered to hunt down his former handler, Agent 47 slowly finds out more about the motives of the Agency that created him as the game progresses.
There are 2 modes, which are just fancy names for single player and multiplayer. Absolution plays as a narrative story, while Contracts feels like you’re playing a game of Bluff, Hitman-style.
The story mode banks on the previous games’ premise, and a direct sequel to Hitman: Blood Money. The plot is akin to a less flashy version of Quentin Tarantino’s movies (think Kill Bill, silent assassin style). The whole direction of Hitman is being a Silent Assassin, so the game rewards you for all the achievements being a silent assassin, such as killing only the targets as highlighted by the respective missions.
The many different ways to dispatch your enemies using the environment also adds to the charm, like pushing your enemies off cliffs and into sewer pits. With a whole arsenal of pistols, machine guns and even sniper rifles, you may choose to go all out, guns blazing. We have not tried that option during the Chinatown mission, where literally dozens of NPCs which can be killed by Agent 47 by the way, are throughout the entire mission map.
Some bugs within the game such as tossing a brick towards a guard or enemy will not kill him or render him unconscious, with only the brick bouncing off him, and your enemy walking towards you. However, smacking the enemy across the head in close quarters brings about a more favourable situation. Even as NPCs see you dragging a corpse with your fiber wire, they will not react negatively and/or call the guards; one of the limitations of the game’s AI.
Yet it is fun to see if your score beats the general global score. The amount of ways to kill your targets will ensure that you will keep on playing the game again and again… if you so desire that 100% completion rate, or just want to see the many different ways they die. Did I mention you can pretend to be a Samurai display model, lying in wait for your enemies to walk past before their decapitated heads roll? Or perhaps death by poisoning will invoke a sense of sadism in you? There are enough hints to go around, including blowing things up or dropping things down.
Pick your victims, choose the method of death of your targets, while dressed in a certain outfit. Then, have your friends or other Hitman players guess how you despatch them. It is fun trying out various methods to kill targets not set by the developers itself, but by other players.
One of our missions involved taking out all the chefs in Chinatown, while dressed as a chef yourself. Now, all the chefs there can blow your cover, because somehow, there’s a Chef’s Union somewhere where all the chefs know each other. Long story short, even the Contracts done by other players can be tough at times. Even when most of the Contracts are shoot-and-run types.
Graphics and Sound
Truth to be told, I prefer the in-game cutscene graphics to the FMVs. Why? The characters move more awkwardly during the FMVs, with weirdly angled arms and cloth folds that don’t seem logical. One can tell that the direction of trying to bring out the many different environments together actually does affect the plot; it is as though the producer made the final call on getting all the different environmental concepts together, neglecting some of the story aspects. A Hawaii-themed motel in the middle of the desert, seriously?
Of course, the stellar soundtrack does heighten the feeling of what it feels to be a Hitman – a great silent assassin in the 21st century. It wouldn’t exactly go out of place if a Looney Tunes track were to replace the original soundtrack, given how the campy voice script of the main and side plot characters are. However, what we applaud is that the amount of material from the NPCs themselves, not to mention they are all fully voiced.
Is the girl worth saving?
Or more aptly; is this franchise good enough to revitalize the Hitman franchise? While not a game-changer (no pun intended) in its latest release, it does provide quite a few visual and aural treats, especially for the fans.