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Hitman 2

Posted by GG Goblin On November - 28 - 2018

Agent 47 left enough people alive last time to come back and do it all over again.

Like a LEGO mini figure with the hair removed, Agent 47 has been stalking the video game world for quite some time. However, it was IO Interactive’s 2016 reboot of the franchise that really gave our assassin friend the chance to shine, with massive playground-style levels that were offered in an episodic format, packed with loads of different ways to dispatch targets. IO Interactive are back again, with a sequel to the reboot cleverly titled Hitman 2. This time around, they have done away with the episodic format, instead giving players access to all of the new levels at once.

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This is a big deal as once the player gets into a Hitman frame of mind, being forced to wait for the next episode can be somewhat frustrating. However, beyond the change in format, there is not much that has changed in Hitman 2, which is no real problem as the first game was incredibly fun. Still, at least this makes it an easy buy for those who did play the first game, as enjoying the first will guarantee that the player will get the most from the sequel.

Not that IO Interactive have just been sitting back and enjoying the sunshine since Hitman launched. Hitman 2 offers a small selection of improvements and refinements to the successful Hitman formula, beyond just an improvement in the overall visuals. For example, Agent 47 can now properly blend into crowds or hide in bushes, a much need skill for someone who wants to go unnoticed. On the flip side though, guards are now gifted with that little bit more awareness that allows them to see Agent 47’s reflection in mirrors or windows. Players are also made aware of potential discovery now with a small screen appearing to show a body being found or whatever. The use of this picture in picture is up for debate as the small image is not always easy to decipher. But still, it is another change.

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The story continues on from the first game. Yeah, there is a story. I know, that surprised me too. The thing with the overriding story in Hitman 2, and the first game for that matter, is that it is very easy to overlook, to the point that I doubt many players even took any notice. The good thing about that is players don’t need to worry about missing much if they never played the first game. Anyway, the story involves a shadowy organisation, missing memories and flitting all over the world to kill people. What more do you need to know?

The real stories come from playing the game. What essentially happens is that Agent 47 will be briefed on his target and why the target needs to be taken out. They are then dropped into a typically massive level, where they then have to find the target and assassinate them. This is where the magic happens, as the player has almost absolute freedom to achieve their goal as they see fit. Going in and shooting everyone is never going to work as these target6s are generally heavily protected. The game almost becomes some kind of puzzle as the player will explore the level, study the target and anyone else who might get in the way, decide where, when and how to kill them, and escape, all without being seen. It is thrilling and proper on the edge of the seat stuff.

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The levels are very well built, providing the player with huge areas to explore, and even secrets to find along the way. The sandbox levels are teaming with life as well, both hampering and giving the player opportunities. In these playgrounds, almost anything can be a weapon, and while it may be easier to simply shoot the target, poison them, or push them off a ledge, it is the ability to come up with creative ways of dispatching a foe that make the best stories. While assassination may be a dark subject, the developers have added plenty of humour into the game through the various disguises that Agent 47 can employ to move around more freely, and through the different objects that the player can use as a weapon. Did someone say rubber duck?

Hitman 2, much like the first game, is the gift that keeps on giving as well. The great Elusive Targets return, in which players will have a limited time, and one opportunity, to take out a high value target and show themselves to be assassins of note. There is also some co-op action with the stand-alone Sniper Assassin mode in which two players will need to work together to take out targets from afar. Then there is a more competitive Ghost mode in which two players go head to head online. As if that wasn’t enough, those who own the first game can enjoy the Legacy Pack which brings all of the original locations into the new game with the shiny new look and all of the enhancements. There is a lot of contract killing to be getting on with.

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Hitman 2 make not make the leaps and bounds from the last game, but that’s okay. Small, meaningful improvements, all of the content at launch, and a bunch of great new maps is enough to keep any hitman happy. Hitman 2 is a thoughtful game about killing with creativity, and more fun than Agent 47 in a dinosaur outfit.




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