previews\ May 30, 2002 at 8:00 pm

Hitman 2: Silent Assassin - PC - Preview

The general is a target. Of course, you can go in guns blazing, but the chances of leaving alive with the attaché case are slim. This is will require stealth, maybe a change of clothes, or two, but then, that’s why they pay you the big bucks.

There is, though, the thrill of the kill.

Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, from Eidos Interactive, is a continuation of the story of the bald but deadly character that took shooter games, from a third-person perspective to another level of intensity.

Eidos showed off a demo of the game at E3 2002 in Los Angeles.

In this outing, our ‘hero’ has been forced out of retirement by treason. The press release invites players to “visit the dark recesses of a world corrupted by crime, greed, degradation, and dishonor as you return to track down the organization that forced you out of retirement. This time it’s not just business, it’s personal.”

Hitman 2 has been upgraded on many fronts. Not only have the graphical elements been tweaked, but also the game is more cerebral this time. You can’t just blindly march in and kill, you have to time guard movements, pick your opportunities, operate with some stealth, and know your environments thoroughly in order to succeed. Gun and run is a sure way to get yourself killed.

There are 20 missions and more than 20 weapons at your disposal. You can use fiber wire to choke the life out of a victim, or – because most of this game takes place in a church – rosary beads. The game does rate performance on each mission, and there are approximately four ways to accomplish each task.

Graphically the environments have been expanded, and lighting textures give the game a very solid look. You can operate in either third- or first-person perspective. If you ever played Deus Ex, you will immediately recognize the sniper scope feature of this game, right down to the pop and spray of blood as your victim falls.

Is Hitman 2 a worthy successor to the original? Absolutely. The game looks good, seems to play well, and should be a real challenge to players.

This game will be released on the Xbox, PlayStation2 and PC in September.

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