reviews\ Nov 18, 2002 at 7:00 pm

Hitman 2: Silent Assassin - PC - Review

What an amazing little gem.  Have you ever dreamt of being a hitman?  You know, the professional guy who those top-secret agencies call on to take out a target?  Of course you have.  Don’t deny it.  Well, don’t worry.  Eidos (who also brought us the awesome Deus Ex a few years back) brings forth Hitman 2, sequel to the original title Hitman, which was praised for having cool, open-ended missions.


Thankfully, this title doesn’t disappoint.  In fact, this game rocks. You’ve got to check it out – just finish reading this first, okay?


The game starts off in Sicily, where Agent 47 is settling down.  He doesn’t want the life he used to have; that of being a professional hitman.  In fact, he’s trying to change his life for the better, finding solace in a friendly priest who knows he is a good man.  Unfortunately, things go awry when that same priest is kidnapped.  Though he hates to do it, 47 gets back in touch with his old agency, who promises to help him get his friend back if he’ll perform a few tasks for them.  One thing leads to another, however, and soon Agent 47 is again a full-fledged hitman.  The story is so good, you’ll want to go back and buy the first title to find out what happened earlier.


This game has some wonderful gameplay.  In each mission, you’ll find yourself making decisions and choosing how to do certain things.  It’s so open-ended and free that you can’t help but go back and do each mission several times, and it’s so much fun.  Hitman 2 also sports a clever difficulty system.  Depending on how hard you choose to play, you’re given a set number of in-game saves.  You can save anywhere and continue progress at that very point if you die or turn off the game later.  On the Normal setting, you get about seven saves, and as long as you use them fairly wisely, running out won’t be a problem.  The next setting up doesn’t give you as many, so you’ll have to be careful about when you use them.  On Professional level, you get no saves.  That means you have to be extremely careful, and if you die, you’re out of luck.


Here’s an example of one mission.  Our goal is to take out two certain people, arriving by limousine, who are meeting in a park.  Said park happens to be surrounded by nearly a dozen guards.  We have several options.  We could go in, guns blazing, taking out everyone, and hoping we don’t run out of ammunition or get shot too much.  We could take the sniper rifle our agency has hidden near a Dumpster, find a nice, tall location, and take out the two targets.  We could take the car bombs our agency has also supplied us, plant them in each limousine, and wait for the explosions; after, of course, we take out the driver of each.  Myself, I decided to take out a guard quietly by strangling him with my fiber wire and taking his clothes.  Now that I’m disguised, I casually walked into the park (walked, mind you – running causes suspicion) and stood alongside a bench.  I saw my two targets, which were having a conversation.  I watched them closely, until they were in close range.  At this point, when neither of them were looking in my direction, I slipped out a silenced pistol and took each of them out with a shot to the head.  I quickly slipped the pistol back into my jacket and proceeded to casually walk out of the park.  By the time I was nearly out, several guards had seen the bodies, and were looking frantically for a suspicious person.  Of course, they didn’t suspect me!


It’s wonderful how each mission offers so many possible things to do like that.  You’ll want to go back and play through each one, doing them differently every time.  The graphics in the game are a pleasure, as well.  Animation is stunning.  Guards walk around just as you’d expect them to.  You’ll see your arms snap back due to recoil from various guns (It’s also worth noting that the aiming is top-notch.).  Dragging dead bodies around, and seeing their limbs catch on corners and other boxes couldn’t be much more realistic.  The lighting is dead-on, and so are textures.


The sound in this title is not bad by any means, either – in fact, it’s marvelous.  Every mission is accompanied by great music, often that from a talented orchestra.  The music really gives the game a wonderful atmosphere and immerses you even more into it.  Sound effects are perfect, too.  Guns give off a satisfying, loud bang.  Echos will occur if you’re in a tunnel or something of the like.  Silenced pistols give off a quiet sound that is just as one might imagine.


All in all, you can’t go wrong with this title.  It’s incredibly immersive, thanks to the wonderful presentation.  It’s awfully fun.  It’s got a load of replay value thanks to the amazing open-ended missions.  So, if you need a new stealth title, action title, one dripping with story, or style, or a game that’s just plain fun, please, pick this game up today.




Gameplay: 9.5

Hitman 2’s gameplay is amazingly diverse and fun.  You always have many options concerning how to complete each mission: it’s really up to you.  You can be as stealthy or as ruthless as you wish; either way, you’ll have a blast.


Graphics: 9.5

Hitman 2 is not lacking in the graphics category, either.  Animation is stunning, from standard walking, to ninja movements, to weapon recoil, or dragging dead bodies along.  Textures are great, bloodstains are realistic, and architecture is always cool.  Almost perfect in every respect.


Sound: 10

While Hitman 2’s graphics are wonderful, a game can’t be truly immersive without amazing sound.  Thankfully, the game excels in this respect as well.  Music is marvelous and always fitting, with a fantastic orchestra.  Sound effects are amazingly realistic.  You could swear those pair of pistols you’re gripping are real as you fire away.  I can’t praise the sound enough.

Difficulty: Medium
While the game does get more difficult later on, if something doesn't seem to be working, you can go back and try something else. The difficulty curve is wonderful.

Concept: 8.0

While I haven’t played a lot of the original Hitman, Hitman 2 is indeed similar in concept – just a lot better and more polished.  The open ended gameplay is great, something that most other third-person shooters can’t offer.  There are so many great little touches as well, from peeking into keyholes, to concealing your weapon, to disguising yourself.


Overall: 9.3

This title is amazing – do not miss out.  Every mission is a blast to play, with its incredible freedom, and the fact that no matter what you do, you’re going to have fun doing it.  The game is stunningly realistic and stylish, and polished to a T.  Pick it up now.



Hitman 2 is rated M for Mature.  However, in response to a petition, future titles of the game may be somewhat censored, according to Eidos Interactive.


About The Author
In This Article
From Around The Web
blog comments powered by Disqus