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.