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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Eidos

 

Developer

IO Interactive

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

Q4 2002

 

- Amazing surroundings and interactive atmospheres

- Well-developed opponent AI

- Much more open ended than before

- Little more forgiving with health than previous game

- In-game saves are the GREATEST!

 

 

- Still probably one of the most difficult games on the market

- Some object definition problems remain

- Shoot someone on linoleum and there’s no blood?

 

 

Review: Hitman 2: Silent Assassin (PC)

Review: Hitman 2: Silent Assassin (XBox)

 

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Hitman 2: Silent Assassin

Score: 9.0 / 10

 

My review of Hitman: Codename 47 still earns me hate mail and general sniping (and you should see what my non-colleagues say). The first installment of the series was a great idea that was downright traumatized by poor implementation and programming flaws that made the game freaking hard and distracting at the same time. Hitman 2: Silent Assassin drastically improves on its predecessor’s shortcomings and turned out to be one the better games that I’ve played in a while – the presence of the in-game saves that were missing from the previous version alone nearly makes the game 5 times better.

 

This game has you take up the mantle of 47 – an engineered human with a working knowledge of every weapon imaginable. At the beginning of the game, 47 now lives at a church in Sicily working as a gardener. When a local Don kidnaps the priest of the church, 47 falls back into his honed trade in order to recover his friend and confidante. The leading trouble is that 47 no longer has any money (he gave it all away to the church and charities) so he has to ply his trade in exchange for intelligence on the whereabouts of the priest.

 

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The missions usually center on killing a specific target, but that doesn’t mean that a frontal assault is necessarily the best tactic. Like the previous game, subterfuge and skulking are the best tactics because any battle that you don’t have to fight will leave you with greater health and prevent problems of bodies being found by guards. For example, the first mission requires you to enter the Don’s villa to find the priest and there are three obvious entry ways: impersonate the postman (after killing him and ditching the body), 

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impersonate the delivery boy (same as postman), or just crash one of the entryways and hope that you don’t get overwhelmed. They all have their benefits – the bums rush tactic will prevent you from worrying about the guards if your cover is ever blown (providing you survive); the postman disguise allows you to search the front area which is easier to sneak around in but you’re going to have to lose the guns (which is kind of ironic if you think about it); the delivery boy disguise will allow you to keep your guns (hidden in the groceries) but you are going to be watched closely.

 

Hitman 2 does remain rather true to reality in some respects; 47 might be an above average human, but he can’t carry around a bunch of crap and still run around. You are also only able to carry one rifle at a time (ever try to run around with 2 rifles at once? It doesn’t work so well) and if he has it, it’s in his arms at all times not in one of his pockets (a la Grand Theft Auto 3). Needless to say, if you’re planning to walk around with something big you’d better be wearing a disguise where you can carry that weapon (civilians aren’t supposed to walk around a military installation with a high-powered rifle).

 

hitman-2-silent-assassin-3.jpg (47927 bytes)          hitman-2-silent-assassin-4.jpg (39644 bytes)

 

The health bar will remain one of the biggest concerns of the gamer though, no matter how stealthy you are during a mission, there always seems to be that one guard (or group) that sees you and gets a lucky hit(s). Because your health is rather realistically treated, 3-4 good shots will put you down and out. It’s not as brutal as the previous game towards bodily punishment, but that doesn’t mean doing stupid things are recommended.

 

The graphics are top notch; all of the character designs are pretty realistic with only some “ghosting” (being able to pass through solid objects) occurring unlike the previous game, which was plagued by the problem. The surroundings are much improved – the last game had some horrible looking textures on trees and walls, but the sequel has taken care of that problem and has left the surroundings looking, feeling, and tasting good.

 

The only graphic complaint that I have is the absence of blood – for a game that prides itself on realism the complete lack of blood is surprising (especially when you move a body because that would probably represent the biggest alarm for guards… besides the presence of a body itself).

 

The surroundings are authentic when you pair the appearance with the sound effects which are equally authentic – this is especially impressive when you take the time to listen to how the footsteps sound when walking or running on a dirt road in Italy or in the snow in St. Petersburg. The music is equally impressive; the moody instrumentals really suck you into the action and leave you a tad overwhelmed at times (especially at night when the house is quiet).

 

All in all, Hitman 2: Silent Assassins is a drastic improvement over the Hitman: Codename 47 and is one of the better games available for adults.

 

- Tazman

(January 18, 2003)

 

"If we can hit that bull’s-eye, the rest of dominoes will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate."

             - Zap Brannigan (Futurama)

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