Hitman 2: For Better Or For Worse?
by: The Button Man | November 23, 2002
[Spoiler Alert: This article contains plenty of spoilers for both Hitman and Hitman 2.]
Ever since Hitman: Codename 47 arrived on our screens there has been, at least within
the fairly tight-knit Hitman community, a tangible desire for more. Hitman: Codename 47
gave us so much that we had always wanted - an excellent storyline, superb interactivity,
top notch realism, originality, beauty, an amazingly characteristic "hero," and a mix of
stealth and action that can be found nowhere else. Following our first fix, for two
long years, we had to put up with Hitman 2 being cancelled, reinstated, little
information, and again, that desire for more.
Suddenly, in October 2002, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin was given to us, and life
(or perhaps death) was good. Our lead character was back doing the only thing
he knew how to do. We had a game which combined assassination, intrigue, terrorism,
worldwide locations that James Bond could be proud of, and a public outcry over what
could be a misguided choice of architectural influence.
Realism pushes the limits, and religious buttons.
There is little doubt that Hitman 2, on the surface, is a better game than the first Hitman.
The levels are, in general, larger, more detailed, and more varied. There are even
more ways to perform your deadly deed (to the extent that true walkthroughs are made
difficult because of the choice of options). There are a wider selection of weapons
and an original and eventually useful way of choosing what to use in each mission
(in the form of the weapons shed). Character models and animation are better and
more varied than in the original. The use of disguises makes far more sense than it
did in the original, and helps to maintain a high degree of tension throughout.
The game itself is considerably longer, and with the inclusion of the in-game save slots,
there can be no complaints over pointless replaying of levels due to a slight slip-up
one hour into play. There is the inclusion of the much-requested first-person
perspective (for good or bad) to keep the fast play shooters happy. Finally, there is
also the new rating system, allowing players to look at how they played the previous
level, and aim for that tricky ranking of "Silent Assassin."
Yes, Hitman 2 is a more developed and more accomplished game than its predecessor.
However, it can be argued that in some ways it represents a step in the wrong direction
for the series, and that it many ways it has lost some of the charm and originality
that made the original such a cult success. This may seem like a hard position to
justify, especially due to the large list of improvements that have been made.
However, there are many features from the original that seem to have been omitted
in the sequel, potentially to its detriment.
First-person mode keeps the Quake crowd happy.
Firstly, don't get me wrong. I've thoroughly enjoyed playing Hitman 2: Silent Assassin.
It's been fun, engaging, and it's the first game that I've played through twice in a
row, back to back, in a long time. I would happily recommend it to people I know,
and I'm desperately awaiting news of a sequel and a level editor. However, this
doesn't mean that everything about the game is sweet, or that I didn't feel a certain
amount of disappointment with certain aspects of the game.
-Return to HitmanHQ-