Hitman 2 - Silent Assassin
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Review of Hitman 2 - Silent Assassin
Once again, enter the mind of the genetically designed Hitman, a for-hire assassin who is trying to distance himself from his violent past and discover his true identity. This time around, he finds himself tricked into returning to his trade by a twisted Russian crime boss bent on assisting rogue countries for his own personal and financial gain. As the player takes control you soon realize that youre caught in the middle of a ring of deception and discover that you have become a target yourself - of a highly trained ex-Spetsnaz assassin.
It all begins in a Sicilian monastery where the movement and actions of the Hitman may be practiced to your hearts content. Similar to another Eidos favorite (Lara Croft’s training mansion) the entire monastery grounds are available to get to grips with the simplistic control system. Whether crouching, running, sneaking, walking, leaning around corners or targeting and firing off a weapon, most actions can be performed effortlessly by using an uncomplicated combination of shoulder buttons and analog sticks. This leaves face buttons to access inventories or perform simple actions (look through keyholes, open doors, drag bodies, use items, etc).
I suppose a detailed description of the very first level would probably give the best indication of what the gameplay entails. A pre-level briefing explains you must break into the Dons complex, assassinate him, steal the jail key and release the prisoner. The Hitman starts on a hillside watching over the tightly guarded estate of his main target. High walls surround the property and it appears there are only three possible entrances: the patrolled main gate, a closed side door and a rear service access. But which is the correct way to go? Actually all three open separate scenarios, but should lead to the same outcome. In a nutshell Hitman 2 is all about weighing up situations, making a decision and then seeing how far it gets you.
Most games expect the player to get straight on with the task in hand, but in this instance remaining on the hillside for a few moments reveals a number of real-time happenings. First of all a postman wanders onto the scene and dawdles towards the main gates carrying a bouquet of flowers. A few seconds later the side door opens and a guard exits momentarily to relieve his bladder in the bushes. At the same time a van pulls up at the rear service access and a delivery boy proceeds to unload the weekly groceries.
These varied events should trigger numerous plans in your mind on how to gain access. For example sneak up quietly behind the mailman and use chloroform (or various other silent means) to knock him out. By switching clothes and taking the flowers Hitman can now attempt to pass through the main gates as the mailman. Alternatively, hiding in the bushes near the side door allows the Hitman to ambush the security guard while he takes a wizz. A quick switch of clothes and by keeping a safe distance form other guards he can wander the inner grounds looking for a safe passage into the main building. The final option would be to take out the delivery boy and use the service entrance… just hope those guards don’t recognize that the Hitman is not their regular grocery guy.
Once all objectives have been successfully completed the Hitman is awarded a rating on how he performed, with highest marks awarded for silent kills and no innocent civilian deaths. Of course the reward of adding a new weapon to your inventory may not curb the desire to run around like a maniac, shooting everything in sight… The choice is yours.
Graphically this game is really nice to look at and runs comfortably at a steady frame-rate throughout. High-resolution backgrounds have been thoughtfully re-created to accurately display an image of each city represented. In fact the architecture on show in some levels is so precise that the building design often removes the need for the specific country to be named in pre-mission briefings.
While many of the incidental enemies (i.e. mobsters henchmen, soldiers, guards…) look fairly similar, most of the essential characters have a distinct appearance bearing unique features that make it easy to pick out the main players in each plot. Zooming into individuals using the sniper scope highlights this point as varied expressions and features are quite noticeable. The games main character, Codename 47, fits the tough-guy image superbly with his broad shoulders, bald tattooed head and stone-cold expression. The playing view may be from slightly above and behind your character (third person), or through his eyes (first person). The option of switching between perspectives is a useful tool and is usually dependant on the type of action about to be taken.
The sound effects are equally as good with crisp, accurate noises wrapped exquisitely around an original classical soundtrack, performed by The Budapest Symphony Orchestra and Choir that flow’s in time with the action. Imagine the effect this style of music had on movies such as The Omen, A Clockwork Orange and to some extent The Godfather trilogy to get some idea of the overall ambience created.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Hitman 2 - Silent Assassin' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Martin © Absolute PlayStation
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