Review by Tony Bueno
year’s Hitman: Codename 47 was an uneven playing experience.
While graphics, sound effects and music were all top-notch, at
times gameplay left something to be desired.
The latest entry in this franchise, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin,
rectifies many of the woes left by its predecessor and is subsequently a
far more enjoyable tactical murder simulation.
the weighty and preposterous prologue, we learn that the title protagonist
has managed to escape his dangerous profession and has settled down in a
Sicilian monastery. Naturally,
the priest who has served as a benefactor and mentor gets kidnapped by a
group of mafia thugs. Fortunately,
Hitman’s former contacts from “the agency” are more than happy to
reinstate the contract killer to his sordid life of crime and degradation
so he may exact revenge.
2 presents a wide variety of unique situations in many exotic (and some
not-so-exotic) locales. Your
tasks include the infiltration of a mafia mansion, political
assassinations of unscrupulous Russian officials, a hit on a
middle-eastern dictator-type, amongst others.
Each level requires patience and a fair amount of problem solving
skills, which stands in sharp contrast with most modern “one-man army”
shooters like Duke Nukem, Max
Payne, Halo, or Medal of Honor. One
must make critical judgments as to which tools of the trade are optimal
given the task at hand. For
example, piano wire might work best for one particular job while a pistol,
rifle, shotgun, knife, or car bomb would make a better choice for another. Another plus is that there are several different ways to
complete each mission, and players are given grades based on stealth,
aggression, and effectiveness at the end of each successful contract. Additionally, the ability to save in the middle of a mission
is a feature that is much appreciated and was sorely lacking from Hitman
obvious that a great deal of effort was put into Hitman 2’s aesthetics.
Characters, buildings, architecture, vehicles, clothing, facial
features, ambiance, and shadows are all extremely well done.
However, for some inconceivable reason, the close up shots of the
individual weapons had much greater detail in the original.
Music and sounds augment the action perfectly, and even the voice
acting isn’t that bad.
the negative side, it is sometimes tedious to be required to walk such
long distances in certain levels, and enemy AI is at times a bit
inconsistent. While the first
title gave the real names, manufacturers, and background information on
many of the firearms, for some reason this one gives different but
strangely similar titles to the guns’ real life counterparts (i.e. a
Desert Eagle is called a Deagle, and AMT Hardballer becomes Silverballer).
The storyline is downright
awful, but then what are most video game storylines if not a feeble
attempt to explain the action depicted onscreen?
While definitely not for all tastes, Hitman 2 is recommended for fans of crime-based games and for those who rightly felt the original never quite lived up to its potential.
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