Review by Dante demon killer

Reviewed: 11/22/02 | Updated: 04/15/03

A definite BUY all for action/stealth fans!

You play Agent 47, a retired Assassin, who now works doing gardening for a beautiful little chapel in Sicily. But wait...don’t get out your wheelbarrow and shovel yet. Agent 47’s best friend, the vicar, has been kidnapped. You will have to go back into the Hitman business if you want him back alive.

The game looks excellent. Locations are great and so are character models. Every thing runs smoothly with out a hint of slow down. There are some great lighting, snow, rain and dust cloud effects. The camera can be rotated, raised and lowered around agent 47 for a better view of your location. You can also play the game in first person or third person perspective or just switch between the two. The levels are large and intricate, and require only one short loading time.

The voice acting is great, most noticeably Agent 47. The music is done by a full orchestra and sounds perfect. It gives the game a lot of atmosphere. The music speeds up when you are discovered, increasing the tension.

The game is broken down in to 21 missions. Some take 40 minutes to complete others take an hour or two, depending on your style of play and what route you choose. The main objective of the missions is to kill one or two targets. There are also many other side objectives to keep missions varied.

The way you choose to deal with your objectives is left pretty much up to you. For example you can burst in all guns blazing, or snipe your targets from a near by clock tower, or steal a guards uniform and try to slip by unnoticed, or climb down the nearest man hole and use the sewers s to pass guards. There are so many possibilities you will want to play each level over and over until you’ve seen it all.

Between mission agent 47 will be taken back to the church in Sicily. This is where you can train and store any weapons you may have collected during your mission. There are a total of 32 weapons ranging from shotguns to scalpels. They are all scattered though-out the 21 missions, and getting them all is quite a challenge.

The game has great AI, which is not so intelligent that you can’t move without being seen but you’ll have to have your wits about you. It makes the stealth extra tense. The game is somewhat challenging so you’ll need your wits about you. Luckily you can save up to seven times per mission anywhere you want.

What’s most impressive about the game is the FANTASTIC (and I mean FANTASTIC) way the bodies move when they’re shot. I can not stress enough how real it looks. There are no prefixed death animations, just perfect body physics. It makes shooting, stabbing, hacking or slicing people an absolute joy (kind of important given the games theme). Bodies will slide off edges (depending on the weight balance). Limbs will fold up when next to something. If you shoot someone with a powerful gun e.g. a shotgun they will be blasted far back.. It makes killing people an absolute joy. You really have to see it in action to know what I mean.

All in all Hitman 2 is refreshingly different and a joy to play. The non-linear levels and the sheer amount of weapons will keep you playing for along time.

The game takes about 12 to 15 hours to complete, if you take your time. But you won’t have seen it all. There are multiple ways to complete each objective which adds a lot to the replay value. There are also secret weapons which can only be obtained through certain methods or achieving the Silent Assassin ranking on certain levels. It’s a hard task that takes serious planning.

Even though I’ve had this game a long time, I still come back to this game every now and then and have a GREAT time.

A definite BUY all for action/stealth fans, but you have to like a challenge. If you don’t you could always use the cheats but that takes some of the fun out of it.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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