Review by WiseOldShadow

Reviewed: 01/08/03 | Updated: 02/02/03

A short yet thrilling experience...

Hitman 2 is the sequel to Hitman 1 which was only available on the PC. Hitman 1 had very strong violent content which was quite refreshing during the time of its debut but its share of flaws made it hard to enjoy. Now the producers of Hitman 1 created a sequel which fixed many of its flaws and added something beyond great. Both the stealth and the violence in this game has had me awed and this has been a somewhat memorable experience. Anyways, meet The Hitman, Codename 47, one of the greatest assassins of all time. Are you prepare to enter the world of brutal violence and corruption?

Graphics - 9/10
The graphics in this game are simply amazing. From the powdery white snow to the green urban terrain, it has very detailed visual backgrounds and surroundings. The environment is greatly detailed from the beautiful plantlife to the enormous architectural creations. The cinematics are creatively put together and the character models are shaped very realistically. Such great graphics are rare on a PS2 console and it is good to see that the developers spent some time here. There aren't many problems with the visuals and any glitches/slowdowns are very rare indeed.

Gameplay - 8/10
The gameplay is ok in my honest opinion. I gave it an average score because I do not like stealth. I would rather shoot guys up then sneak around. Anyways, you travel to various parts around the world assassinating targets and collecting items. There are about 20 missions in total. Some of them are very fun to play through but others seem more like an annoying chore. There are so many neat missions to do. You can secretly pose as a cook and poison a target's food then plant a tracer on his body so you can discover the location of his father's hideout, shank a poor sniper who's after you and gut him till he's completely drenched in his own blood, snipe a target from a distance, cut off the oxygen supply to a target's lungs using fiber wire, play doctor with a crimelord's heart using a scalpel, instantly kill a computer hacker by sneaking up behind him and bashing his head with a fireaxe, or you can just shoot down your target with a variety of pistols, semi-automatic machine guns, shotguns, assault rifles, etc. There are just so many weapons in this game which adds to the fun factor significantly. Your character can run but it is safer to walk or else you will attract some unwanted attention. You can crouch down or sneak around a certain area or you can just run in with your guns blazing and gun down any poor soul who dare tries to stop you. Another cool thing is the ability to steal and wear the clothes of a fallen enemy. This is great when you want to sneak around and find the target without being pumped full of lead. You can also drag bodies. This is a pretty neat option because it allows you to hide the body of someone you've killed so that you don't get in trouble. Now, sometimes the missions are just plain frustrating and makes you want to throw your controller at the wall. One of the things that really ticked me off were the snipers. Whenever there was a really long stage with a lot of snipers. After 20 minutes I would finally make it to the end then magically get killed by a sniper. Another thing that was annoying was the lighting in the stages. Quite a few of the levels are really dark so an average guy would have to squint to see through some parts of the level. During one of the missions, my screen was actually pitch black while I was wandering in the sewers. I had to glance at the map every few seconds to make sure I was going the right way. Minor annoyances like these brought the score down.

P.S. You get rewards for completing missions very secretly, silently, and stealthily. The ''Silent Assassin'' title is very difficult to obtain in certain missions so they should provide good yet frustrating challenges. Hell, I can't even beat a few missions without screaming my head off.

Note: An interesting note is the ability to change the camera from a third-person shooter to a first-person shooter or vice versa.

Controls - 7/10
If you don't like the original controls then you can customize the controls to however you want. The controls are quite horrible on a PS2. I use the default settings although it took me like a week to finally get used to.

Replay - 6/10
This game is like any other action adventure game besides the GTA series when it comes to replay. Once you play through once or twice then you begin to lose the feeling. However, this game to me has more replay value than games such as Max Payne, Metal Gear Solid 2, and Dead to Rights. After you unlock all the stuff, beat all the missions, and tried out all the weapons you might become bored of this game. Heck, you might get bored after you play through all the missions for the first time. Within a week or two you will become very tired of this game. But hey, this game will be one badass experience while it lasts.

Sound - 8/10
The voice acting in the cinematics are somewhat good. It has better voice acting than many other games. The voices of different characters sound pretty decent and the gunshots can really get you pumped up. However, most outside characters such as pedestrians, police, etc. don't even talk. The opera style background music sometimes fit the missions perfectly but sometimes doesn't.

Story - 7/10
Hitman 1 didn't have much of a story. Hitman 2 doesn't have much of a story. The story isn't horrible or great, it is just above average. You are 47, a retired hitman who goes out of retirement to rescue a close friend who has been kidnapped. You'll have to take down anyone who stands in your way to obtain valuable information that will help you find your missing comrade.

My Opinion On This Game - 7/10
Hitman 2 overall is a great game. It is a good title in my book although the frustration on some missions has gotten to me. You can have loads and loads of fun playing this game if you're a stealth fan but this game will literally be a nightmare if you are the average ''shoot-em-up'' type of player. The pros outweigh the cons in this game and it falls a bit short of being one of the best games of the year 2002.

Graphics - 9/10
Gameplay - 8/10
Controls - 7/10
Replay - 6/10
Sound - 8/10
Story - 7/10
My Opinion On This Game - 7/10

After adding and dividing the final score is a 7/10. Not that bad really. Oh yeah, here's my opinion whether to buy or rent. If you are a stealth fan then buy this game as soon as possible. If you would rather go on a bloody rampage then sneak around patiently then I advise you rent the game then reconsider buying it. This game will probably take a week tops to play through.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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