Review by Smelly Feet

Reviewed: 01/07/04

A True Masterpiece

Hitman 2: Silent Assassin. One of the most amazing games ever to grace a Playstation 2. The first time I played this it was a demo, and I knew I just had to get it.

Hitman 2 is pretty weak story-wise, although plot isn’t really necessary in a game as good as this.
The game puts you in the shoes of Codename 47, a retired assassin who works and lives at a church in Sicily. He was genetically engineered and is a near perfect killing machine. He wants nothing but to settle down at the church, until the past catches up with him and the priest at the church, Father Vittorio, is kidnapped. 47 pulls out of retirement on a quest to get Vittorio back.

This game is easy to play. You get obsessed with it because it is so beautifully designed. The number of ways to complete each mission is mind boggling. You can kill a man and steal his clothes, allowing you access to areas that you are otherwise restricted to. This is a vital part of the game, and near impossible to do without. The disguise feature is a bit dodgy though, sometimes the most inconspicuous way to travel is by sidestepping while facing a wall.
Or you could choose just to sneak around in the shadows, killing no one but your target. Even the way you kill your target is varied. You can snipe them from a distance, sneak behind them and slit their throat, blow their brains out in an intense firefight or one of many other ways.
You will in most cases also need to cover your tracks. Dragging people’s bodies into shadows, nooks and crannies etc will help you achieve a rating of ‘Silent Assassin’. This rating is hard to get and you will need to follow strict guidelines if you wish to achieve this ranking.
There are more than 30 weapons in this game, each having distinctive properties. Ranging from a standard Beretta 92 pistol to an M60 Machinegun you can use any of these guns to kill your target. Concealment can be a problem, if you can’t hide a gun, don’t use it. Apart from guns there are also a range of melee weapons you can find. Axes, golf clubs etc.
This game is easy to get frustrated with, on the harder levels. Especially if you’re trying to get the ‘Silent Assassin’ ranking.

The graphics in this game aren’t phenomenal, but they do the job. The sky is realistic, clouds moving all the time and the sun glaring at you when you look at it. The scenery and backgrounds in this game are fairly good looking too. Decent weather and lighting effects make the outside environments look great.
But the thing that gets me most about the graphics in this game is the people. Not the way they look, but the way they interact with the environment. For instance, if you shoot someone with a Spas 12 shotgun they will fly through the air. If they hit a wall they will actually bounce off it, as opposed to falling through it like most games that involve shooting people. The people bend, like people would in real life. Sure, real people can’t have their legs bent up the side of their body with their feet touching their head, but doing this to someone on Hitman 2 is rare.
The blood in this game is also cool. Shooting someone in the head will result in his brains splattered on the wall. If you go up close and have a look you will notice it is running down the wall. Pretty cool.

Sound effects on this game are excellent. There are different footstep sounds for every terrain, and the guards react accordingly to how loud your footsteps are. Sneaking will either reduce or eliminate the sounds your feet make.
The speech in this game is amazing, guards and civilians alike speaking in their respective languages. Sometimes a caption will appear at the bottom of the screen if it is necessary to hear what a guard is saying.
Environmental sound effects are good too, birds tweeting and rain falling to the ground. You can’t tell the difference from reality.

You will be able to play this game the whole way through, if you get into it. It is not a difficult game. People say that because they are most likely trying a difficult approach. Running through a room and shooting everyone is not hard, but it will affect your rating at the end.
If you love this game as much as me you will play it again and again and again. Try it in all three difficulty levels; normal, expert and professional.
In brief: Highly recommended, but not for the faint of heart.

If you have got this far thank you for reading my review. It was written by ‘Smelly Feet’ (sergeant_ledge@hotmail.com). If you have any questions just email me.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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