Name: Hitman 2
Developer: IO Interactive
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Acquired: A copy of this game was provided by a publisher for review purpose
Agent 47 is back again, the most deadly assassin in gaming history. Returning in the direct sequel to 2016’s Hitman, but is there enough new to accurately describe it as a sequel, or rather a new season?
You can read the review of Season 1 Here
Hitman 2 continues on the story that was being established in the previous game, with Agent 47 hunting down the Shadow Client and his militia. Your targets may seem random at the beginning but we quickly learn that this organization is spread around the world. We also learn that the Shadow Client has information about 47’s past, making this mission more personal for him to boot. If you haven’t played the previous game, you are in luck since they have remade all the maps from the first game with all the new features. This makes it possible to play through the entire story from both games with the Legacy Pack. if you already own the previous game it is also free, while you have to pay if you don’t own it. One thing that has obviously changed is that Hitman still has its episodic structure, but all are available at launch.
The story felt kinda weak being told through still pictures and it takes you a bit out of the immersion. But the voice acting is solid with David Bateson voicing Agent 47, bringing that cold and calculated assassin to life.
But as in the previous title, the story works as a red line, piecing the missions together since all the fun is in its gameplay.
At first glance, it wouldn’t seem like much have changed with the graphics since last time. You will have to take a close look to notice some big changes since it looked really well last time as well. Lighting as seen an upgrade and textures are a bit better, every location having a different environment. It runs smooth, and with the huge environments and its attention to details, it is simply impressive. The maps in the Legacy Pack has also been giving the same update in graphics, so they all contain the same level of detail.
The core gameplay hasn’t changed much either, although I didn’t feel it was necessary to change too much either. Every map is a sandbox in different sizes, where you have the main objective but you decide how you want to do it. By the main objective I mean target, and by how you want I mean find the most creative way to murder someone unseen. Never has assassination been more fun (if that is okay to say.) You can take the easy way, but it might also be the riskiest. Or choose a more safe way to take them out, but it will take a lot of waiting and timing. But it will also be more satisfying when it succeeds, although even more infuriating when failing. Guns blazing is an option, but I haven’t found a situation where it actually went successfully. But whether it’s finding the right items, changing costumes to gain access to new places, setting up traps or just waiting in the right place at the right time, the game will give you opportunities that will satisfy your inner assassin. But all this isn’t new to the franchise but rather mechanics that has been polished to the game we know today. Season 1 also had the same balance and really improved the Hitman series gameplay. With this game, it contains the same of course, but with small tweaks to improvement.
The changes that are made are improvements all the way that benefits the player. In Instinct Mode you can now see the trajectory of cameras, so you can always see where you will be spotted. Talking about cameras, when spotted, a small window show ups in the corner, showing you what the camera sees. Also when NPCs are reacting to your actions a window pops up showing what they are reacting to and where they are going. That is what I noticed when playing had changed with the gameplay.
There is one feature that is returning and that is the suitcase. You can now store equipment and carry it in a suitcase, so you now don’t have to find the secret hideout to get your equipment. But it also gives us the chance to carry bigger weapons like a Sniper Rifle that usually would wake suspicion when carried on our back.
So they have made a solid gameplay, but in the end, there isn’t anything special that is new. The weapons and items are the same, with some new but it doesn’t change the game drastically.
One of the new modes that appear in Hitman 2 is Ghost Mode a 1vs1 competition, where Agent 47 competes against himself.1-versus-1 online competition, putting your assassination skills to the ultimate test. In Ghost Mode, two players compete against each other online, both as Agent 47, to assassinate the most targets in a match. At the start of each round, both players begin side-by-side and must race to take out the same targets faster and cleaner than
their opponent, while utilizing weapons, items, outfits, and ghost crate supply drops along the way to help accomplish their goal. It is a cool concept, but it didn’t fit with the core gameplay. It puts too much stress into an already stressful environment, trying to sneak, plan and execute a flawless execution without being seen, while doing it faster than the other player.
The control scheme hasn’t seen any changes, so if you are familiar with the series you can pretty much jump straight in and play. Agent 47 is easy to control, actions are highlighted and guns feel good to use. The only time I felt there was some problem, is where when I have knocked someone out and we are close to be spotted and all the options that get highlighted can be a mess in stressing situations.
Then we have come to one of Hitman’s biggest selling points, which is the replay value. Not only does the game have a ton of stuff to do, but it even encourages you to play more. Every map has the main objective, but then there are all the challenges that change how you complete every objective. The better you perform the more you unlock to use later, new starting points, new weapons, and items. I often had just played through one of the maps and decided to play it again, since I had found a new way to eliminate them. Or I had recently unlocked a new weapon I wanted to try out. Playing through the story might only take you a few hours on the first playthrough, but you still have countless hours of more gameplay waiting.
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Replay Value 10
Hitman 2 delivers more of the gameplay we loved in season 1 but has played it really safe when it comes to new content. It gives you the tools to be as creative as you can be, feeling like the best assassin ever. But to call it a sequel rather than season 2 is a stretch. Still, I don’t think anyone is complaining about more content in this Hitman universe.
- Great levels
- Variation in engagement
- Massive replay value
- Short story
- At times dumb NPCs