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Hitman 2: Silent Assassin (Windows)

85
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  kbmb (399)
Written on  :  Dec 11, 2002
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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Summary

A really fun and exciting game, but with a few very annoying flaws.

The Good

You begin the game in a monistary in an attempt to redeem yourself of your sins from the first game. The acting and in-game cinemetography are really great, and quite convincing that Mr. 47 truly wishes to change his ways. The first level provides a good tutorial to begin, as well.

The gameplay has only been improved since the first game. It's essentially the same as it was before, but better. Disguises are a lot more logical this time around - throwing a cap on your head and a jacket over your back isn't going to convince the bad guys you're part of the family. There is a LOT of freedom to do your job how you want to.

Almost every level has three or more ways to complete the mission without raising a ruckus. The freedom to choose your path in the level is really great. Need to get accross a well-guarded area? Try and secretly kill a guard and steal his clothes. Or knock out the power and try and make it to the other side in the dark. Or crawl through the mucky sewers and hope you make it out in a better place. OR...just take out your ballers and blow everyone away. The choice is yours.

On normal difficulty, you're allowed seven saves. This is a much better feature than the first game's "two deaths" thing.

My favorite part of the game is undoubtedly the way the bodies interact with objects. Unlike...every other 3D game, gravity and objects affect the bodies. You're not going to find a guy just hanging out in mid-air because a pixel from the cliff is touching his foot. If you drag a guy too close to an edge and he slips off, you'll lose your grip and he'll fall. If too much of his body is hanging over the slide, he'll slowly slide off. It's the most realistic thing I've seen in a game.

No more having to purchase equipment before every mission. You carry your weapons along with you between missions, picking up what you can find.

In Hitman 1, you assassinated only about six people out of around twelve levels. In Hitman 2, you assassinate someone in every single level of the game, except for one, I think. Huzzah!

Your actions affect your rating. It ranges from "Silent Assassin", which is hard, to "Mass Murderer", which is, well, needless to say, messy. You don't have to kill anyone but the target in any level, but it's extremely difficult to do so.

I tried to go for the more stealthy ratings, but I wasn't able to get "Silent Assassin" on any levels, though I came close on one. It was fun to go back and replay levels - only this time around, blow everyone away!

The Bad

Most of the time, disguises are too useless. Now, I can understand that posing as a guard isn't going to get you very far, especially if the guards all know each other. But, say on one particular level where there are a bunch of bald guys in robes. I don't care if you've lived with these bald-headed cult members all your life, you're not going to be able to spot a phony fifty yards away when he looks exactly like you. Also, there are some levels where the guards are just damn psychic. I was wearing a completely-concealing disguise, covering my body and my face, and somehow the guards all knew I was a fake.

You can't run anywhere, especially not while disguised. The Russian soldiers seem to have a very strict "no running" policy. If you run, you die, simple as that. I can see how if you go running down the hallway with a gun in your hand, the guards might be suspicious. But if they saw you on the other side of the street running, why would their first instinct be "OPEN FIRE!!!!" ?

Your ballers are uh...rediculously powerful. Two simultanious shots at close range will, literally, send the enemy soaring. This is fun when you just want to go blasting everyone away, but when you want to play a realistic assassination game, it's just silly. I remember one incident, where I wanted to assassinate my target from the top of a tower. I crept up to the top silently, and decided to kill the sniper up there. I foolishly took out my ballers and fired. The guy flew right out the tower, landed in the middle of the guard's patrol route and quickly alerted them of my presense. It was humerous, but annoying.

Some friends of mine claimed to experience desktop-crashes quite often in the game. In my entire time, I've experienced maybe three or four. That's not much for me...but maybe I'm lucky.

The fiber wire is almost completely useless in nonlinear missions. You can only use it right if you sneak up on enemies, but the only times you're ever able to correctly sneak up on an enemy is if you're meant to. Like, if the target is taking a piss or something. Any other guard has patrol routes or will see you.

I don't like how Mr. 47 is a friggin invincible God most of the time. There most guys go down in one or two hits, Mr. 47 can take a damn tank shell at close range without flinching. Raising the difficulty might fix this, but it also reduces your save games greatly, which, I think is too much a sacrifice to balance the gameplay.

In the last level, you have only your fiber wire to start with. What gives? It's the hardest level in the game, for Pete's sake! And haven't I seen this level/situation somewhere before...?

The music used in the commercials is done by a really dumb band. Heh.

The Bottom Line

Definitely worth buying. It's fun to play "Silent Assassin", and it's fun to go on a mass-murder spree. But there are some bugs in it that really need to be addressed.