Our favourite bald-headed assassin has made a comeback this year with more stealthy assassination missions that are enjoyable to play through and satisfying when finished. The sequel to 2016’s episodic Hitman, Hitman 2 does away with the previous game’s staggered structure and gives you access to all the missions from the get-go.
The game feels like an organic sequel to its predecessor and doesn’t do too much in the way of changing things. This is great if like me you really enjoyed the previous game and are happy to receive more of the same especially with missions like the ones set in Vermont and my own hometown of Mumbai.
For those of you that are new to the series, Hitman 2 is a stealth assassination game with a heavy focus on gameplay and freedom. There are many ways to carry out an assassination and that is not just limited to the tools or disguises that are at your disposal, although those are also plentiful. The difficulty levels also add replay value in the way of making things harder. A mission approach you may have used on ‘casual’ might not work for you on ‘master’. The game has been designed to be repeatable either in part or as a whole and I think it has achieved that design objective.
If you happened to miss out on 2016’s Hitman don’t worry because you can get all the missions from the first game added to this experience at a reasonable price and it is a great way to enjoy all the content from the launch of the first game until now. I suggest you play Hitman first and then move on to Hitman 2. Although you don’t have to do it that way, it will feel like smoother progression and will help you enjoy the direct sequel more.
In terms of the graphics, they are pretty much industry standard with a few places here and there that catch your eye. The audio, on the other hand, does a lot more to add value to the experience and make the game stand out. The voice acting is great and feels authentic to the character while environmental sounds are on point to the degree in which you can actually use them to help navigate your surroundings. Another thing worth mentioning is that NPC’s are also aware of the sounds you make and will respond accordingly.
The game is also experimenting with multiplayer and you get to see that in the form of the ghost mode. This part of the game has you and your opponent performing the same assassination while trying to finish the assignment as soon as possible. Whoever finishes first, wins. Unfortunately multiplayer is not the only component that requires you to be online. If you want to get your collectables you need to be online while playing single-player content as well.
The game with its various approaches, objectives and collectables really feels brimming with content to consume. There isn’t a time where you feel like there isn’t enough content but just be sure IO Interactive has added a contracts mode called elusive targets, these in-game special events are always fun to play and come with a certain sense of urgency because they are only available for a limited period. You get to take out special targets that may or may not be from popular culture.
All said and done, Hitman 2 is a great stealth game that is filled with interesting puzzles for you to solve. For stealth enthusiasts picking up this one is a no-brainer but I would also recommend the game to those who like a slower and more thought-provoking gaming experience. There’s a lot on offer here and despite the minor annoyance of having to be online most if not all of the time, it is an experience worth having.