Hitman 2 review: Murder tourism

Hitman 2 is not to be confused with Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, the 2002 game of the same name, though it’s easy to get muddled. 2016 saw the successful reboot of Hitman, the series that’s been made into many a feature film and centres around Agent 47, an assassin sporting a barcode on the back of his neck, a penchant for black suits and red ties and that’s been trained to blend in. Released in episodic format, the Hitman reboot gave us our first taste of what it truly means to be an assassin. Now, Hitman 2, is more of the same, only much, much better.

Hitman 2

  • Developer: IO Interactive
  • Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
  • Price: ₹3499 for the Xbox One and Playstation 4

What’s it about?

Following the events of the previous game, Agent 47 and his handler Diana are now hot on the heels of the mysterious shadow client, who has hired the ICA, the organisation Agent 47 and Diana belong to, to unknowingly assassinate members of a powerful organisation called Providence, so the ICA foots the blame. Now the ICA and Providence must work together to put an end to the shadow client’s grand plans of plunging the world into chaos. So, who’s up for a spot of travel?

Where the previous games took you to exotic locations such as Hokkaido and Paris, Hitman 2 takes you from Miami to Mumbai. As the story, told through several cut-scenes in between missions, using some flashy cinematics, is mostly the only story you’ll get. Honestly, though, the gameplay itself is so good that the story will take a back seat, despite the fact that it’s well told.

How does it play?

Hitman 2’s levels are little sandboxes, that are living and breathing slices of life cut neatly out of the city they’re set in. Often fictional settings within those countries, Hitman’s gameplay mechanics set out to make these large levels a realistic playground, trying to simulate the depth and complexities of being an assassin.

There are many ways of killing your target. You can go about it the old-fashioned way, gun-to-the-head, knife-in-the-back style. Where’s the fun in that, when you can use indirect, but lethal methods of using the environment to your advantage, like pushing your target down a convenient hole. Yet, the game takes you deeper down that rabbit hole, allowing you to fully disguise yourself, infiltrate and poison the food or even better, cause a convenient accident. These elaborate ‘stories’ are the most fun you’ll ever have in this game. Requiring you to pursue a series of events, like infiltrating and sabotaging a sports car causing a crash or getting a military robot to do your dirty work.

Hitman 2 review: Murder tourism

The gameplay elements are incredibly detailed. For example, assuming the disguise of a security guard, you could slip by unnoticed into a guarded event, but get too close to another guard and you could risk being spotted. Some levels will need you to smuggle weapons into the premises, as you have patdowns you need to get by. Among all this grim realism, Hitman 2 has spots of humour; like in the Mumbai level, the disguises are hilarious, as a large white man wearing a turban, and sporting a pen tries to blend.

Hitman 2 review: Murder tourism

Hitman 2 looks crisp and refined, in both the experience and presentation. From its excellent graphics, to the way the scripted, as well as organic events unfold, it is a sight to behold. As you can keep replaying the levels to see how many ways you can kill one target. IO Interactive has also been releasing new reasons for you to go back to the killing field, with in-game events known as ‘elusive targets’, which give you a subject to assassinate periodically. Most recently it was Ned Stark himself, as actor Sean Bean appeared as a target.

Should you get it?

If you love stealth games and want something new to creep around in, then Hitman 2 is perfect — with its addictive gameplay and excellent fleshed-out levels, letting you experience tourism in a whole new colour — red.

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