Hitman 2 - WB and IOI kills episodic Hitman

The preorder thing is really confusing. At first it makes you think you get 4 days early access and immediate access to the sniper assassin mode, but then you see the gold/silver edition graphics and it makes it look like only the gold edition gets both of those preorder bonuses, the silver edition only gets the sniper assassin mode as a preorder bonus, so what does the standard edition have as a preorder bonus? Nothing?

Good thing I had no intention to preorder.

You get nothing but the Sniper Assassin mode right now for the regular preorder.

There’s also an even more betterer Collector’s Edition, but only for consoles. Sorry PC master race. It nags me that it has a few extra exclusive DLC items on top of the usual plastic crap.


You’re right if you’re looking at it as the final picture after everything has been released. But one of the things people talked about a lot on Qt3 and on various gaming podcasts was that during those episodic releases, when only Paris had been released, people played Paris over and over, and really got to trying different ways to accomplish the objectives within the same sandbox. A lot of people said that they never would have done that normally, but with the episodic release, it really enabled them to try different approaches to the same levels while they were waiting for the next release.

I didn’t play the game myself, but I know exactly where they’re coming from. If I have the whole game available at once, then I’m going to finish Paris and move on to the next level, I’m not going to play Paris again to try it in a different way.

Guilty. And I would imagine there were plenty who felt similarly.

I don’t know. The game is structured to promote re-playing levels. It’s kind of the whole point. If you play through just once, you’re missing like 95% of the content, and it’s obvious that you are. I got it after the whole season was out, and even so, have probably played “through” Paris 100 times. (Most of those playthroughs weren’t going for the campaign targets, but for escalation targets or the Christmas targets or whatever.) I know they weren’t everyone’s favorite, but I love the escalations–easily my favorite part of the game. Challenges, mastery, horror targets, bonus missions, contracts: it’s just an enormous amount of stuff to do.

So I’ve gone back to it (after more than a year of not playing.) I’d previously only played Paris and Sapieza; decided to make my way through the campaign so I could I’d least see all of the levels, then work my way back through challenges and escalations. Thoroughly enjoyed Morocco, spent some time going on an axe murdering spree in Bangkok after getting discovered and am having a blast all over again. I’m pretty sure this is a top-5 game for me.

Some gameplay footage:

Levels are still unbelievably complex.

What was the one where you wake up at your own funeral at the end? That one was really good.

Blood Money!

Blood Money is a masterpiece. That ending was so good.

Blood Money had one of the best video game endings ever!

Yeah, still remember it. I think I remember you lure some old guy in a wheelchair out of hiding and then chase him down in your white funeral suit. This may have also been the same game with the Christmas party level, the suburban level (I always thought that one was very small and cute but still had so many angles), and the Heaven and Hell club with the shark trap.

You guys are making me want to play Blood Money again.

Yeah Blood Money is still golden standard. Every level unique, size good enough, and brilliant atmosphere created by Jesper Kyd.

I liked the Hitman 2016 a lot and have no doubt 2018 will be great, but unless they get back Jesper it’s just not gonna be the same. And I would not mind if they scaled the levels a tiny bit back so they could create more of them.

I apparently missed Blood Money. I assume it still holds up? Any other must plays in the series (I suspect Codename 47 is a touch dated at this point)?

I thought Contracts had a couple of really memorable levels.

Codename 47 has brilliant atmosphere/music for its day, but level design and game design and controls are dated and I really do not recommend it (maybe watch a quick letsplay instead).

Silent Assassin has some bad levels, but once again, the music, atmosphere…it is worth experiencing. It fixes most of the rough edges of Codename. Just listen to this

Contracts is a half remake of Codename 47 and half new, I recommend it a lot, it is probably the darkest game in the series with some great level design. Last mission is basically a IOI take on Leon.

Blood Money is a masterpiece and best game of the franchise to date. Totally holds up on PC too.

Absolution is…hmm. It is a fun game with great atmosphere, very grungy, almost grindhouse-like, but it is not a Hitman game. It is closer to Splinter Cell in design than Hitman. But still fun for the most part. I do recommend it overall.

Hitman 2016 is return to huge sandbox-like levels, and pretty brilliant game overall. My only issues with it are lack of Jesper Kyd - the music here sounds more Bond-like than Hitman-like, which hurts atmosphere - and very low emphasis on story. I actually liked more storydriven previous games.

Here’s a few screenshots I took of Blood Money. IMO it holds up nicely (graphically) for a 2006 game. Although, I seem to recall the keyboard/mouse control scheme was a bit counter-intuitive.

Yeah, Blood Money is just an absolute gem. Some of the assassination methods that people have found for certain levels are hilarious, such as this probably unintentional way of getting the CIA to kill Vinny for you in ‘A New Life’. (Video contains some mild coarse language, because Australians)

Missed this until recently, but I enjoyed that even in the confines of the E3 demo, that was fairly restricted in both size and the number of assassination options open to players compared to how the full level in the retail release will be, that the sandbox nature of Hitman still shines through. That even though it took a fair chunk of trial and error to execute, thinking outside the box in ways unaccounted for by the developers at IO Interactive didn’t necessarily mean that the restricted sandbox wouldn’t reward clever improvisation.