Many of the older classics from Square Enix have lately been treated rather unfairly by the Japanese publisher. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was an excellent game but severely lacked in content, and as a result was met with poor sales, followed by the shelving of the franchise. The new Hitman also didn’t make a good impression. The episodic and online modes were some of the hotly debated features of the game. There were a bunch of other issues that didn’t sit right with gamers, including watering down of the mechanics but to be fair that was just the final nail in the coffin.
After that, Square Enix decided that it didn’t want anything to do with IOI or Hitman and went on to cut all ties. Despite that the game got a sequel and WB fulfilled the publishing duties and voila, we got one of the best Hitman games ever.
Although the game hasn’t undergone many drastic changes, it is much more enjoyable. The episodic release schedule was replaced by the traditional one, multiple difficulty options have been added and the online mode is a bit less painful.
However, it’d be unfair to say that those are the only changes. The maps are much more immersive with a focus on replayability, thanks to the new stories feature. The easy and medium difficulty settings provide directions in the hunt for potential stories, but the master difficulty leaves you with the barest of instructions.
These stories range from hilarious to downright evil. You can dress up as a gigantic bunny-thing to bait your target, have their own statue dropped on them (by their own hands no less), drop a great white shark on them (quite literally) or well make the wind carry them off a skyscraper top.
All the episodes from the first Hitman are also available as
There’s something that the first game was severely lacking in- the story. I’m not saying Hitman 2 has a phenomenal narrative, but it is significantly better than its predecessor’s. It is sufficient to keep the momentum going, and then some.
Lastly, the visuals are largely unaltered but come with a set of extra options like sharpness filters, screen-space reflections and something called “simulation quality”. This basically controls the complexity of the CPU physics, and unless you have a hexa-core or octa-core Intel processor, the highest setting isn’t really recommended. If you are an NVIDIA GPU owner, then the game automatically records all the assassinations with NVIDIA Share (formerly Shadow Play) which you can then share with your friends on Twitch or Facebook or just store somewhere on your HDD for whatever reason you fancy.
The GOTY edition comes with some extra episodes and locations and although these aren’t quite on par with the main story, they manage to extract another half a dozen hours or so out of the game. That’s my opinion of the game, happy hunting agents!