The sequel to HITMAN from 2016 is here and this time you get access to the full game right off the bat. Find out what we thought in our HITMAN 2 Review!
|Release Date||November 13, 2018|
*A copy of this game was provided to FYIG by WB Games for review purposes*
The HITMAN series was in a peculiar position after 2012’s HITMAN: Absolution. That game wasn’t too well-received by critics and many people online wondered if it was the beginning of the end for the series. I/O Interactive then went back to the drawing board and came up with a new concept. Instead of releasing one full game, they released it in episodic form. I/O didn’t follow the same formula this time and instead, we’re getting the full game all at once, but there aren’t many new features at play. HITMAN 2 ends up being more of an extension of season 1 rather than a full-blown sequel.
The storyline in this game leaves a little bit to be desired. You’re hunting 47’s childhood friend. Apparently neither you or Diana know this, but this friend does and he remembers everything. Or so it says ominously. There isn’t much story at all, it’s just narrated storyboards, but it works for this type of game well enough. Truth be told, I don’t really care much about the story. The HITMAN universe has spanned so many games and at this point, all I really need to know is that Agent 47 has a target and he needs to kill said target.
The settings in HITMAN 2 are pretty hit and miss. I really enjoyed the first level in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand where you infiltrate a beach house to gain intelligence and then have to take out a target when they arrive home with a full security detail before escaping on your boat. It’s a great way to set the tone and familiarize yourself with the HITMAN series if you haven’t played it before. The subsequent missions are equally as memorable with one taking place on a race track in Miami, a suburban area in Whittleton Creek for a home invasion, and a densely populated area in Mumbai with a multitude of ways to complete your mission. There’s a ton of variety in the settings and it brings some diversity to the gameplay which can become mundane if the settings are too similar.
When you jump into any of these levels, they’re full of ways to take out your target as you would expect. I was frustrated at how spread out some of this stuff actually was though. In the second level, I went around looking for poison for the hundreds of glasses sitting all over the place and it took me forever to actually find any. It’s not like that in every level, but even in places where you would expect certain items, you don’t necessarily find them which felt weird to me. There are a few new items like the dart gun which knocks out targets at mid-range. This is a pretty useful tool, but I didn’t use it quite as much as I wanted to because there always seemed to be a couple people next to each other. There are even frag grenades and mines for those who like to do things with a bang, but they feel really out of place in a game that wants you to do everything without being detected. I feel like there could have been different silent ways to take out enemies instead of something like that. With that being said there are some cool kills to be had using things like tape measures, defibrillators, and even irons.
The beauty of this game is in the experimentation that it takes to complete a mission and your ability to go back after a failure and do something completely different. No mission is ever the same twice and something that worked the first time may no work the second time. For example, I climbed a pipe to get to a second story window once and then ended up getting caught about 10 minutes later. I tried the same thing my next playthrough and there was a guard waiting for me on the balcony and my mission ended pretty abruptly after that. There are countless examples like this every time you play. Maybe a camera misses you running through a door one time and catches you on your next playthrough? Maybe the staff of a hotel becomes suspicious of you one playthrough and the next time they leave you alone? You never know what you’re going to face and that keeps you on your toes.
There are times when you overhear a conversation that may give you some inside information on something you didn’t know about like a secret path or where a character will be. If you’re methodical in your approach, you can learn a lot about the environment around you. Paying attention is always key because you never know when a piece of pertinent information might be available. One of my favourite moments was when a guard of one of my targets ended up drinking a poisoned drink and started vomiting in the bathroom. I ended up taking him out and then going on to the target’s bedroom and stabbing her as she laid there. It was simple, but it worked so effortlessly.
Of course, not everything works out so effortlessly. If you make one wrong move, you can have an entire security team after you with their guns drawn and it’s quite a task to complete your mission at that point (though not impossible). It can be frustrating to fail over and over again, but there are so many different opportunities at play that it never feels like a situation is perilous. There is usually a better option if what you’re doing isn’t working. If someone keeps detecting you when you’re trying to dispose of another guard, maybe you need to distract them with another noise or throw a coin to get them away from the area that you’re in? Is somebody getting suspicious of you? Blend in by sweeping or mixing drinks. There’s always something that can save you even when you think you’re about to be outed.
In addition to the main campaign, Sniper Assassin mode makes its return with a bunch of customizable scenarios. It’s a nice game mode to have for the sheer amount of replayability. Ghost Mode is the brand-new multiplayer mode and it’s a pretty interesting take on HITMAN. No, you’re not trying to take down other players, but you are competing with another player in a 1 vs. 1 competitive mode. The only time you really get to interact with the other player is the Ghost Coin which you can use to mess with the other player. It’s a cool concept and you’re trying to kill your target before the other player does in parallel realities. It’s a bit faster-paced than traditional HITMAN gameplay and I feel like it really puts your skills to the test. Once someone does take their target down, the other person only has a few seconds to do the same before the first one gets a point so it can get a little frantic. The time-sensitive Elusive Targets also return in HITMAN 2 with actor Sean Bean being the first one.
A nice addition (for an extra cost or those that already own HITMAN) is the ability to play all HITMAN 2016 missions from within HITMAN 2 via the Legacy Pack. It’s nice to have the option all from one game.
|Diverse levels||Feels more like HITMAN 1.5|
|Ghost Mode is a fun addition||Only 6 new levels|