Hitman 2 is The Best Contract Killer Simulator Ever Made (Review)

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Hitman 2 is available now for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro, the Xbox One family of devices via Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and IO Interactive. Here is my review:

Hitman 2 is a stealth video game developed by IO Interactive and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It is the seventh entry in the Hitman video game series and is the sequel to the 2016 game Hitman.

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So… I still suck at murder, much like I did while playing the definitive edition of 2016’s Hitman earlier this year, however after immersing myself in the gorgeous killtastic scenery of Hitman 2, I’ve found that I’m getting better. What that means is, I have more patience and I find myself longing for the perfect hit as I play through one of 2018’s most underrated and beautiful gaming gems. Hitman 2, or season 2 of the this current next-gen reboot of the infamous series follows Agent 47’s various exploits as he murders his way through a complex plot that sees him reunite with a long lost friend as he tries to uncover more of his shady origin story. But forget the plot, because honestly, you didn’t need one – at all.

The fun of Hitman 2, is the variety and freedom to accomplish any of your assassinations in six fantastic new areas of the world. Ignore those cut-scenes, which I was sad to see were mostly sweaty water droplet loaded still-images with voiceover. Don’t even bother adding still imagery with voiceover to a game in 2018 that is otherwise visually stunning. That’s probably my only real gripe with the title, aside from the controls which are unlike any other stealth third person shooter I’ve ever played and they take a lot of feeling out to get used to. If I had a dime for every time I whipped out a gun in public and blew my cover… But even with tough controls and not much of a compelling overall narrative, Hitman 2 is still a spectacular experience and in my opinion – the best contract killer simulator ever made. If you ever wanted to feel like a badass hitman – this is the definitive gaming experience for you… Psycho.

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New locations

Miami, Columbia, Hawke’s Bay, Mumbai, Whittleton Creek, and the Isle of Sgàil.

My thoughts: All maps are massive, but I found myself truly captivated by the slums of Mumbai as I felt like I literally stepped into this world for the first time and every single detour I took to evade capture, made me feel like I was in an interactive spy thriller set in that country. Also – the quiet suburb of Whittleton Creek is equally intriguing on the complete opposite end of the spectrum providing this almost horror film canvas to play in as I snuck into various homes plotting a hundred different ways to kill my targets. So out of the six new maps, those two are easily the stand-outs and ones I found myself replaying the most.

New features

Ghost Mode multiplayer: Players simultaneously hunt targets while in the same location and can see a “ghost” version of their opponent in order to track progress against their own, but they exist in separate realities unaffected by the actions of their adversary. The victor must outsmart, outplay and outkill their opponent by eliminating five targets first.

Sniper Assassin: A new stand-alone feature with online co-op available, where players can put their long distance sniping skills to the test.

My thoughts: Ghost mode is fun but creepy as Hell, running into a spectre of an opponent as you race to outkill your foe, but I didn’t really invest much time into this because the fun of the Hitman games for me – is the calm approach so I found myself getting annoyed quickly because I’m not a speed stealth kinda player. I sucked at it. I also sucked royally at Sniper Assassin which is a shame because the level they have available is badass. You get to perch in one spot and use various types of special sniper ammo to wipe out a slew of targets from a safe distance. I couldn’t get the bullets to hit though – I couldn’t for the life of me figure out the wind or adjust accordingly to the distance. I’m sure with more time this could be my favourite new feature, but it’s one that will take time to get into.

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Another simple but cool aspect about Hitman 2 in comparison to the first season from 2016, is that we get all of the six locations at once, as opposed to having to wait in the past for the next level to pop up. We get em’ all right now and you can play them in any order (which works because the story isn’t compelling anyway). Also if you’re like me and have the legacy pack, it’s really nice adding all of the season one content to Hitman 2 as well so you have everything to choose from in one title.

Hitman 2 is also just… a ton of fun. Whether I was bored and decided to don the clown costume and go an an axe-killing murder spree like I was Michael Myers in a new Halloween sequel or I was impersonating a tattoo artist to stab a Colombian drug lord in the next with a needle, Hitman 2 is just one of the most diverse and dynamic gaming experiences I’ve ever had. There are just so many fascinating ways to play around in these maps that the replay-ability factor for a game that on paper has only SIX levels, is comparable to gaming giants like Grand Theft Auto V. Plus – the areas are all so damn life-like and exciting that you could find yourself taking two hours to set up the perfect kill and not feel the game drag at all even without any cinematic cut-scenes to break up the tension of navigating the levels.

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The pride that you feel while executing a silent kill and exiting a level after pulling off the perfect string of murders is one of the most exhilarating and awesome gaming experiences I’ve ever had. It’s not that Hitman 2 is an impossibly difficult game, but it’s one that relies on discretion and patience – two things we rarely have in videogames these days where we tend to resort to all-out warfare and shoot-outs. The timing and Final Destination style kills are what make Hitman 2 stand apart from the pack and I think this style is what makes the franchise so damn compelling all these years later. When I loosened an oxygen tank and tempted an ex-Russian spy into taking a puff of a cig only for him to ignite into flames and die horribly while I watched from his closet like a monster I realised that Hitman 2 was something special. And disturbing – but in a great way. Buy it.

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