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Hitman: Codename 47 hovers around an enigmatic professional assassin who is hired by a contract-killing organization for assassinating crime lords dwelling in different scenic locations. The missions have all the aspects of a Hollywood-style action flick and range from eliminating a Triad leader in a Hong Kong brothel to assassinating a doctor in his lunatic palace. The first part of the Hitman series is not as easy as it seems. It penalizes an impatient gamer and rewards the intellectual gamer who uses stealth in eliminating his targets.
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Hitman: Codename 47 is basically a First Person Shooter but has a third-person perspective while playing. The game begins with a tutorial mode where players have to guide the protagonist through a series of training sessions including using weaponry, climbing obstacles and getting used to sniper rifles. The training level serves as an ‘engineered’ escape route where Hitman has to eliminate some guards to break away from a test facility.
Codename 47 has five main missions; however some missions are divided in various mini-levels. The first mission takes players to the busy streets of Hong Kong to create a fatal misunderstanding between two major triads and finally kill Lee Hong, the crime lord of the red lotus triad, in a dramatic and intense level. There are many other levels that take Agent 47 to different locales including the dense jungles of Colombia and a gorgeous hotel in Hungary where he has to assassinate wealthy drug lords and terrorists. The organization pays Hitman for every successful elimination or 'hit'.
Players are presented a wide variety of military arsenal before every mission. Most weapons are mission-specific. For example, one mission relies heavily on the Blaser Jagdwaffen R93 Sniper while another discourages gamers from using any weapons due to security reasons. However there are some levels that present an array of weapons to select including a Beretta Silencer, M16 and MP5 machine guns. Players can also pick guns after killing guards or acquire weapons and ammo concealed in a room or tent or just lying on the ground. There are some missions where players can use the notorious AK 47 Kalashnikov or heavy mini-gun to kill enemies instantly.
A significant aspect of Hitman: Codename 47 is the ability to impersonate an enemy character after eliminating him. Hitman can take the clothes and accessories of enemies after killing them silently. This helps him to sneak and access restricted areas and accomplish his missions. The default outfit of Agent 47 is a black tuxedo with a briefcase in most missions. But, in some levels you will see Hitman in a military outfit or donning a uniform worn by lunatic patients. The game focuses on a more tactical and planned approach and any action in haste can lead to death. Players can use the sneak function to let Hitman silently attack a bodyguard from behind. However, a slight mistake can make the guards alert. One gets notified by alert messages on the screen whenever Agent 47 falls under suspicion.
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Hitman: Codename 47 allows players to roam in an open environment full of civilians and armed guards. The missions are not that easy to accomplish and players can find difficulty in approaching a target directly without impersonating someone or waging an all-round attack. A negative aspect of Hitman: Codename 47 is the lack of save option. If a particular level fails, the player has to start all over again. There should have been a save option available considering the complexity of some levels. However, the missions are challenging and engage gamers for many hours.
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The graphics are stirring and provide an immersive experience. There is a level of detail in each texture and model. There are some brilliant cut-scenes in between missions. The cinematic approach has a more Hollywood-like feel and is engaging. Some missions having building interiors, especially the hotel mission, have realistic architectural backgrounds. Interestingly, Hitman: Codename 47 was one of the first games to use the ragdoll physics technology. Since the game was released in 2000, it has limited graphic requirements. The game requires DirectX 7.0 or higher and DirectX 7.0 compliant video card. It is also important that a 3D accelerator video card is installed in the system.
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The sounds are realistic and the voice-acting is decent, especially for the protagonist. When Agent 47 communicates with someone, the voice shows no emotion and is stern. This is understandable considering the fact that Agent 47 is a professional contract-killer.
The sounds of gun-shots and surrounding environments are realistic. The sounds of bullets ripping through your body can be experienced. Each weapon has a distinct sound unique from the other one. One can also hear sounds of footsteps made by Hitman when he walks. The rustling sound can even alert any hostile characters.
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Hitman: Codename 47 encourages thinking gamers to use stealth, planning and a tactical approach to solve and execute a particular mission. The story and gameplay are engaging. Barring some minor flaws, the game promises lots of action. Eidos and IO interactive have worked quite hard to release this enigmatic game. It is certainly one of the best third person shooter games that inspired a movie after our bald-headed contract-killer.
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Minimum System Requirements:
Processor: Pentium II Processor (300 MHz)
RAM: 64 MB (128 MB recommended)
Hard Disk Space: 400 MB
DirectX 7.0 compliant 3D accelerated video card
Microsoft Windows 95/98/ME/XP operating system
DirectX 7.0 compliant sound card