Hitman 2: Silent Assassin (4 out of 5)
The above-average success of Hitman: Codename 47 encouraged IO interactive to release its second sequel with the same panache but improved story, gameplay, controls and graphics. Hitman: Silent Assassin continues the furthur ‘contractual’ adventures of our bald -headed assassin , but delivers a more challenging and entertaining experience with a unique ranking system and solid combination of action and adventure.
Story (4 out of 5)
In Hitman 2, our bald-headed assassin tries to follow a moral path by seeking asylum in a small monastery in Sicily. With the support of Father Vittorio, the only priest of the church, Agent 47 confesses his sins and tries to lead a respectable life working as a gardener and attending church regularly. But destiny had other plans for him. One fateful day, Father Vittorio gets kidnapped by a group of mafia men. Hitman vows to rescue the priest from the clutches of the mysterious organization and dons the same old robe of an assassin. He then gets into a deal with the ‘Agency’ to find father Vittorio. The Agency agrees to locate the priest under conditions that he acknowledges some contracts for them and eliminate their targets. Agent 47 has no other choice but to sign an agreement with his handler. He embarks on his missions and eliminates the assigned targets with the hope of finding his mentor and friend.
The storyline serves an excellent base for gameplay. It takes our protagonist to the cold streets of Russia, the busy alleys of India, the tech castles of Japan and the silent deserts of Afghanistan. The game ends with Agent 47 rescuing father Vittorio. However, he embraces the same old path of a professional Hitman once again.
Gameplay (5 out of 5)
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin has a different concept of rewarding players. Gamers might remember that the first Hitman game rewarded players with hard cash for every smooth “hit”. Hitman 2 introduced an innovative rating system that rates players on the basis of their attack strategy. A tactical player who completes a level with proper planning could receive a stealth status whereas a player who opts for an arcade-styled action and just shoots on a first-come-first-serve basis stands a chance to acquire the status of an impulsive killer.
The beautifully designed missions do not follow a straight path; instead it presents alternative ways to gamers who must have a logical approach in solving the assigned task. There are several ways of eliminating the target and this determines the player’s status and rating. So, the game offers a blend of action and wits.
The AI enemies are intelligent. They can choose various ways to eliminate Hitman if they sniff something strange. They can defend themselves and can duck for cover if the aim gets missed. The intelligent AI combined with excellent gameplay truly makes the game quite interesting. The sequel has also introduced the save game option, although the number of saves are limited in Expert difficulty setting.
Graphics (4 out of 5)
Sequels always try to up the level of gameplay, sound and graphics and try to be different than their predecessors. Hitman: Silent Assassin also has undergone a major improvement in gameplay, especially with its new ranking system and excellent AI. But, there isn’t anything spectacular in the graphics department. Of course, you have a newly improved glacier engine that was used in Codename 47, but you won’t find any extreme changes in character models, be it the protagonist’s or NPCs. One major change in Hitman 2 Silent Assassin is the perspective. Yes, you can change the view mode to first-person from third-person—an aspect that was not present in Hitman: Codename 47. With this new feature, FPS players will certainly love to experience Hitman in a different perspective.
Just like Codename 47, the interiors and exteriors of buildings in Silent Assassin are spectacular. The detailed architectural design makes game play even more interesting. The cut-scenes in sequential missions gets you engrossed deep into the plot.
Sound (4 out of 5)
Although Hitman 2: Silent Assassin has a great soundtrack, the lip-syncs are quite average. The sonorous voice of Agent 47 is lent by David Bateson who previously lent his voice for Hitman: Codename 47 as well as for other sequels like Blood Money, and Contracts. However, the lip-syncing is pathetic, both for the protagonist and other non-player characters. The soundtrack is more orchestral compared to the urbane soundtrack of Hitman: Codename 47 and is composed by Jesper Kyd who recorded the soundtrack with over 100 musicians of the Budapest Symphony Orchestra and Choir. The symphonic soundtrack is awesome and truly matches the dramatic ambience of any big-budget Hollywood movie.
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin is an intense action adventure game. An inclusion of a multiplayer option would have been equally enjoyable. The sequel has got rid of all the problems faced by Hitman: Codename 47 due to its innovative ‘rating’ system and engaging storyline.
Operating system: Windows 98/ME/XP
Hard Disk Space: 800MB
Processor: Intel Pentium III processor
Processor Speed: 450MHz
Video Card: 16MB Video Card in Compliance with DirectX 8.1
Sound Card: DirectX 8.1 Compliant Sound Card