Hitman 2 is a follow up to 2016’s stealth/action-adventure game and sees Agent 47 travel around the world, from Columbia to Mumbai, in search of the Shadow Client. It isn’t a big departure from the previous game, only expanding upon some mechanics and adding content to the existing blueprint. But if you are a fan of the series or even remotely interested in stealth, the hilarity that ensues in Hitman 2 is hard to find in other games.
The core idea of Hitman revolves around disguises that give you access to specific areas. You can pretty much take any NPC disguise you want, as long as you take them out by utilising a distraction or poisoning their drink. If you decide to enter an area off-limits in your current disguise, it will be deemed as trespassing and enemies will warn you before gunning you down.
Hitman follows a strict rule book, such as, you must not carry illegal items while getting frisked. But due to those rules, you always feel in control of your actions as well as the situation. As long as you play by the rules — making sure to hide bodies , staying in the correct zone for your disguise or not alerting enemies to your presence, Hitman is an extremely user friendly stealth experience. Before entering a mission, you can select your drop off point, starting costume, gadgets such as lock picks or coins, weapons and so on. It is now possible to carry a concealed weapon in a briefcase, including sniper rifles. You are the thrown into the world and encouraged to explore, experiment and implement new ways of taking out the target. It comes with a guidance system, which marks mission stories on the screen, including how to find unique items to complete that story.
Simply following a mission story, results in a kill or gives you the opportunity to take out the target. If you do not want any hand holding, you can remove all of the tips and choose to play it however you want. But I would recommend completing all of the stories in a level, as not only do they give you more context and information behind your target, but they often lead to amusing and absurd elimination methods.
As an example, I got dressed as a race car engineer and tampered the wheel so that my target died in a crash. In the same map, I took up the role of a politician and was scheduled to witness a new generation of military robots. I had to show a device a picture of a target dummy and the robots would eliminate him. I ended up utilising a picture of my target I had gotten earlier, thereby making it look like the AI killed him in an accident.
When I re-played the map I had completed at Gamescom, I was surprised at just how much of the story I had missed out on. I generally do not like replaying games, but Hitman 2 is an exception. This is due to its streamlined and approachable, but rewarding design. The missions themselves don’t take too long to complete, especially when you have already finished them once. This makes going after missed mission stories or trying out new ideas extremely user friendly.
Hitman 2 is an extension of the concepts introduced in the 2016 game, and as a result does not feel like a major improvement or enhancement. But that doesn’t mean its not worthy of the price tag. Even though its more of the same, figuring out all of the intricacies of the map and eliminating your targets in hilarious ways are a strong enough USP to last multiple more games before it gets stale.