Review by Black Falcon 700
"Gamecube Finally Has A Worthy Action/Stealth Title"
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin is the one of the first action/stealth games for the Gamecube. Not only is it actually worth your time, it is one of the best action/stealth games on any system...PERIOD. The premise is simple: complete a myriad of missions ranging from infiltration to assassination to spying using an insane number of weapons and items and stealth. However, once you realize how many different ways there really are to complete each mission, you will begin to realize this game has something else going for it...depth.
The gameplay couldn't be smoother than it is. The default control configuration is complex, yet very easy to master. You have access to all the normal functions of an action game (firing with R, ducking, reloading, etc.) but then you see the A button. Simply put, it is a multi-purpose, context-sensitive button. When you get near something you can activate or open (like a door), just hit A and use the control pad to select the appropriate action. Some of the various actions include changing clothes with dead guards in order to sneak into a compound unexpected, dragging guards behind a wall or in a closed room to prevent other guards from finding their dead bodies and setting an alarm, and picking up weapons and items. Now for the best part, the mission depth. Each mission can be completed at least two different ways, sometimes up to five. I don't mean taking alternate routes either (though there are plenty of those too). I mean using different methods to complete objectives. For example, in Anathema (the first level), there are three different ways to just enter the mansion. You can kill the postman and enter through the front gate by dressing up as him and toting flowers, kill a peeing guard and dressing up as him to walk throughout the grounds unnoticed, or the way of weaponry where you blow the crap out of anybody who sees you entering the gate. Every mission is full of these choices and it makes the game have incredible replayability.
The story is pretty average for an action game. Agent 47's friend gets kidnapped and he is forced to help his old agency in order to gain information as to his friend's captor's whereabouts. While paying back the agency by helping them kill several generals, he is sucked in by an even deeper and more sinister plot.
Hitman 2 is stunning. The character models are fantastic and each set of clothes fits 47 perfectly (which is less real but really cool). The environments are all different ranging from sewers to a mansion in Sicily to St. Petersburg in Russia and each is very well rendered with beautiful textures and ambient life. Now for the big problem in most games, collision detection. This game is perfect in that area. If you shoot a guard in the face, he'll flip over backward and lie, bent, over a flower pot. If you slowly drag a guard under the water in a pool, you'll see his body slide of the edge of the pool with perfect physics. This is just the beginning of all the great ways to kill enemies and make it look cool because of the amazing collision detection.
This game was composed by a serious orchestra and it shows. Each musical composition is beautiful and fits its level perfectly, heightening the drama of sneaking right behind an armed guard with nothing but a kitchen knife. This is one of the best action soundtracks since the days of Medal of Honor and Metal Gear Solid for PS-X.
You will be hooked on this game for a long while after you beat it. Like I said before, there are several ways to complete each mission and every one is unique and fun. Even if you just want to go back and play a level, killing all the baddies just for fun. Also, if you plan on collecting all the weapons in the game, you'll have to replay some levels. You can only carry one rifle weapon so if there is a level with a sniper rifle and a shotgun, you'll have to choose which one you want and replay the level to get the other one. This adds more replayability. Also another big drive to get you to replay the game is trying to get the Silent Assassin rating on every mission (you can shoot one bullet and kill one person while finishing your objectives). This is extremely hard and nerve wracking but well worth it.
I can not recommend this game enough. Even if you're not a fan of action/stealth games, try it out. You might end up thinking differently after you've played. Hitman 2: Silent Assassin has everything going for it and it shows.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/29/03
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