Review by Lord Flamingo

"Short but sweet"

After opening up Hitman 2 and installing it, I was very happy with what I saw. This game was great, and I played it for 5-6 hours straight that night. I played a fair share on the next day as well, and just for the sake of knowing, I checked a FAQ to see how far in I was. Over halfway through. ''No problem'' I thought to myself ''the last missions will definitely be longer and better'', and I was relieved. However, the next day I absolutely tore through the game, getting within three levels of completion. The next morning I was able to get up and beat a mission (in 15 minutes), and there were only two left. Later that day, I finished the last two missions with a lukewarm feeling. This game had given me so much, yet so little was left...

Graphics - 10

Well, nothing is perfect, but these graphics are quite close. I won't get into technical details, but things are generally looking really good, provided you've got the equipment to display them. Things could have been better, but not by much, and not without getting crazy. There's always a good amount of things onscreen, and the framerate never took a hit. Add this to the sheer variety of places, enemies, and guns there are, and you've got a recipe for graphical success.

Sound - 9

Enemies scream in their native language or accent. Bullets zing by with their own distinct sound, and guns blaze in all sorts of tones. Yes, these are the sounds of Hitman. The only reason I rated this down was because of the initial trouble Hitman gave me. Since my older soundcard doesn't support EAX, I had a little trouble getting started. Otherwise, the sounds are well done.

Story - 10

The story starts out simply enough. Something bad happens, and then you go on a series of (seemingly) unrelated hits. Soon enough, things tie together and you're left with a great story. Not much to say here without spoiling it, but definitely worthy of its own movie.

Gameplay - 10

Oh yes, now we're into the meat of any game, the gameplay. Hitman 2's gameplay is stellar. It has a mission-based gameplay structure, either taking you back to your main ''base'', the chapel in Sicily, or going on the next mission part right afterwards (when this happens, it's for a good reason, like you just broke into the outer compound, now you must infiltrate the inner area and kill someone). After every mission/level, any weapons you're carrying get put back into your shed in Sicily. Any and all weapons you have there can be used on a subsequent mission (only ones where you are returned to the chapel, not the ''continuations'', on those you only get what you finished with.) Fans of the previous games will be glad to know there were a few gameplay tweaks added, like a suspicion meter, in-game saves (a Godsend), first-person view (though it pales in comparison to third-person), a radar/map (you can tell where enemies are and what direction they're facing), and a rating at the end of each level. All in all, the gameplay is great, and a large improvement over the first game.

Replay Value - 5

''So Flamingo,'' you're probably thinking ''why isn't it a 9 or 10 if the graphics, sound, story, and most importantly gameplay are all rated so high?'' Well, I'll tell you. This game is short, very short. If the gameplay were any less this would get a seven, but if it was only a few missions longer it would get a 9 or 10. If I can finish it in four days of sitting around some, playing some, and going places, then it definitely isn't long enough. Perhaps if I was vigilantly playing for 4 days, it would be different, but I casually played for four days and still beat it. There was no real value to me in replaying it. I already knew what to do, I already saw various other ways I could have done the hits, and playing through it again would be no fun (these missions are pretty long, and 47 is not the fastest walker you'll ever meet). The time taken to beat the missions again (especially trying to get the best rating on each, ''Silent Assassin'') is not worth the payoff, so to speak. Once you've beaten it once, most of the fun is gone.

Recap
Graphics - 10 - Great
Sound - 9 - Good, with initial problems
Gameplay - 10 - Superb
Replay Value - 5 - This game is short and sweet, not much replay in sight. Oh well, ''Quality over Quantity'' as they say.

The final word
Is this game worth playing? Yes. Buying? Maybe, it depends on if you would be inclined to play it again, or if the store you bought it from has a return policy. You may consider renting it for a console or borrowing it from a friend if you don't want to buy it, because this game should be played, but it doesn't have the lasting value to keep you playing. I was happy with my purchase, one play-through is worth the money, but with no replay I recommend a borrow or rent. And that's the final word.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/24/02, Updated 11/24/02


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