Review by kianbung

"The bald assassin is finally starting to show grey hair... Sorta."

Hitman: Contracts is the third instalment of the Hitman series, where players assume the role of a bald headed gun-for-hire with a barcode on his head and a thirst for blood. The first two were innovative but flawed in many ways, and Hitman: Contracts or HM:C is Eidos' third try at getting it right.

GRAPHICS – 6
Oh c'mon. Ragdoll physics is so 2002. It seems that besides the slight improvement in textures and the such, nothing much has improved in HM:C's graphics. There's still the god-forsaken clipping that plagued so many games, and with games like Thief 3 floating around, they really should try harder. And where are all the bells and whistles we all expect from a 2004 game? All we get are dated shadow and lighting effects that are so unimpressive after all the amazing games like Far Cry and the like.

SOUND – 7
A lot of people talk in foreign languages, so I'm not really sure what to say about that. But it gets a little sickening after hearing the same people say the same thing over and over and over again. Despite public opinion, I actually like the music in this game, which scores it a 7 instead of another 6.

GAMEPLAY – 8
The overall gameplay has improved over the other two Hitman titles, mainly because the suspicion of the guards depend on the disguise you are wearing and most importantly, guards don't freak out when they see you running like in the previous titles.

HM:C is also darker than the previous titles, and this is actually one of the reasons why I enjoy it more than the previous ones. Call me sick, but I do enjoy watching the bald headed assassin strangle someone with a meathook in a messy abattoir.

The really bad thing about this game is that half of the levels are actually remakes of the original Hitman: Codename 47. This is BAD. We don't mind a remake of an excellent level or two, but to have half the game similar to the first game, this is just plain laziness.

REPLAYABILITY – 6
No. Not really. Sure there are few alternative ways to assassinate your target, but if you're going for silent assassin all the time like me, there's actually only one way to do it most of the time. Besides, unlocking new guns are so console.

OVERALL – 7
HM:C is recommended for its loyal fans and people with a gut for sadistic gutting. (pun intended) Unfortunately, for people who have played the first Hitman, you aren't going to have much bang for your buck, mainly because half of the levels are remakes. Otherwise, it is a good game to play in your free time.

PROS
- You get to kill people in creative ways
- Bald is beautiful
- People are not run-a-phobic anymore
- Dark and sick in some ways
- Nice music
CONS
- Half the game levels are remakes of the original
- Dated graphics
- Tired game engine
- Could've been much, much better


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 07/13/04


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