Review by kjjksj
"A love or hate kind of thing; most likely love. MGS2 is better."
Hitman 2 is a good game, in fact, its such a good game that
some may play it and say it's the greatest, most innovative title made. Never before (excluding the original Hitman) could one take the role of a contract killer and do the mission like they wanted (well, never before has a game had so many different paths to follow) That’s one of the great things about this game, if not the most relevant aspect; the open ended gameplay.
While the plot in itself is linear and fairly predictable, each level manages to provide 2 things; An immensely detailed place and freedom to take advantage of it. This is not just one of those ''be stealthy or go Rambo'' type choices that one must make, it is a very precise decision that produces feasible consequences. For example, in the first level, one is told to kill a guy (well, actually every mission pretty much has that goal) but you have to infiltrate the base. There are many methods available; kill the postman, take his clothes and flowers, and walk right in. Or how about killing the grocery guy and smuggling weapons in the grocery bags while you waltz past the guards. What about finding a weak spot in the guard formations and sneak on through? Or of course; run in, shoot and kill everyone. What makes this even better is the fact that even more options are available when you get inside; run in and kill the guy? wait for him to sit down alone and sneak up behind him with a golf club? snipe from a distance?
Technically, Hitman 2 is outstanding: Great, smooth graphics. A nice amount of environmental interactivity. Great soundtrack.
However, as great as this game sounds, I did not like it. Considering all the technical attributes and the respect towards the notion, it probably deserves a 9, but I still didn't like the game. Maybe it is the fact that I was never too intrigued with being a hitman in the sense that I had to plan the hit out to the point where I had to figure out whose clothes I would take and exactly where I would walk. It's almost like some strategy game like Ghost Recon, where you need to think EVERYTHING through before execution: enemy location, hiding spots, weapons to use at exactly the right time and place, and putting everything in the proper context.
The levels themselves were too large for me to pay attention to where I was. There is a map but I was too lazy to sit down and plan everything out. Basically, what happened to me when I played was I would attempt to do something smart; take the postmans clothes and walk in. But in the end, it would always end up in a firefight; I would get in the building and then get caught or seen or asked to leave after delivering the flowers. The combat system in the game is average, perhaps a little lower considering most of the effort of the game was put towards options for mission execution and level layouts.
I also never really got into the plot, due to the lack of good character development. I'm sure one could argue that the game doesn't need good characters or that the characters are supposed to be like that, but I just never felt too motivated to go in and kill the target.
Many compare this to Metal Gear Solid 2; the two are fundamentally different games. Maybe because you can drag and hide bodies in both games people made some stupid bizarre conclusion that the two are similar enough to be compared. First off; Metal Gear Solid 2 is an extremely plot driven game with a very polished and tweaked game engine, but is very linear and very short. Hitman 2 is driven by it's extreme open-endedness, with a fairly average combat engine and average AI. Hitman 2 requires lots of thinking towards the mission, with lots of realism. Metal Gear Solid 2 is a pick up and play game that combines arcade elements and realistic elements from the action genre. Metal Gear Solid 2 is basically an action game with an intricate plot; Hitman 2 is basically a strategy adventure game that discourages full out action shootouts by providing alternate means of attaining the goal. Overall though, Metal Gear Solid 2 has equally if not more production value and a better presentation and more incentive to play off the plot than Hitman 2.
Maybe I'm just too impatient a gamer to play games like Hitman 2, maybe I just prefer a game like GTA, The Getaway, Final Fantasy X or Metal Gear Solid 2.
I would recommend that everyone with spare time or money check this game out; it's a great concept that is great fun if you like the sort of game.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 01/23/03, Updated 01/23/03
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