Review by DarkFalcon6

"Agent 47 is back and is ready once again to kill in cold blood"

Agent 47 is back and is ready once again to kill in cold blood. Hitman contracts is the third installment to IO interactives bloody 3rd person shooter. Having not played the second game in the series iv got to say contracts is a big step up from the original hitman I played back in 2000. Unlike the first hitman you generally have two options to go about illuminating your target. You can either go around silently kill guards, hiding their bodies and taking their uniform, which will ultimately get you closer to your target. Using poisons in food, cutting the power and turning of lights will also work exceptionally well with this strategies
Or there is the ‘happy trigger' way out, basically shooting anything that moves type game play. Who needs stealth when you have a shotty and a uzi right?

Contracts has a few new interesting features but, “nothing to wow over”.
The ‘sneak' feature that allows you get closer to a enemy to silently disarm them either using knives, deadly syringe's and fiber wires. Another interesting thing is the ‘live' style of map showing all patrolling guards and generally showing the ways around a specific level. This style of map becomes interesting when needing precise timing to eliminate an enemy with out any spectators witnessing the crime. This style of timing can also be used to pick locks and be undereducated.

Like the old hitman your main aim is to illuminate the targets but how you use your surroundings to go about this is left up to you.
The length of of game play is a huge disappointment for me as there was only 12 levels (including 4 Hong Kong levels seen before in the original hitman) and I had also previously completed the demo level as well. The Hong Kong levels have been revamped by giving them a new look and a few new twists but the basic strategies I previously used in the original can still be reminisced and used once again. On the positive side the rest of the levels are fairly big and the settings rather interesting. There is a lot of replay value that comes with this game.
You can blast your way through the levels on the normal setting in less then a few hours.
Where as on the harder setting you get fewer saves and stealth is going to be the best way to survive. Getting the rating “silent assassin” on all levels could give you hours if not days of game play.

The physics to great in certain areas though, can be very poor in others. The victims bodies will react accordingly to the type of weapons used. Leaving sprays off blood on the surroundings and puddles of cold blood on the floor. Hitman contracts has a rather “shocking” element to it. For example one of your objectives in a mission is to take out a previous agent that got caught on the mission. Now once you find the room he is being held in you have 4 options to destroy him so he can't tell them anymore. 1,Turn on the power electrocution him 2,Picking 1 of the large variety of knifes on the table 3,shoot him or 4, Use a meat hook. Although it would be cool if you could blow of limbs and decapitate people its still shocking in its own way. The lighting and weather affects are up to scratch and the ‘rag doll physics' Can make things rather interesting. Again I was annoyed about how little effort they put into the surroundings to let bullet fire hit its target. I found my shots would sometimes hit a desk or wall instead of my target and this became rather annoying. like the other hitman games there are a few graphical glitches just in a lesser quantity. I have also heard some problems with the sound like weird constant beeping sound while in certain areas I have experienced this in other games so it could just be my sound card. Graphically the game ran fine in high resolution on my machine. Even though my video card is old now I thought it was just as good as call of
duty or unreal 2004.

Jesper Kyd composes the sound track. The electronic sounds work well in with the stealth genre. With good scripting this adds new layers off sounds leading up to suspense and tension say… when pulling of a brilliant plan or when you take out a target it will slow down the music and adds some bass rather then cuts out treble. The music is one of the best things contracts has going for it and makes you feel superior as you walk away from your perfectly committed crime you carried out with out a sweat.

Hitman contracts is an good game although sadly IO Interactives has just fallen under the line that could make it great. With not much more in game content and still some major problems seen in other hitman games hitman contracts has not a lot of new content or new experiences. Now that's said there are a few new large interesting levels to explore and master, the graphics are moderately good and the sound tracks remarkable so what stopping you from buying it? If not, its defiantly worth getting when its in the $40 price mark.

=Pentium 3 or Athlon equivalent at 800mhz
=256 Ram
=4x CD-Rom
=32mb video ram
=2gig Hdd
=Pentium 4 or Athlon equivalent at 1.6 GHz
=256 Ram
=8x CD-Rom
=64mb video ram
=2gig Hdd

Score's out of 10

Graphics 8
Sound 9
Game play 6
Overall 7

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 08/28/04

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