Review by ArekDemonclaw

"Fun, but too many problems to be ignored."

In my book, the Hitman games has always been a bit more of a challenge, and more fun then the Splinter Cell games. I've always enjoyed 47's style to Sam Fisher. I would have given this game an even better rating, but there are many problems that Eidos needs to work out.

Features - 9/10: I really think that IO and Eidos took a great leap from the last Hitman game, and improved all the features to make it more playable and fun for the gamer. Post-mission features such as actually being able to buy your own upgrades are a neat add-on, and give the player better customization, and allow them to better play the kind of assassin they want to be.

Music - 10/10: For me, it's important that the music does not distract you from whatever you happen to be doing in the game. It's important that it flows with the game, and even better if it enhances the mood of the moment. Blood Money does a superb job of mixing the music into whatever happens to occur in the missions. The music is slow at the beginning of the mission, but as you progress and start the killings, the music picks up, adding a chilling element to the mission.

Graphics - 9/10: Although they may not be top-notch, they still looked beautiful, and do not require you to go out and spend $2000 on a new processor and video card(s) to run at the highest settings. Even when toned down to the medium, or even low settings, the game's beauty is not lost. The ability to be integrated with many different machines without looking like soup is a definite bonus to this game.

Gameplay - 4/10: This is where Blood Money runs into problems. After installing the game, and gleefully poisoning, coercing, and shooting my way through the first 2 levels, I ran into some MAJOR issues. On the Curtains Down mission, (no spoilers don't worry), I would play for just about 5 minutes every time, before it would crash to the desktop. After browsing through many different sites, and message boards, including GameFAQ's, I realized I wasn't the only one. The official site ran by Eidos not only does not have any information, you can't even patch it from there. I had to Google it before I got anywhere. After upgrading to patch 1.2, I realized you can no longer use the cheats, and my profile had been deleted, so skipping the first 2 missions was not possible. The patch does not fix the crashing errors, neither does upgrading your video cards, or DirectX. The only way to fix these problems is to go into dxdiag, and disable sound acceleration. Which means, of course, that everyone in the game sounds like a bunch of stuttering idiots. 3-4 levels later, after I had re-enabled the sound acceleration after not being able to take it, I was just about to Exit, on the Killing Crows mission, when it crashed again. Now. I can understand maybe once or twice, because, in all probability, it's my machines problem. But when hundreds of consumers are having the same problem, and 2 patches later it hasn't been fixed...well. There's your problem. Spending a frustrated 2 hours trying to get it to work is not my idea of enjoying myself.

Replay - 8/10: Blood Money does do a great job with the replay value, so as long as you don't have any technical issues, you definitely get your money's worth with this game. There are numerous ways to complete each level, and the newspaper/ratings system added in after each level is great way to keep you coming back again and again, especially when you can submit your score online to see how it adds up to other gamers.

Story - 8/10:The story behind Blood Money is actually pretty interesting. I won't give any specifics, but it keeps you involved in the action, and gives you a background to everything that you're doing, and shows you the effect on the rest of the world it has; unlike many games where you kill someone, and it just seems to be sucked into a blackhole and never really mentioned again.

AI - 6/10:To be fair, the difficulty levels make Blood Money a real challenge, especially when set on the highest, with no saves allowed, and minimum intel. I would suggest playing through the game once on a lower setting, though, and replaying it on a higher one to challenge yourself. The AI is lacking. Sometimes, (especially when I had to turn the sound acc. down to play), it's hard understanding people when you are not paying attention, and walking into certain areas will get you shot at, a real nuisance if you haven't saved in a while. Other times, you can follow a target, literally walk circles around him, without raising suspicion at all. It's all very unbalanced, and not very realistic, seeming very scripted and not as much free-roam as many games are becoming now.

Controls - 8/10:Many reviews I've read about this game gripe about the awkward controls, and really score down Blood Money in this category. All things considered though, I don't really think the controls are that clumsily executed. Sure, choking someone can sometimes be a pain, and the action buttons do not always work exactly as you want them to, (i.e, multiple items on the ground to pick up, toolbox/briefcase...), but I don't see it as a real hindrance to the game itself.

Overall - 7/10: Overall, I really do like the game, but the glitches, errors and crashes cannot be ignored when they happen as often as they do. If patch 1.3 were released, and officially sponsored and on the site created by Eidos...well, then it'd be a whole different story, but as of right now, these haven't been fixed, and are really dragging the whole game down. If you enjoy the Hitman games though, by all means, this game is a highlight in the series, and well worth the $40-50 spent.


Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 07/07/06

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