Review by NoOneSpecific

"An Outstanding Sequel"

With the pending release of information on Hitman 5, I decided to go back to Bloodmoney and write a review. Purely based on whim of course. Whenever there's news about any Hitman game I get excited. I love the series very much, and it comprises of some of the best stealth games ever made. This one is certainly one of them.

Story 5/10
Alright, the story in this game is its weakest part. It began very well though, and it sucked me in for the first couple of missions, but it became pretty stupid shortly after. I can't remember story details because it's been a while since I payed attention to the story cutscenes. If you take it on a scene for scene basis, you'll get some good moments. Really, most of the story elements focused around 47's character are interesting, but when it follows other characters, the story just shows its silliness.

Graphics 10/10
The graphics are beautiful. Really, they're gorgeous. The game strikes a balance between the technical and artistic. Color filters are used to give the game a moody look, and really to just make the game look cool. In fact, the filters change from room to room and not just level to level. Take an engine room in a frigate level. When you step in the room without the filter on, it looks pretty bright, but with the filter on it changes drastically. The lighting changes from brightly lit to bluish and gloomy. Also, on a technical level, this is, obviously, the most impressive Hitman yet. The levels are very large and have large expanses to give a feeling it's just a small place and you're in in a much larger space. Alot of things are very shiny too, with outstanding use of bump-mapping, particles, and sprites. This isn't a system hog though. the people who put it together were very smart and practical in creating the levels, and that's a really good thing.

Sound 10/10
I liked some of the music in Hitman 2 more than this one, but Bloodmoney is more even in that category. No pieces truly stand out as much as the second game's most reacurring one in its levels, but not a single theme is distracting or out of place even in the slightest. It all fits very well together. The music is very ambient too. It always seems to correspond with whatever goes on screen, and it does it seamlessly as if it were a linear, scripted shooter. It's quite cool. I don't really think the sound effects or voices are anything special, but they're not bad at all (except for the annoying thugs in the training level, but that mission feels very isolated from the rest.) Anyway, the sound gets a 10 based solely on its music which is just so awesome.

Gameplay 9/10
The gameplay is really good in this game. It's been fine tuned, and unnecessary elements have largely been taken out. The first and most noticeable element is the camera. It's not stuck behind 47 anymore. It feels more fluid this way, and we can look at 47 from any angle now. Fortunately his character model looks great. Anyway, the gameplay is standard Hitman at its core. That's all I expect from this game. You do have the ability to upgrade and customize weapons here and it's nice to be able to customize a really awesome Silverballer to your liking; equip it with a laser pointer for instance, and even double it for fun. Anyway, the gameplay is noteworthy because the levels are so well designed. The levels ae so well designed that this is essentially the new gameplay feature of the game... awesome levels. It is true you have some new and returning abilities, along with the oh-so helpful melee attack, but these levels are true video gaming set pieces. Just too much fun. Anyway, the gameplay is really good. It's not a real improvement over Hitman 2, but it's an excellent sequel that really lives up to the standards set by that outstanding game.

Closing Comments
I personally prefer Hitman 2. I think that it's the best in the series and I use it as a comparison for all the new releases of Hitman. I will absolutely use it for Hitman 5, but I'm reviewing Bloodmoney right now. Anyway, Bloodmoney is a very fine Hitman game, along with a very fine game, period. I reccomend this to anyone who enjoys the series or stealth games in general, or both like I do.

Buy if you love this series or stealth games; rent if you're curious or don't know.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/31/08

Game Release: Hitman: Blood Money (US, 05/30/06)

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