Review by Pirate_Burchill

Reviewed: 05/31/06

Now THIS is what Contracts should have been!

The long awaited sequel to Hitman Contracts is finally here and Hitman Blood Money tries its most to deliver in so many ways, does it? well your have to read the review first.

Graphics: 6/10
The previous Hitman games have always been plagued by Graphical problems and glitches and unfortunately there's still some to be found in this one, but although there's faults I mark this somewhat high due to the fantastic detail and surroundings of each levels. Each level makes you really feel like your there and part of the living, breathing environments and locations. The character models are no different, formed and clothed perfectly, each one resembling the sort of person you would find in each of the levels i.e At a medical clinic you would find doctors and guards or in a level on a boat you would find sailors and tourists.

Sound: 9/10
Brilliant! A joy to listen to. The previous Hitman soundtracks have all been produced by Jesper Kyd and this one if no different. The opening main menu tune is perfect and without giving anything away it really sets the mood and atmosphere of the setting perfectly. The sound of each weapon is also incredibly realistic and very impressive, each weapon makes the right sound it should whether its a loud twang(Spade weapon) or a quiet stab (Syringe)

Story: 8/10
The basic storyline outline is this. Your character is a assassin clone going under the name of Agent 47. The agency you work for has been under attack with most of the clients dead, fearing that Agent 47 might be next he decides to travel to America where he aims to continue his work, but there's someone out there who wants to take Agent 47 down and is on the trail. As the game progresses you begin to realise who this is as you try to take extra precautions to stay alive.

Gameplay : 8/10
Blood Money is a game of many quality's, if you want to gun through each level taking everyone down then thats fine but if you want to sneak your way through each level stealthy taking each target out at a time instead, then you can choose that to. Each level consists of many disguises and weapons all waiting to be found and used, each disguise you choose has its own advantages and disadvantages i.e a workers uniform could get you into a building site but not into a guards room, whereas a guards uniform could get you not only into the building site but also the guards room.

The new reactionary moves allow a new ability of using hand to hand combat, you can beat people up, take people hostage, push people over balcony's or even throw a item to distract the enemy, these new ability's provide a new fresh change of game play which differs from the usual run and gun style.

The game play hasn't changed all that much from the original formula used in the previous titles but one noticeable difference is the new active environment options. You can now climb up fences, crawl though windows and even jump from balcony to balcony to access areas and complete objectives. Another slight change in gameplay is the civilian Artificial intelligence, say you drop a gun infront of a civilian instead of running off and cowering away like you would do they pick up the gun and actually try to take you down.

As you progress through the game you begin to unlock weapon and equipment upgrades, you can then use the money you earned by completing each mission to spend on the upgrades you choose. So instead of a boring old average gun you can turn into the ultimate assassination weapon.

The new accident feature adds so much entertainment and enjoyment into each level whether its watching someone get crushed by a falling piano or someone accidentally setting themselves on fire the joy never stops.

The last point I'll make is about the new notoriety feature. This feature is based on how you choose to complete each mission, gunning through the levels provides heaps of evidence which adds to your notoriety meter and the higher the meter the more chance you've got of being recognised. You can view all the information on this in the newspaper you get after each mission, this tells you not only what happened on the mission but a bit of background information of the target/s

Replay Value: 9/10
Going back through each mission trying to find different ways of killing people is brilliant fun and each different scenario brings so many different possibility's and options.

Overall: 8/10
A fantastic sequel that brings the franchise into a new dimension. The new gameplay options provide a fresh new update to the already awesome formula,.I throughly recommend this game to anyone who enjoy's stealth or/and action titles.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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