Newest Review: ... slightest. As this Hitman game soundtrack was yet again composed by Jesper Kyd. Another Hitman game and another Hitman soundtrack but Je... more
When Blood Money is the only currency
Hitman: Blood Money (PS2)
Member Name: footballgirl07
Hitman: Blood Money (PS2)
Advantages: Audio, graphics, storyline and gameplay all improved
Story: Starting with flashbacks to an old abandoned amusement park. A horrible accident due too poor maintenance of a ferris wheel kills many people. One of the parents of a child killed there calls the agency and orders a hit on the amusement parks owner who was originally cleared of all charges. There is only one main for the job, Agent 47. As he successfully fulfils the contract, more people become interested in his work and more clients have work for him to do.
Through flashbacks throughout the game, the story pans out as the Agency starts to crumble from attack after attack by a rival agency called 'The Franchise'. Soon there is only Agent 47 and his handler, Diane Burnwood left. But who can he trust and who will survive in the battle to stay alive.
Visuals: Another two years on from the previous Hitman game and just as beautiful as ever. The somewhat magical opening title sequence, enchants you into a very dark world. But yet, shows the innocent side to the game via nature and the beauty of the world. I suppose, in the opening video alone, they show you how the two worlds collide in a visually appeasing stunning way. In fact, all of the videos that link between the missions are like there only little movies with the effort Square Enix have put in to them. To the missions, with characters looking more refined and life like. The environments and buildings upgraded substantially, including the addition of quite an amazing level taking part during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Now on this level you literally are having to push yourself through the swarm of the hundreds of people lining the streets so you can complete the job. With the carnival atmosphere, music blaring, drinks flowing and confetti flying through the sky, it really does set an amazing backdrop to a deadly job. With every game in the Hitman series, graphics will obviously get better with time and technology. However, Square Enix really do have a knack for creating something special with the graphics.
Audio: Going back to the opening title sequence video I mentioned in the visual category. As amazing as this video is visually, without the music that was created for this sequence, it would really be pale in comparison. However, the haunting vocals over the classical created track, will leave you stunned and amazed at the beauty of it. I mean this is just literally after turning on and loading up the game and you haven't played anything yet. It truly blows you away by the sheer charm and grace. I'm reviewing a stealth killer video game and talking about charm and grace! But I'm not joking in the slightest. As this Hitman game soundtrack was yet again composed by Jesper Kyd. Another Hitman game and another Hitman soundtrack but Jesper Kyd moves with the times on every occasion. He follows the games mood, storyline and emotion to create a unique and beautiful piece of music for every level, for every moment and every scene. I would go as far to say that for the brilliance of this game and story, there are many occasions where if it for not for his enchanting music, I highly doubt it would have had such an impact on me as it has done playing the Hitman series of games.
Gameplay: If you have read my previous Hitman reviews, you probably know where I'm going with this! With more clients looking for a top class hitman, Agent 47 is high in demand and has many contracts to fullfill. With each level, a new set of objectives to complete and people to assassinate. So what is new in this Hitman game compare to the previous ones?! Quite a lot actually as the improvements of previous gameplay and brand new added weapons, ability to do new actions and a lot more!
Starting with weapons and an overhaul on them now means you are able to upgrade certain weapons with the money you earn from each contract to complete. Adding silencers, laser sighting and holding extra ammo adds up to one majorly improved weapon. You can also upgrade bombs, armour and other more minor items you can carry. Just like previously, you pick up weapons during the levels to add them to your inventory and make them available to use in all future missions. There are new improvised weapons in Blood Money which can be used to take down your targets or anyone that gets in your way. For example, a nail gun, fire extinguisher, hedge cutters and screwdrivers. You really do have lots of choice when it comes to what weapon to use now.
However, if you don't wish to use a weapon to complete the objective, you can set it up like the death was an accident. This was added to the previous game in some small capacity in a couple of levels but has now been radically improved and made available for use in each level. From rigging a grill to make it explode when turned on, to pushing people of balconies, it isn't always about the weapons remember!
Depending on which way you wish to play will help you decide on how you want to complete the objectives. If you want to go the stealth route and become a silent assassin, the new accident kills really help you succeed in reaching that rank. There is a new system in place which informs you of how well you are doing called the 'Notoriety system'. It does work in a similar way to the previous suspicion bar but is more advanced and more realistic. Your notoriety will rise if caught killing someone, with a dead body or if you are caught on CCTV during the level. If you are caught on CCTV, you can simply just find the CCTV tapes in the level and steal them without anyone noticing which will automatically lower your notoriety level. The higher your notoriety level, the higher the chance non playable characters will see straight through your disguise and your cover is blown.
Another advance in this game is the fact that the way you play the early missions will affect the later missions in the game. If you have a high notoriety rating in the beginning, it makes the later missions harder for you to complete due too people knowing what you did in the early missions. So get the job done quietly and become the silent assassin you are set out to be! You are now able to hide bodies or unconscious people in containers, which means there a lot less likely to be found and will not affect your notoriety ranking like in previous games. If you hide the bodies in a container and shut the lid, no non playable characters will ever look inside them and so the bodies/people will never been found. Killing people in lifts has been added, where you have climbed through the hatch and are waiting for your target. You are able to physically pull them through the lift hatch and lust hiding them from sight. Getting up close and personal will cause your violence level to rise and affect your overall mission ratings. However, you can use your syringe to knock them out or you can take them as a human shield and then knock them out with your weapon, which will not affect the violence rating.
Another new addition is added at the end of the mission. You are shown a newspaper front page on the screen detailing the death or murder of the person you have just killed. It goes into details about if and how many bullets were found, how many people have died or been killed and depending how well you took the stealth path, describes either a bald man or simply a ghost as no one had seen you. Witnesses are mentioned as well if you don't play cleanly and make the perfect run. This is now the report scene and goes into detail on how you did and how well you completed the level. If you did it perfectly and reached the silent assassin rank, it will inform you in the newspaper headline and you will be rewarded with bonus payments for reaching that rank. However, if you get seen or witnessed, you will miss out on bonuses and if you keep getting witnessed, the front page will have a sketch of your face which will grow with more detail each mission and therefore affect your notoriety. The newspaper is a great idea and you can look at the rest of the front page in detail as you never know what information it holds will help you in the future!
Disguises are just as important as ever before to get the perfect hit! New levels and brand new range of disguises. From garbage man, therapist, pool boy, guard, FBI suit, bird costume, clown and even a Santa outfit. There is vast choice to utilise and a number of them to use from on each level. With each disguise on each level, remember they can only go in certain areas and carry certain items. You can't walk around with a weapon whilst dressed as a garbage man, nor walk around with a different weapon to what all the other guards are carrying.
Controls have markedly improved, especially the close combat which wasn't up to scratch in previous games and something I hardly used due too the poor quality. However the major overhaul, including the ability to take non playable characters as hostage and act as a human shield for you, really opens up another avenue for the player to get the job done. The added ability to throw melee weapons is also a great improvement and the tutorial, which is the first level, will explain everything perfectly as well as all the other improvements. The action of being able to throw melee weapons and items means you are able to distract guards and non playable characters and clearing your path. For example you can throw a coin near some guards and they will leave there post and investigate meaning you can sneak by without any trouble. You still can use various methods through the level to get guards out the area as well. Like cutting power or setting off alarms and in a later level, where one of the targets has a dog which barks every time you approach and therefore blows your chance of the hit, you can find a sausage on the level and throw it to the dog, leaving the dog occupied and the target a lot easier to get too. Not forgetting still having the ability to poison food and drink. You really have so much choice that one play through is never enough.
Conclusion: So this is my fourth Hitman game review overall and my last until (hopefully) a new game in the series appears. I really hope my reviews give this game series the justice it deserves as it is a remarkable series that I will never get old or sick off. I think you can tell how much I love Hitman and everything to do with it. The whole experience throughout the series, including in this game the just as beautiful soundtrack, great storyline that really does leave you at the end going wow and then little bit of what the hell just happened?! But that makes this game and series so mesmerising, you really don't have a clue what is going to happen and come up in the next mission or what the story entails. The Hitman series is without a doubt the series I have spent the most time playing easily. I wouldn't have a clue on a number of hours but we are talking months if not years of hours played and replayed. It never gets old for me and feels just as fresh all those years back when I first played it. If you want a game series that is different to today's more simple point and shoot first person shooters. If you want a game series to excite you and have you absorbed from the very beginning and through another 3 games. If you want a games series that visually is beautiful and well, with truly an indescribably brilliant soundtrack. Buy the Hitman series and become Agent 47. Follow his journey and witness this masterpiece of a series, the Agency is calling you...
Blood Money, Contracts and Silent Assassin are now part of a trilogy pack remastered in HD for both the PS3 and X-box 360. I have only played the PS2 version but for these three amazing games in one game pack, remastered in beautiful HD and currently (as of July 22nd 2013) priced at £13.98 at Amazon, it's an offer you can't refuse to get into this superb game series.
Summary: Agent 47 returns with new contracts and his network crumbling around him.Will he survive...
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