With the Hitman video game series getting a soft reboot of sorts in 2016, now comes a follow-up to that well received effort. But are Agent 47’s latest antics worth your time and money, or is this fan favourite franchise’s aim well and truly off by this point?
In Hitman 2, we have a game that essentially picks up more-or-less from the story established in said ’16 outing, with the story of 47 and his “handler” Diana Burnwood continuing to flesh itself out. And yes, as ever, twists and turns are around the corner for the duo, with intrigue, tension, and vastly improved game mechanics the order of the day. As ever, 47 has his missions to carry out, and unlike its predecessor dropping individual episodes, Hitman 2 returns to a more straightforward approach in its narrative and how it allows you to play through the entire game from the get-go. We say that, but it’s a little more complex than that, of course, for there is just so much to do in this sequel.
Here, we have some truly stunning interactive environments to traverse, with a Miami racetrack locale an early standout, not to mention some glorious action in Mumbai and Vermont. These locations are utterly alive, be that in the people, the setting itself, or in the various interactions at your fingertips. Sure, you have your straight-up contract to complete, yet there’s so much replay value in each single mission, whether that’s alternative ways to fulfil your contract, or a side mission of sorts that opens up upon sealing your initial deal.
Away from the main meat of the game, there’s even more to keep the suited ‘n’ booted Agent 47 busy. The Elusive Targets, Sniper Assassin, Contracts, and Challenges modes are all ample and vary in difficulty, but the element that will prove the favourite of many is the Ghost mode. That part of Hitman 2 sees you go up against an online opponent to take out the same targets – which proves to be a whole lot of fun! And speaking of fun, Hitman 2 allows owners of 2016’s Hitman to revisit that game’s maps and missions and play through them with the new mechanics and upgrades offered up by Hitman 2. It’s a brilliant touch that only goes further to making Hitman 2 an absolutely essential offering for fans of this franchise.
If we’re being brutally honest, the cutscenes here are a little jarring at times due to the fact that they are simply a collection of still shots with dialogue over them, rather than fully animated sequences. But that’s only a minor quibble, for Hitman 2 ticks so many of the right boxes in other ways.
When all is said and done, Hitman 2 is easily one of the very best entries in the series to date, and it’s a sequel that is perfect for both franchise mainstays and for those new to the exploits of Agent 47. As 2018 comes to an end, IO Interactive has delivered a gem that stands out as one of the year’s very best.
HITMAN 2 / DEVELOPER: IO INTERACTIVE / PUBLISHER: WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT / PLATFORM: PLAYSTATION 4, XBOX ONE, PC / RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 13TH