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What limits the game's potential though is the continual stream of frustrations. The enemy's artificial intelligence, for instance, is sometimes very sadly lacking, and there are occasions when the pace drops to snail-like speed, without always generating sufficient tension to carry the player through. That said, when it hits top gear Hitman 2 can be tense, atmospheric and enjoyable. Graphically it's very polished, and those who enjoy games that reward solid thinking more than an itchy trigger finger will certainly find something to enjoy. But while undoubtedly a step forward from its predecessor, it's an ambitious game that still falls short of what could have been. Put simply, it's good, it's challenging, but it still leaves quite a lot of room for improvement. --Jon Foster
Hitman 2 revolves around a clone who works in the profession of "cleaning" but, after the bloodbath of the original game, Hitman: Codename 47, our hero, 47, is now religious and lives alone in a church with a priest in Sicily. Wanting to lure him from his lair to show off his skills, a Russian crime lord hires a group of Sicilians to kidnap the priest. This takes you into the first level of the game, "Anathema", a powerful opening level as you stalk around the mansion of the Mafia boss and murder him. The priest already having been taken by Russians, 47 has to cut a deal with his old agency that if they give him information on the priest, he will continue to assassinate important people, including army officers, members of the Yakuza - just to whet your tastebuds. To do this, you'll need a great deal of cunning as you sneak through each level, disguising yourself as certain people to get closer to your target. The game will take you from St. Petersburg, murdering corrupt ex-KGB officers, to locations such as India, Malaysia and Japan.
Each mission is unique and the way you complete it is entirely your choice, whether you strive to get a high rating by being as stealthy as possible or whip out your dual baller pistols and blast away everyone in sight. Both ways are fun, though the former is more satisfying. The arsenal of weapons are superb, ranging from shotguns, silenced pistols, assault rifles and a fibre garrotte. They'll always be variation and the guns are impossible to get bored of. The levels have so much replay level as you can find different ways of completing them or playing them again to get a higher rating and unlock a reward. You'll be playing Hitman 2 for months.
Just as an example of how cool this game is, you should have an idea of what the levels are like. In St. Petersburg, there's one particular level on the Kirov islands where you have to place carbombs in the limos of a Mafia boss and an ex-KGB officer. It's simply beautiful to watch the plan fall together. Following this level, there's another in St. Petersburg at a party where you mix in with the guests and try to assassinate another ex-KGB officer and try to get to his briefcase before a Spetznaz agent does, which calls for a little trap. In another brilliant level, set in Malaysia, there's a different approach. You have to dress up as a pizza boy and go down to a basement to kill a fat computer guy. Then you'll find yourself killing his naked brother in a jacuzzi with some girls. There's an idea of how varied this game is.
The physics of the game are awfully satisfying. Shoot a guy and his blood will splash onto the wall and he will slump lifelessly with perfect ragdoll physics into a pool of expanding blood. This isn't a game to show your parents but all the same, it's damned good fun and you should feel a feeling of refreshment afterwards, seeing as you've used your brain to complete a mission - by the way, it's possible now to save in levels, unlike the first game.
Another great feature of Hitman 2 is the soundtrack, composed by Jasper Keyd. Some tracks are powerful, others are creepy. There's great music in this game.
The Hitman series are my favorite games for their sheer originality and awesome gameplay. Please - buy this.
In short, the graphics are excellent and the interaction with the environment is... Read more
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