Hitman 2. The sequel to the reboot of the reboot. It’s a weird world where you can have two games named Hitman and two games named Hitman 2, but here we are. Welcome to the future, ladies and gentlemen.
Picking up where Hitman left off, Hitman 2 takes what was great about Hitman and expands on it. Agent 47’s out to assassinate all manner of targets in multiple ways and it’s up to you to figure out how to do it in the stealthiest way. Silent assassin is within your grasp.
So, let’s discuss the story. For the most part, and I mean this with the highest respect for whoever wrote it, the story kinda takes a backseat to the gameplay. Without spoiling too much, the story carries on where Hitman left off. There’s a secret society, they’re being killed and putting out some hits. You get the jist, it’s all very Illuminati. It provides Agent 47 with a motive and underlines why he’s moving from location to location, but barring a few twists, I’m not 100% convinced that Hitman 2 would feel like it was missing something if there wasn’t an actual story tying all the assassinations together.
But let’s be real now. Barring the amazing funeral scene in Hitman: Blood Money, we’ve not been playing this series for years to see whether Agent 47’ll grow a beard, have a kid, go home and be a family man. We’re here for the gameplay. We’re here for the awesome kills and we’re here for the stunning locations.
Spoiler alert, Hitman 2 covers these three things marvelously.
So let’s dive into the gameplay, shall we?
Hitman 2 takes all the fun mechanics from the previous games and amplifies them. Wanna throw a bottle at a guard while screaming “Yeet” at the top of your lungs? Hitman 2‘s got you. Fancy mixing a lethal cocktail while dressed as the fanciest waiter in the world? Hitman 2‘s got you. There are a plethora of stupid ways to kill your targets, but that’s just the tip of the blood-soaked iceberg, my friends.
You see, while it may be fun to execute every hit the, how shall I put it? The stupid way. Hitman 2 actually has a robust feature that allows you to execute your victims in ways that won’t leave you high and dry when the guards come. Rather than let you wander around the map for 4 hours before you work out that your target occasionally stops at a Sushi shop for a little nibble, Hitman 2 provides a helping hand in guiding you to opportune kill spots.
Now, the guide itself isn’t brand new to Hitman 2, in fact, it was in the previous game too. But Hitman 2 boasts even more clever ways to execute your targets. While the hand holding might not be to the tastes of more hardcore players, it’s inclusion and slight expansion gives newer players a chance to really feel like an assassin.
While a slight spoiler, one of the standout guided kills that I did was while dressed as a giant bird. While legally distinct from Big Bird from Sesame Street, I was cosplaying as disgruntled employee number 47. I discovered that I was to meet my boss (who was also one of my targets) to discuss some incriminating evidence I had on her. While making my way to the agreed meeting place, I posed for my adoring fans, I took a detour and saw a lovely fisherman, it was a wonderful excursion.
Thankfully, I made my way to my blackmail meeting. It was in a shady alley, naturally, and as I should’ve expected, I’d walked into a verbal dressing down. Naturally, when push came to (literal) shove, there was a murder that took place. No one knew of my deed, and I, Big Bird, swaggered out of the alley with my Silent Assassin rank intact.
Every mission in Hitman 2 has multiple ways to take out targets like this. Some are more fun than others, admittedly, but it helps to maintain the game’s level of freshness. Levels can and should be run through multiple times, as there’s a challenge system that also gives players insight into smaller, interesting things to engage in. Completing these challenges increases your mastery of each level. The more you increase your mastery, the more fun things you unlock to do in each level as you’ll unlock different starting points, different weapons to use and much more. It really rewards the committed completionists with even more to do, which is crazy considering how much content is in the missions from a layman’s view.
Graphically, Hitman 2 is beautiful. While it may be a redundant statement, there were more than a few times where I lost time just staring off, looking at the vistas that I was committing some horrific acts in. More than once, I murdered people while experiencing some awesome views.
Something that’s always been a staple of the Hitman series is huge crowds. I’ll always think of the Mardi Gras mission in Hitman: Blood Money, as you make your way through a heaving crowd. Hitman 2 delivers on this front in droves. Moving through the sheer body of people as Agent 47 moves through an Indian slum is a surreal moment, as it really helps with creating a realistic game world.
Every location is so varied which allows Hitman 2 to stay fresh mission to mission. Maybe this time you’ll have to assassinate someone in a quiet American Suburb, maybe you’ll be visiting India to murder a giant Bollywood superstar. Honestly, there’s a great sense that anything is possible. I don’t think I’d be shocked to assassinate an alien on Mars at this point.
Not content with the sheer amount of new content (English is fun), Hitman 2 also packs all of Hitman into it. If you’ve got Hitman installed on your system then you can play all of Hitman through Hitman 2. It creates something I’d like to coin as a Murder Platform.
Elusive targets make a grand return to Hitman 2. Every couple of weeks, a new target is rolled out for you to hunt down. The caveat is that you only get one shot, so don’t miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime. What’s the point of hunting an elusive target? Rewards! New suits, weapons and everything else.
Overall, Hitman 2 takes what made the reboot great and amplifies it. Graphically, it’s superior. Mechanically, it’s superior and contentwise, it’s superior. I’m excited to see how well Hitman 2 is supported into the future but based off of how well Hitman was supported, we’re probably in for a lot of targets.