Hitman 2 – Xbox One Review
Hitman 2 is less of a sequel and more of a continuation or even an evolution of the 2016 reboot although, since IO Interactive split from Square Enix and partnered with Warner Bros this has been released as a full product with everything included on day rather than instalments.
The big change for me that stood out immediately was the graphical upgrades (playing on a One X) the first level which walks you through the systems again is set in New Zealand and as you land on a beach at night you can see the sand blowing in the wind, the grass likewise. As you breach the property and start to explore you see a huge projected video screen on the wall and the reflections of the screen across the room and even individual items looks great.
Reflections is another graphical area that impress as you can see the entire area reflected in any glass including Agent 47 himself, not only that but you also see reflected reflections off items in the background and also diffused images through any frosted glass too.
At its core the game itself is very much more of the same, same weapons, same ideas, same structure…. Just more polished and different locations.
Not that this is a bad thing as the 2016 reboot was a great game in its own right and if you own the first one then you will get that content in this game too.
It seems like the original content has been improved a little using the newer game engine and certainly everything plays smoothly whether you have the game set to high quality with the One X running the game at native 4K aiming for 60fps (although this does drop at times) or you have it set to performance which is a lower resolution but locked to 60fps, however I felt the Hitman 2 content looked better than the recycled 2016 content.
While we are on the subject of the game engine, the sandbox gives the illusion of it being an open world but in reality the freedom isn’t quite there, while you can stash bodies in many places like lockers and laundry hampers you don’t have complete freedom to just hide them anywhere that you would expect to be able to, this just shatters the illusion slightly.
The storyline isn’t the strongest here with it leading you through six different locations and without spoiling it leads to a rather odd conclusion, for me the story is not the real focus here, I thoroughly enjoyed breaking the missions apart and revisiting the different scenarios to test out my different methods and pick off the different challenges as I learn the character behaviours.
There are a few odd quirks in the AI which can lead to so really stupid behaviours but again these aren’t game breaking more just a little irritating.
As with all of the previous games there are some real standout levels and others that are not as strong, Miami is an interesting level as you seek out two targets at a very busy racetrack and Mumbai with its huge crowds allowing you to blend into the crowd as you hunt down your target.
In terms of the amount of content in this package you can’t fail to get your money’s worth, especially with the first Hitman content included, then with Sniper Assassin mode which is a reprisal of the smartphone game released under the Hitman: Sniper name.
Ghost Mode is a new addition where you can play 1v1 competitively however you exist in parallel dimensions so you can’t really interact with each other unless you find a Ghost coin which you can use to try and derail their plan.
When you then add in the Elusive Targets (the first one being Sean Bean as a rogue MI5 agent you need to murder) and the limited time events that IO have promised to keep releasing across the different game modes.
While we have a weak storyline the overall package is a great collection of sandbox missions with a huge amount of repeatable play sessions that you can keep approaching in different ways, the game looks great and plays just as well as you want from a Hitman game, throw in the extra game modes and all of the additional content that IO keep adding to game and this is great value, just don’t let the weak story put you off.
Developed by: IO Interactive
Published by: Warner Brothers Games
Twitter: @IOInteractive / @Hitman / @WBGames
Price: £54.99 – £79.99
You can download the Hitman 2 Prologue free of charge to try out a small section of the game