While at EGX 2018, playing a smattering of games ranging from “indie” dev games to AAA games which we covered briefly beforehand. Now let’s delve into those games much more deeply starting with Hitman 2. The latest in the adventures of Mr. Agent 47, professional and part-time Phil Mitchell impersonator and shoplifter.
Hitman 2 is the sequel to Hitman (2016) which if you remember was my XNVR game of the year in 2016, and not just for the fact you can assassinate Gary Busey. Mainly because while releasing levels over the year may have been a bit of a shitter. The amount of content on offer was staggering from the initial campaign, extra levels and campaign involving a death cult, and the elusive targets which were time-sensitive targets and had to resort to old fashion techniques compared to the main game. Adding in the astonishing graphics, levels that were intricate and highly detailed. Wrapped up together with very solid gameplay making it a recipe for success way back in 2016.
Now the question is what’s different in Hitman 2 in 2018? Well, there is a lot to go through, and before we delve into the gameplay experience I had at EGX let cover the main highlights. Firstly, if you’ve got the first season of hitman then good news for you as all of Season 1 content will be readily available in Hitman 2 which is a nice touch and more so as it will incorporate the changes in gameplay as well which will add new dynamics to gameplay compared to the previous hitman.
Second, unlike its predecessor which was released periodically over the year, this time around however all the levels will be there from the get-go which is way better paced. Content will be added over time as well will make this a game to keep coming back to time after time, and changes to the combat AI but this is something to always avoid so I can’t really go into great detail as I never got into open combat with the security.
Lastly, a large number of gameplay changes which some will help, and some will make your job much harder. From new gadgets like concussion grenades and dart guns if you want to keep your conscience clear and Silent Assassin ranking and more, also a welcome return to the series is the suitcase, which if you’re a fan of carrying a massive rifle on your back through public areas then your shit out of luck. Which opens up more options in getting to the right sniping locations rather than trying to bag a security uniform which can be easier said than done. Also, mirrors, crowds, and security cameras are now serious factors in the game, crowds now can be seriously helpful as you now can blend into the crowd which can be extremely helpful in hunting and being hunted and long grass will also conceal you as well.
Mirrors can be a useful tool in observing targets but do keep in mind that everyone else can use them as well so be careful when you’re eyeing up the target in a bathroom or a hall of mirrors. And last and not least is security cameras which in earlier games were just there and only affected the spotted bonus. Now in Hitman 2 it’s a much more different story as it will also trigger security as well so make sure you’re in the right uniform otherwise you will be caught with your trousers down (metaphorically speaking). Speaking of which for newbies to the series the game incorporates picture in picture help, so get spotted by the camera leave a body in the open and more and the game will tell you which is more intuitive which the earlier games were a bit vaguer and more ruthless so this is a step in the right direction for newcomers. Location wise out of 6 missions that will be available, 2 of the locations are known. Miami, USA which is in the middle of a motor race and there are two targets to eliminate. One is in a tech show and the other is taking part in the race itself. And Columbia in the middle of a rural village taking out the heads of a Columbian drug cartel. Both offering different flavors of Hitman.
Now how did it play while at EGX? Answer – very impressive. The demo was the Miami level which for me was Hitman at its best with very public levels like Sapienza and Paris from the earlier games. In Miami’s case, it seems like a bit of a blend of worlds with the incredibly public motor race going on and the almost secluded main offices that sit alongside it. both offering unique challenges and numerous ways in which to manipulate and create “opportunities” to eliminate the targets, massively public event equals crowds in which to hide and lose tails. Also, graphically impressive and vibrant I’ll have to say, and the gameplay is very similar to Hitman (2016) which is an easy game to pick up and play so the transition was quick and easy.
So, the methods I used for the demo where for the first target I infiltrated the pit crew of the target and manufactured a little incident involving some C4 and being the right person and right place and right time. Which did end in the result of a poor and unfortunate accident. And for the second target, a CEO for a technological giant who deals in making tech for the military and had a little demonstration set up for a high ranking US officer.
Which after a little trading places (taking him to a corner and knocking his lights out and taking his uniform) and that’s an entry ticket in, and for the demonstration itself which the second target was very keen to show off involved terminators who get their targets from a scanner, and unfortunately, he didn’t consider the possibility of someone scanning his picture from a magazine cover that was swiped from a bulletin board.
Being rather overconfident and stand in front of said terminator prototype and yes you get the idea. That’s two targets dealt with and a job relatively well-done sort off minus the two unconscious witnesses in the kitchen (thanks to the fish I found) and the former pit crew member also unconscious in the bathroom, and the security guard in the parking lot as well before I forget – I wouldn’t call it a perfect Silent Assassin run myself but a good first attempt.
Overall Hitman 2 is now on my radar ever so more now than it is, keeping the foundations of Hitman (2016) and making a few tweaks here and there with the gameplay, Season 1 content will be available to people who’ve got it already and content in the pipeline as well, this could be an outside contender for my GOTY award – One to watch indeed.