I can imagine the life of an assassin to be pretty glamorous, visiting all corners of the world, meeting all sort of interesting people with nice hobbies and an incredibly well-paid job compared to the amount of work that goes into it. If for some reason my time at XNVR comes to an end then maybe professional assassination may be an alternative career choice. Which brings me onto the Hitman series which is a fun, fun series and wildly considered as the jewel in the crown in the series is Hitman: Blood Money. Which came out way back in 2006.
Hitman Blood Money follows on form Hitman: Contracts and continues the adventures of Agent 47 as he takes on contracts in the good old US and A which after a simple contract assassinating a failed theme park owner. It slowly escalates from there dealing with drug lords to paedophile actors and senators working a child prostitution ring, rival assassins (more on that later) captivating on a high profile assassination contract at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (also known as The White House).
The story, however, is played back in flashbacks during an interview between journalist Rick Henderson and former director of the FBI Alexander Leland Cayne who is also the head of The Franchise a rival organization which are out to eliminate the ICA and also Agent 47 to monopolize the cloning market (hinted at the end of Hitman: Contracts). After flashbacks to highly successful assassinations captivating on the White House. Ends on 47s funeral which can end one of two ways.
Story-wise while it’s not Hitman main selling point it’s a rather intriguing seeing the so-called super assassin being forced into a corner then to fight for his life against rival assassins and still go out and do the contract still. It’s nice to see the tables turned momentarily against 47. Arguably the better story in the Hitman series.
In the gameplay department however in hindsight is more of a bridge between the hardcore past titles of Hitman Contracts and Hitman 2: Silent Assassin and the more welcoming games of today. And as before in any hitman mission, there is X number of targets to assassinate, kill them with Y. Y being however you so, please. Guns, Bombs, knives, blunt objects, poisoning, and weapons that can be customized to your tastes and introduced firstly in Blood Money, Accidents.
In which you can tamper with gas cookers or pyrotechnics and or push unsuspecting targets of a high balcony or into a shark tank, which opens up many options to pick and choose to make your targets die in a “tragic accident”. And in levels, you are spoilt for choice in how to go about your business which then opens up endless replay-ability and experimentation exploring different methods and ways to slip through security unnoticed and have the target suffer an unfortunate accident and slip away unnoticed, and close quarters is much better than in the older games
Security has also ramped up a lot with the addition of security cameras and metal detectors which will require creativity to get around. Though if you do get clocked by a security camera then make sure you erase the security tape before your work is done otherwise with the addition of a notoriety system where if you leave multiple witnesses and evidence your notoriety goes up and before you know its security will be gunning for you very quickly. So, it’s best to keep it quiet and leave as little evidence as possible so you don’t have to fork over your hard earn cash to bribe the authorities to get them off your back. AI is a bit dim at times by acting most odd but does enough to keep you on your toes. Also, slightly irritating is that if you do so leave your suit behind or weapons that you brought along there will be a service charge to receive them at the end of the mission so make sure you pick them up as you leave.
There are also nice little touches to it as well, at the end of all missions, you get to see the front page detailing the mission with statistics and such. 47 is much more agile – able to climb over more obstacles than before, which does help when trying to navigate around the levels, though try not to get caught as it will effect notoriety.
You can also throw knives and most objects to distract or to kill and speaking of killing the physics on the NPCs are hilariously unrealistic. and can hide bodies in containers which were a first for the series which are helpful for one corpse, I mean body….person! which is a bit naff these days where 2 person containers are the normality. also in certain levels, as I’ve hinted there are also assassins after you as well which unless you do know were they are. So possibly expect some unfortunate deaths.
Graphically, it looks alright, hasn’t aged particularly well in my books and the anatomy of NPC is odd. I mean everyone looks more toned and fit and has a 6 pack which after taking the umpteen disguise from a dead or unconscious person it does look a bit jarring and odd. The soundtrack is incredible and aside from the comedic body physics which in classic Hitman games was a total laugh, it runs pretty smooth with no jarring issues and no major bugs and glitches.
Now before we round this all off, allow me to discuss a topic, an HD remaster for the game was launched fairly recently with Blood Money and its sequel Absolution was launched for the Xbox One and PS4 which promised the following 4K, 60 FPS, Improved Lighting and Updated Controls.
☑️ 60 FPS
☑️ Improved Lighting
☑️ Updated Controls
☑️ Blood Money + Absolution
HITMAN HD Enhanced Collection January 11th, 2019. pic.twitter.com/ymTrjAeB1Z
— HITMAN 2 (@Hitman) January 4, 2019
Of those things I’ve mentioned, it does run at 60 fps but doesn’t run at true 4K, lighting is slightly better and the controls are no different whatsoever to the original. Same with Absolution to be honest, and worst is that IO Interactive or more likely WB Games are selling it for £50.
Are you taking the Piss? Seriously £50 for effectively PC ports are taking oceanic levels of piss here and with, to be honest, false advertisement is the turd on a piss-stained cake. To paraphrase a walking pile of cheesy wotsits in an ill-fitting suit once said “Fake News”. For Xbox owners, it isn’t that bad as its already on the backwards compatible programme already at a much more sensible price. But for PS4 owners really wait till a sale is on then it would be worth it, but £50 quid is way-way WAY! Too much.
In short Hitman: Blood Money is still arguably the best in the series. With a strong story, great and endless replay-ability and some of the best missions in Hitman ever are in Blood Money. Graphicly looks good but does look dated in some parts. And while Hitman (2016) and Hitman 2 from last year were incredible. They more hold your hand to some extent as with blood money it more down to you to get the job done.