Hitman: Blood Money

Released:
Developer: Io Interactive
Publisher: Square Enix, Eidos Interactive
Hours played: “3”
Last played: 24/07/2012

I say I’ve played this for “3” hours because that’s what it says here, but I played it to death on the PS2. Apart from the controls and graphics (well, resolution) it’s the same game. Personally I wasn’t a huge fan of Blood Money and I’m still not, at least not compared to Hitman 2: Silent Assassin and the console-only Hitman: Contracts anyway, but as a standalone game it’s pretty special.

I don’t know exactly what it is, it just feels kind of almost cartoony to me, from the absolutely ludicrous upgraded Agency weapons to the scenarios in which you find yourself: A Mardi Gras parade where your targets are dressed as birds, a redneck wedding… I can’t remember the others that I haven’t gotten to yet (I’m up to the Mississippi steamer boat). I mean, ok, fine, a hitman does what he’s paid to do and they need to keep it interesting, but I prefer the authenticity of Hitman 2 myself. Don’t get me wrong, Blood Money is a great game and better than Hitman 2 in many ways, but the actual hits just aren’t as much fun to me and that’s kind of important; If I named my three favourite missions out of the Hitman games, all three would be in Hitman 2. One thing it has that Hitman 2 didn’t is slightly more forgiving AI; people no longer flip out and go crazy just because you were jogging a little when you first game around the corner or cause an alert and shoot you because you were supposed to be carrying groceries, so it’s more fun in that respect.

I won’t comment too much on the graphics because it’s an older game, but they hold up reasonably well and it’s still great to play, the music, again produced by Jesper Kyd, is excellent and the controls are, well, fine. I honestly couldn’t say which is better between a keyboard & mouse and a Playstation controller because on the one hand you have accuracy and speed with the mouse, but you have more precise movement in terms of speed with an analogue stick.

The physics are crazy though, sometimes you’ll shoot a guy and he’ll bounce off the floor up to six feet in the air and it doesn’t get much better when you’ve unlocked certain upgrades for your weapons which enable you to shoot a corpse from one end of the map to the other, should so you wish. There’s not much else in the way of glitches, and the game seems to run fine. Well, mine did after I ran Steam as an admin, not sure what that’s about but there are worse compatibility errors.

The best part about the game though, hands down, is the choice you have. You can kill everyone if you want, but you shouldn’t if you want the best scores, and if you want to do it silently you have several paths to do so. Do you try to be a low-key member of staff and have to change costume often, or do you knock out a guard and gain access to almost everywhere? Do you poison the target’s drink, rig a chandelier to fall on them, garotte them when nobody’s watching or just shoot them from a distance with a silenced sniper rifle? It’s up to you, and it’s great; it’s basically Deus Ex apart from the fact that you have to kill at least one person.

I think that’ll do.

TL, DR: It’s a great game. The missions aren’t as good as Hitman 2’s but the improvements in the core game possibly make it more fun and less frustrating.

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