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March 31, 2012 at 11:23 am
Making Money Online Tags:
Blood, Hitman, Money, Reviews
First, I’m a fan of the Hitman series. I played the first game on my PC back in 1999 and then moved on to the console versions with Hitman 2 and beyond. Being such a fan, I’ll admit to a bland dissatisfaction with the series, even as the games grew more complex and looked better and better with each sequel. To me, one of the biggest problems with the game has always been its inability to create a game world that wasn’t cold and distancing. To me, the Hitman universe was about as real as the world of Half Life or Halo. In other words, Hitman always felt otherworldly and slightly unreal. Immersing myself in the Hitman series was almost always impossible, since there was never much of a coherent storyline to begin with (especially in the previous installment Hitman: Contracts, that had the gamer replaying some of the missions from the first game with an unabashedly tacked on “flashback” framing mechanism). Add to this the sometimes stupid, often amnesiatic AI, slightly counter-intuitive control scheme, and limited replayability (limited as far as there being only one or two ways to dispatch your victim in true Silent Assassin fashion) and you have a series that was disappointing in it’s potential to be so much more.
But not anymore.
As a true fan, I am overjoyed to announce that Hitman: Blood Money finally – FINALLY – gets it right. This time, our steel-eyed, morally grey, Liddy-esque clone finally gets a game worth spilling some blood over. The best parts of the original games are still here, but things have changed. Really changed. For example:
*The weapons – More than he’s ever had before, including multiple SMGs and assault rifles, a myriad of pistols, his signature Silver Ballers (with optional laser sight and scope – as you can use your ill-gotten gains to customize your weapons and purchase different types of ammo, such as bullets that can blast through doors), and anything else that you can pick up as you’re wandering around the vast environments. Nail gun, anyone?
*The kills – While the Hitman games of the past have always rewarded you for stealth with that Silent Assassin rating, there was always a “right way” and a “wrong way” to complete a mission. The “right way” usually involved stealing a uniform, changing into another uniform, and then another uniform, until finally you were rewarded with a chance to remote detonate a bomb or snipe your target from a few hundred yards away. The “wrong way” meant going into an environment and killing everything in sight, horses included. The problem was, that there was never much in the way of benefits to playing either style. True, in Contracts you were rewarded with special weapons if you finished the game with a “Silent Assassin” rating, but there wasn’t much else in the way of incentive. In Blood Money, the game designers want to remind you what the game is all about. If you enjoyed blasting your way through previous installments, good luck doing that here. For one, the AI works cooperatively and, while they will walk into your line of fire, they will work together with such force that you won’t get far. Add to this the lack of the ubiquitous, video game “health pack”, and you’ll soon discover that stealth is key. This principle is further reinforced by a notoriety system that is determined by how stealthily you complete your missions. At the end of each level, a newspaper headline announces your success and failure. Complete your mission by making a hit look like an accident, and the headline will reflect as much. Get it done by killing everything in sight, leaving witnesses, and getting caught on camera and the front page will read something like “Psychopath kills 32 in bloody massacre” with your picture front and center. Further, the higher your notoriety the more likely you are to be recognized in later levels by the AI henchmen who still pick up the morning paper. Since you’re going to find killing necessary, you’ll need to dispose of bodies so that your company doesn’t have to send in a cleaner. Manholes, dumpsters, freezers, and even the backs of garbage trucks make hiding bodies a snap. Unlike in previous games, when you drag a body to one of these locations you are prompted “Splinter Cell style” and are saved the trouble of having to drag a body over a manhole, hoping that gravity will take it down the hole. This will improve your chances of not being discovered, since the AI is tenacious and will do EVERYTHING to track you down. Leave a gun at the scene, and the AI will likely find it and the guards will become suspicious. Even passerby will report suspicious happenings (such as found weapons, lights turned off) to security forces – and that’s just bad for business. So if you’re unlucky enough to be spotted by a passerby while using your fiber wire on a guard, then you’ve got witness problems, which can either lead guards to your trail or, at the very least, give the police an eyewitness account with…
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The big review down there is already really good, but I just wanted to reiterate. If you played the first few games and you really wanted to like them but got frustrated enough not to really get into them, you’ll really like Blood Money. There are lots of new ways to off your marks, and the guards/police no longer overreact as much as they used to. (In Silent Assassin, guards would just start shooting at you for no reason.)
The “money” in this game is a little silly, I ended up not spending most of mine. There’s only 4 weapons you can really spend it on, and theres no need to upgrade the SMGs when your silverballers are maxed out, and there’s no point in spending money on the shotgun period because its not a concealable weapon. I kinda wish the missions would make better use of the weapons. I ended up using the silverballers or nothing on every mission (most missions you get searched for weapons, so bringing guns with you is a waste.) Having said that, the upgrades to the ballers are nice, including a scope and full-auto.
Still, I played this game for a few weeks before beating it and I will definitely go back and replay the levels where I didn’t get silent assassin. Lots of fun, good replay value. PARENTS, DON’T BUY THIS FOR YOUR YOUNG KIDS. It’s a very gruesome game. I equate it to watching silence of the lambs or something like that. Fun for adults, but don’t warp your kids with it.
One of my personal favorites. It’s an excellent game and is the best Hitman game that I’ve ever played. It really makes you feel like a highly skilled assassin. Stylistic, smooth and can be played over and over again. It’s an instant classic that also inspired the Hitman major motion picture.
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