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Hitman: Contracts (Xbox) artwork

Hitman: Contracts (Xbox) review


"47 is a bona fide BADASS. In the short time it's been since he became an assassin, he has ignited a gang war in Hong Kong, faced a jaguar in the jungles of Columbia, had the BALLS to kill someone being escorted by U.N. troops, and went up against 132 ninjas just to ruin one man's shit. But even the baddest of badasses have their off days. This is apparent at the beginning of Hitman: Contracts, where a mission goes awry, and you witness 47 fleeing to his hotel room, half-dead. "



47 is a bona fide BADASS. In the short time it's been since he became an assassin, he has ignited a gang war in Hong Kong, faced a jaguar in the jungles of Columbia, had the BALLS to kill someone being escorted by U.N. troops, and went up against 132 ninjas just to ruin one man's shit. But even the baddest of badasses have their off days. This is apparent at the beginning of Hitman: Contracts, where a mission goes awry, and you witness 47 fleeing to his hotel room, half-dead.

What does Mr. Badass himself do in such a dreadful situation? He reminisces about his past hits. Because that's what badasses do. It is here where you begin your journey through 11 flashbacks, taking out hit after hit in completely different scenarios. A S.W.A.T.-infested asylum? Check. A biker gang's hangout with a torture room in its basement? Damn straight. How about a S&M party that takes place inside a slaughterhouse, where people make out beside dead animals? You better believe your sweet, round ass they have that.

One of the best aspects of H:C that makes it so fun to play is the ability to approach every stage anyway you want. It was like this in Silent Assassin, and in some cases in Codename 47, but there were times you felt restricted in these "free" areas. However, it seems like IO Interactive really went the distance to make the missions in this third game have as much freedom as possible. It still amazes me that I can play a level I've went through tons of times and STILL find different ways to complete them.

A great example of this is in H:C's seventh mission: Traditions of the Trade. The assignment is to assassinate the Fuchs brothers and retrieve their chemical bomb. The location is a three-floor hotel that has over thirty rooms, a bar, flower shop, pool, metal detectors, twenty-plus cops, a ghost, and quite a number of civilians roaming the place. And there's only one way you can fail the mission: die. So go nuts, and do as your demented, little heart desires. Gain easy access to the Fuchs' room by dressing up as a bellboy or sneak through the back via balcony jumping; become a cop and freely bypass the detectors; be a guest and handle things by observing; or become the Grim Reaper and just kill everyone in the place. It's all up to you.

That's just ONE mission, too. Wait until you experience the rest of the game.

NOTE: This review was part of a contest for HG where you had to write a review without going over a certain limit of words... which I got lambasted for being short, ironically.

Rating: 9/10

pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (December 25, 2005)

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