"Killing ninjas, badassing, looking cool, blah, blah, blah. I don't need to remind you just how awesome Agent 47 was in the past three games. You should know by now. And if not, SHAME ON YOU! But with this fourth installment now out, is the Hitman series starting to run out of steam? Is Agent 47 losing his awesomeness? Are we gonna be Tomb Raider'd? No, no, and THANK GOD no. Hitman: Blood Money is a great game that doesn't disappoint, and it turns out to be the best of the series, so far. "
Killing ninjas, badassing, looking cool, blah, blah, blah. I don't need to remind you just how awesome Agent 47 was in the past three games. You should know by now. And if not, SHAME ON YOU! But with this fourth installment now out, is the Hitman series starting to run out of steam? Is Agent 47 losing his awesomeness? Are we gonna be Tomb Raider'd? No, no, and THANK GOD no. Hitman: Blood Money is a great game that doesn't disappoint, and it turns out to be the best of the series, so far.
When you start the game and begin the first mission (a training mission), immediately, you'll notice just how flexible 47 has become. He can now use anyone as a human shield, throw items (you can use a coin to distract or throw a knife at someone's head), push people over railings, head butt (I did this to a civilian and she just screamed her ass off.... until I knocked her out), hide bodies in containers, and many other moves that transform 47 into an even deadlier assassin than before. It seems like a lot to remember at first, but you'll be able to pull them off without a problem in no time. Hell, they end up making him look like a robotic, stiff dick in previous installments.
These new set of moves will come in handy as you tackle the well-mapped, multi-leveled missions in H:BM. If you're looking forward to lots of snow and rain, you're gonna be disappointed, because this game takes place in many locations of varying weather conditions. 47 will be venturing into a rehab clinic to rescue an agent (gee, I wonder who this is....), walk through the crowded streets of New Orleans during Mardi Gras to stop an assassination (and I mean CROWDED, it's an impressive sight to see), and snoop around a steamboat on the Mississippi River, trying to take out a target and his bodyguards. It's safe to say you'll never complain about the lack of variety in this title.
Those and the other missions are tons of fun to play, and the last few missions you'll go on will just amaze you as the plot comes to its conclusion. If someone ends up spoiling you before you get to them, then you need to punch them in the face. Hard. It's a game that you'll truly enjoy if you go into it not knowing much. Even long after you complete all the missions, you'll keep coming back to H:BM just to goof around or experiment thanks to the open-endedness of each mission. It's a lovable trait of the Hitman series. Oh, you want more on this?
In the A New Life mission, 47 is placed in a suburban neighborhood (a surreal moment, indeed) to take out a man on his child's birthday. On one of my playthroughs, I attempted to be as stealthy as possible. It wasn't easy, because the house was being guarded by the FBI. So, after a bit of observing, I managed to sneak in through the backyard, after shooting the dog with a tranquilizer dart, and down into the basement. Minutes later, and with an FBI disguise, I was snooping around the house, figuring out ways to get to the target without getting caught. After some thinking, I decided to place a mine inside a crate, put it in the man's room, and blew him up when he walked in. I got out of the house while all the FBI agents were in a panic, changed back to my default suit, and walked off. While all of this was going on, Jesper Kyd's wonderfully composed music (a good mix of orchestrated and electronic tunes) popped up during key moments of the mission, giving it a dramatic vibe. I got a "The Cleaner" rating in the end, I think.
However, in a different playthrough, I decided to take a more twisted approach. I placed a mine in front of the FBI surveillance van, and blew the sucker up. Seconds later, after a couple more FBI agents ran up to the van to see what the hell was going on, I detonated the second mine, and more agents went flying. I equipped one of their guns, and just killed the rest of the agents. After I was done with that, I killed my target, and I knocked out every civilian that was in the neighborhood (I accidentally killed one when I pushed him off some stairs). I then went to the exit when I was done with everything. The game gave me a "Madman" rating that time. Cool. If you thought this sounded fun, imagine doing this type of creative thinking in the other 12 missions.
I really can't find much fault with Hitman: Blood Money, except for one nitpick. The newspapers you get at the end of each mission that chronicles your actions are a neat addition. The problem I have with them is that they aren't really fleshed out. A LOT of sentences get reused, which takes the buzz away from when you read one for the first time. Other than that, this game is a damn blast to play. It's as if Codename 47, Silent Assassin, and Contracts had a threesome, and nine months later out came this fantastic bastard.
Featured community review by pickhut (June 13, 2006)
Didn't originally plan on submitting AA: Pac-Man on Thanksgiving, but I couldn't pass up on the food theme.
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