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Hitman: Blood Money (Xbox 360) artwork

Hitman: Blood Money (Xbox 360) review


"Hitman: Blood Money would be the perfect Hitman game if it actually made you live up to the series' name. Mass murder is unsatisfying but easy: fire a shot up into the air and then go ballistic as every single living (if not intelligent) being on the map strolls right into your crosshairs, laughing off any return fire that barely chips away at your charitable health bar. Wiping out an entire cruise ship should be impossible, not impossibly tedious, and that the filthy money you're whacking folks..."



Hitman: Blood Money would be the perfect Hitman game if it actually made you live up to the series' name. Mass murder is unsatisfying but easy: fire a shot up into the air and then go ballistic as every single living (if not intelligent) being on the map strolls right into your crosshairs, laughing off any return fire that barely chips away at your charitable health bar. Wiping out an entire cruise ship should be impossible, not impossibly tedious, and that the filthy money you're whacking folks for in the first place is put toward silenced submachineguns and big fuck-off shotguns doesn't help. If you were planning to play this like Quake, just go play Quake. iD will treat you right.

For those of us with restraint, though, Hitman: Blood Money is the perfect Hitman game. The freedom is staggering. One early client humbly requests that you silence a Cuban drug lord who's taken suburban refuge under the FBI's witness protection program, and that you swipe his drunken hag of a wife's necklace while you're at it. Every review seems to mention this level, and every reviewer seems to do it differently. It's what made me buy the game. IGN were fittingly dull, killing one of the patrolling FBI Agents for a disguise and working their magic on the sly. My generally deranged reviewer chum PickHut, on the other hand, told me about everything from pouring lighter fluid on a grill so that the wife sets herself ablaze to stealing a clown costume and carving the cartel chatterbox open as he whined about the boring 'burbs.

Yes, a clown costume. It's their brat's birthday. My present: no more curfews!

Surprisingly, though, I didn't even need to do any of that at all. No, I ran my madness with the classic rifle-in-the-suitcase trick. Taking out the father was easy: a darkened garage across the street and suddenly blood was pouring out of his head, much to his protectors' chagrin. The mother was trickier. I settled on shards. Inside the house is an indoor pool with a glass ceiling, and in the neighbor's yard is a kid's treehouse. The more observant among you can see where I'm going with this. Shards.

You might think that you'd have to play secret service dressup to get into the house and grab the necklace, but you'd be wrong. Keep a sharp eye out for details and you'll notice that they drag her body to a storage room right near the trash pickup. You'll also notice that it's trash day. "Borrow" a garbageman's suit and shove his body into his truck's compacter so that he'll never want it back, then waltz right up to a side door without anyone so much as glancing at you. When the coast is clear--or when you make it clear--slip in and slip out, like Metal Gear Solid minus the homoerotic monologues.

Of course, there are cameras watching over every room of the house, and "borrowing" the surveillance tapes to keep your mug out of the papers is like a whole other hit in and of itself. I oh-so-smartly figured they'd be in a surveillance van, to which I brought a fresh batch of nice warm donuts with a lovely cynaide filling. Several moments and a few steps over twitching bodies later, I went back for my suit and suitcase before leaving suburbia behind forever.

My rating: THE CLEANER.

Gracefully executed, if I do say so myself, but their deaths won't be ruled suicides. For those of you looking to make your killing sprees that extra bit more poetic, Blood Money introduces "accidents". In a rehab joint, you'd naturally just think to find their secret stashes of booze and use your trusty poison syringes to speed up alcohol's ill effects on the liver by a year or forty. PROFESSIONAL, but you could do better. You could be a SILENT ASSASSIN.

Follow the green robed one and you'll eventually find him lifting weights. Be a dear and spot him; when he takes a rest, drop the barbell on his neck. Local man dies in tragic weight-lifting mishap. Your next target hides his whisky in a globe, above which is a chandelier. Rig its suspension, wait for him to drown his sorrows, and end him. Rehabilitation clinic's negligence delivers crushing blow to community. You won't even have to pay off any witnesses at this rate.

Of course, the newspaper clippings you see after every level just say generic things like three men found dead in mysterious circumstances, but pretend. Like you're already pretending that you couldn't have just shot the bastards.

Yes, you'll never quite forget that you could just plow through all twelve of Blood Money's contracts with a MASS MURDERER style rampage thanks to the dopey guards and 47's apparently bulletproof skin, but you won't want to. Even by number three, just running in and capping opera tenor Alvaro d'Alvarde won't cross your mind. Bringing the play's execution scene to life with a bang by swapping out a prop World War II pistol for a real one just feels right. It's just more satisfying to be a HITMAN.

Rating: 9/10

mardraum's avatar
Community review by mardraum (July 25, 2007)

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