Hitman fans are awaiting a new entry in the franchise. The key word there, however, is ‘awaiting’, as it’ll only arrive next year. There’s still plenty of waiting to do, which is good if you’re a particularly large fan of waiting. If you’re at all impatient like, for example, myself, then you’ll want something to occupy that time. This presents the perfect opportunity for you to sink your teeth back into Hitman: Blood Money.[drop]On the other hand, you might never have played a Hitman game and, after watching the likes of this video on YouTube (level spoilers, if that kind of thing matters to you), suddenly have the urge to rectify that gaping hole in your gaming life. Make no mistake; there is a hole there, and it’s perfectly shaped for Agent 47 to plug the gap.
In case you’re somehow unaware, Hitman, at its most basic level, is a game in which you play as a Hitman (shock!), codenamed Agent 47, who, as a killer for hire, goes around killing people for cash. Agent 47’s flawless record has him favoured by the most wealthy and powerful of clients, so you get to partake in various entertaining capers.
As the video linked above shows, the game is about stealth, should you choose to play it that way. It’s also entirely possible to shoot your way through most levels if that’s more your forte. Both the stealth and gunplay are fleshed out and feel good, whether you’re disguised as a delivery man to get to your target or leaving a path bathed in crimson behind as you make your way through the level, you’re going to be having fun.
I should warn that, despite it being entirely possible to shoot your way through the game, it might get difficult. There are a lot of people to get in your way if that’s the way you decide to go, as you can see in the above video (there’s a whole series through that link if you’re interested in seeing for yourself). Hell, you can always take a shot (ha!) and, if you can’t pull it off, stealth your way through. Or you can go with my method: Kill everyone you possibly can whilst still being relatively sneaky.[drop2]The game does have a storyline, but I won’t ruin that, instead concentrating on the delights of the game’s detail. For example; in some levels, if you kill an innocent, police will show up to investigate, which can result in quite a bit of fun all on its own. The AI isn’t particularly great, so you can just hide in a cupboard and watch as the cops storm in, then look around the room in an almost comically exaggerated fashion. Then you can jump out of the cupboard and shoot them in the face, if you like. Whilst it’s bad AI, it’s not frustrating (perhaps because it’s not supposed to be helping you), so you can just sit back and laugh as a river of guards charge at you through the same door whilst you mow them down with an assault rifle.
The challenge in the game comes from its scenarios and getting to grips with the nuances of each level rather than taking on the enemies themselves. Levels can have you sneaking in as a delivery guy, finding alternative routes, hiding bodies in freezers, and they’re all very different. It keeps the game fresh all the way through. Alternatively, you can just fill everyone with lead. One of them has to be the target, right?
Hitman: Blood Money is £5.99 on Steam. Even better; you can get the Hitman Collection, which contains Hitman, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin and Hitman: Blood money for £14.99. System requirements are available through the links but, if you have a Windows system that’s even slightly modern, it’ll probably handle the games just fine.