Author Topic: Hitman  (Read 1908 times)

Shameless Custard

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Hitman
« on: June 16, 2020, 10:31:05 PM »
Today was the first time I've ever properly played one of these games (Absolution). Had a little go on one several years ago and really liked it, so I'm not sure why it's taken me this long

Bought Absolution and Blood Money, as they were going cheap in the Xbone Store. Are there any others in the series that are an absolute must?

Absolution's graphics still look good if a little dated, but it is 8 years old, so fair enough. It's a bit distracting to keep seeing the same NPC models during crowd scenes too, but small gripes, as I'm really enjoying the gameplay and the locations are immersive and gorgeous looking

I understand the more recent games haven't been as well recieved? Still worth a punt?

Kelvin

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Re: Hitman
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2020, 10:55:30 PM »
Hitman's one of my all time favourite series, and I'd very strongly recommend Contracts. It's the most atmospheric in the series by miles, very creepy, nihilistic, and sordid. The later games started to take more and more influence from Bond and spy thrillers in general, but they also lost their edge and voice as time went on. The early games, but especially Contracts, were much more thematically interesting, and made the world seem a much more sinister and seedy place to explore. Basically everything from the art style and music to the charachters and environmental storytelling are all working to a greater, cohesive whole than later games, which increasingly lack a strong identity.

Other than that; the original game is a real mess, maybe only worth playing as a curiosity at this point, certainly not for the gameplay. Contracts remakes and greatly improves the best levels, too, so it's not just crap, it's largely redundant.

Hitman 2: Silent Assassin is pretty good, a decent story, but still.pretty faffy stealth mechanics compared to subsequent games. I'd suggest starting with Contracts, then working backwards.

Kelvin

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Re: Hitman
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2020, 11:01:41 PM »
Also; just to add that I've not actually played the last 2 games as my PC graphics card died a few years back. They're generally considered pretty good, but with overly big levels, and from everything I've seen, a completely anodyne aesthetic. 

Re: Hitman
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2020, 11:08:26 PM »
The only one I'd say is definitive Hitman is Silent Assassin, then Blood Money.

Zetetic

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Re: Hitman
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2020, 11:14:05 PM »
a completely anodyne aesthetic.
Possibly a reaction to how badly Absolution turned out story and style-wise.

Kryton

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Re: Hitman
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2020, 11:23:04 PM »
One of my favourite franchises. Played them all and love them all.

Currently playing around with Hitman 2 (2018) and its predecessor on PC and constantly discovering new ways to beat the levels and have fun.

Absolution got slated but it's still a good game, Blood Money is good too - but I prefer the more recent Hitman games (confusingly called Hitman and Hitman 2), which are Hitman 6+7 (I think?).

Kryton

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Re: Hitman
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2020, 11:24:45 PM »
Hitman's one of my all time favourite series, and I'd very strongly recommend Contracts. It's the most atmospheric in the series by miles, very creepy, nihilistic, and sordid. The later games started to take more and more influence from Bond and spy thrillers in general, but they also lost their edge and voice as time went on. The early games, but especially Contracts, were much more thematically interesting, and made the world seem a much more sinister and seedy place to explore. Basically everything from the art style and music to the charachters and environmental storytelling are all working to a greater, cohesive whole than later games, which increasingly lack a strong identity.

Was contracts the one with the Meat King?

--

Yeah the new games have lost the edginess a little, but they're still absolutely brilliant. Huge levels too and lots and lots of ways to complete them.

Re: Hitman
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2020, 12:19:55 AM »
^ Contracts was indeed the game with the Meat King level.

The recent instalment that was released in chapters is definitely worth playing, too. It has some ingenious assasinations: one of my favourites has you improving the focus on the sniper rifle of another assassin, then manipulating the targets so they're standing in better positions for his scope. You can bump off all your targets without pulling a single trigger yourself!

Kryton

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Re: Hitman
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2020, 01:00:06 AM »
^ Contracts was indeed the game with the Meat King level.

The recent instalment that was released in chapters is definitely worth playing, too. It has some ingenious assasinations: one of my favourites has you improving the focus on the sniper rifle of another assassin, then manipulating the targets so they're standing in better positions for his scope. You can bump off all your targets without pulling a single trigger yourself!

Mumbai right?

What an incredibly designed level that is!

H-O-W-L

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Re: Hitman
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2020, 01:28:56 AM »
Been a fan since I was a small child, and I'll say now:

Codename 47 - Alright, but barely playable if you go back to it now. For newcomers it's very much a "maybe later" game.

Silent Assassin - Very good. Dated, but very good.

Contracts - Probably the best game in the whole series, and deeply atmospheric.

Blood Money - Very good, though some of the atmos has been lost and the America-centric setting really drains some of the identity. Has the best level in the series, though (A New Life).

Absolution - Basically shit. Play it drunk and possibly with a mate watching and just laugh at how wrongly it was made. The "Troll 2" so-bad-it's-good instalment of the franchise. And also deeply, deeply disgusting and repugnant in some of its content. I could go on but suffice it to say there's a reason most of the writers got fired.

2016 (AKA HitmanTM) - Very, very good. Brought me back into the fold after binning the series with Absolution. But you can play all its levels in Hitman 2 for cheaper so go for Hitman 2.

HitmanTM 2 - Again, very, very good. Little flaws and issues here, but overall probably the most eminently playable and best-made of the series since Contracts. And yes, I am saying it's better than Blood Money, if only because of quantity. There's just so much to do in H2!

You've said Absolution is your first so please do not judge the whole series by it. It really is the weird edgy 'mature' instalment that was quickly forgotten because it was total shit and went against the series whole core tenets. The whole original idea is semisandbox levels you tackle in a way you find appropriate, not constantly-rolling stuff where you maybe have to stab a bastard halfway.

H-O-W-L

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Re: Hitman
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2020, 01:31:15 AM »
I understand the more recent games haven't been as well recieved? Still worth a punt?

No, actually, not sure where you've heard that. They might not be as well-received as Blood Money but for fans of the series they've been the best they could possibly be. People are very vocal about the things they do dislike about it, IE the always-online nature of it, and the (unfortunately can't-be-helped) lack of progress transfer with Hitman 2016 to Hitman 2, but by and large they are very good games in their own right, and everything you don't hear is very good. Infact, after the serious downturn that was Absolution they're basically masterpieces.

Re: Hitman
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2020, 01:47:10 AM »
Mumbai right?

What an incredibly designed level that is!

Yes, Mumbai. It really is, like an intricate mechanical clock with all its little parts. Hokkaido is a terrific level as well, and of course Paris. I like the one where you target the musician and his dodgy lawyer a lot too.

I agree the series hasn't recaptured that feeling of covertly sneaking in to a murky, sinister world the early games had, especially Contracts.

Re: Hitman
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2020, 01:51:28 AM »
Seriously when I was a kid playing the Hitman series the reviews were all basically "Silent Assassin is the apex and Contracts is fairly average".

I remember Silent Assassin being THE Hitman game for me, iconic even, and I don't remember a single thing about Contracts.

H-O-W-L

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Re: Hitman
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2020, 02:49:19 AM »
Contracts does everything SA does but with a better atmosphere, sorry, but it's true. SA still has a lot of weird Danish jokiness and wackaday humor that really drags its down in some of the levels, even if it still maintains itself as a good game. Contracts strikes a good balance of grimdark bleurgh and black humor, IMO.

Kelvin

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Re: Hitman
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2020, 07:41:31 AM »
Contracts also improved on the temperamental disguise detection of SA, and provides far more ways to complete each mission. The only real way that SA is superior is in the number of levels. In virtually every other way, Contracts is an improvement of the same design philosophy.

Re: Hitman
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2020, 08:13:20 AM »
Contracts is great, but it’s not something I particularly want to go back to after Blood Money, which is where I think they fully figured out what Hitman is (then decided to ruin it with Absolution). The new ones are often very good, probably about as good as you could reasonably expect, but there are some horrible things about them and some entire levels which are crap (Colorado).

If we were to forget playability, my list would probably be:

1. Blood Money
2. Hitman (2016)
3. Contracts
4. Silent Assassin
5. Codename: 47
6. Absolution

I’d rather play Absolution than C:47 or even SA nowadays, mind you.

Kelvin

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Re: Hitman
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2020, 09:30:49 AM »
Absolution is nowhere near as bad as people are making out. It's got appalling, juvenile writing, and falls short at what the series is known for (open areas, multiple ways to assassinate, etc), but the game is still a perfectly decent stealth game on it's own terms, and has the best visuals and most visceral and versatile combat options of the entire series. It's not a great game, and it doesn't deliver the experience people expect from a Hitman game, but it's far from a bad game, and there are several levels, like the one in Chinatown, the one in the small town, and the one in the penthouse, that are really good fun.

Re: Hitman
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2020, 01:45:41 PM »
My all time favourite series. Can't wait for the new game on PS5.

Best to not the best:

1. Blood Money.
2. Hitman 2
3. Contracts
4. Hitman (2016)
5. Silent Assassin
6. Codename 47
7. Absolution

Re: Hitman
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2020, 01:51:30 PM »
I haven't played the last one on PS4 yet... somehow it felt after the one before that I was kind of bored with the series. That was a few years ago, though, so I might have to investigate soon.

One minor memory I have of one of the earlier ones, either Contracts or Blood Money, was checking into a hotel and on walking into the lift, noticed it had a service hatch above. On climbing up to have a look, the target wandered in to the lift and on the doors closing, I choked him to death, lifted him up and hid the body there. Possibly the easiest hit I ever made on any of those games.

Kryton

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Re: Hitman
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2020, 12:49:45 PM »
Contracts is great, but it’s not something I particularly want to go back to after Blood Money, which is where I think they fully figured out what Hitman is (then decided to ruin it with Absolution). The new ones are often very good, probably about as good as you could reasonably expect, but there are some horrible things about them and some entire levels which are crap (Colorado).

I used to hate Colarado, but it's probably the best level to practice your sniping and stealth kills, as it's bloody hard. But getting through it without being caught or seen is an incredible feeling.

My least favourite is Morocco.

Kryton

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Re: Hitman
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2020, 12:54:43 PM »
Absolution is nowhere near as bad as people are making out. It's got appalling, juvenile writing, and falls short at what the series is known for (open areas, multiple ways to assassinate, etc), but the game is still a perfectly decent stealth game on it's own terms, and has the best visuals and most visceral and versatile combat options of the entire series. It's not a great game, and it doesn't deliver the experience people expect from a Hitman game, but it's far from a bad game, and there are several levels, like the one in Chinatown, the one in the small town, and the one in the penthouse, that are really good fun.

Seconded. I went in expecting a terrible game and yeah the story is weird, but the game play is fine. I've discussed this previously, but I was disappointed to find one or two of the mechanics had been removed from the newer games. Absolution let you take hostages as human shields and had slightly better combat.

Kryton

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Re: Hitman
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2020, 07:27:55 PM »
Hitman is one of those games which mixes up the ways of playing. You can try your damned best and be a silent, mysterious killer sniping from the shadows, killing the target in an 'accident' without being seen - or just going fucking mental with a shotgun.

Biggytitbo previously wrote a really good write up of the latest Hitman a few years ago.

--

I previously mentioned Colorado as being voted as one of the worst maps due to the weird different zones with different types of soldiers and terrorists etc, with four or five different disguises needed to interact (which doesn't make much sense).
 It's also a wide map and largely open, which makes it far easier to be spotted. Plus all enemies are seriously packing some guns.
But I'll be damned if that isn't half the fun. For me, it's the best training ground for figuring out enemy behaviour. It is possible to sneak through most of the map. Usually by the perimeter going and facing  right from the start. OR, going through the first wall hole to the right and making your way to the barn and walkway. That's more or less the sniping point in which I can usually get 3 of the 4 targets. I've still not managed to complete it on Silent Assassin, but I can usually finish the game only killing 1 or 2 guards/hackers.
I've yet to figure out a way to kill all 3 targets with the sniper rifle without any bodies being discovered. I refuse to youtube it.
The day I get SA on that level, is the day I can die happy.

The absolute best level for me is the Island fortress of Sgail. It's beautifully designed with loads of weird shit to do and discover. It's also one of the few levels I don't feel bad killing the NPC's because they're all ultra-rich Bohemian Grove style survivalists, burning money and celebrating the end of days. Fuck them. Pew pew.

Shameless Custard

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Re: Hitman
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2020, 12:31:05 PM »
Thanks all. Gonna give Contracts and Blood Money a go, and maybe the latest one, after I've finished Absolution

Very surprised that Absolution isn't very highly rated, as I'm really enjoying it! I agree that the story is a bit weird though. It'd also be nice to actually get to kill some of the targets too, without it switching to a cut-scene of it happening

Kelvin

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Re: Hitman
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2020, 01:01:23 PM »
The worst thing about the later games (post Blood Money) is the loss of Jesper kyd as their composer. His music for the first four games absolutely set the tone for the series, and were a big part of what made the environments feel so sinister, and you feel so cool closing in on your target.   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4XbneG571M

This kicking in as you cross the snow in Contracts.

Re: Hitman
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2020, 01:04:14 PM »

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Re: Hitman
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2020, 01:32:42 PM »
I remember YouTube person Super Bunnyhop reviewing the 2016 one and referring to Kyd's previous scores as "egregious". I don't know if he was confused about what the word meant, or if he genuinely thinks Kyd's work is crap. Either way, it was a wrong thing to say.

Blood Money was brilliant, but I've not really kept up with the series since. That embarrassing sexy nuns trailer put me right off Absolution, long before the bad reviews. I downloaded the first level of the 2016 one and enjoyed it, but not enough to last me a whole month. By the time the next level was released, I had a bit of a cashflow problem and never got around to buying the rest of the game.

I've seen Hitman 2 regularly pop up for cheap on the Playstation store, so I might well grab it next time there's a sale on. What's the deal with playing the 2016 levels in it? I assume you have to buy both games.

Re: Hitman
« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2020, 01:40:15 PM »
'kin hell that's a bit of an opinion, never heard a bad word said about Kyd's scores.  Especially the levels of Hitman 2 set in Russia, the choral pieces were perfect scene setting.

Kryton

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Re: Hitman
« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2020, 01:57:39 PM »
Hitman 2 (2018) I think has all the (2016) maps, so 12 levels in total I think? With multiple modes and replays.

rack and peanut

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Re: Hitman
« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2020, 09:53:51 PM »
Jesper Kyd's finest work:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKefFnIDbd8&list=PL5C8D6B5BA2601F23

I prefer "47 makes a decision" from the same game, I used to listen to it while walking through stations to catch a train! The new soundtracks aren't bad as such, but they could be from any game, rather than the post cold war evocation of Silent Assassin.

Absolution plays alright but it's not really a Hitman game in tone or structure.

buttgammon

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Re: Hitman
« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2020, 11:32:31 PM »
Hitman 2 (2018) I think has all the (2016) maps, so 12 levels in total I think? With multiple modes and replays.

Some editions have both, some don't; even if they dont, however, the 2016 ones are normally cheap on the Playstation Store. For what it's worth, they're both great but the 2018 levels are the best of the two anyway. Sgàil is an especially good one.

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