Hitman Hits Rewind

Arup Das        Print Edition: April 2013

Price: Rs 1,499

It is time to relive the Hitman series as it gets rebooted with high definition visuals and improved surround sound. Eidos has rejigged the last three games of the franchise - 2002's Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, 2004's Hitman: Contracts and 2006's Hitman: Blood Money - prior to last year's sequel Hitman Absolution.

These three masterpieces are not for trigger-happy gamers. They are all about stealth. Afterall, you are Agent 47, the bald headed assassin, and not John Rambo. My only complaint is that Eidos should have added the first game of the series, Hitman: Agent 47, to the pact too.

This trilogy is all about different possibilities of assassinating people. Do you want to kill the Yakuza boss by fugu poisoning or take out the pudgy Scottish crime boss hiding in a slaughter house with a surprise attack through the skylight or simply smuggle a gun into the room inside a roast chicken? The choice is entirely up to you. It all depends how innovative one can be. Plotting, planning, staying in shadow or disguising yourself is how you can master the art of killing. The objectives in all three games are quite simple: take out the target without drawing any attention. So going all guns blazing is not an option.

By playing the three games, you get to see and appreciate the evolution of this franchise's game play. In Silent Assassin, Agent 47 takes up missions so that he can raise funds to free his priest friend. The game tests your ability to surprise the enemy patrols, use camouflage and move for the kill without raising any alarms.

Contracts, on the other hand, focuses on Agent 47's past. Even though the game play remains the same, it challenges you as it gets tougher with tighter and more responsive reflexes. In Blood Money, our suave assassin improves his close combat skills. In the previous games, he struggled and lacked natural flow. My favourite feature was when you have to clear the scene of evidence. The sophisticated and devious ways of making assassinations look like accidents pushed the game play to a whole new level.

HD makes the environments and facial features look crisper and clearer, especially in Silent Assassin and Contracts. The Hitman Trilogy is a great way for new gamers to explore Agent 47's adventures. But even with improved visuals, the two older games still look aged and retain chunky and slow movements.


Improved visuals, but clunky controls show this is old

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