The sequel to the rebooted version of the Hitman franchise, Hitman 2, was released on the 13th November, 2018. This sequel set out to take everything that we know and love from the first game in the new series while attempting to improve on what the previous game brought to the table. Now let’s see what this game did great and also didn’t do so well.
Starting with the story, Hitman 2 follows on from the events of the previous game and has Agent 47 hunting down the mysterious “Shadow Client” and their militia. Not exactly the most original name, but we’ll roll with it. As should come as no surprise to anyone, the Shadow Client aren’t exactly the most stand-up guys in the world. Which is the reason why they’re next on 47’s hit list.
As the story progresses, you’ll learn more and more about the organization, Agent 47, and the people around him that aren’t actually trying to kill him. While not exactly groundbreaking storytelling, the game keeps it interesting enough from start to finish to keep the player engaged at the very least.
As with all of the previous games, the stealth-action gameplay is what really makes Hitman the series that it is and considering how well the first Hitman did with its gameplay, Hitman 2 is pretty much more of the same. Each story mission has you perform an assassination or goal in a new area and will typically let you perform them in whatever weird and wonderful way you decide.
Obviously, you can simply shoot them, but in a game where you can kill Sean Bean with an exploding pen, why pick something so dull? While that may be an odd yet intriguing addition to the game, it’s a hint at the game’s new mode, Elusive Target.
Elusive Target is a brand-new game mode where “unique, high-stakes contracts that are only available for a limited time”. The first one just so happened to be Sean Bean. In Elusive Target, you have only one chance to complete the mission – if you fail, that’s it. This mode is designed to test your skills as a hitman, without giving you the safety net of restarting if you fail.
On the Hitman 2 website, the public can actually vote on which weapon they wish to have access to for this particular mission. With Sean Bean, that chosen weapon was…you guessed it, an exploding pen. This just demonstrates how interesting and…unconventional some of these kills could become in the future.
While the very first target for this mode is Sean Bean, I can’t help but wonder if we’re going to be seeing a trend of taking a famous individual and then giving players the chance to kill them in whatever way they please. A bit gruesome but hey, it’s fun and twisted so you’re not going to see me complaining.
Alongside Elusive Target, the game also introduces Ghost Mode, the first competitive multiplayer mode in the Hitman franchise. In this mode, you play alongside another player through a mission and during the entirety of that mission, you’ll be able to see what they’re doing, where they’re going, and pretty much whatever else they have in mind. If by any chance they decide to kill the mascot and change into his clothes, you’ll know about it. The same goes for you as the player; they can also see everything you’re doing.
The aim of this mode is to kill the target first without being detected – whoever does that first gets the point. Once that target has been dealt with, another one will show up on the level and the process will repeat until someone reaches 5 kills total. Effectively, it is just more of the same game, but with a fun and engaging multiplayer element thrown into the mix.
Overall, I wouldn’t exactly call the a beautifully crafted epic, but the creativity and execution of the gameplay more than makes up for it. And with the new game modes, both hardcore and casual players alike are going to find plenty of reasons to stick around with Hitman 2.
Just be aware, if you didn’t enjoy anything about the first Hitman game, you probably shouldn’t get the sequel, as ultimately, while Hitman 2 does offer a lot of new content and features, the trademark playstyle of the Hitman franchise has remained largely unchanged. For fans of the genre or the franchise, Hitman 2 definitely won’t fail to deliver exciting gameplay that’ll keep you engaged and entertained for hours on end.