Hitman Codename 47 – Game Review

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The Hitman series dates back to 2000 and yet I hadn’t played any of them, so when the first three games went on sale on Steam, I thought I’d give them a try.  A friend of mine mentioned that they were his favourite back when the movie came out so I figured it was worthy.

I have to temper my review with the fact that this game is 11 years old now and I can’t hold it to the same standards I have for games of the current generation.  In comparison to other games that came out around the same time, it offered an amazingly different experience with stealth via outfits that make you unnoticed in full view of others.  Actually this is still really rare considering most stealth games rely on you hiding in the shadows or the hay bails.

I really enjoyed this aspect of the game, and with so many other games that I didn’t get around to playing until they were several years old, I find myself thinking I’d enjoy them a lot more if it’s played them when they were released.  Damn college for taking all my free time back in the early 2000s.

A lot of things are just dated about the game, but some things could have been done even with the technology of the past.  The save system (or lack thereof) makes the game much more difficult.  This is extremely clear with the longer missions near the end, but they obviously realized that in the jungle mission by breaking it up a bit so you had the auto-save in between long pieces.  This also made it hard for me to play through on my lunch break.  Some of these stages require half an hour and when you get almost all the way through only to do something that fails the mission, you can’t always play through a second time in the same hour.  This is ultimately what caused me to stop playing the second or third last stage.  I spent 20 minutes getting onto the cargo ship, and then someone sees me killing a guard and the boss escapes.  It’s very frustrating that way.

A lot of the animations are jerky and robotic, but one thing that stood out was the head tracking.  NPCs will look at you as they walk around, and although this seems really creepy when there is no reason they should be staring at you it’s still a nice touch.

The voice acting is terrible, but I think that is more about the studio not having the money to hire decent voice actors or do multiple sessions.

Ultimately the game was a big advance over the typical 90s games, it was a third person stealth game where you didn’t have to kill everyone to accomplish your mission, and in some cases that would hurt your chances of completing the mission.

I’ll move onto Hitman 2: Silent Assassin and see how it improves on a good idea.

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