Hello Io Interactive!
A year has passed since my First Impressions of HITMAN™ 2…
Now after over 700 hours of gameplay, thrills, fun and struggles, it is time for me to release the HITMAN™ 2 Review: Definitive Edition!
As a huge fan of the Hitman franchise since Hitman: Contracts, i had the opportunity to come closer not only to the community, but also the developers through social medias and this amazing Forum
It allowed me to share my thoughts and ideas with you all and give some feedbacks to Io Interactive about their games and i’ll be always thankful for that, not only for the forum members to give their insights, but also for Io Interactive to take the time to read us and take some notes
Thankfully it all gave you some interest, but most of these posts were a bit too big to digest through all the screens and texts. I’ve tried to improve since and hopefully this one will be more compact and easier to read for you guys
This review will contain my overall opinion of the game, including a list of the good and bad points of this sequel, but also give you some hints and ideas about how to improve the next Hitman games through different aspects
Sit back, relax, and enjoy my HITMAN™ 2 Review: Definitive Edition!
Playing this sequel for the first time was thrilling but also stressful in the same time.
I remember being so excited at the announcement of HITMAN™ 2 and preordering it but the pre-access download was so messy it couldn’t start before two days
And even after managing to start the game the thrilling introduction of the game and the next levels got ruined by the game’s instability, crashing computers or not launching some cutscenes properly because of a bug/SSE scripting issue
Anyway after finally being able to play it properly weeks after the game’s release, i’ve started to enjoy HITMAN™ 2 a bit…
It’s great introduction (one of the bests!), it’s entertaining story and characters, the outstanding level design and targets, the new gameplay features introduced back into the franchise, the EPIC Elusive Targets, so much things to do and items to unlock
However those hours of having fun have also been mixed up with struggle and frustration with all the bugs, glitches and crashes, or inconsistencies that ruined the overall experience
It is a game that we want to love, but we can’t afford to love it too much because it hurts somehow
Let me now give you a deeper insight into this game through the good and bad points…
**II) Good and Bad Points**
=======Good Points =======
This sequel has so much potential, and so much to offer…
- A Thrilling Story
I was afraid about the upcoming story, but you guys nailed it
-> A story giving us a deeper Diana & 47 relationship, in life but also through the levels
-> 47 Teaming up with Lucas Grey, giving us an interesting other point of view about teamwork during Missions
-> The charismatic Constant who definitely makes a credible villain and maybe one of the bests of the franchise
Couldn’t make a better plot than that, even if the “amnesiac” part was a little big to dig in the end
Still a great story continuity to HITMAN 2016, keep it up!
- Outstanding Graphics and Level Design
HITMAN levels and characters have never looked so good!
Huge levels, full of details, amazing crowds and living places, good-looking Characters…
It was a real pleasure to discover each of them, the Art Departement did a real stunning job on this
Also all those NPCs on each map, some having their own routine, some discussing interesting dialogs, makes each level a real living place and greater to explore
47 also looks better than before by it’s enhanced and more animated face and body
Even if graphics are amazing, i don’t think it needs to be that fancy.
Plus less players could afford the specs required to run the game (on pc at least).
I suggest you focusing more on improving the game itself than its graphics. I’m pretty sure everybody will be satisfied with that level of graphics, no need to make it fancier that it already is! It’s pointless and waste of ressoures, money and time that could be used on better things
I love how you nailed the “World Of Assassination” concept by giving us plenty of levels with different atmospheres and colors, at each destination we really feel going to a different place, with different environments and densities, keep up the good work
- Improved Gameplay & Features
New features, new items, the gameplay got enhanced a bit since HITMAN™:
-> Social Stealth: More Interactions with NPCS!
Mission Stories, Ingame Trading, Giving Items…lots of things have been added to interact more with the NPC and crowds!
–> Using coins as an ingame money!
Buying soda cans, negociating the price of silk, buying a tuk-tuk exit, a great add-on to that item that i rarely use in my runs. Now it has a more valuable use
—> Throwable items on knocked out NPCs!
You can still throw things to a KOed NPC, what a great feeling!
Please don’t change it guys
----> Homing Briefcase!
What a great feature
Another welcome addition to the game, well done guys
------> EPIC Exits!
How wonderful to discover all these secret and EPIC exits through the game, a real pleasure and fun to quit the level that way
Too bad some of them are only usable through story mode/challenges and not on Contracts/Elusive Targets mode. I hope they will fully be unlocked later, it’s so great they deserve much more visibility than that
-------> Secret doors!
Great add-on! I enjoyed discovering all those secret doors and how you open them, also makes sense for high-profiles targets to have some secret places inside their locations
--------> More animations!
- 47 is moving like never before!
Climb a wall, pick up an item while still running, jumping from upstairs, climbing from downstairs, punching, he can even walk and use his two arms separately now!! It’s so good to see him move so easily, makes a difference in the end for smooth and pleasant runs to watch
- Idle Animations
47 now makes more idle animations while in certain situations (gun, crowds, disguises) which adds more credibility to the character
- NPC animations
There’s now a greater variety about what NPCs can do, including some very interesting mechanics but also funny moments which brings more living to the levels
- Motion Capture!
Getting mo-cap animations is definitely a plus on a game like this.
---------> EPIC kills!
The Race Accident In Miami,
The Kashmirian or The Train in Mumbai,
The Phoenix in Isle Of Sgail,
So much kill scenarios and situations through all those levels, EPIC!
- A Better Variety of Mission Objectives (multiple targets, locate someone/steal item/get clues)
Finding clues, locating a target in the middle of a crowd, retrieve documents, lots of different ways to achieve a mission that gives us variety and new angles of approach
- A greater social Stealth
Being able to interact more with the level and the NPCs brings a deeper gameplay experience into the series
47 has also now more places to blend-in: no more idling in middle of a room, now we can sit on multiple places, drink some beer or wine awaiting our target, and it feels good
- A Challenging Master Mode
Contrary to HITMAN™, the Master Mode (previously Professional) have been improved in a way that it really gives us a sense of challenge while remaining interesting, where in HITMAN™ people were struggling and almost avoiding it because of lot of things, and also a separated mastery.
- Nvidia Ansel!
What a great tool to take some photoshoots, and even record videos! Well done
- Silent Assassin Tracker!
Amazing tool, long-requested by the community. It’s very useful, especially on Elusive Targets runs to keep a track of what we’re doing. Thanks guys
- Picture-In-Picture: for events, intel, alerts…
A very useful feature that helps in all sorts of situations
- Walking Mode!
Hmm what a practical feature, also long-requested by fans! It’s hard to go back to HITMAN™ and play without walking after that
- A better Menu
The menu idea from HITMAN™ have been improved and enhanced to a better expand
Also, being able to change options to this level not only is amazing, but also allows a customized experience for each player
- Legacy Pack: Two games in one!
Even if the platform idea didn’t really work, allowing the players to keep playing the HITMAN™ levels into HITMAN™ 2 (and for free) with improved game engine is wonderful
Thank you for that
- Elusive Targets!
Being able to play all those different targets through all those levels have been an amazing experience. Even if the challenge of them being playable once is interesting, it’s too bad to keep them restrained through a short period of time or though a single playthrough while it’s hours of work and investment
The Special Assignments that you lastly introduced is a great idea to develop and maybe an option to bring those dozens of Missions into singleplayer, making them replayable, permanent and with saves
- More Suits Than Ever In The Hitman Franchise
47 has never been so suited than now. Gives us freedom of choice and replayability on each level, a real pleasure to browse each level with a different outfit
All these suits are cool and beautiful, 47 now has a decent collection of beautiful clothes
Also thanks for (finally) bringing back s1 suits, it would’ve been a waste to leave them behind: the more suits we have the best it is
- Great Music!
Themes are dynamic and fitting the 47 Universe.
Each level has it’s own themes, it’s own music, even for exits, it’s a great improvement: keep it up Niels!
- Localized languages/accents!
About time guys! Now we have much more immersion while going to each location.
No more MR. Worldwide, or much less at least Keep it up!
- A greater variety of weapons and Tools
Rifles, Snipers, Pistols, Shotguns, Hand-to-hand…lots of things have been added to this sequel for us to enjoy. Not only weapons, but also useful tools than can change the game:
Getting all sorts of grenades and enemies using them is superb. It was one of the weapons missing into the franchise
–> Tranquilizer/Vomiting Tools
About time guys
47 could sedate people from behind, but it was missing one thing: a sedative gun, and you finally made it! You even made a vomiting gun some emetic grenades which are very useful ingame.
A great tool in multiple varieties (explosive, electric, stun) that allows us lots of approaches
- Weapon Displays
We don’t have (yet) a hideout/saferoom, but there are a weapons display in almost every level, and it looks great! I also liked how some of them were secured and we could break glasses
I enjoyed looting all those weapons on my runs, it’s not just about killing people after all
- An Incredible Level Of Details
If there’s one thing that Hitman is nailing, it’s the little details everywhere that make that game amazing.
The easter-eggs, the pitch fork that knocks out NPCs in Whittleton, people commenting on your suits, the dialogs, the little animations 47 now makes while idle, there’s so much things to see and it makes the game even greater
- Hitman being Mod-Welcome
Funny contracts missions, custom singleplayer missions and targets, weapons and disguises mods…
All those fascinating creations out there, it’s breathtaking! I can’t wait to try them all, but before that i wanted to thank you for allowing it to exist and spread into the game
- Hitman becomes multiplayer \O/
I’m glad to see that Hitman finally gets into the multiplayer
-> Ghost Mode
Even if this first mode is more an experiment than a real mode and it isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, it’s good to see that it’s possible to play with another player online
–> Sniper Assassin Mode
Bringing the Sniper Assassin straight into the game instead of a separated spin-off is a great move. This multiplayer mode definitely has a place into HITMAN games, with a good part of the community playing altogether and enjoying the challenges on those great levels, even if there’s a lot of grinding involved :X
=======Bad Points =======
Despite all HITMAN™ 2 qualities, there are lots of bad things that ruined the overall experience, and that cannot be ignored…
- A chaotic game release
I don’t know how it was for you guys, but let’s say that the release of this sequel has left a bad taste in my mouth
Oh my god what a mess it was guys! I don’t know if you were aware of it, or too busy focusing on console version of the game, but the release of the game was pretty damn chaotic for some of us
I dont know how it started for Hitman™ since i joined the party one year later. But here for HITMAN™ 2, as a Full Pack Owner (Early Access Collector’s Edition), let’s say that it was a very ankward experience…
-> Game released almost as a beta, without any optimization, crashing on AMD computers (WE HAD THE APPROPRIATE CONFIGURATION), overheating or eating too much RAM (even on higher configs), unstable while other games like GTA V runs like charm on Ultra settings, stuttering, lightning issues…
–> Steam launch (ruined) by a very light preload (8gb) followed by a massive download (almost 100gb for the whole pack) which led to lots of people downloading the game for two days before actually playing it…
—> Confusing “Free Demo” who was tagged as “Free Game”, which led to people unable to buy the game and massive negative reviews from testers who thought it was a scam…
----> Confusing Legacy Pack and Steam DLC system, which led some people to rebuy the game while they already owned it…
-----> And worst of that: i was able to start HITMAN™ 2 levels only TWO WEEKS AFTER RELEASE because the game wasn’t running on some AMD processors because of some scripting issue (again, we had the APPROPRIATE CONFIGURATION).
Imagine my frustration after waiting that game for months, investing 150$, downloading over 100gb for finally not being able to play the game on release because the QA department didn’t noticed that critical bug before the game going “Gold”.
And even after that, game crashing randomly which ruined my first discoveries and runs of the levels, and my pleasure in the meantime. It literally disgusted me of playing the game for weeks!!
Hopefully it has been patched quickly but still, after months of being hyped it all went down in seconds after that whole mess.
Few months later the game was finally able to run a bit normally, with the same PC setup as November 2018, so it gives you an idea about how much the game wasn’t optimized at all in the beginning
Even if most of these problems are solved for me, there’s still other players who are getting random crashes even with latest Nvidia cards and who weren’t able to enjoy the game even today, so please don’t forget them!
- Broken Game Mechanics
-> Being noticed by a NPC sometimes counting as spotted, sometimes not
–> NPCs still seeing through walls, different levels (a random witness far away, the guy in the other room noticing crime, …)
—> Some NPCs literally flying in the sky randomly or after being poisoned
----> Sniping mechanic completely out of control with any guards spotting you even after leaving the place unnoticed
-----> Getting Silent Assassin rating despite having 4 stars (especially on Contracts mode)
---------> Some trespassing places being suddenly legit, or some legit places being suddenly trespassing, etc…
Telepathic NPCs turning into witnesses or coming to investigate, even far away from the concerned place o_O
NPCs puking in random places instead of toilets, making some strats unusable…
I’m forgetting A LOT of stuff and the list is very long unfortunately
- An Unstable/Randomized Experience…
All these things makes each playthrough random and inconsistent, so a run that worked before might not work again because of that. Ruins completely the gameplay, and the enjoyment transforms into frustration and pain
All those things altogether make the game so inconsistent you could remake a run the same way or reload a save and have 10 different results!
It’s cool to have some randomness in the game. But at this level it just make things annoying and inconsistent
- A Rushed Development
It’s obvious. This game definitely deserved much more time before being released!
One year is clearly not enough to polish a game like this properly. Please take your time so you won’t have to fix a ton of bugs not only for an early release, but also from the backlogs…
I don’t know why you rushed the release, maybe you needed money, or maybe you estimated that the game was gold, but it wasn’t at all!
We could talk about the MKII placeholders, or static cutscenes, or the Legacy Pack being just a poor adaptation of the original one, the list is long sadly…
-> An unfinished, unpolished feeling ><
Seriously guys i’ve never played a game with that much bugs/crashes at the release
A very unpleasant experience, especially for a so much anticipated sequel like that. I expected much better quality in the end.
- A Downgraded Legacy Pack
Yeah you heard me. After hundreds of hours of playing HITMAN 2016, the difference between the original and this new adaptation are obvious…
-> Graphical enhancement and bloom ruining Legacy Levels original beauty (Sapienza lightning, Bangkok Contrast, Paris Lights, …)
–> Texture glitches (47 new face into old Legacy costumes makes a notable difference, 47’s suits glitching, some ingame textures not as good as previous game, …)
—> NPCs bugging randomly (flying in the air, not being poisoned, doing different things than on the previous game)
----> Some challenges are also being bugged…
Sadly the Legacy Pack is just a pale copy of the original where textures are clipping, NPCs bugging or simply the level mechanics not working properly
Technical support of the game left too early after only one year, which will give you a HUGE backlog for HITMAN™ 3
An unfinished feeling: Putting resources into Ghost Mode then leave it half finished/no et in mumbai/lots of bugs&crashes
- Still too much grinding regarding challenges/unlocks
(aka Grinding the F*CK out of the game )
Grinding - The Album: https://imgur.com/a/oKRMOYR
I understand that you wanted to add a replayability value by giving challenges. However forcing us to make specific challenges you’ve chosen to unlock some items is anything but pleasant.
In result, instead of appreciating the work you did on those challenges, i just rushed them without even enjoying the game just to make them finished. Pretty sad in the end, even if i unlocked most of the items after hours of torture.
–> Something like “do 10 challenges of your choice to unlock this item” would be way more interesting and give us the freedom of choosing our own challenges, instead of having to grind the f*ck out of the game to get those items.
This is not “freedom”, this is forced grinding. And i hate it (like lots of players).
- Levels Mastery Inconsistency
I don’t bother having smaller levels, but while all levels have a 20 Mastery, New Zealand has 5 and Whittleton have only 15, which makes the whole thing inconsistent. Maybe add more things to do on these places?
- Lame weapons/items reskins.
The potential was here. 47 can use all sorts of guns, gadgets or objects as a weapon. Unfortunately for lot of us, you just gave us multiple reskins of knives, bombs or throwable objects while we could’ve had variety of tools instead. Too bad.
- Enemies perfectly shooting through the crowds ><
Enemies can aim at you perfectly from any position and through crowd NPCs while they’re not taking any damage, pretty immersion breaking and all but interesting if you playing gunfights.
- Ghost Mode is more a race than a Hitman mod in the end
Sadly, the Ghost Mode isn’t what i was really expecting for a multiplayer mode, as it completely breaks the way of playing the game: no more planning, taking your time to kill the target, now it’s just a race between two guys.
However, this first multiplayer introduction gives us an idea of what is possible to achieve with these new Hitman games, let’s hope there will be different modes so we can play on our rythm, without being stressed by countdowns or opponent killing targets randomly and forcing you to speed up.
- A Great Story…Ruined By It’s LAME Cutscenes
In any other videogame, not having any cutscenes but a powerpoint slideshow would’ve been a NO GO for me. Just inacceptable for an AAA 2018 game who runs latest RTX cards.
Since you’ve had a breakdown with Square Enix i guess you had to cut some parts onto budget, which makes sense.
Also, despite the fact that the cinematics are the worst ever in any Hitman game, the game itself still shines by bringing us a great and satisfying sandbox experience.
However still, if you didn’t had the time or budget to add proper cinematics like the 2016 game, you could’ve at least bring animated ingame cutscenes, i woul’dve been satisfied enough with it.
But THAT, in it’s current state, just ruins the whole story and immersion for me. I hope you’ll be able to give this sequel decent cutscenes in a near future, this game deserves much more than some Max Payne lookalike cinematics, if we can call them like that anymore…
A big waste since the rendering is pretty good anyway
Hopefully the last two levels of the game have been fully animated by your studios, and it looks very promising for the next ones, please keep it up guys
- ICA Blackballer (Black Lilly) being a simple reskinned gun
Sad to see that one of the best Signature Hitman guns gets nothing but a simple black skin. No steady aim, no particular design, just another gun in a list.
Too bad since it’s a Collector’s Edition reward
- A Dumbered Down Experience
-> Can’t pass frisk if holding an illegal item ><
Like WTF guys! I know it’s unpleasant for noob players, but seriously why?
A Hitman knows where is the danger, you don’t have to hold our hands everytime there is a stressing situation! I mean c’mon! What’s the point of being frisked if we can’t get through anyway?
You can hold the hand for casual players, but PLEASE leave the FREEDOM OF APPROACH for us, regulars!
–> hawke’s bay and other levels being tweaked for easier runs, …
It’s okay to have all those tweaks but only if on Casual mode.
There’s definitely too much hand-holding on most aspects of the game, that should be reserved for the casual mode only. At least PLEASE bring back the original frisk for normal difficulty.
- MKII Weapons placeholders
What a sad surprise to discover those lame, ridiculous MKII placeholders, you guys who are now reskin specialists, i thought you’d have much more imagination for MKII version of guns than just placing a sticker on it, unless you ran out of time…
A real waste of potential anyway. Let’s hope it’ll be patched soon. This game definitely needs more quality content than just a sticker on a duplicated gun
- Season 1 progress not transferring into Hitman™ 2
All those hundreds of hours grinding items, mastering the levels, to finally keep NOTHING AT ALL for this sequel, it’s a waste and disgusts me of redoing it again.
You said it wasn’t possible to transfer, but someone on Reddit proved it was possible. So why lying to us?
You think we wouldn’t play your game even if we kept our progress from previous games? This is just ridiculous and annoying.
Grinding the hell out of the game for the second time was not cool at all. Instead of enjoying that new experience, we had to redo everything from the start to reach out. An option to transfer progress would’ve been appreciated
- Always-Online Requirement (a.k.a Lack of Offline Support)!
Sadly, this sequel still remains mandatory online.
In consequence a great part of the game is locked online.
You said it’s to counter cheaters, it doesn’t work at all.
I think it’s a fake excuse to keep us connected…
And when we play offline, we get the strict minimal ><
Locking a good part of the game online, especially Unlocks and Mission Ratings is pretty annoying for game that plays mostly solo. And it’s a major letdown for a customer like me.
The only positive things about that here is the ability to update the game live with improvements or new content, and giving you statistics that can be useful for further development.
-> About Denuvo:
I understand that you wanted to protect your game with Denuvo. But let’s be honest for a second, it didn’t do shit! The game itself was cracked before release, you wasted money here while it could’ve been used on better things…
**III) Conclusion & Rating**
HITMAN™ 2 is an interesting sequel with its thrilling story and characters, outstanding level design and expanded gameplay and replayability, showing us the potential of the franchise evolving in a modern system.
It went on a more funny path, bringing us a broader experience than HITMAN™ with it’s new introduced gameplay features and it’s new ways to interact with the awesome levels of two games.
HITMAN™ remains on this day a far better and polished experience though despite all the great new and enhanced elements this sequel brings with him while HITMAN™ 2 feels more like an experiment, some sort of bridge between reaching something really great and polished.
HITMAN™ 2 has so much great things in it, it is a great entertainment, but Sadly all those great elements are ruined by an unstable experience due to lots of bugs/glitches
There is still a lot of work (and polish) to make the overall experience fully positive and greater than it’s predecessors.
I’m keeping hopes for HITMAN™ 3 to be the best one, as it had more time and experience to be polished, even if i remain skeptical on this day after going through this one
Final Rating: 15/20
Thank you for reading my HITMAN™ 2 Final Review.
If you want to go deeper, please scroll down for the PART II featuring how to improve the next Hitman games but also a talk about the next game: HITMAN 3.