After countless of hours spent on the game it is finally time for a honest review. I’ll simply share my opinion on a few aspects off the game and use some examples.
The story took an interesting turn right from the start where there are things I like and don’t like. I like how we got to know more about 47’s past, but I don’t know if it’s handeled the right way. Making Lucas Grey a accomplish wasn’t really what I was hoping for. During S1 it was heavily implied that Lucas ‘The Shadow Client’ Grey was the antagonist, but the completely turned that around in H2. The particular cutscene where 47 confronts Grey in the old facility and Grey pours his hearth out makes me cringe every time. His performance in the post mission cutscenes of Paris, Sapienza and Colorado are completely overshadowed by this very weird bromance thing that seems to be going on. Then there’s the ridicilous ‘anti-amnesia injection’ part where 47 remembers everything from his youth all the sudden. That’s not really the way I hoped we would explore 47’s past. By the end of S1 The Constant offered us a deal to take Grey’s militia out in exchange for info on 47. Afair we didn’t get one single bit of info from him during the partnership we had with him. The story get’s interesting starting from Another Life for me. We’re finally diving into the heart of the mysterious Providence and things start to get weird. I think they kinda saved it with the expansion pass missions (NY, Maldives). That post Maldives cutscene finally made things interesting again, since it suggests that maybe Lucas Grey is indeed still the bad guy from S1. We’ll see. I’m also really excited for The Constants role in this since I saw the H3 announcement. He seems so confident and full of himself that he must be planning something big.
Apart from this, I’m not sure where IOI’s amaing at with that whole ‘47 killed Diana’s parents’ bit. Seems kinda pointless to me but whatever. I guess it’s the comics’ fault that this stuff is in the game. The only thing this could be used for is to turn Diana against 47 but that would be a Absolution-like scenario imo. I hope it isn’t gonna be a bigger part of H3’s story.
The locations were strong on this one. I’ll try to keep it as short as possible:
Hawke’s Bay: Not my favorite. It has a interesting vibe and the gameplay on this map is good for what it has to offer, but it feels more like filler content since it could be handeled better. If the house was bigger and it was located somewhere higher up in the dunes, with more stuff around, it would’ve been better. 5/10
Miami: fantastic map. Lots of gameplay opportunities, interesting kill and a well executed concept of a mission during a F1 event. It’s on par with Paris’ fashion show, although that one remains my favorite. Only thing that I despise is how much it got shown before launch. It kinda spoiled the whole thing. Never the less, it remains outstanding. 8,5/10
Colombia: my favorite map regarding storytelling. Not per se am I obsessed with everything that relates to Fernando Delgado, but the way it is told through suble details is very nice. I was also hoping for a map centered around a drug cartel, and I was not disappointed. The feeling you get when sneaking around the coca field is very special. I like. 7,5/10
Mumbai: It’s very good gameplay wise but way too big imo. First time playing it felt very claustrophobic and uncomfortable. I know my what to do to get to job done by now but I still think it’s too big to have a satisfying gameplay experience. There shouldn’t be bigger maps than this, since it’s basically pointless. 6,5/10
Whittleton Creek: Small but beautiful. Obviously made for nostalgic fanboys of BM’s A New Life. It is very different though which is actually good. Almost each house is accesible and has something to offer. The lack of unique kills does bother me a bit, but not to much. The only downside to this mission are the required clues you have to find. Every. Single. Time. Tbf 99% of the time I play this one I kill the targets and then just quit. Nice level with great storytelling, but lame clues. 7,5/10
Isle of Sgail: Certainly a special map but can’t say I like it that much. It tries to combine elements of Beldingford Manor and Dance with the Devil together but fails miserably at it, imo. The maps feels a little dull for me with all the dark brick environments are boring interiour. It is very special in terms of climbing though, which has it’s benefits, but the rest of the maps doesn’t really interest me. It’s too crowded and takes away the mysterious aspect it could (and should) have gotten. The Constant walking around doesn’t make it more interesting to me since he doesn’t add much to the level. 6/10
New York: Exellent little map to add more to the story. I like the cold vibe of the map and how it is represented in every part of the level. Also probs to IOI how they handeled the side objective with 2 possibilities: databreach from the vault of data disk from target and 2 guys. There isn’t much more to say besides it’s very well executed and great element as part of the whole thing. 7/10
Maldives: A dream come true. This is the kind of level I want in a hitman game. Tropical, rich, colourfull, relaxing, enjoyable. The layout is well done and gameplay wise it has much to offer both for the story mission as for contracts mode. This is one of those maps you return to simply to mess around. And it has some nice quiet spots which a lot of maps lack. I like. 9/10
I really liked the targets in Hitman 2. I’ll mention a few of the memorable ones to keep make my opinion clear in short
Sierra Knox: fantastic to have a target moving around in a vehicle and actually being able to kill her in that same vehicle. Very good decision to make the race end and get her out of the car to reveal some more kill possibilities. Very refreshing and interesting for gameplay
Rico Delgado: the man to carry the Delgado legacy. Love him or hate him but he lifted the cartel’s drug empire to an whole other level. Nice how he is so hurt by the loss of his uncle and the way he honours him. Plus the cars, jewelry, his plastic wife, all the gold shit and to top it off: my little Mijo. Classic drug kingpin shit. Kill opportunities where fine AF on this guy. All of them were on par of how cool they were. Very nicely done.
Janus: classic grumpy old man character with a very well executed background story about the KGB stuff. Back when the game was released my grandfather had just passed away and Janus reminded me off him. It actually hurt to kill him with the pillow. The clues, although not good, also reveal some interesting stuff about him. I love Janus as a target.
Athena Savalas: stone cold character that fits the role of a bank CEO 100%. A hag like woman with a ruthless character. Her comments about everyone below her makes her very believable. Although her route isn’t that fantastic, I still like her as a target.
Tyson Williams: finally a more ‘nasty’ target. His fat, scabby body and his tyrant-like character make him so easy to hate, yet those are the reasons I love him so much. It’s so satisfying to kill a dude like this in a (ironically) beautiful place like Haven Island. Imo the game needed a dude like this.
Special mention: Washington Twins. My least favorite targets of the game. Their personality doesn’t go any further than being ‘bad black bitches’. The kills are cool but that’s about it. They also don’t fit into the level.
Basically the same as S1 so I’m used to the way it works. It was a pity at the start that progress transfer wasn’t a thing but once I got everything unlocked again I didn’t care anymore. I’m happy that it is confirmed in H3. I do however have some critical feedback on some challenges: the classic challenges are worth it if you’re going for the all black suit and maybe the briefcase, but the lockpick and coins really aren’t worth the grind. Challenges like complete 10 escalations to unlock x unlock feel like a chore but they’ll unlock eventually once you play the game enough. But the one thing I really despise is the Siberia grind for the arctic dragunov sniper. It’s ridicilous how long you have to play to get this thing. I already gave up.
Lighting in Hitman 2 and Legacy maps is a sensitive topic to talk about. I think the introduction of bloom and lens flares is unnecessary. Lens flares worked in most of the maps but the bloom completely fucks the gameplay experience up. Example: Miami and Whittleton Creek. Then it was implemented into the Legacy maps and well, it didn’t turn out well for half of the maps. The experience of playing Sapienza is almost completely ruined for me. I’m one of the few who prefers the 2016 version over any of the later ones. Paris and Colorado also didn’t turn out that well. Both to orange, which makes the whole map (incl interiours) look orange. A huge waste. I must admit that Marrakesh, Bangkok and Hokkaido look better than ever before. I don’t wanna sound too negative but lighting in some of these maps needs some hard work. And luckily IOI’s knows it.
It has been mentioned countless of times that the game is still full of bugs and isn’t polished to say the least. IOI stopping with updating the game was thorn in the eye for many of us. S1 was very polished, H2 very messy. Tbh there is only one bug which completely ruins the whole game for me and that is the bug in the video below. No matter what I do, the game keeps moving the camera up by itself. I can’t properly focus on something. I can’t aim without trouble. Sniping is a disaster. It simply isn’t relaxing to play sometimes. Rather frustrating and annoying.
I haven’t encountered any other mayor bugs apart from the one’s at launch (homing briefcase) so I guess that’s a good sign. There are others who do have. I really hope IOI doesn’t go down the same path with H3, since that would be very unprofessional.
Some of the new unlocks are very usefull and/or fun to use. Dartgun, RFID explosive, tripwire explosive, emetic grenades, remote tasers and the best of them all: the briefcase. I really appreciate IOI for bringing this beauty back to us (still waiting for that unpacking animation though). Also cool, realistic new guns like the uzi, ak47, dragunov sniper and sawn-off shotgun. Hopefully more real life guns like this in H3!
The downside of new unlocks is that a shitload of 'em are reskins. Explosive, melee or pistol reskins. That’s not really necessary is it? I mean I didn’t even unlock some of the items on purpose because I don’t want another reskin in my inventory. 40% of the unlocks is great, the others are meh or shit. No offense but get a little more creative IOI
I want to finish this story with a few minor things:
- The neon colors in the HUD make the game look unprofessional
- Sapienza lighting and skybox, along with various other maps, need to be fixed asap in the H3 legacy pack
- More efficient post launch support to fix bugs and add some unique items every now and then
- Categorization of the suits menu just like you did with weapons
- No more Bangkok’s, Colorado’s or Hawke’s Bay’s anymore. Please.
- More irl guns
- Updating accents in S1 Legacy maps, along with cutscenes
- Please be more clear in your marketing strategies. The whole ‘promote special assignments as missions’ fiasco was embarassing.
This is my review now. Thank you guys at IOI (@Travis_IOI, @Clemens_IOI and the rest) for the amazing experience, and keep up the good work!