Overall the game is pretty good, especially for its age. The graphic still looks fine by today’s standards, the gameplay is alright and the atmosphere was much darker and grittier than the newer games like Blood Money or WoA. The gameplay for the most part is fine, although lockpicking takes forever and the fact that KO’ing someone is a temporary state makes thing a bit more annoying (though you are allowed 2 “mess ups” before SA is ruined so you can kill a guard for his outfit). Also guards sometimes will just see through your disguise even though you’re not doing anything wrong and just open fire on you (I found this happening mainly on Beldingford Manor and Deadly Cargo) although the sliding tech (hold down Shift and spam W) makes getting around much less of a hassle. The levels do differ in terms of quality. The original levels were generally pretty good and memorable, with my favorite of them being Meat King’s Party. The cold blue tone mixed with the blood everywhere, the costumes NPCs wear, the way they talk and all the animals being butchered makes for a very eerie and chilling feeling. The orange used for the rooms housing Malcom Sturrock as well as the scene of what he is doing and the brutal kill you can do on him with the meat hook creates this absolutely disgusting, gory and grotesque atmosphere, it is PERFECTION. The remake levels on the other hand were hit or miss. Some of them were great, like Tradition of the Trades which I would consider to be my favorite level in the entire game. The metal detectors discourage using firearms forcing you to up your game and play with precision, intels are left in logical spot which helps the player navigate and makes you feel clever when figuring something out, and the targets have plenty of approaches to them which adds replayablity. In contrast, some of the other remakes don’t have the same quality. The four China levels are all pretty meh, with the first one taking two minutes to complete, the second one not really adding much compared to Codename 47, the third one being pretty confusing to figure out, and the fourth one still retaining the randomness from Codename 47 with the Jade Statue. Deadly Cargo (the remake combining Gunrunner’s Paradise and Plutonium Runs Loose) was easily the shittest mission of the entire game for me. The guards seemed to be incredibly trigger happy, the ship was confusing as fuck to navigate, defusing the bomb not being listed as an objective, and the fact that you have to work on a time crunch since the SWAT team raid the ship and have a shootout with the henchmen, and if anyone dies during the shootout an alert will be triggered, and 3 alerts mean SA rating is fucked. All these factors combined just made for a very unfun gaming experience. The final level felt a bit underwhelming. It wasn’t hard to figure out what you have to do, but it’s a single target and you pretty much go in a straight line so it ended up feeling like a lead up to a finale that never came. The cutscenes were pretty cool and 47 hallucinating what was real and what was in his mind was great, since they transitioned smoothly into the missions, although about halfway through they ran out of ideas I guess so the cutscenes were nowhere to be found. The story is kinda non-existent and pretty much just act as a lead up to the whole Franchise plot in Blood Money. Conclusion, I think this game is pretty good. Some parts have definitely aged worse than others, but it’s still a confident stealth game that I think any hardcore Hitman fans or even casual players would be able to enjoy.
i agre whit except for the final mision bein medicore in my opinion is my favorite final level of the old games is my favorite of the modern antique is the isle of sgail but anyays to me it seems better because the twist at the beginning that 47 commits suicide I believed it for a few seconds but it seems to me what could have been the level of the train because the truth the intro to me seems badass but you can be stealthy while a fucking army of swat comes after you and that does not feel forced not as in absolution that in hotel dexter is that the cops who think that the man running from the burning building and collapsing that he and not someone else is given the order to shoot to kill is dumb but anyway if the truth that mission I think it could have been much better if it was running away from swat and not have to kill anyone would have been much better and then kill the target in a separate level as revenge would have been much better because it would be a target that really would have a reason to want revenge
I recently replayed all classic Hitman games - never played them since ~2008-2009. They all still very playable and enjoyable (especially if you already played them in 2000s), I like all 4 of them, but if I had to pick the weakest one - it certainly be a Contracts.
I started play Hitman circa 2001 at my friend’s PC. We were skipped school together and his family has a decent PC (i think it was a Pentium 3 or 4 machine, while my family still has outdated Pentium 120 machine without a 3D graphic accelerator). The game just blow my mind from the first second - the concept was so cool and fresh; the almost photorealistic graphics (for its time) and impressive smooth animation gave me a “true next gen experience”. The sniper rifle extraction from briefcase was so cool to watch at. And we were like 7 year old kids and managed to play and almost beat this game (even the Colombia missions, which I like, because they gave a some kind a contrast and variety to the game). I think it’s still my favourite Hitman game.
In 2003 my family got a new PC, so of course I want to get a Hitman game to play at home, but can’t find the original one and had to buy the Hitman 2. And just like the first title it totally impressed me - I played the first “Anathema” mission for like 50 times, constantly replaying it and cannot stop enjoying it. The St. Petersburg’s missions are also very interesting. I think I cannot beat the infamous japanese missions at that time, so I played with the first 5-6 missions and was very happy about it.
And then Contracts was released. The same friend took it to me and he was like “look, a new Hitman game”. And I even didn’t know that new Hitman was in development. Of course i was very excited, but after installing and playing the game (and beating it in 1 or 2 evenings) i was like “what the hell is it?”. It didn’t impress me the same way that first two did - the first proper mission (Meat King’s Party) was promising, but after that game slowly falls aparts. It was a very unpleasant surprise to discover a fact, that half of this “new” game is just recirculated missions from the first game. Now I partially understand why they did this - majority of western gamers played on consoles and Hitman-1 was a PC-only title, so for many people that indeed was a “new” levels, but i just don’t appreciate it at that time. For me, it was a horrible shameless cashgrab - unlike the first two titles, there wasn’t any technical innovation in this game (except for that lame post-processing filters), i didn’t like the actually new levels and considered them rather dull and uninspiring comparing to the best levels in Hitman 1 & 2. The only thing I truly liked in Contracts at that time was Jesper Kyd soundtrack - as usual, he perfectly set a distincitve tone for the entire game and did so much to make the Contracts’ unique atmosphere.
And now I think that the game is totally worth playing and I really enjoy it right now. It’s so cool that all 4 classic Hitman games feels so different to each other (and each of it has a own unique atmosphere), despite being founded on same engine, concept and gameplay ideas.
And I really want to find out how Contracts was developed, why and where IO gets an semi-remake idea, was there any leftovers (like cutted maps) for this game and other stuff like that. If somebody has that kind of information - please share it. Maybe it is possible to somehow connect to core developers and take a neat interview?
Sorry for bad English, not a native speaker.
Hitman: Contracts is one of the greatest games of the franchise and an interesting remake of C47 missions.
It was my first entry into the series and it was love at first sight when i discovered it
Years later it still remains a great sequel, punctuated by a unique dark atmosphere, epic missions, and outstanding music score by Jesper Kyd
Personal rating (classic games):
- Hitman: Blood Money
- Hitman: Contracts
- Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
- Hitman: Codename 47
I dont think they ran out of ideas for the cutscenes but rather I think the cutscenes were specifically designed to segue into a location, not a level, and since 4 of the later levels are set in Hong Kong, we only get the cutscene before the first one. Hope that makes sense.