Hitman 2 Silent Assassin is a game like Codename 47 that doesn’t get enough recognition and is often passed by when talking about Hitman games that defined the series. It is still to this date my favourite game in this long standing series.
Silent Assassin was the Hitman game that took the next step from Codename 47 and improved on the formula. Bringing it from a PC only marked to a 4 different platforms and selling more then 3.7 million copies. Making it one of the best selling Hitman games in the franchise and out selling Blood Money by more then a million.
Silent Assassin dove deeper into 47 and his character, making him more then just a ruthless killer. A man who didn’t feel like he belonged to the world, a retired Hit-man who’s forced back into the underworld when a friend is kidnapped. A tale spanning more then 20 missions and taking us all from sunny Sicily to the snowy mountains of Japan. Sadly his character would regress to a more dull interpretation in the 2006 entry. The plot of SA was one of the tightest we seen in the franchise and to my humble opinion has yet to be surpassed, still holding true to the first C47 more silly premise with super soldiers and evil scientists. Yet the story never felt like a parody or ridiculed itself, it was a more series take on the predecessor. A story about revenge, finding ones place in the world and it still had a perfect balance of humour, by giving the series all star Agent Smith more to do, then he had before. Like the first game there was also a lot of humour hidden in plain site, easily missed, especially if you don’t talk Danish. All from toilet humour to nods towards out football teams.
Silent Assassin like it’s predecessor kept the transition levels, where you had to travel deep into the heart of targets strongholds to strike a fatal blow. Making the journey towards ones goal more then just finding and eliminating ones target. Sadly not all of these intersection levels held up to the same standard and ‘Hidden Valley’ Springs to mind. Yet missions like * The Graveyard Shift*’ improved the experience and made the goal of killing Charlie Sidjan that much more rewarding.
The gameplay was slow and methodical, a tiny mistake could cost you the now iconic ranking of Silent Assassin. A ranking that became the synonym for what we only consider as the only acceptable outcome of any given mission. Yet as much as the gameplay could be frustrating due to insane AI that worked against you from the very start, you would adapt to it, all adding to the rewarding feeling of finally getting the SA title. Leaving a level with no one any wiser, then before you came.
Then there is the beautiful and masterfully crafted soundtrack by Jesper Kyd and preformed by by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra. Cementing Jesper Kyd as one of the defining sounds of the franchise. I’m listening to it while I’m writing this.
It’s save to say that if you ask me, Silent Assassin is the defining game in the series. The ideal that I hold all Hitman games up against. Just like with Codename 47, share the love for this game and what it have meant to you.