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Hitman: Blood Money Review

Hitman: Blood Money Review pack shot
Developer:IO Interactive
Publisher:Eidos
Genre:Action
Platform:PC
Official Site: http://www.hitmanbloodmoney.com
Release Date:May 26, 2006 (UK)
Reviewer:Ryan Sayce (Stan)
Buy now at Amazon.co.uk

It is surprising just how satisfying it can be to make the perfect hit - just like Leon says: the better the hitman, the closer to the target he gets when he makes his kill. Hitman Blood Money is the latest in the franchise following Mr 47 - the world’s number one contract killer.

While this is the best looking Hitman to date with all the pixel shading goodness we have come to expect from the current crop of games, it’s not quite up to the standard of some of the latest games. I have heard several people complain of poor performance in this game, but it has to be said that using the latest beta drivers I did not suffer from slowdown [although on a SLI rig I shouldn’t get slowdown]. Sadly a lot of the character models are reused multiple times per level; this brings you out of the world somewhat.

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The biggest appeal of the Hitman series is the ability to perform the hit in any number of ways, from all out slaughter of everyone in the level to swapping out the prop gun used in a stage show with a real one so that it looks like a accident. One of my favourite levels is where you have to take out some one under witness protection, he is heavily guarded and under constant watch. Now as everyone knows cop’s love doughnuts - especially those on a stake out - so I sneak up to the doughnut van, inject some poison into them and sit back and wait for them to get delivered to the FBI hidden in a van outside the witness’s house. With those agents taken care of I sneak into the stakeout van and take their clothes Now I am able to just walk in through the front door without having to fire a bullet or even be searched. Sadly the easiest way to do most of the missions is just to find the guy with the right uniform kill him and take it to gain access to most of the level.

IO Interactive have managed to remove or fix almost all the things that made the previous Hitman titles so damn frustrating; one way they have done this is by having it so that when in disguise you really only get noticed when you mess up or your notoriety is high. One of the things that they have been hyping up is the notoriety system. Basically the more witnesses and evidence you leave behind, the more likely you are to be noticed on the next level. You can use some of your hard earned cash to bribe local officials to lower your notoriety level but I have to be honest, for the most part this wasn’t needed.

The better you do in a hit, the more money you are awarded and the less you have to spend on bribes. This then can be spent on upgrading your inventory. You can buy items like a better lock pick that reduces the time taken to pick a lock or upgrade your weapons. I would recommend buying a silencer for your pistol as this makes those well guarded hits all the easier and also makes you feel like a professional hitman. Sadly I found that spending any of your hard earned blood money on upgrading your sniper rifle a complete waste as you don’t get a map of the level you are going to play before the missions starts. You really don’t know if you will require the sniper rifle until after you have explored the level and even then there are very few uses for it, which is a real pity as I fancied doing a long range hit from the safety of a rooftop or window.

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You can’t be a professional hitman without having a large cache of weapons at your disposal, these range from your typical silenced pistol and rifles, to close combat weapons like a kitchen knife. If some one happens to walk in on you while you are slitting some poor guy’s throat you can quickly and accurately throw the knife at the witness. Mr 47’s jacket must be made of the same stuff as the Tardis as you can fit any number of pistols and sub machine guns under there, in fact the only weapons you cannot fit are the rifles. Rather than attract the attention of everyone on the level by carrying a huge assault rifle under your arm, you can place these rifles in certain spots littered throughout the map, even then you won’t use them unless you want the hit to end up in a bloodbath.

Summary

This is most definitely the best Hitman game to date, with intuitive controls and semi-forgiving Game-play. Sadly it isn’t perfect. If you want to you can just run around the level shooting everyone in it in the face with your big gun. If you choose to play the game this way you could complete it in a few hours, but you would be missing out on what makes this game great. It took me about eight hours to complete the game - now while this sounds quite short you have to realise that this game has huge amounts of replay value with me going back and doing all of the levels at least twice more. If you use your friendly local search engine you can find Hitman Blood Money for less than twenty pounds, given this I have no problem thoroughly recommending this game to everyone as long as they are of an appropriate age.

The bottom line
8.0 / 10

Good stuff

  • Massive Replayability
  • Open ended level structure
  • Decent Graphics
  • Improved Controls
  • More forgiving than the previous games
  • Ability to upload your stats

Not so good stuff

  • Limited use of Rifles
  • Can be short if you are a gung ho type
  • Can be easy with the right uniform


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