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xarax
3rd Oct 2002, 16:31
I am testing/reviewing Hitman 2. I think I will most likely buy it after the review is done.

First impressions:

The graphics are excellent. I have a GeForce2 64MB Ultra card and a 21" monitor. Very sweet. You can adjust the rendering distance, which I maxed out. Very cool to see extreme distance (binoculars are available).

The usual controls for sound and music are available, including EAX support. Also sweet.

The first real mission to go after a mafia don appears to be non-linear. There are several possible ways to get onto the estate. Objectives can change mid-mission. I expect this to be typical of all the missions; non-linear and changing objectives.

In-mission saves are available, but very limited. This was my biggest gripe about Hitman 1; unable to save during a mission. The 3 difficulty settings affect how many times you can save during a mission, and that includes overwriting previous saves. This is a very annoying design flaw, IMHO. It makes for much more time consuming mission playing, because you have to replay too much when you make a mistake. I know that real life has no "save" feature, but this is a game. If I want to play a mission with no saving, then I'll do that; I don't need the game to enforce my preferred playstyle. Let me save as often or as little as I want.

I am playing on normal difficulty, which allows for the most saves. I do not know whether changing the difficulty has any effect on in-mission objectives, power-ups, AI patrol patterns, etc.

I've just arrived at the 2nd mission, which has an extremely tight time limit for completion. Combined with the save limitation, it seems that I'll be restarting this mission far too many times.

There is a map (apparently transmitted to you via CIA keyhole spy satellites) that shows real-time movement of the AI. It is somewhat useful, but lacks the ability to change elevation. It only shows your current elevation. If you want to see what's happening on the 2nd floor, you have to go the 2nd floor. It would have been logical to have "up" and "down" controls to view the elevations independent of your current elevation.
EDIT: After posting this review, I found out how to display other elevations by clicking on the upper lefthand corner to get a pull-down menu.

The AI appears to be well designed. Enemies, innocents, even animals behave reasonably well and react to events. You can even shoot birds out of the sky.

Locations like Sicily, St.Petersberg, etc. have native tongue speakers (italian, russian, etc.), which is a refreshing change from english-only (or whatever locale you bought) wherever you go in most games.

So far, no bugs, no crashes. I am playing with graphics and sound maxed out. Responsiveness is very good on my Intel P4 1.4Ghz 256MB system.

Maybe I should RTFM again. I haven't figured out how to heal after being injured. Injuries do not carry over to the next mission.
EDIT: Injuries cannot be healed. Not a big deal, since missions can be restarted.

There is an interesting "threat assessment" meter that shows the anxiety level of nearby AI. Disguises don't always fool the AI, so the meter comes in handy for knowing when you're about to get busted.


Hitman 1 was so awful I returned it for a full refund. I am pleased to see that most of the bugs and flaws have been addressed in Hitman 2.

Grey Mouser
3rd Oct 2002, 16:58
Glad to hear you are enjoying it xarax. My feelings about Hitman 1 are similar to yours, and it does seem like IO listened and corrected most of what I saw as flaws. Hitman 2 = a big improvement, at least to me.

Also...nice to see you around the forums.

Fetch
3rd Oct 2002, 20:47
1) You cannot heal during a mission. This is a design decision carried over from H1 that I agree with tremendously. You soak up enormous amounts of damage, so the lack of regen is not a big loss.

2) In contrast, I feel the limited amount of saves adds intensity to the game. You're more cautious, and conversely more likely to pop anyone who could alert others to your presence.

3) I played Hitman 1 all the way through ;) (using lots of net spoilers) H2 is better in every regard, as far as I can tell. Mission 2 gave me very strong flashbacks to La Femme Nikita, it was awesome.

Saba
3rd Oct 2002, 21:18
IO Interactive has taken all the best elements of Hitman: Codename 47 and made them better. I have yet to notice a single flaw in the game; the graphics are superb, the missions and locales are well designed, colorful, and interesting, the voice acting is a big step up from the original game, and the storyline/plot is very intriguing. The demo was only a bit unstable, but I can understand, considering it was a prerelease. Besides that, the demo itself ran fine on my computer. I'm sure this issue has been addressed in the full version.

The first game started out in a dark mental institute, the second started in a colorful monastery. This seems to be a fine precursor to what we can expect from the rest of the game. While I haven't gotten very far into this game, I can say that from what I'm seeing, Hitman 2 has achieved all the potential I knew the first game had--and perhaps even more.

Edit:

There is a map (apparently transmitted to you via CIA keyhole spy satellites) that shows real-time movement of the AI. It is somewhat useful, but lacks the ability to change elevation. It only shows your current elevation. If you want to see what's happening on the 2nd floor, you have to go the 2nd floor. It would have been logical to have "up" and "down" controls to view the elevations independent of your current elevation.

There are up and down controls--toward the upper left hand corner, you'll notice the name of your map's current location. Click on that, and you'll have a pull down menu where you can choose another location, ie 1st floor, 2nd floor, Villa Grounds, etc.

There is an interesting "threat assessment" meter that shows the anxiety level of nearby AI. Disguises don't always fool the AI, so the meter comes in handy for knowing when you're about to get busted.

I'll have to give the developers some praise for this feature as well. It's a great tool to let you know if you've been detected and
what you're doing wrong. While I'm at it, IOI's done a great job on the HUD. Very easy to use. It took me only a few minutes to get used to it the first time I played, and it's much faster and more efficient than the previous one.