Hitman: Blood Money - PC review

The Hitman series has been the ultimate way to live your blood lusting fantasies.

No doubt about it, almost all of us – usually after watching one of the Bond films at Christmas – craved the spy lifestyle. Sneaking around, silently dispatching lots of evil "baddies" and of course, getting a quick roll in the hay with that sexy little minx that’s endlessly teased you during your quest.

Unfortunately, spy games have been a bit, well, crap in the main. So the life of the Hitman has been the closest route we’ve been able to travel thus far and the life is much the same. Sneaking around, craftily obtaining disguises, offing folks. But no lovely lady at the end of it though. Damn.

If you've played previous Hitman games you'll know the drill. Or axe. Or carving knife.

As Agent 47 – who still sports his trademark shiny bald head – you’re handed a series of increasingly difficult "jobs" that require at least one unsuspecting victim to shuffle off this mortal coil. The tasks you are given usually sound simple, but can be gloriously convoluted in execution.

The way you go about offing "the client" is entirely up to you. You can, if you so wish, go against the hitman lifestyle entirely and merely cause merry mayhem and slaughter any poor soul who happens to find themselves in the way of you and your task.

The real test, however, is attaining the "Silent Assassin" rating by the end of each mission. Again, how you achieve this is down to you, but you need to get in, dispatch your target, and get out again as quickly as possible while not arousing any suspicion.

You could utilise your handy length of piano wire to dispatch a pastry chef. Then take his clothes and make your merry way, cool as the proverbial cucumber, into a restaurant kitchen and find yourself able to slip in just enough poison into your subject's food that they keel over at the table as you casually slip out the back and collect your pay cheque.

Sounds great, but there's one big problem. There always is with Hitman games.

To make this "feel" like you’re taking part in a real hitman scenario, you'd expect those computer controlled characters wandering around to go about their business in a realistic manner.

Sadly, too many instances occur of odd actions – particularly during outbreaks of fire fights – where these AI characters start acting in ridiculous ways.

When you’re forced to start a scenario all over again thanks to a character strangely looking through your well made disguise for no particular reason from 50 metres away, you can’t help but feel a little frustrated. Or even be forced to hurl a controller across the room.

Verdict

When Hitman – Blood Money works, it’s beautiful. Achieving a Silent Assassin rating after a long and complicated mission is an absolute joy. But when things go wrong, you're dumped right back into the world of "it’s only a game".

A case of if you can stomach the odd foible, you’ll love it. But not for the easily frustrated.

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