Agent 47’s locked and loaded once again.
IO Interactive did excellent work with the 2016 reboot of the Hitman series, and there’s not long left now until the return of Agent 47 once again. Hitman 2 is almost upon us, and it promises the same brand of systemic-based gameplay that made the first title as great as it was. In this feature, we’re going to take a look at fifteen of the game’s biggest talking points, from new features and mechanics, to the content that it will be launching with, and more. Without further ado, let’s jump right in.
IO Interactive rebooted the Hitman series in 2016, and the upcoming sequel will be going forward with that continuity. We will, of course, once again play as contracted assassin Agent 47, who is still working for the International Contract Agency (ICA). Agent 47 will travel across the globe as he eliminates a number of high profile targets, with his main missions being hunting down the mysterious Shadow Client and his militia. Along the way, interestingly enough, Agent 47 will also uncover the hidden truths and mysteries of his own past.
Emergent stealth gameplay is a hallmark of the Hitman franchise, which was taken even further with the 2016 reboot, which saw a bevy of mechanics and systems interacting with each other to provide endless opportunities in gameplay. Hitman 2 will continue in that fashion, featuring large, sandbox levels that will present players with countless opportunities and similarly numerous means to accomplish their objectives.
For all its accomplishments, Hitman (2016) proved to be a bit controversial with audiences due to its episodic nature. Thankfully, that is not going to be the case with the upcoming sequel. While 2016’s Hitman was released as an episodic title, with the game being split into multiple missions and each of them being released separately as individual episodes, Hitman 2 will instead follow a more traditional release cycle, with all of its base content being released in one go in a more conventional manner.
What will that base content include? Just like its predecessor, Hitman 2 will feature six separate missions taking place in six distinct locations. In each location, Agent 47 will be assigned a main target (or maybe even multiple main targets) in a sandbox level, which we already discussed above. While we don’t yet know what each of these six locations will be, based on the ones that IO Interactive have shown so far, we have high expectations.
The first locations in Hitman 2 that was revealed by the developers – also the location that the game was announced with, incidentally – is a race track in Miami. The level includes a race course where a Formula 1-type race is being conducted, as well as surrounding areas, with Agent 47 having multiple targets to take out.
Other than Miami, IO Interactive have also shown off another location in the game, and it’s drastically different from the race course, taking place in the dense, lush jungles of Colombia. Agent 47’s mission here is to take out three high-ranking members of the Delgado Cartel. Getting serious Metal Gear Solid 3 vibes here- which is good, because Metal Gear Solid 3 is bloody brilliant.
Though the core experience of Hitman 2 will be quite similar to the 2016 title (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?), IO Interactive are adding on some interesting new stuff to give players more options while playing. One such thing is concussive gadgets and grenades, which you can now use to render NPCs unconscious or temporarily unable to do- well, anything, really. Sure, it’s not the most subtle approach, and I’m sure you’d much rather be dressed as an innocent chef while your target chokes on a poisoned pie, but hey- it’s always good to have more options.
That’s not all though. Remember the briefcase from previous Hitman titles? That is also returning in Hitman 2, and you know what that means, of course. This briefcase will allow us to carry larger weapons, like, say, a sniper rifle, and move through crowds, big and small, with these weapons, without them being noticed by anyone.
NEW HUD FEATURES
Hitman 2 will also be making some slick and smart changes to its HUD and user interface to enable you to be a badass assassin a bit better. For instance, the minimap will be seeing some changes, and will now allow you to track targets in real time. Meanwhile, there will also be grids that you can visually see that will represent what exactly security cameras in the game are seeing, so that navigating around them should be easier than before.
Another new feature in the interface is the picture-in-picture feature, which promises to be pretty handy in tight situations. Essentially, any time something important happens in a different part of the map, such as guards running into bodies that you may have left behind in the open, you’ll get a small window in the corner of the screen showing you that event and alerting you about it. Ideally, you shouldn’t be leaving bodies out in the open anyway, but it’s good to know this feature’s in the game nonetheless.
Each of the six missions will of course contain the primary target for Agent 47 to take out, but there will be several other objectives and missions for players to tackle as well, should you choose to do so. These will be Elusive Targets, Escalation Contracts, and player Contracts, among other things.
But that’s not all as far as optional side content goes. Sniper Assassin, which was released standalone along with the game’s announcement and made immediately playable to those who pre-ordered Hitman 2, will also be bundled with the full game when it launches. This mode sees players put in levels, who are then tasked with taking out set targets with their sniper rifle within a set time limit, and features many of the same dynamic and systemic mechanics and gameplay elements from the base game itself. Sniper Assassin is playable solo, however it can be played co-operatively as well.
HITMAN (2016) MAPS
But wait, there’s more. Hitman 2 will have six of its own new maps and missions, of course, but it will also include all six maps from the 2016 release as well. These six maps will be completely remastered, and will be updated to include all the new features and mechanics that are being introduced in Hitman 2. So in case you missed Hitman (2016) the first time around, this sounds like an excellent deal.
In case all that content isn’t going to be enough for you, IO Interactive, unsurprisingly, plans to support Hitman 2 with post-launch content as well. The developers have announced two paid post-launch expansions for the game, which will add a lot of additional content, including new locations, missions, weapons, outfits, and sniper maps.
XBOX ONE X AND PS4 PRO ENHANCEMENTS
Like most AAA releases in today’s day and age, the upcoming Hitman 2 is going to be enhanced for the upgraded versions of both, the Xbox One and the PS4 Pro. On the Xbox One X, the game promises to support HDR, as well as 4K visuals, though whether or not these will be native or dynamic isn’t known at this point. There hasn’t been any official confirmation on the PS4 Pro side of things, but we can expect enhancements on that front as well.