Step into Agent 47’s shoes again.
Hitman 2 was announced at this year’s E3, and less than two years after the last episodic adventure of 2016. This time around, Hitman 2 will not be an episodic adventure, but a fully realized espionage thriller, with a lot of post launch content to come. In this third-person stealth/adventure title, you once again play as Agent 47 in one of six places scattered across the world, in amazing and beautifully exotic locations. With the core game still the same as before, can it still meaningfully evolve? Or are the developers at IO Interactive happy with the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach? We had a chance to play a small mission in Hitman 2 at E3; we’ll break down the important parts of the E3 demo to discover just what this new Hitman game has in store for us.
For the demo, we had a chance to visit the exotic location of Miami; a tropical paradise where everyone is wild and crazy in the streets, but danger lurks just around the corner. This is where Agent 47 has been assigned for this part of the game, at the annual Global Innovation motor race, where he must infiltrate a high speed car race even and stop the person he was hired to kill in the process. There is a silent war going on where two companies are competing to control the military tech industry, and it’s up to Agent 47 to eliminate the leaders on one side, namely Robert and Sierra Knox. Sierra, Robert’s daughter, is a brilliant financial wizard, and a race car driver. It’s up to Agent 47 to retire (kill) Sierra and change the wave of where their cards lie for their companies’ future. Like much of the prequel game’s atmosphere, Hitman 2 is popping with colors and pizzazz. Everyone is here to party, everyone is here to enjoy themselves, have fun and watch the race. There’s confetti streaming down from the sky in celebration of this big race, tents are popped up everywhere and every scene is bursting with color.
This is a public place to come to when people want to have a good time, so people are everywhere. Agent 47 has to make his way through the crowd, similar to how you’d do it in any Assassin’s Creed game(or even a Hitman game), by shimmying, twisting and wiggling his way through the crowd, making sure he doesn’t make any sudden moves that would look suspicious to security guards that linger everywhere. Agent 47 is dressed in a normal shirt and pants, along with his usual bald head. He doesn’t look out-of-place. You know, other than the barcode on his head. In fact, he looks like a common citizen, so there’d be no real reason to suspect that he was a killer-for-higher. That brings me to one of the cool aspects of Hitman, and that’s that you can approach any given situation differently, much like you could in the 2016 game. If I wanted, I could have knocked a security guard out who frisked me before entering the racing area where the audience gathers to enjoy themselves. You have to remember to maintain your stealth if you want a fully successful mission, however.
"Next up, I have to acquire a security guard’s uniform to get closer to the race. Still within the parking structure, I see an area that says Security and use my Instinct mode, which helps me see through walls and outlines every person of interest around."
After smoothly making my way through the crowd, I have to find and enter the parking lot below the event, to pick up a little help. There are all sorts of characters down here. From janitors, to mascots in flamingo costumes, security guards, and more commoners; I have to get past all of them with finesse, so I’m not discovered. I find the vehicle I’m looking for, and opening it up, I find the help I came here for- I find a silenced pistol inside. I’ve got some help on my side, besides just bare fists now. Time to march on.
Next up, I have to acquire a security guard’s uniform to get closer to the race. Still within the parking structure, I see an area that says Security and use my Instinct mode, which helps me see through walls and outlines every person of interest around. There are three security guards that I can sense. Now I could fight them or shoot them all, but this game is more stealth, it wants you to retain your secrecy. So I do the next best thing: find one of the three security guards by himself, and throw a fire extinguisher at him that I found hanging from a support column nearby. The sounds in the game are authentic. I could hear the clink of the steel extinguisher make contact with the security guard’s skull, then crack on the concrete at it landed. The only bad part is that it was loud, and the other security guards are just around the corner, feet away. But they didn’t seem to hear any of that. That’s one of the downfalls of Hitman 2, the AI doesn’t seem that intelligent. Especially when loud noises in a quiet area do nothing to attract their attention. So after everything, I drag the knocked out guard around and into a storage locker, steal his uniform, then find the surveillance nearby and destroy the evidence.
Now its time to head back outside and behind the event. You have to remember that even though Agent 47 looks like a dead ringer for a security guard, the actual security guards can tell the difference- which makes sense; so just maintain your distance.
"I knock him out and set up my sniper rifle. Using Instinct, I can sense which vehicle hosts Sierra, as everything turns gray in Instinct mode, except her race car turns red. I aim down the scope. Zoom in. Fire. Mission accomplished."
Back outside, I sneak through some secured areas, and around the event toward a vibrantly pink building and through some chain link fences. Beside the house and behind the fence, I find the infamous briefcase. Opening it up, I find my final weapon to help me finish this area: the Sieger 300 Ghost sniper rifle. I find a stair case and make my way to the rooftop. Above, a guard is stationed there to oversee from a distance opposite the event. I knock him out and set up my sniper rifle. Using Instinct, I can sense which vehicle hosts Sierra, as everything turns gray in Instinct mode except her race car turns red. I aim down the scope. Zoom in. Fire. Mission accomplished.
As you’ve probably figured out, Hitman 2 is an awful lot like the others in the series, especially 2016’s version. Not much has changed, but not much has to. It all works fairly well, except for the clueless AI that don’t seem to pose much threat. If you’ve enjoyed the games in the past, you’ll definitely want to try Hitman 2 when it releases.