In this weekly column where our Deputy Editor Daryl finds some good retro content, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin from 2002 is this week's topic.
Last week, we finally saw the release to IO Interactive's Hitman trilogy; Hitman 3. Already earning its development budget back, its also earned great reviews.
However, this can be seen as the second iteration of Hitman. Many remember the series from the days of 'Contracts' and 'Blood Money' from the PS2/Xbox/GameCube era.
But one that sticks out above the rest here, is the second entry; 'Hitman 2: Silent Assassin', released in 2002 on the consoles.
Here's why it was the perfect introduction to players who had never played a game like this before, while also making the case for why it still holds up today, almost.
A Silent Assassination of Fun
IO Interactive began in September of 1998, trying to create an MMO for PC, however they switched gears, wanting to create a 'shooter' instead. This turned into 'Himan', released in November of 2000.
While it received low to average reviews, something was there, and a sequel was developed, released in 2002, which is where the series really came into its own.
This was the game that introduced me to the series, and while the tutorial level dragged, it was its first mission, 'Anathema', that really showed me the best introduction into what the series was capable of.
You begin in the distance, scouting who's coming and going, and you have multiple choices. You could disguise yourself as a bodyguard, or as a delivery man to take out the mob-boss.
Eventually when you do succeed, you find a car and drive off, with the mission as a success.
However, its such as fun mission, that it should really be taught in game-design lectures of how to introduce a player to a game.
Its design, its pace, and the options in how to achieve a mission, was something not seen since Metal Gear Solid, released four years previous.
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Why it deserves a Remake
While IO Interactive are now busy with their '007 Project', which couldn't be more of a perfect fit, it makes one wonder as to how the mission could be remade for the current engine.
Compared to the missions that the recent games offer, 'Anathema' and many others from the classic Hitman games from 18 years ago, they're not as substantial in the many ways and features that you can do in Hitman 3 for instance.
However, there's always a chance that modders may find a way to insert missions into the modern engine, and see just what 'Anathema' can look like.
For now however, if you haven't played the first three games, and you have a PC, you can't go far wrong and look into 'Silent Assassin' on Steam.
Even just to see how good that first mission is, and how its a template for how the series stands on its own, twenty years on since the first game was released back in 2000.
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