Hitman: Codename 47

“Hello there 47. For your next assignment, we’d like you to do something a little differently. There’s an amateur blogger who’s about to post the exact details of your first few assignments, threatening to blow the Agency’s secrecy out of the dark. Although we could easily deal with this breach of security ourselves, your particular services are required since he appears to be planning on passing a judgement on you. We’d hate for your reputation to be dirtied. We need you to take him out before he does”.

A briefing like that is a death toll for someone. Agent 47 doesn’t care who they are, what they do, or who called for their little problem to be taken from the world from the living. He gets this message and by the end of the week, the person it speaks about will die. That there is the premise of Hitman: Codename 47: that you are the eponymous Agent 47, and you are an assassin.

For once, there’s no bandying about any redeeming qualities and such of the antihero. His job is to kill people. At no point is that questioned or ever made honourable, which is a nice change. Not nice in the traditional way, but one that makes me happy that EIDOS went out on a limb there and didn’t go for the obvious option of turning him from the evil bad man to the kind-hearted gentleman.

How does it work then? As said above, each mission (Except the first as it’s a tutorial), begins with a briefing where background information to the target, a map and a shopping cart is shown to you. Most of it can be ignored, just as long as you know what the guy looks like and any extra things that could be handy (Most of the time it’s things like ‘Steal this’ or ‘Mind the gap’).

The shopping cart is vital. The way you approach the level is decided on how you shop. Every time you get the chance to shop like the pampered princess you are, you’ll be given a choice of silent weapons (The knife/fibre-wire), and varying grades of guns. If you wanted to (And had the funds), you could get into the level with an assault rifle and shoot everyone down.

That’s not advisable though. Although in the original game you don’t have a reputation to think of (Whereas you get ratings in the later ones), going in all guns blazing is the quick way to get shot to hell. It is possible to play through the game shooting everyone, but you can bet your life you’ll have an almost impossible game. However if you play it as EIDOS intended, you’ll enjoy yourself a lot more.

The enjoyment in the kill is one that’s played upon in most works of fiction. I have to agree with them in this case*. I may be the only maths geek around, but if you ever see a difficult equation or similar and suddenly see the way through you get a high amount of joy. That’s the premise here. You’ll see a difficult problem and solve it crudely and get frustrated when it doesn’t work, and suddenly everything clicks.

The first time you really need to plan is the assassination of your first main target. The guns blazing approach is on that I can tell you will lead to a quick and painful death. During the course of the mission you’ll end up going through 2/3 disguises to get to the target and take him down. It takes so much planning to do it, and when it finally comes together, you will run round your abode screaming with joy. At least I did.

Hitman is at its greatest you get that click. The problem is that the said click can be difficult to reach, even if it isn’t actually your fault. The game would be much easier if there weren’t so many damn bugs. Sometimes you can peek round the corner and take someone out without causing any issues, others cause you to get found out an shot. Taking advantage of these bugs sometimes makes it endlessly entertaining and easy, but there are some that make it really difficult.

It’s also difficult to get past the god awful voice acting. The Chinese accents are so stereotypical it’s bordering on racist. Plus, whoever got the voice part for 47 delivers the lines so poorly and blandly that every time he spoke in a cut scene I actually had to go away for the duration of him speaking. I mean it. I genuinely walked away from the screen for 3 minutes so that I didn’t have to listen to it.

All in all it is a well done game, and I’d find it hard to not recommend it to anyone. The issue is I can’t help but think back to my time playing Blood Money and how much better it was. There was more freedom, plus it gave a reason for a replay just with that ratings system. You can pick up all of the Hitman games in one pack now for £15 (Or a lot less). I wouldn’t go out of your way to buy this game, but if you see this in a bargain bin or similar I would pick it up, but if you see the whole series collection buy it without hesitation. Blood Money is a much better iteration, but there’s plenty of fun you can have with this

*And in the game. Return to reading

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