Hands-On: Hitman 2 Keeps the Stealth Game Genre Alive | Tech News
The stealth genre isn’t doing so great these days. With Metal Gear Solid becoming nearly unrecognizable and Splinter Cell taking an extended vacation, there’s very few options when it comes to playing AAA sneaking games. Thankfully, we have the Hitman series to fill that void. 2016 saw the franchise return in a big with with the episodic Hitman. Now, Warner Bros is preparing to release the appropriately named Hitman 2. Based on what I played at E3, I can safely say this is the best stealth game released since the last Hitman.
Hitman 2 isn’t episodic. You get the full game at launch. Despite that, the game’s structure is still episodic in nature. It has six self-contained missions. While the stories are largely unrelated, there’s an overarching plot tying everything together. This is exactly how the previous game was structured, and it certainly works here. As before, every mission offers a variety of ways to kill targets. A single episode contains countless hours of replayability given all of the different ways to complete objectives.
The mission I played involved Agent 47 having to take out a race car driver named Sierra Knox. For this demo, I could take her out either with a sniper rifle or with explosives. I went with the latter option since it seemed more fun and involved. After making my way through the packed crowd of the F1 racing event in Florida, I went to a bathroom to find the explosives. Like the last Hitman, this game seamlessly renders large crowds. I expected things to slow down at any moment given the amount of characters on screen but it never happened. After obtaining my tools of destruction, I needed to get to Knox’s car.
To get to Knox’s vehicle, I had to disguise myself as a mechanic. I couldn’t do that without getting into the backrooms of the event. In order to proceed, I had to get a less conspicuous disguise — a flamingo mascot outfit. I found a mascot near one of the bathrooms downstairs. Interestingly enough, I heard him talking to someone about taking out Knox. I had no idea what this was about, so I proceeded to sneak behind the mascot and choke him unconscious. After taking him into the bathroom and stealing his costume, I proceeded to the VIP lounge to find a mechanic.
I found my target at the bar. He kept leaving his drink unattended at a table whenever he went to check out the race at a nearby window. This provided a perfect opportunity to poison his drink. I went into the kitchen and found rat poison. A bartender noticed me and followed. I then knocked him out and took his clothes. This gave me a chance to get near the mechanic’s drink without anyone becoming suspicious. After downing his toxic tonic, the mechanic went to the nearest bathroom. As I did with other characters, I knocked him out and stole his clothing. Now dressed as a mechanic, I could make my way to Knox’s car.
Upon planting the explosive device on Knox’s vehicle, I went back upstairs to watch the race from the stands. When Knox’ car passed in front of me, I pressed the detonation button and sent her on a one-way trip to Hell. Typically, I would have to find the extraction point after assassinating a target, but this is where my demo ended.
This was by far one of my favorite E3 demos. Like the previous Hitman, the variety of ways to assassinate targets is mind-boggling. The only reason I completed my mission so fast and efficiently is because of the helpful WB handler beside me. In the final game, this mission will have more ways to bring down not only Knox, but her arms-dealer father. Just thinking about the possibilities makes me very excited to play the full game.
I know there are a ton of games dropping this fall, but you shouldn’t miss Hitman 2 when it releases on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 on November 9. Also, it’s single-handedly keeping AAA stealth games alive, which is to be commended.
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