IO Interactive have had quite a year. They were let go by Square Enix and decided to go it alone and even managed to retain the Hitman IP. They stayed committed to themselves and their fans and as a reward they managed to strike a deal with Warner Bros Games who would publish their projects including Hitman. Now that was great news for all involved as it meant security for IO and it also meant that the much beloved Agent 47 would be staying around a little longer. Now, let’s rewind a little and go back to the reboot of Hitman back in 2016. It had its critics due to its episodic release schedule but whether you liked that formula or not, nobody could deny that Hitman was a fantastic experience, a fantastic game and has had on going content released for it since it launched. It was an incredibly polished, return to for for the bald barcoded assassin and a return to form for the series as a whole.
So, bringing it back to present day, I was lucky enough to go hands on with Hitman 2 and what struck me straight away was the sheer increase in scale compared to what came before. The race track level was huge, full of NPC’s and with a whole host of different ways to take out my targets. The options at my disposal were all varied, some funny, some brutal and some just downright clever and well thought out. I was a little overwhelmed with the choices on offer but I became that engrossed that I had forgotten that I’d left Bobby waiting for me outside (he went for a walk around in the end as he got fed up of waiting for me). I was immediately hooked, I was focused on taking in the brilliant living world around me, watching people having fun at the track, laughing, cheering unbeknownst to them that they were right in the middle of an assassin masterclass.
Hitman 2 played brilliantly, feeling and looking incredibly polished especially considering it was a pre-beta build. Movement was smooth and felt very similar to the first game, except it handled a lot more on point. This was basically a more polished version of how the first game played but believe me that is not a bad thing at all. It was responsive and so very smooth, especially when making my way through overly crowded areas. It all felt alive, the whole level was brimming with things going on around me, full of different characters that all had their own personalities and traits. The level was intense and that’s how a Hitman game should feel to the player and Hitman 2 certainly nails that adrenaline rush.
Again, things haven’t changed much from a visual point of view. It looks very similar to the first game except everything seems to look more detailed and more polished, while maintaining the art style that the first game adopted so well. Hitman 2 looks to improve on every aspect set by the first game and the portion that I played certainly backs that up. I am so excited for this Hitman game, especially considering how much I loved the last game. I am not sure if it will adopt the episode theme of the last game but I would think that something would have been announced by now if it was to be episodic but I guess time will tell. Whether it’s an episodic release or an all in one experience I have no doubt that Hitman 2 is going to deliver on the promises set by IO Interactive and build on the foundation that the brilliant last game laid down.