Title: Hitman HD Enhanced Collection Review
Developer: IO Interactive
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Available On: Ps4, Xbox One
Official Site: https://www.ioi.dk/hitman-hd-enhanced-collection/
Release Date: January 11th, 2019
Where to Buy it: PSN, Microsoft Store
I started playing the Hitman series in 2012 with Hitman Absolution. Even though I wasn’t really into stealth games, I was impressed by the ways you can take out your targets and the ways you can get in and out of places without your enemies ever knowing you were there in the first place. Hitman Blood Money was the game I had heard so many good things about so I was mostly looking forward to playing that game. Before I go any further I want to say that I enjoyed playing both these games despite having a few major problems that brought my enjoyment down at times.
Let’s start with Hitman: Blood Money. The game tells its story in a pretty interesting way with two characters discussing how you as Agent 47 were caught and killed. They continue this through each mission until the conclusion of the game.
To talk about the gameplay, I want to tell you about a mission I went through and how I planned out each of my targets. This is pertaining to the mission Curtains Down. I started staking places to take down my target as I am watching him from the top floor of the opera house. I had created a kind of hub to both stash bodies and place my sniper rifle.
I went downstairs, made my way to the bottom of the stage, and started watching the play to look for an opportunity. At some point I was thinking “Wait, can I shoot him with my pistol while he is getting shot in the play?”. The answer to that is a resounding yes. With him down, I still had one more person to kill. Went back up to the room and watched as my last target went to the stage. I thought “I got to use my sniper rifle”. So, I grab my rifle, looked for the right location, and took the shot. I then dropped the gun and walked right out, earning the title of the Contract Killer in just that mission. To say the least, I love the mission structure of the game and I loved the multiple ways I could take down my target. If you wanted to make it super easy, you can look for ways to use your silenced pistol or the fiber wire. Needless to say, most kills in the game were a blast to play through.
Some problems I had were with the first two missions of the game, Death Of A Showman and A Vintage Year. My main problem was that I lost interest in the missions after a while. There really was nothing to find or use to kill your target so it’s basically just finding your target and killing them with a pistol or your wire. Granted for Death Of A Showman, it is a practice mission telling you how to play the game but it doesn’t feel interesting enough to pull you in. Although I didn’t find this a problem when I was playing the game, the controls are very different from future titles but you should get used to them as you are spending more time in the game. Those were just the minor problems. In future missions, I found tons of ways to take on my target. I really loved this game and want to pick it back up to see what things I missed due to the fact I rushed a couple of the missions.
Next up on the collection, we have Hitman: Absolution. This is considered the worst game in the Hitman series by most fans. As a person who has gone on to play future Hitman games like Hitman (2016), a bit of Hitman 2 (2018), and just went back to play Blood Money, I would say calling this game the worst is a bit of an exaggeration. It has its problems for sure, and in terms of Hitman games I enjoy, I would say I enjoyed this game the least. But, I would say that Hitman: Absolution is a great jumping on point for the series and after you finish that game, you may want to consider getting into the series. Maybe even playing some of the older games you missed out on.
The most impressive part about this game is the story weaved around it. The story, while having very cheesy (in a bad way) characters, does its best to take Agent 47 in an interesting direction. Agent 47 has pretty much been just a blank slate of a character in other games. Absolution makes him come to grips with his past and try to do some good by protecting Victoria, a teenage girl who his former agency is using for testing.
The game combat is more modernized than Blood Money. It actually feels more like the two later Hitman games. You don’t want to go in guns-a-blazing as stealth is still important. All that being said, some of the weapons are pretty fun to use. The human shield is always fun if you are trapped and need to find a way to get to the next room without dying.
Most of my problems with the collection are from this game. One of the things I noticed, weirdly enough, was with the story. The game continued to switch between an action-thriller with tons of explosions and the stealthy gameplay. It gives you a feeling of wanting to go in shooting everything but you can’t necessarily do that. It’s a stealth game, where using your gun is not an advisable strategy.
Another problem is the game’s far too linear approach. It doesn’t feel like past, or future, games. Hitman: Absolution doesn’t really encourage you to explore (apart from a couple missions) and when it does allow you to do that, it feels good. But, for the most part, they will tell you where to go and give you a couple options on how to handle the target, which will most likely be laid out right there in front of you. When I said this game is a good intro to the series, I mean that you won’t notice how limiting the game is. So, when you go on to play other Hitman titles, you will both have an understanding of how these games are played and you will enjoy the more sandbox structure of the other games as you find ways to take down your target.
My major problem with Absolution was its chameleon system mechanic. In this game, there is a mechanic that lets you blend in a disguise of an everyday worker like a police officer, construction worker, or some a hotel manager. Basically, you can take the clothes of any worker in the game. The problem that has with this system is that it’s actually implemented much better in later games. I also felt like this is an issue because you use your instinct meter mostly to counter this system, but if you have none and you happen to be in a place where it’s all the same people, it can be a problem avoiding them.
Verdict: The Hitman HD Enhanced Collection is a game that you should play if you are getting into the series, or you just want to replay some of your favorite missions from the older games. Though I did have some tiny issues with Blood Money, it is definitely one of the best Hitman titles ever made. Hitman: Absolution is a great start to the Hitman series. Its linear nature shows you how the other games play plus the story is interesting enough to keep you going. Though I have plenty of issues with it, I would suggest picking up this version that’s a little bit more polished up.
- Numerous ways to kill your target
- Immersive story
- New letter showing your play style
- Certain characters are just awful
- Some missions felt really light
- Some parts of the game felt a bit buggy
- Disguise mechanic isn't the best