A good start to the famed series
Joriko_Star wrote this review on .
The story follows Agent 47. It's basically his origins story and if you're a fan and haven't played this game, you owe it to yourself to play this for the story. While the story has some pacing issues and it doesn't heat up until the twist later on, it ends up being a superb tale. Unfortunately I can't tell you much without blowing it, but it ends up that all your hits are connected and end up leading you back to your roots.
The story definitely has variety. You'll visit a good mix of locations including Hong Kong, Colombia, Hungary, and the Netherlands assassinating a group of influential and wealthy criminals. The level design in each is pretty good and does a good job of utilizing their settings. The Hong Kong Missions were my favorite, but their all good. If there was any weakness it was Colombia.
The levels are designed to be pretty open and have multiple approaches to them. If any given approach isn't working try another one. While you can do any mission as violently or stealthily as you wish there is always a way to avoid any collateral damage. It can be great fun finding the best way to kill no one but your target.
The easiest way to get around is to use disguises. Whenever you knock out or kill any person you can utilize their disguise. Various disguise will allow you access to otherwise restricted areas as well as carry certain weapons exposed. While normally you can't walk around with a UZI in plain sight, if you find a uniform of a guard you can keep it handy if things go bad. You're not invincible in a disguise; however and if you commit any suspicious behavior you'll blow your cover. Bodies must also be hidden as the discovery of a body will blow your cover.
Of course you don't have to use stealth. While Hitman is a stealth game one of it's strengths is player choice. If you want to kill everyone you're free to, but it's more difficult and you'd be missing the point. Of course you could have an adaptive stealth style shooting a bunch of guys, or moving around unseen depending on the area. Of course this player choice carries over into the hits themselves and you can kill targets with a lot of different weapons. However some stuff, like poison, seems to be missing from most missions, and overall the hits are more restrictive.
Your primary close quarters weapon s the Garrote wire. You can use this wire to strangle people to death. There's also a knife which can be used to kill enemies in a faster, bloodier way. If that's not your thing, there are plenty of firearms. There's a silenced berreta, hardballer ( a stainless steel colt .45, 47's signature weapon), and a desert eagle. There's also a cool sniper rifle that fits in a briefcase, an Ak-47, a UZI, and a MP5. The bullets take time to reach your targets, and while it may be too slow to be realistic, it requires you to think out your shots and lead your targets.
All the enemies and civilians have rag doll physics which is partially what makes the deaths so entertaining. While some will do back flips when be shot in the head, or other unrealistic effects, sometimes they just stumble back and slump over. Combine this with the environments and it's cool to shoot your desk bound target and see what happens.
There are problems though. For one the default controls are strange. While you can switch to an optimal WASD control scheme, there's still some quirks. If you want the best possible controls you'll have to spend quite a bit of time configuring the options. Even then the camera is a bit too zoomed in when compared to later games, and it's too shaky. You'll get used to it, but it's annoying at first.
Another problem you may have is the lack of save games. While it's not a huge deal for the myriads of fans that play on Professional shooting for Silent Assassin, for everyone else it can be annoying to play through a whole mission only to screw up at the very end.
Hitman Codename 47 is a good game. While it has problems, the gameplay shines through. Though a bit restrictive when compared to later installments it's still worth a playthrough.