10

A game that needs a lot of patience... in a good way!

The Hitman games have always been a source of sweat inducing, heart racing action, quite different from normal action titles. Mixing the excellent gameplay, dark humour, jaw dropping visuals, and atmospheric sound, Hitman: Blood Money is the Hitman game for the next generation.

While most action games focus directly on the body count, or how grusome the killings are, Hitman is a very different game. In order to get top scores, you have to kill only the intended targets, and get away cleanly. This leads to some heart racing stealthy action. Hitman benefits from its very open gameplay style, giving you the chance to kill everyone in sight, or to go stealthy and cleverly kill your targets and stage it like an accident. These gameplay mechanics also lead to humours situations, such as in a memorable moment, injecting a sleep inducing toxin into doughnuts that were sent to an FBI van allowed you to steal their clothes, and gain entry to the target. A nice addition is the accident method of killing someone. Somehow, planting a bomb on a chandaler and watching it fall onto your targets head is very gratifying. Another clever addition is the newspaper clippings between missions. These tell you how you fared as an assassin. If you killed everyone in sight, there will be a large article, telling the story of who died, how the died, how many bullets were shot, if you were a good shot or not, and if you were really unstealthy, there may be a police sketch of you as well, making later missions harder as people recognize your face. On the other hand, if you were the stealthy assassin, like you were supposed to be, the articles will briefly mention their deaths, and then delve into their background due to the lack of evidence that they were actually murdered.

The graphics in this game are absolutley breathtaking. Apart from the odd face being reproduced in the massive crowd scenes, think hundreds of people celebrating mardi gras in the streets, the graphics are simply atmospheric. The varied locations look authentic, 47 looks tough and angry, and the guards look suitably roughed up. The sound is just as good, with a gripping soundtrack that switches between a haunting opera style, to a full on drum and bass style according to the situation. The voice acting is also good, particularly that of 47.

This game is a must for everyone who enjoys substance in their games, a good mixture of difficulty, excitement, atmosphere, and gameplay make this one of the best games of the year.

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