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Head 2 Head Review: Hitman-Codename 47

The Match-Up:

Name: Tristinian (a.k.a. Commodus) e-mail me

Favorite Genres: RTS, RPG, Adventure, Action/FPS, Sims



Name: Sephiroth (a.k.a. BIGBOSS) e-mail me

Favorite Genres: RTS, RPG, Adventure, Action/FPS

Tristinian: Here we go again-another game that has been getting either rave reviews or terrible ones with almost nothing in between. Well, with 2 people here reviewing the game, we're hoping that our 2 opinions can shed some light on who was right...and who was on crack when it came to reviewing this game.

Sephiroth: Oh ya baby! I must say, i haven't had this much fun killing already dead people since soldier of fortune came out. When i heard of Hitman i was kind of excited. I thought "cool, i get to play a hired assassin!". Ya i have heard mixed feelings about this game; anywhere from great graphics to poor control. True, Hitman does have some flaws, but it doesn't ruin the fun of the game...

"Hitman does have some flaws, but it doesn't ruin the fun of the game"

Tristinian: No it doesn't. For me, it can get summed up in that feeling a lot of people had about Terminator 2. You were rooting for a good bad guy more or less. And it's the same here. I think it's actually refreshing to be a bad guy in this game and yet be just good enough that you're not as bad as the guys you're killing.

Sephiroth: Actually, playing through Hitman I never once thought i was being 'bad', except for maybe the parts where i shot innocent bystanders 15+ times just to see where there would be a dent. To tell you the truth, I think there are more cool bad guys in games then there are cool heroes. Nowadays, players want to be more evil but still be able to act good. That's how i feel anyway. Ya, hitman is one badass, i just wish they allowed the character to smoke a cigarette, much like Solid Snake does in Metal Gear Solid...

Tristinian: I could certainly see that! Let's get a shake down on the game piece by piece though. The story isn't intricate to begin with. You're a hitman with a bar code on the back of your head and working for an agency, your job is to carry out hits in the cleanest way possible-leaving zero residual presence if possible.

"The point of hitman is to kill, but to kill with CLASS"

Sephiroth: Ooooh, leaving no evidence is a critical thing to accomplish as a professional hitman, and there are quite a few ways to do this. And as an aside, when i first saw that bar code on the back of the character's head, it instantly reminded me of the television series Dark Angel; the bar code appears on Jessica Alba's neck also. =) I think the coolest ability in the game is the ability to drag a dead body anywhere, especially sewers. It definitely comes in handy because when you kill a baddie, others might discover it. If they find it, you'll know about it and it will display it in the top left side of the screen. Other bad guys get suspicious and will hunt you down...the hunter becomes the hunted as the saying goes...

Tristinian: Yes, the stealth factor in the game is very important. Leaving a body without clothing means they'll look for someone suspicious wearing that clothing-and so on. Hell, you can be dressed up as someone else for example and the enemy will know you're an impostor even if you're doing something like carrying a silenced version of the hand gun they know you should have. In other words, if you're packing non-standard hardware, they'll know. Nice details. So, the premise really is a good one and i think it's well carried out. Along with the atmosphere in the game, Hitman really is compelling and makes you want to continue playing to the bitter end.

Sephiroth: Yes definitely. The point of Hitman is to kill, but to kill WITH CLASS. That means, stealth, timing, minimal gunfire as well avoiding police guards or civilians. It's an exciting game because it really gets your attention and you really get into it and you'll even find yourself saying things to yourself like "oh crap, i think he saw me!" or waiting on the sniper rifle saying "c'moooooon, a little over to the left...". It's really fun! What did you think about the guns and the perspective of the game?

Tristinian: Ahh this is where many were disappointed-but i wasn't really. It was a TAD different at first when i played Hitman-in terms of control and the camera-but easily enough gotten used to. There are 2 camera modes-one for typical 3rd person view and another more cinematic camera that sits further back with a free floating target cursor. You will probably only use the alternate camera while walking longer distances and screenshots, but it's harder to control. But really, the camera is nothing to bitch about. The default mode is easy to use-if you don't want to use the alternate-don't.

"The Glacier engine used is indeed pretty damn decent and it ran well at high rez with no problems"

Sephiroth: Ya you'd probably use that camera when you've totally killed every single soul on the map and just wanna see your cool character walk away from the bloodshed (this is where a cigarette would fit perfectly). For me, i think the camera was a little odd at first because i have been playing first person shooters (Q3!) for such a long time that i totally forgot what 3rd person looked like. But after awhile, i got used to it, and the fun factor increased. I have to say something about the sniper rifle; it must be the best sniper gun i have ever seen in a game. All the detailing is there; from opening the case and assembling the gun to shaky hands when trying to pick a guy off, not to mention the really cool way zooming is added, kind of like when you go to the eye doctor and they switch lens's through that machine..

Tristinian: Exactly...weapons are well done and are varied just enough-a few of them with alternate fire modes as well. But all these things bring us to the graphics. The Glacier engine used for this game is indeed pretty damn decent and it ran well at high resolutions too with no problems.

Sephiroth: "Wow". That's all that needs to be said about the graphics, especially the environments. The buildings, trees, concrete, lights, wood, etc. looks super realistic. I really thought the cars were well done; in the 2nd level there is an area where its a construction site and there's a big truck there and if you look to the left of the truck, further into the background, is a really detailed construction vehicle just sitting on the hills filled with dirt. The models of the people were also well done...

Tristinian: YES, the physics of this engine are astounding. Dead bodies can slip into sewers if half their body is already hovering over the edge. Bodies fly through the air when shot with a sawed-off shotgun and fall limply to the ground very realistically when shot with a pistol to the head. The body wounds are also cool-including the one your main character sustains. The engine's looks are sweet, but the engine's physics are just as cool. Which brings us to the AI...

Sephiroth: The AI.....hehe...at one point in the game, i thought they followed my scent! I just couldn't hide from them, they followed me everywhere, even if it was in the sewer! Ya I must admit, the game is very difficult and usually if its 6-8 people against you, you will not survive. You just can't take them all out without coming near to death. And if you do get caught around a hoard of enemies as being an imposter-thats when you run like Forest while bullets whizz by you and ping off nearby walls etc...

"Hitman really is compelling and makes you want to continue playing to the bitter end"

Tristinian: See, that's funny because i agree that the AI can be a challenge sometimes, but often they can be stupid too. After thinking it over, i realized that if the AI was any smarter, this game would be impossible to win. There are some situations that you kinda need AI stupidity to help you out on since they are pretty smart already in a lot of instances. As for save games, there aren't any per se, but since the game automatically saves your progress in terms of missions accomplished, it doesn't really matter. You have anywhere from 3 to 5 continues during a mission that can help you out and that are good enough to get you on your way. In my opinion? if you didn't finish a hit on the first life-start right over with a clean slate anyway-it's just more fun.

Sephiroth: Well, I think one of the things that both of us will agree on is the kickass music in this game. As soon as i heard the beats in the main menu, i was completely hooked. When you get into the game, the music even gets better, gets more 'mysterious' at times but great nonetheless. I think the sound, in general, was done tremendously well. The doors closing on a car, the crackle of a light bulb, the sound of a vase breaking, are all impressive. But i think i liked the sound of the guns the best. When you use a different gun, you REALLY know you are using a different gun. There is a huge difference between a desert eagle gun and beretta 92 or an AMT 1911 Hardballer...

Tristinian: Absolutely, and the music i found (to bring in the terminator reference again) often had this impending essence to it...as if your target was about to get the worst nightmare of his life with your arrival. The sounds were great too although sometimes i found the volume occasionally dropped out of the cut scenes later in the game, but-small errors. What's your final take?

Sephiroth: What else is there to say about this game other then it's a great experience! I loved the graphics, and the options to tweak them, i loved the guns, the controls take a little time to get used to, and the overall feel is dead on. I truly feel like a hitman being paid to kill people; and you have to use your money wisely too. Better not kill too many police officers or you're gonna be in the hole thousands of dollars, which leads to failure of a mission. Great game, lots of fun, great attention to detail.

Tristinian: Total agreement there-i'd have to mark it a TAD lower than you though just because of the final level which i kind of felt to be absurdly difficult. Just me perhaps, but, the finale was certainly worth it and it has great replay value as well.




The Glacier engine can produce some fine graphics...as we can see here with our hitman pondering taking a dip.


This is what limo drivers get for bad service! Ok, maybe not, but the cool thing in this game revolves around the stealth and assuming of other's identity's through wearing their clothing-even the duds of a limo driver. Ya kinda have to kill em to get their clothes though...as you can see here.


This is what chefs get for bad service!! After the limo driver thing, i had to say it.


The graphics actually let you see the individual bullets flying out at light speed in this game. Very cool. It might not be the ULTIMATE in graphics engines, but there were plenty of times that we were impressed for sure.