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#4507664 - 02/17/20 01:52 PM HITMAN 2, et al  
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Years ago I played HITMAN, and liked it, but never got in to the series in a big way. Played Blood Money, which was excellent, and Absolution, which was a little less so, but not a bad game.

A couple of days ago I was browsing Steam for my next game and saw HITMAN 2 (2018) was on sale, 30 bucks for the whole works, DLC and all. Then I saw they offer a legacy pack for HITMAN (2016) for another 20, which adds all the stuff from HITMAN (2016) to HITMAN 2. So you can play both games under the newer version, and evidently the earlier content has been reworked in some way (improved?). If you own the 2016 game it's free.

So that's $50 for all the content from two games, which isn't a bad deal. And it's really good. Third person games aren't my bag really, but I play them if they're good. Witcher 3 and Splinter Cell to name two. This is solid stealth action, with a hell of a lot of ways to complete the missions, and replayability is quite high. Looks great, plays well and I'm having a good time with it.

Anyone else play? The Steam sale ends in 4 hours, so if you're interested grab it soon.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/863550/HITMAN_2/

Requires online connection for most gameplay. There is a second 'standard' package for $18 that I think just removes the season pass and some exclusive items, and if they are done making DLC perhaps this is the way to go. I bought the more expensive one just in case. But no idea if it will pay off, and I get some gear out of it anyway.


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
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#4507980 - 02/20/20 12:17 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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Last year GOG had a huge HITMAN sale. I picked up HITMAN 2, HITMAN:Blood Money and HITMAN 3:CONTRACTS for next to nothing.

I loaded up Hitman 2 and just couldn't get into it. Generally, I am bad at and don't enjoy "STEALTH" type games... THIEF, Deus Ex etc..

GRANTED I did not give HITMAN 2 much time... Did the tutorials, then after a hiatus tried the first mission. Didn't help matters that I forgot all the controls smile

Still installed.... maybe I will get back to it.

Lately I find my attention span and desire to climb learning curves has decreased (along with my gaming time). Bought the Hornet for DCS, and got really into the training missions for awhile, but when I had gaming time, it was easier to slip into the comfortable slippers of Elite Dangerous where i basically didn't have to think much . Maybe someday......


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#4507981 - 02/20/20 12:35 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: Recluse]  
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Originally Posted by Recluse


Lately I find my attention span and desire to climb learning curves has decreased (along with my gaming time).



The phenomenon you describe has been mentioned by several others here on SimHQ and in my opinion I think it's a function of both older age ( 45+) and simple burn out from PC gaming for so many years.


In the specific case of the DCS modules, some require a huge amount of time and dedication if you want to be a competent pilot and to really get anything out of it. I bought the MiG-23 module about 3 years ago and I've put maybe 5 hours into the training missions so far? I keep saying I'll go back to it but I always find myself playing other stuff instead.


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#4507984 - 02/20/20 01:35 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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I can no longer play overly violent games. Knife kills are out,never did them in BF4 when I played it last. FPS games are no longer an attraction.

I recently bought BS2 and the AV-8B for DCS (maybe 2 months ago),still to fire them up. Also bought a few planes for IL-2 BoX but I play those weekly,just with mouse and keyboard. Just MP sessions,ground attack exclusively.


23 June 2016
#4507985 - 02/20/20 01:45 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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I quite like stealth type games. Generally, if any game I have can be played stealthily, that's what I generally do. So Skyrim becomes a stealth game. Arma 3 becomes a stealth game etc. I recently bought Sniper Elite 4, stealth of course. smile Even a flight sim, if there's a possibility of me hugging the ground and using terrain to mask myself, I'm doing that.


"They might look the same, but they don't taste the same."
#4507986 - 02/20/20 02:19 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: Recluse]  
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Originally Posted by Recluse


I loaded up Hitman 2 and just couldn't get into it. Generally, I am bad at and don't enjoy "STEALTH" type games... THIEF, Deus Ex etc..



Those games would be near the top of my favorite games list, so yeah, I reckon if you don't enjoy it you won't put much time in to it. But if you do, there's a really good game here, in my view.

I've dropped 20+ hours in to it so far, completing all the training and four or five of the main missions. It looks great and the levels are large, detailed and dense. I think everyone knows what HITMAN is, what the core gameplay is all about. Assassinate targets using any and all means available. What I had really failed to appreciate is not only how many ways you can knock off these targets, but that replaying the missions essentially a requirement, not just something you do to try a different approach and play with the boundaries and ruleset of the game.

Each time you complete a mission you have been scored based on a huge number of variables. How many cameras you destroyed or that recorded you. Areas discovered, kill method, witnesses, disguises, mission time and many more. These points contribute towards your map mastery level. These mastery levels are what unlocks new things, which can be new weapons, distractions, poisons, explosives, outfits and so on, or new drop locations or start positions. For example in the Paris mission you can unlock the ability to start in the kitchen disguised as a waiter, or near the stage as part of the stage crew, instead of outside the main gate, just to name two. These new options are fun to play with, in essence shortcuts that save time and present new strategies to complete the missions.

Unlocking all of these options is fun, and as your inventory and start options grow it allows you to use your imagination to invent more and more complex or crazy plans. Mastery levels go to 20, which can take replaying the level 10 or more times. You might think you won't want to play it over that many times, and that's what I thought too, but now I see the beauty of it. As you learn the levels, and the patrol patterns, vantage points, back alleys and hiding spots your proficiency increases. You might bumble through it the first time, but the tenth time you will feel like a professional. Cold, calculating, no mistakes. In,out. Ghosted.

And that is so satisfying. Getting the Silent Assassin rating for the mission is a nice reward.

As you explore the level you uncover mission stories, or opportunities. You might overhear a couple of the waitstaff discussing what your target likes to drink. If you opt in, the game will then lead you to the recipe, and some rat poison, and a bartender's uniform. The drink makes him sick (or you could just use lethal poison if you find it or bring it along) and he doubles over all the way to the bathroom to vomit. With his guard waiting outside the door you slip in and give him the good news. Silenced .45 to the noggin? Fiber wire around the neck? Lethal syringe? Drown him in the toilet? Hide the body and blend back in to the crowd.

So the freedom is there to invent your own solutions, or to allow the game to lead you along to what are cool and fun eliminations. The first time I played the Paris mission it took over an hour. The tenth time it took four minutes. By the 12th time I had hit mastery level 20 and got all unlocks for the level, granting me new items like a remote explosive device, that are now part of the inventory options for any level I play later. The last part of training, called the Final Test, has three story missions. Completing all three unlocks a lockpick, which is a vital tool to have. But if you just play the Final Test once or twice you won't have it available. So being a completionist is rewarded in HITMAN more than most games I've played.

One of the cool things about this game for me is that what you can carry to start a mission is very limited. Maybe a pistol, a fiber wire and some coins that you toss to cause distractions. This is not a game where you roll the mousewheel and rummage through your assault rifle, then your SMG, then your sniper rifle and pistol. Just a few items allowed, which emphasizes planning, and opportunity cost is always a compelling part of gameplay for me. It's oddly appealing to be 30 minutes in to a mission and regret you brought coins instead of a breaching charge.

As mentioned in the OP I bought the legacy pack which adds all the HITMAN (2016) levels to HITMAN 2. My original plan was to play through the first game, then the second. But instead I decided to play them parallel, switching over after each one. The gear unlocks carry over so I feel like it gives me more options than if I just stuck with one game until the end.

There are also a couple of interesting multiplayer modes, and also limited-time assassination missions that change at set intervals.

It's a cool game, but as Recluse alludes to, you need to find the genre appealing. If you're in to games like Deus Ex, Thief, Splinter Cell and the like you'll probably find HITMAN appealing.


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4507987 - 02/20/20 02:25 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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When it comes to "stealth" games for me I think the pinnacle of that genre is Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. SC: Blacklist was good too but not on the same level.


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#4507988 - 02/20/20 02:27 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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I'm one of the odd ones that likes Blacklist better. I know that's sacrilege but what can I do? smile


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#4507990 - 02/20/20 03:18 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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I checked the Steam Store page. My error. What I got on GOG was HITMAN 2 - SILENT ASSASSIN which is an OLDER game in the Franchise. Still, gameplay style is just not me...


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#4507992 - 02/20/20 03:33 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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That's a 2002 game. A good one by Steam reviews, very positive overall. Never played that one myself.

Recycling the HITMAN 2 name leads to unnecessary confusion I reckon.


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4507993 - 02/20/20 03:35 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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2002? The graphics must look badly outdated by now!


It depends on the game though because I recently played through Knights of the Old Republic which has very outdated graphics of course but the story is so good that I didn't mind it too much.


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#4507996 - 02/20/20 04:19 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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For some games, modders have made them timeless and exceed even more modern counterparts:



Morrowind came out in 2002, also.

#4507998 - 02/20/20 04:25 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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Yeah, Graphics are not great, but I've played games with worth graphics....


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#4508088 - 02/21/20 07:22 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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Morrowind was great. I don't think I had played anything like it. I can still recall vividly everything about that first little town you come across. And those new graphics make it look pretty good. I can't see playing it again, but it's interesting to see again. Thanks for the vid Blastman.

Many long-time Hitman players rate Blood Money as the best in the series. It was a really good game, and if we judge games on their 'time', or in the existing paradigm at the time of release, then yeah I suppose that's a good shout. For me though I think Hitman 2 2018 is better in most every way. Novelty is a big factor I think. Nostaglia too. But novelty is a strong allure. When something is new, and different, it gains that as a quality. Subsequent releases following the same formula can be objectively better, but the new car smell wears off a bit, and one's opinion of it will be affected in some way.

Like if I think back now I would say Half-Life was better than Half-Life 2. It's hard to argue it's a better game really, but Half-Life has the benefit of being so unique, so out of left field at the time it came out. Think about that intro, Black Mesa Inbound, riding the tram to work as the loudspeaker droned on about safety and staff decathalons, and outside you observed the facility, as each room moved past, with robot workers, and toxic waste. We had never seen anything like this. Duke Nuke'em or Quake, it was not. What an impression it made. So much so that I can still remember it now, 22 years later.

A game like Hitman 2 faces the same thing. Blood Money (2006) was excellent, still is, but I cannot say it is objectively better than Hitman 2, even if it made more of an impression for it's time. Of course it was not the first Hitman game, it was the fourth, but it was way better than what came before, so it became the standard for the series, and wasn't matched again until Hitman (2016) and Hitman 2. Not sure why I am talking about this as no one asked, but perhaps it's because Blood Money was so much more successful, and seems to hold a higher pedestal in many player's minds. Hitman 2 was not a commercial success early on, though I think it picked up over the past year, probably due to aggressive sales and bundling (it got me).

The 2002 game mentioned by Recluse was the second installment and a good game by most accounts. It was six years after Blood Money before Absolution (2012), and I bought it and played it, and thought it was a good game, but it had nowhere near the same impact as Blood Money for me. But now, having played these last two titles (morphed together under the Hitman 2 banner), I feel like these are the standard now. What was I talking about?

Oh yeah, Hitman 2 (I'm stopping the all caps HITMAN, even if that's how it is). Of course this game looks far better, as expected. Beyond that though the levels are amazing, the tools are vastly more varied, and the introduction of things like mission stories and opportunities give the game a scope far beyond what Blood Money achieved.

On a more immediate and less nostalgaphological note, I completed another mission last night, the Marrakesh mission called A Gilded Cage. Silent Assassin first go with no reloads! Of course the mission stories help make that easier to do. But still, when it all comes off first time it is why I like this gaming thing so much smile



Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure

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