|The success of a sequel depends of a few factors. First people have to ask for it. If they do not express the wish he is dead right from the start. Second it must be viable, financially speaking. What do we earn if we launch it? On the other hand, how much do we earn? The next question that rises is: what to include in that sequel to make it a successful one? This is the point where most of the producers go wrong. The ones that tasted the first part will expect a similar experience but usually due to the greedy producers they will get something else. The ones waiting for the sequel will be disappointed and the ones who play for the first time will disconsider it. This is why an interesting idea was born saying that a sequel should have common elements and deliver a familiar atmosphere in the same time with new elements and innovative gameplay.
A Nobel Prize winner said a few years ago that a person is the product between his genes and the society he or she lives in. Extensively we can say that a successful game offers a unique atmosphere together with lots of opportunities that a player can use and which are very well balanced. The conclusion is that any game aspiring to a place in history should combine a very interesting atmosphere which should go along with the storyline and the locations used with a very good gameplay which should give you the necessary tools to reach the objective proposed. Unfortunately there is a third element that many producers forget about and this is the harmony between those two. I have seen many times games with great graphics and poor gameplay or vice versa. I do not agree with the fact that the value of a game is given solely by graphics or by gameplay because a game is a universe with its own more simplified rules but similar with ours. Can you imagine an ideal life on Mars without animals, plants, fresh air, rivers, seas, and mountains as we know them? I donít think so. The harmony between these two elements is the recipe of success.
Donít get me wrong. I cannot say it lacks in the case of Hitman 2 but unfortunately it is not the level I would have wished to be. Just imagine Cate Archer disguised, walking without any problems on H.A.R.M. corridors and taking part in any conversation that takes place there. On the other hand I wonder why in Hitman 2 I didnít see that level of interaction between the guards because if I would get some clothes to disguise myself I could have obtained vital information about that place or the person that the Agency pointed as a target.
I would have liked for example that during the ninth mission, the one when you have to kill an important Japanese business man at his residence in the Japanese mountains, I could take part in some discussions between the guards in order to find out his passion for women and then try to persuade one of his concubines to try to kill him assuring in exchange her escape. It would have been more interesting if she had many ways to do it or if she did it at all or betrayed me. Now we are talking about another weak point of Hitman 2, the AI, whose quality is by far worse when comparing with NOLF2 for example. Every action is scripted so your enemies will do every time the same actions no matter how many times you begin the mission which results in it being learned by heart. It is impossible not to finish it in this case. On the other hand the guards are paranoid.
These small details count and a game like Hitman 2 cannot afford this kind of mistakes. On the other hand I was happy to find out something that balances this. You can assume your part seriously or you can act as a mass murderer or a psychopath (these were some of the ranks I received at the end of some missions) and go nuts through the level. The chance of surviving is minimal but there is a lot of fun and the atmosphere becomes a lot more tensioned when the guards are alerted, alarm goes on and they begin searching a suspicious person, a.k.a. you. Fortunately you can save during the mission but the number of slots is limited so think twice before making this step. Sometimes you receive a bonus slot but this is not a rule.
The weapons and items used were one of the major attractions of the previous title. What I cannot understand is why they decided to implement a greater number even if I, the player, do not need some of them. I donít refer to the ones that allow you to finish a mission in more ways but the ones that I didnít really need like the revolver or the 9MM without the silencer and also the fiber wire which is a tool that took me some time to get used to mainly because most of the guards donít stand still and because sneaking behind one will make him suspicious even if I was disguised. I liked that at the start of a few missions I could choose my favorite weapons but this is not a rule also and many times you will have to kill guards to take their ammo or clothes. The producers decided to go with alternative ways to solve a mission but once you discover them the game doesnít fascinates you that much and as I said above, the AI is scripted and can be very easily learned by heart.
The atmosphere is fantastic. The attention for visual details was maximum and even if you cannot interact with all the objects you will find very interesting the Japanese paintings, the Sankt Petersburg buildings or Don Giuseppeís pool. The cut-scenes are excellent and so are the animations of the characters that die in the most diverse ways from falling down to rolling down the stairs or over a balcony.
Recently they declared they were working on a network code but I sincerely think it will be implemented in one of the next titles. Until then you have nothing else to do than to experiment the alternative solutions and the difficulty levels of Hitman 2: The Silent Assassin.