The decision to bundle classic games together to reintroduce them in glorious high definition graphics and sound was one of the greatest decisions ever made in the current generation of video games.
Graphically improving these games whilst keeping intact the control scheme and occasionally adding a few other features make these bundles collectables and valuable additions to gamer’s collections. After the success of Hitman Absolution, IO Interactive and publisher Square Enix released Hitman HD Trilogy for the Xbox 360® and PlayStation 3® to show new fans for the Hitman franchise the games that helped Agent 47 rise to fame with bundled games being Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Hitman: Contracts and Hitman: Blood Money all with sharper and cleaner graphics and visuals.
All three games follow the life of Agent 47, a sophisticated and ruthless gun for hire however he specialises in infiltration, sabotage and of course killing in creative ways. Hitman 2: Silent Assassin follows 47 as he takes refuge in church grounds after the events of the first game, Hitman: Codename 47, which is missing from this bundle strangely, when his friend and mentor, Father Vittorio is abducted causing 47 to come out of exile. Hitman: Contracts sees 47 wounded in a hotel and collapses causing him in his close to death state to remember his missions from the past, more predominantly the first Hitman game (which probably explains its absence). The third and more recent game in this bundle is the fantastic Hitman: Blood Money which sees 47’s popularity at an all-time high with the underworld, after a successful hit on an amusement park owner, 47 is sought after by clients however recurring Agency employee and 47’s employer, Diana Burnwood closes down the agency due to two clones taking out Agency employees leaving her and 47 left but leaves 47 with a final contract to kill these said assassins. The stories in all of these games are fantastically executed and gripping to the very end of each, it’s easy to see why the Hitman series is so successful thanks to the deep key characters and many worldwide locales.
The gameplay in each game is untouched which is a good thing although the control schemes are very difficult to get used to as the controls are all over the place, however once you play the tutorial sections, you’ll be instantly ready to embark in 47’s stories. Playing 47 makes you feel like a fully trained assassin and the game is played best when playing stealthy although the all guns blazing approach is optional but not as fun. Each mission has a target NPC or a few target NPC’s that are required to be killed before heading to the exit, how you kill these targets is up to the player whether it’s made to look like an accident or just killing them during patrols or occasional scripted movements. The disguise system is the same mechanic throughout the games and hiding bodies to retain anonymity is a must. Poison food, snipe, push over a high balcony or set a trap, the possibilities are vast and each method is as fun as one another however the anonymous methods require patience and a lot of it.
If I could fault these games, it would be the control schemes and graphics of Contracts and Silent Assassin, they are dated in the respect that NPC’s are blocky and move unrealistically and seem to be hard to fool although these games are the eldest of the three so it can be forgiven.
The graphics, whilst looking blocky, do look sharp and a lot better than they did the first time round which is also retained during cut scenes. Locations are large playgrounds which opens so many possibilities of ways to kill and they look great whether it’s a Villa, Vineyard, Nightclub or even a city suburb, they all look authentic and sharp although not so rich on detail. Ground clutter could have been added, weather changes and other small but fitting tweaks to make these games look a lot more authentic and realistic. It shows that Blood Money is the most recent however with updated graphics and bigger locations and more killing possibilities which outline Silent Assassin and Contracts are showing their age.
These are the masterpieces that caused the success of the Hitman franchise and each game makes it easy to see why they were so great with the fantastic open gameplay that explores gamer’s imagination and story that depicts Agent 47 as one of the greatest gaming assassins of all time and it’s easy to see why. Hitman HD Trilogy also comes bundled with the sniper challenges game that came with Absolution which increases replayability profusely. A lot is patience is required but the patience is rewarding, you’ll see.
Hitman Trilogy HD
Developers: IO Interactive
Publishers: Square Enix
Release Date: 1st February 2013
Story – 5/5
Gameplay – 5/5
Graphics – 3.5/5
Overall – 4/5