19 Nov

The perfect assassin

Filed under: PC Games No Responses

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Garrotting unsuspecting victims is one of the most frequently performed actions in the game, but thankfully few moments are as awkward as this one.

I bought Hitman: Blood Money when it went on sale on Steam not too long ago. It’s a game that was first released in 2006, which means that it’s a bit long in the tooth now, and I wasn’t even sure if I was going to like it, but since it only cost US$5 buying it just to try it out was no big deal.

The Hitman series had a certain notoriety in its heyday and was a big enough property that a film was made based on it. The film bombed at the box office however and though there were rumors at one point about a new Hitman game, its developer Eidos Interactive has since been taken over by Square Enix. This means that Blood Money will likely be the last installment in the series at least for a while. Since I’d never played a single game in the series at all, I figured I should at least try this one while I still could.

The central conceit of the series that you play as the world’s best assassin and travel to all sorts of exotic locations to kill designated targets for money. This is however not an action game. While it is possible to outfit yourself with a variety of modern firearms and bulletproof vests and play this game as if it were a straightforward shooter, doing so will make missions extremely difficult to accomplish. What’s more, you’ll probably end up losing money because of the need to pay damage control fees and hush money to deal with the aftermath of your killing spree.

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A sniper chicken! I bet no one saw that coming.

What you are supposed to do is to kill your targets as quietly and with as little fuss as possible. The ideal method is by carefully staging accidents such that no one will even suspect that it was an assassination. Even when you need to use cruder methods, you’d want to hide the bodies. Collateral damage should always be kept to a minimum. This keeps your clients happy and your bank accounts fat.

Hitman falls into the stealth genre but unlike games like, say, the Splinter Cell series, the assassin known simply as 47 will rarely skulk around in the shadows. Instead you’ll spend most of your time infiltrating the target area by stealing disguises and impersonating guards and other members of the staff. Instead of Sam Fisher’s high-tech toys, you’ll be relying on tossed coins as distractions and nastier things like poison syringes.

Sadly, I’ve been encountering intermittent technical hitches during the game. It seems that as a older title, it’s not playing well with my quad core computer. I’ve tried setting the CPU affinity so that the executable is only allowed to run on a single core but it’s a trick that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. At this point, I’m not even sure that I’ll be able to complete the game but I should like to write a full review when I do.

Written on November 19 2009 and is filed under PC Games. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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