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Engaging and adaptable, Hitman 2 is a must for those feeling sociopathic in the silly season.
Hitman 2 proves one thing very well: sometimes plot can just get in the way. The second entry in the series since 2016’s bold and surprisingly effective reboot Hitman, Hitman 2 offers a familiar experience to its immediate predecessor but with enough polish and new tweaks to make the experience worthwhile.
Hitman 2 tells the tale of the bald barcode-bonced killer for hire, Agent 47. Old mate is still on the trail of the “Shadow Client” from the last game and it will take him all over the world to unravel a mystery that ranges from the unnecessarily convoluted to the downright silly. To make matters worse the between mission cutscenes are mainly a series of stills with exposition blurted over the top. This is likely due to the game’s comparatively small budget, but that doesn’t make these interludes any more compelling or coherent. Happily, they don’t matter. At all. You can, and should, skip right by these bits of business and get straight to what matters: large sprawling sandboxes full of murder toys!
See, once you bypass the aforementioned narrative info dumps you enter the real game. Hitman 2 offers the series’ distinctive sense of variety and black humour, gifting you with numerous ways of dispatching your targets in spectacular and frequently hilarious ways. Booby trapped cars, pre-programmed robots, explosive rubber duckies or just shoving a tattoo gun right inside a bloke’s ear – the game has it all. Each of the six levels are massive with multiple ways of tricking the AI and setting up legitimately satisfying kill scenarios. This might have felt grim in other hands, but the game’s sense of humour manifests in surprising ways. The fact that Agent 47 just happens to look exactly like a famous model/actor/hairdresser etc. is a frequent refrain and the monologues delivered by the soon-to-victims show them all as unlikable mongrels very much deserving of the ice embrace of the grave.
Hitman 2 is a little rough around the edges and light on narrative depth, but what it lacks in those areas it makes up for in viscerally creative murderous fun. Engaging and adaptable, Hitman 2 is a must for those feeling sociopathic in the silly season.