Eidos' stylish, strategic and almost puzzle-like Hitman 2 makes its console debut, managing to address many of the criticisms that haunted the PC original but still falling short of its potential. The premise sets up the player as a genetically modified hit man, forced out of retirement when things get a little personal. Each level then sets up an overall mission, broken down into sub-objectives, thankfully with a much-requested save-game feature included in case things get a little hairy. This isn't your standard walk-and-shoot kind of game, though; Hitman 2 rewards planning, and lots of it. While there's no fixed linear route through any of the levels, each requires a lot of thought to be completed. What limits the game's potential though is the continual stream of frustrations. The enemy's artificial intelligence, for instance, is sometimes very sadly lacking, and there are occasions when the pace drops to snail-like speed, without always generating sufficient tension to carry the player through. That said, when it hits top gear Hitman 2 can be tense, atmospheric and enjoyable. Graphically it's very polished, and those who enjoy games that reward solid thinking more than an itchy trigger finger will certainly find something to enjoy. But while undoubtedly a step forward from its predecessor, it's an ambitious game that still falls short of its targets. Put simply, it's good, it's challenging, but it still leaves quite a lot of room for improvement. --Jon Foster This review refers to the PlayStation 2 version.
- Use a diverse range of tools in your hitman's arsenal, including chloroform, armor-piercing sniper rifles and explosives
- Pick up contracts in exotic locations like Sicily, Japan, Malaysia and India
- Play in a non-linear environment in which your character's outcome is dictated by your ability to balance stealth and aggression
- Seek and eliminate your targets in either first person or third person perspectives