Hitman Trilogy

Triple Threat

The Hitman Trilogy is quite possibly the easiest recommendation we've ever made.
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: June 30, 2007
This is probably going to be the shortest review we've ever done here on the site. Normally I don't like to skimp on the whys of a recommendation, but in the case of the Hitman Trilogy it should be stupid obvious: three games, three awesome games that all for ten bucks a pop. If you never managed to grab one (or all) of the games in the series, it's not going to get much more affordable than this.


Better still, the games serve as separate but complementary chronicles of just how far the game has come. Long before sandbox games became the rage, Agent 47's missions were robustly open-ended, allowing you to go in guns blazing or spend literally hours setting up the perfect, calculated hit. That the storyline started to come more to the fore as the series went on doesn't hurt things either, though some would probably argue that [game-447]Hitman: Contracts[/game], the second of the games in the trilogy, did dip in quality a little.

Luckily, Hitman: Blood Money finishes off the series as it stands on the PS2 near-flawlessly; the controls are improved, the tech in place is staggering (just wait until you see the Mardi Gras level -- even without the benefit of next-gen horsepower, the stuff that Io Interactive was able to squeeze out of the comparatively ancient PlayStation 2 hardware is amazing). Though the games probably should be played through in order to properly appreciate all of them without getting hung up on what the previous games lack, it's not as if Hitman 2 is so far behind that it's impossible to play after giving Blood Money a run-through.

I'll just give it to you straight: this is a killer deal on three killer games that really do need to be played to understand how Io Interactive gained a following. If it helps sweeten the deal at all, there is a bonus disc for Kane & Lynch: Dead Men that comes bundled with Blood Money, but it's two trailers and a handful of screens -- I think we actually have more content up on our site at this point (kidding, kidding, there hasn't been any PS3 media released yet). Consider the bonus disc just that -- icing on the strychnine-laced cake.

If you've ever been curious about the series, are missing one of the games from the collection here or just want to have shiny new copies, the price is certainly right and even when the game falters, it's still among the best open-ended games on the PlayStation 2. Definitely pick this one up.
The Verdict
9.0

Three great games for $30? C'mon, this really is a no-brainer. From the imaginative mission designs to the storyline that actually ends up getting pretty damn good at the end, there's no easier way to pick up the whole of Agent 47's adventures on the PS2.

8.0Graphics:

Though Hitman 2 looks a little dated next to Blood Money the series as a whole isn't that old and has held up nicely. The engine might strain to cram everything on screen, but PS2 does a fairly decent job of keeping up.

9.0Sound:

Few series on any platform have managed to consistently deliver in the soundtrack department, but if there is one sure thing in this industry, it's composer Jesper Kyd. The sound effects and voice acting get better and clearer as the series goes on.

7.5Control:

Early Hitman games struggled to free themselves from the stiffer controls of being a primarily keyboard-driven series. By the time you get to Blood Money, though, it's all good.

8.5Gameplay:

Few games repeatedly deliver the same level of freedom to tackle a mission, and half the fun of a Hitman game is going back and trying a different approach to a level. Here you can do it for all there games in one fell swoop.