Hitman: Blood Money HD

Hitman: Blood Money HDHitman: Blood Money is the 4th entry to the series, exploring events narrated by a former FBI director after a two years period hunting down the legendary assassin. Published by Eidos Interactive, it was released in 2006 for PCs, PS2, OG Xbox and Xbox 360, where I had my last contact with 47. In this game, you will guide our favorite bald assassin (Kratos who?) throughout the globe after high-value targets in a rural area of Chile, an Opera House in Paris, California, Colorado, Las Vegas and much more. After the not so well received Hitman: Contracts, Blood Money achieved great success, with a Metacritic score of 82 in its Xbox 360 version, putting the series back on track!

What is Good?

  • Gameplay: If you’ve never played a Hitman game (those mobile ones doesn’t count, ok?), there goes a brief explanation: in each stage, you’re assigned a task which consists, in most of the time, of eliminating targets. You can always go after your target with guns blazing, eliminating any targets on sight. But this is not how it’s meant to be played. In Hitman, you must become a silent assassin, a true ghost, capable of eliminating your target or accomplishing your assignments while leaving no tracks behind. You must hit them without being noticed so no one will ever suspect your actions. This is how Hitman works: if you can see Agent 47, Agent 47 can see you. If you can’t see Agent 47… well… I’ll pay my respects at your ceremony.
  • Dealing with adversaries: During your gameplay, you have a good number of ways to deal with obstacles (and by obstacles, I mean guards, witnesses or anyone who can blow up your disguise and compromise your mission). The easiest way is always to eliminate them. To do so, you can use your weapons (the fiber wire is still my favorite) or items that can be used as weapons like hammers and baseball bats. But sometimes it’s best to avoid them, distracting your enemies by throwing objects or turning off the lights. There’s always more than a way to accomplish a mission. Depending on your playstyle, it may require a few tries to identify the most silent method to deal with them. But it’s totally up to you how to accomplish each mission.
  • Disguise system: To help you reach your objectives, 47 can wear different disguises that allow you to enter secured areas or to manipulate items or gadgets without raising suspicions. To acquire these disguises, you must… hmm… obtain them somehow during stages. So, remember to be careful and not to let any NPC witness you attaining them.
  • Score system: One of the main objectives to play as a Silent Assassin is the ranking system at the end of each stage. After finishing a mission, a newspaper will pop up describing what happened during the stage. If someone witnessed your actions or if you left tracks of your actions, police may suspect the action of a Hitman. If not, they will suppose an accident must have happened. The fewer tracks you leave and the less innocent people you kill, the higher your score. The higher your score, the bigger your payment. This payment can be used to upgrade your weapons and equipment or to silence witnesses, reducing your notoriety, so you better always try to get as much money as possible in each stage.

Mixed Feelings

  • Graphical revamp The great reason behind its remaster: a true upscaling to 4K visuals at 60 FPS, with improved textures and lighting effects. The textures are clearly better than the original version (thanks to backward compatibility, I was able to compare them), but the physics of its world feel really dated. After the first mission, you will be so immersed in the game it won’t be a problem for you, though.
  • AI: The AI of NPCs and enemies is very forgiving, according to the difficulty level you’re playing. When playing on the highest difficulty level, besides not seeing your enemies on your radar, enemies will deal more damage and be much more intolerant to your actions. But I still feel they are a little blind, deaf or just pretend they don’t see what’s going on around them. I must say, though, they still have a bionic vision that can see (and identify you as an enemy) from far away, reducing the realism.

What is Bad?

  • Old graphical problems: Although the revamp, some old problems still persist: you will notice clipping, bodies crossing objects and some other old-games problems. And let’s not forget about the bad quality CGs. Whenever I see a new remaster announcement, I wonder what the developer is actually remastering. Especially when comparing it to remasters like Duck Tales, The Secret of Money Island, Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy (some of my favorite) or the upcoming Resident Evil 2, that’s about to set a new level for remasters. With Hitman: Blood Money, IO Interactive went for (what I imagine) is the easier way: Updated textures, improved lighting and frame rate, but leaving other aspects like CGs untouched.
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