Hitman: Blood Money is a 2006 stealth video game developed by IO Interactive and published by Eidos Interactive for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox and Xbox 360. It is the fourth installment in the Hitman video game series. The story follows the life of professional hitman, Agent 47, as narrated in cutscenes by a former director of the FBI to a journalist who is interviewing him. The game was a critical and commercial success for Eidos, selling more than 2.1 million copies. High-definition ports of Blood Money and its predecessors, Silent Assassin and Contracts, were released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in January 2013 as the Hitman HD Trilogy. Remastered versions of Blood Money and its successor, Hitman: Absolution, were released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as part of the Hitman HD Enhanced Collection.

Plot

Blood Money begins with a flashback to an amusement park accident in Baltimore, Maryland. Negligent maintenance of a Ferris wheel caused it to collapse and kill 36 people. The father of one of the victims contacts the International Contract Agency, “the Agency”, and orders a hit on the park owner, Joseph Clarence. After completing the hit, the assassin, Agent 47, receives contracts from additional clients.

Most of the game occurs as flashback sequences as discussed by journalist Rick Henderson and former FBI Director Alexander Leland “Jack” Cayne. Cayne lies to Henderson, saying Agent 47 stole Dr. Ort-Meyer’s cloning data to sell to the highest bidder, and that Agent 47 was working with a group of assassins known as “the Franchise” to kill the U.S. Interior secretary.

Throughout the game, the Agency’s employees are assassinated by the Franchise. Ultimately, Agent 47’s handler, Diana Burnwood, informs him that they are the only operatives remaining. Burnwood closes the Agency and divides its profits between them. After completing his final assignment, Agent 47 is approached by an old acquaintance, CIA agent Carlton Smith, who Agent 47 once rescued. Smith offers Agent 47 $1 million of diamonds to prevent the Franchise operative Mark Parchezzi III and Vice-President Daniel Morris from assassinating the U.S. president. Parchezzi and Morris work for Alpha Zerox, a political organization that seeks to monopolize the cloning technology used to create Agent 47. Since the president intends to legalize cloning, they hope to replace him with Morris.

Gameplay

This Hitman game comes with a campaign of 12 separate missions for Agent 47 to complete. The objective is always the same: Eliminate your targets and escape. There are multiple ways to assassinate your enemies varying from shooting them with a shotgun in front of a crowd to throwing a piano in their head to make it look like and accident. Each mission is staged in a different place and has it’s own unique environment. Be aware that your surroundings will greatly affect the way you will carry the assassination.

Your basic weapons are your silent Fibre Wire, a Pistol, an Assault Rifle, an SMG, a Shotgun and a Sniper. The noise and detection levels heavily depend on your choice. If you choose a more stealthy approach,the Coin, the Knife and the Syringe will be your best friends. Keep in mind that you must always dispose of the bodies you leave in public spaces, because a dead or unconscious body will raise unwanted suspicion and cause an alarm.

Finally the most important part of this franchise are the disguises. In many missions you will encounter some special well-protected areas that you can’t enter with your standard outfit. In order to have access to these places you need to find or steal a suit that will let you infiltrate the room unnoticed. If you force your way in with a non appropriate uniform, you will instantly aggro all the hostile guards around you. Changing disguises often lets Agent 47 navigate the level faster, reduces the alert level and, to be honest, makes you feel like a real hitman.

Graphics / Sound

The graphics are superb for a 2006 game and they will not be tiring for the eye at all. Stages are linear, like every Hitman game, but they are well designed and their animation is smooth. The Hitman: Blood Money Original Soundtrack, composed by Jesper Kyd, was released on 30 May 2006 by Sumthing Else and Eidos. The score was performed with the Budapest Symphony Orchestra and the Hungarian Radio Choir. It features Kyd’s trademark ambience and dark, foreboding arrangements with the choral parts in deep brooding Latin. It is, without exaggeration, one of the best soundtracks of all time.

Unique Features

Like every game in the Hitman franchise, the creation of IO Interactive gives you a unique assassin feeling, providing you with a bunchload of ways to eliminate your targets. You can enter the mission guns blazing like Rambo and cause a huge ruckus or you can simply blend in with the crowd and make it look like an accident. It’s up to you.

Replayability

The main story takes around 11 hours to complete, the main+extra 16 hours and the completionist 19 hours. You can replay the missions for better scores and you can try different ways of assassination, but if you are looking for a game with huge replayability, The Hitman: Blood Money probably doesn’t make the cut.

Pros

  • Very decent graphics for the year of it’s release

  • Amazing soundtrack

  • Well designed stealth gameplay

  • Many different ways to complete each mission

Cons

  • Linear Gameplay

  • No significant Plot

  • Small room for replayability

Rating (7.8/10)

  • Plot: 7/10

  • Gameplay: 9/10

  • Graphics: 7/10

  • Sound: 9.5/10

  • Uniqueness: 8/10

  • Replayability: 6/10

Primary version tested: Xbox 360

Foivos Karkanis

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