Hitman 2 review – Elusive Targets shine brighter than Agent 47's head

Hitman 2 PS4, Xbox One REVIEW (Image: IO INTERACTIVE)

Sitting somewhere between an expansion and a sequel, Hitman 2 is a title that I was having difficultly getting excited about, despite enjoying the previous game.

One of my favourite titles of 2016, Hitman developer IO Interactive employed a divisive episodic release strategy that saw new maps and missions launch every couple of months.

Not only did this give players the ability to master each level before the next one arrived, but it also helped Hitman to stay relevant and maintain interest throughout the entire year.

Hitman 2 is a much more conventional release, giving fans access to the entire game – DLC aside – on day one.

And whether it’s the move away from the episodic, launching during the silly season, or the fact that very little has changed between titles, Hitman 2 struggled to grab my attention.

And then the first Elusive Target arrived.

Hitman 2 PS4, Xbox One review (Image: IO INTERACTIVE)

A few weeks after its initial launch in November, IO Interactive has finally unleashed Hitman 2’s first Elusive Target mission, this time featuring Sean Bean.

Playing on the fact that he gets killed in pretty much every film and TV series he’s involved in, Sean Bean’s character is an assassin known as the Undying.

Your job is to finish him off for good, although as an Elusive Target, you only get one shot. You can’t save, you can’t restart and you can’t fail.

Elusive targets were my favourite part of the previous Hitman game, and the one thing I’m glad hasn’t changed a bit.

It’s a real thrill knowing that you only have one chance to make it count, and that any mistakes will rule you out until the next Elusive Target comes along.

Playing the Elusive Target mission really reminded me what I loved about the last Hitman game, and gave me a fresh appetite for the campaign.

Spread across six different chapters, the action is largely the same as before, barring a few new gadgets, features and quality of life improvements. This includes crowd blending, picture-in-picture alerts when guards spot one of your distractions or fallen victims, as well as the return of the assassin’s briefcase, which lets you smuggle weapons.

There’s also a brand new multiplayer Ghost mode that pits two assassins against each other in a race to eliminate targets.

Definitely one to watch, the Ghost mode is a nice idea that has the potential to make assassinations more chaotic – so the opposite of Elusive Targets, then – although you’ll struggle to get the most out of it until you’ve fully mastered each level.

And this is easier said than done, because Hitman 2’s maps are bigger than they first appear and surprisingly dense.

Hitman 2 PS4, Xbox One review (Image: IO INTERACTIVE)

From a Miami race track to the Mumbai slums, each new level is packed with murderous opportunity, letting Agent 47 dress up as everything from a feathery mascot to a follicly challenged barber with a fondness for Sweeney Todd.

While the visuals haven’t come on in leaps and bounds, it’s hard not to be impressed by the beauty and diversity of the levels. If only the cutscenes had been given the same level of attention.

With hundreds of different ways to complete each mission, Elusive Targets to kill, friends to race, Escalation Missions to complete and even original Hitman levels to master, no game encourages replayibility quite like Hitman 2.

It may not have the same impact as its 2016 predecessor, but once you take on your first Elusive Target you’ll be hooked.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *