The Active Network

ActiveXbox Active Network | Announced Titles | FAQ | ForumNews 

  *  

 
Hitman: Blood Money

Product: Hitman: Blood Money
Company: Eidos
Website: Official Game Site
Estimated Street Price: $59.99/49.99
Review By: Byron Hinson

The Features

I remember enjoying the original Hitman game on the PC some years ago, since then the game has grown in massive amounts with each game, getting better graphical, more locations and better AI. I have to admit that I haven't played all of the Hitman titles, certainly none on a console so far, but I was looking forward to the release of Blood Money on the 360, as it seems like the right time to release a Hitman game onto the console what with the excellent graphical capabilities of the 360.

Hitman: Blood Money places gamers once again in the role of the world's greatest assassin, Agent 47. When assassins from Agent 47's contract killing firm, The ICA, are systematically eliminated in a series of hits, it seems a larger more powerful agency has entered the fray. Sensing that he may be the next target, Agent 47 travels to America, where he Prepares to Make a Killing.

  • Welcome to the USA: Agent 47 is heading to the U.S. making deadly stops in iconic locales such as Las Vegas, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Mississippi.
  • All-New Game Engine: Now with a number of new moves including the ability to create accidents and to dispose of bodies as well as a re-vamped NPC and AI system, the world of being an assassin has never been more realistic.
  • New Blood Money System: Use your hard-earned cash to bribe the press, keep your picture out of the morning paper. Or you can customize and upgrade your weapons to match your personal style of assassination. The choice is up to you.
  • Assassin Rivalry: Agent 47 is up against a rival agency of assassins competing to take out high-priced targets, and may even become the primary target himself.
  • New Online Stat System allows players to post stats in a variety of different skills and feats. Compare and compete with other players around the world.
  • Rookie Training: New to the world of assassinations? New rookie mode and levels of difficulty will give you all the training needed.
  • Environmental Danger: Drop a priceless chandelier or use a remote bomb all new accident system allows for more freedom in choosing the method for taking out the target.

Gameplay

Review Quotes
"Graphically Hitman: Blood Money is a very good looking Xbox 360 title, especially when shown off on a large HDTV. Not only do some of the set pieces and level graphics feel like they have come out of the Hollywood movie, the game has so many people on the screen at one time without any slow down that I have to give credit to the developers."

If you have already played any of the other Hitman titles, you will already have an idea about what you will need to be doing during the game, but then again the title kind of gives it away! You once again play Agent 47, the genetically changed hitman killing machine. Firstly I have to state that the game finally has a very good story line that works well and keeps you wanting to know more as the game goes on.

The main changes gameplay wise are that the game now runs in a monetary system, this is a good idea and it works well, a Hitman is after all, paid for his clean hits. So how does this work? Well depending on how high you have the difficulty set, it is spread out over how clean your hit comes off, leave bodies lying around, get noticed by the public etc means that you overall wage at the end of the level will drop down. The problem here is that due to the new Notoriety system, you will end up wanting to kill nearly everyone you come into contact with simply because they may have witnessed you killing someone off. If you don't do this, people will start to know who you are via photo-fits and surveillance tapes.

The money you earn during the game can be used for various things, bribing officials, buying disguises and more. But once again it really is down to you as to how you complete the levels, if you want to go all out firing, you can do but its not recommended, if you want to go in via stealth its the best way but also the most time consuming, especially if you are at the highest difficulty level which allows you no saves at all! Just about every action you take part on gets analyzed by the engine.

This time round you get to take part in hits based across the United States, from Las Vegas to New Orleans, these provide much better environments than most Hitman players have been used to in the previous games. Throughout the game you will need to gain disguises to keep yourself out of harms way so that no one figures out who you are. You gain disguises by taking clothes off people you killed or taking them from rooms. One of the main problems with the game is that the enemy AI is still not as good as it could be, I've done things that should grab their attention, yet half the time it doesn't, in saying that, you now have a meter in the game which shows the level of suspicion you are under, stay too close to someone and they may well figure out who you are.

The level design is good though and not only that, the levels feel real. They are filled with people both bad and good walking around, its one of the few games that have shown just how many people can be on the screen at one time on the Xbox 360 and they even have some good details too. There are also a number of areas in which Hitman: Blood Money improves over the previous titles, Weapon upgrades are cool, the press clipping system that shows up to tell you what went on in your last mission is very cool too. The ability to complete side missions to gain more money works surprisingly well and adds some sense of replayability to a game that usually doesn't have any.

Graphics & Sound

Graphically Hitman: Blood Money is a very good looking Xbox 360 title, especially when shown off on a large HDTV. Not only do some of the set pieces and level graphics feel like they have come out of the Hollywood movie, the game has so many people on the screen at one time without any slow down that I have to give credit to the developers. There is so much detail in the game with nearly every level being different from the last from walking around an opera theater to a vineyard. Jesper Kyd's soundtrack is once again an excellent addition to the Hitman series. The sound itself is also excellent with some fantastic surround sound for those of you who have the speaker setup to enjoy it.

Final Comments


Byron's Gamertag

I really enjoyed Hitman: Blood Money. It is a game that takes a lot of time up admittedly, but you feel better for it once you get through the levels. There are lots of things to do in each area with places to  hide, lots of availability for sneaking around or simply blowing someone away. But that doesn't mean everything is perfect, the inventory system needs some work just to make it much quicker to change weapons would be great and the AI still needs tuning as shooting someone in one room should quickly alert people in the room next door. Graphically I can't find much wrong with the game, it does what it is supposed to, looks very good on a HDTV and even manages to fill nearly every level with loads of people. On the basis of what we have here, the big production values, excellent graphics, better controls and excellent level design makes Hitman: Blood Money the best of the series so far.

 

How It Grades
Controls: 85%
Gameplay: 85%
Presentation: 85%
Graphics: 90%
Multiplayer: N/A
Sound: 91%
Interface: 80%
Lastability: 80%
Price/Value: 76%
Overall: 83%
Specs & Package
Overall Score 83%
Version Reviewed Hitman: Blood Money (PAL)
Release Date Out Now
In The Box? 1 Hitman: Blood Money DVD-ROM
1 Set Of Instructions
The Good Points Some very good graphics
Long Levels
Excellent Sound
Improved over the last one
The Bad Points Dodgy AI
Fiddly Inventory
Xbox Live! Online Play Enabled? No
Widescreen Support Yes
PAL 60 Support (Europe) Yes
HD Resolutions 480p
720p
1080i


Return To The Xbox Section

 

  *  
  *   *