Review: Hitman: Blood Money - 11/07/2008 by Michael
Having played all of the Hitman games to date I was eargerly anticipating Blood Money, for as with each previous game, the designers promise more freedom to make the hit and better AI. Did they deliver it in the fourth game of the series, well kind of.
First thing to note is that this game is fantastically violent, this fact can sometimes be overlooked as we are all used to the premise of Hitman. However it should be remembered that in these games you just sneak around and dispose of people in the most imaginative ways possible. No wonder these games are so popular. This alone should make everybody go out and buy it. Back to the point of whether Blood Money does this better than Contracts. Yes it does. Most notably this time round most of the hits take place during very public events, at parties, at the opera or a wedding. This means that the traditional ways of sneak in the window, hide in the closet and garrote the target is largely impossible. This time you must create more elaborate accidents. This takes a lot of planning and patience and can be ultimately rewarding if you pull it off and unbelievably frustrating when one of the party guests walks in when you are poisoning the cake.
Yes this game requires some imagination on the part of the player, for there is usually several ways to knock off the targets, the kind of imagination you don't get to use in everyday life, unless you are a troubled individual of course, and largely when it all comes together it is rewarding. But, and this is a big BUT, on the highest difficulty where there are no saves allowed and AI is at its highest it is stupidly hard to get Silent Assassin on some levels. This can drive a perfectionist player up the wall. I mean sometimes you can finish a mission without any 'noise', leaving no witnesses, no bodies in sight, all clean hits using neat weapons or accidents and still not get the rating. Lame.
As to whether the AI of NPC's is higher than before, probably slightly but not enough to really make a difference. Everyone still walks on a set pattern and has predictable reactions, but if this were not the case the game would be tedious and near impossible. For if targets had random behavior finding them would be a big enough problem.
There are a few new elements to the game which add some enjoyment, such as the upgrading of standard weapons and equipment, for when a weapon is fully upgraded it is truly awesome, the assault rifle gets a scope and almost doubles as a fully automatic sniper, and the sniper becomes so accurate it takes no skill at all. Another new twist is the notoriety, which means if you walk in and start blazing you become a well known psycho, hence in following missions people will recognize you and start shooting at you making it really hard to be sneaky. The problem with this system is that you just pay money to drop your level and its all good again, not too challenging really.
I dig this game but I must say it can be a very consuming game, due to the large amount of time spent doing nothing in the game some people will find it ultimately boring. Again its one of those games where you have to be on your own without any distractions and willing to spend hours planning the perfect hit. If you do put the time in you will get one big reward, the ending. This game sets new standards in cool endings, and I can only hope others follow suit in the whole bonus level make use of the credits dealio. I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't played it, but it entails resurrection and the second coming, WITH GUNS. Good times. Seriously.