47 came out of retirement two years after a convincing revival in Hitman. IO Interactive and Warner, the new publisher of the franchise, take the opportunity to fine-tune a formula that has proven its worth. The famous video game assassin returns in an adventure soberly entitled Hitman 2 Mobile. Beware… death always strikes twice.
Hitman 2 Mobile Holds The World
in his hands, he holds the world.” The most fearsome of assassins has returned and invites you to follow him to the four corners of the globe. Hitman 2 Mobile is synonymous with a bloody road trip and Agent 47 sees the country. From the city of Bombay in India to a beach in New Zealand, from a typical American suburb to a Colombian village… six new destinations ensure a total and constant change of scenery. These places are teeming with passers-by, vacant natives and are large enough to encourage exploration and a taste for discovery.
Far from making a technical and graphic slap in the face, Hitman 2 Mobile does not deviate from the path taken by its elder brother. This episode relies on rich environments and a solid engine to build its levels and breathe life into it. The Danish studio has nevertheless partially revised its copy by improving the lighting effects, which are now dynamic, and by densifying the sets with multiple elements placed here and there. Two destinations screaming for truth are full of details and are doing very well. Nevertheless, the “plastic” rendering of human beings and the rigidity of the animations detonate and reduce the impact of the visual.
The reputation of the IO Interactive franchise has not been made by the pen, even if several episodes have stood out in the past. The scenario of the 2016 Hitman was anecdotal and that of Hitman 2 Mobile follows in its footsteps, despite a few flashes of lightning and a mastery of the codes of espionage. Agent 47 and Diana Burnwood, both members of the ICA, team up once again to track down and eliminate the Shadow Client at the request of Providence. This secret organisation promises in exchange for the services of the American agency to reveal the past and the origins of our hero.
Betrayal, conspiracy and international conspiracy play elbows in this tale inspired by the great cinematic, literary and video game sagas of the genre. The direction, in this case, shines by its discretion. Several 2D kinematics link the missions together, to which are added 3D introductions made with the game engine. Without creating a sparkle, the new adventures of 47 are sober and efficient in the image of its main agent. Note that the title is only available in English with French subtitles and has all the contents of Hitman (2016) provided you own the episode in question or the Legacy Pack.
47 Or The Universal Threat
After a diversion through the Action with Absolution box, Hitman returns to the origins of the franchise by betting on a calm and thoughtful approach to the assassination. Agent 47 blends into the scene and transforms the world into a weapon. The field of possibilities has never been as vast to eliminate one’s neighbour as in Hitman (2016) and Hitman 2 Mobile enriches the formula without distorting it. The concept doesn’t budge one iota. Parachuted into a semi-open area, our hitman seeks to shoot his targets undetected and tries to make the killings look like accidents.
IO Interactive pushes vice to the point of creating several scripted deaths called plots per target. Killed by a robot, crushed under a statue, eliminated by another contractor, distant fire, electrocution… Agent 47 has a wide range of choices to carry out his missions. Replayability and exploration are the cornerstones of an adventure designed to be played over and over again to complete the long list of challenges and assassinations available. Life span cannot be measured on the first run, but once each destination is 100% mastered, and on this point, the studio does not skimp on creativity or originality.
Agent 47 becomes active on the ground and is eventually prepared for penetration and murder. Dressing up, playing the guards, hiding a body, interacting with the environment, creating a diversion… the mechanics of the game inherent to the genre come together. And IO Interactive fine-tunes where necessary. Among the additions is the opportunity to camouflage oneself in the vegetation or in the crowd. Yet a reflection reveals the true news. Arriving behind someone’s back in front of a reflective surface finally reveals your presence… functionality that is far from being a gimmick and contributes to the realism of situations.
However, the weaknesses of the gameplay are obvious. Artificial intelligence benefits from a notable update with a fine-tuned suspicion-search system but suffers from certain historical evils of the franchise. The guards’ goldfish memory and their kamikaze behaviour during confrontations once again leave something to be desired. And these fights, admittedly secondary, still lack explosiveness and punch. The animations of the bodies on impact, the feeling with the weapon in hand and the covering system require many adjustments without ruining the experience in Hitman 2 Mobile.
Ghost Against Ghost
In terms of content, Hitman 2 Mobile is not strict, just the opposite. The mere replayability of the six missions provides the completes with dozens of hours of gameplay and IO Interactive hasn’t stopped there. The Contract mode allows players to create and share their own missions in the heart of the 12 destinations present in Hitman and Hitman 2. Simple and accessible, this level editor alone guarantees a long lifespan, without forgetting the ephemeral contracts to be eliminated within a given time frame, as well as the Sniper mode in which Agent 47 travels to Austria with only his sniper rifle and three targets as companions.
While it is highly formalised, Hitman 2 Mobile will impress us by incorporating a multiplayer mode as opposed to Ghost. In the latter, two assassins attack the same targets in two distinct realities with the aim of shooting them down without being spotted. Once the murder has been confirmed for one of the two hitmen, the other then has only 20 seconds to complete the objective, otherwise, the opponent will be awarded a point. Then another target appears and so on. Discretion is once again the key to victory.
Agent 47 have the same mechanics and equipment as in the solo campaign, minus the plots and other complex plans. Strangling, poisoning, stabbing, electrocution… all means are good to achieve their ends. Of course, killers can also use the identity of an NPC as a distraction to reach their target. But beware! The very same rules even as core story relate to this Ghost model. A compromised costume simply becomes unusable. This illustrates the biggest drawback, the small number of appearances of this multiplayer. Frying one or more identities turns an otherwise intense experience into a crossroads.
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