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Hitman 2: Silent Assasin Review - Xbox

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It may not be the sort of occupation you'd find in the positions vacant section of the weekend paper (Requirements: bald head, light footed, experience tuning piano's), and the majority of us will never get to experience it, but professional hitman is something I'm sure all of us would like on our resumes. Thankfully IO Interactive has brought the sequel to their impressive PC Hitman to the Xbox, brining the job of assassin into your living room without the need to bleach the blood stains out of your shirt.

Gameplay

While many games give an illusion of freedom and absolute control over missions, Hitman 2 is one of the few titles that actually deliver on those promises. Each mission has a number of possible ways to complete your objectives, ranging from running in like a postal worker and dropping bodies to the silent stealthy approach.

The mission structure is routine and at first glance will seem quite boring. It usually consists of "kill person X", "retrieve item Y", "don't le the guards see you". This is where the true genius of Hitman 2 shines because each mission will probably never be carried out the same way. Whilst there is always fun to be had in waltzing into an open room and gunning down anything with a heart beat (the first level in Malaysia is a temptation for the bloodthirsty), there nothing more satisfying than sneaking in, performing your hit and getting out unnoticed. The game even rewards such behaviour, with each mission rated from "Silent Assassin" (allowed one shot, one kill, one close call) to "Mass Murderer". Attaining the highest rating on particular missions unlocks certain weapons such as a pair of silenced silver ballers.

In addition to the rewards for not being seen, Agent 47 has the usual wide array of weaponry at his disposal, and retrieving certain objects from your missions will make them available later on. Certain items are hard to return with (how do you walk out of a Mafia compound with the golf club of their deceased boss?), but can be considered trophies. And what better way to take someone out than with a golf club to the head? Certain missions will also allow you to choose a non-violent form of death, such as poisoning a drink.

The fibre wire makes a triumphant return, allowing you both a gruesome and silent way of taking out your victims. As with all the hand-to-hand weapons, the game requires you to sneak up behind the target, which is a tough task for some of the more nimble guards.

This is where the map comes into play, allowing you to track their routes and determine the best possible position to remove them. It also gives you clues as to how to attack each mission, showing you the entry points, weapons pickups and rooms of interest on each level. These rooms will usually house an item or clue to perform ... (continued next page)