Io-Interactive‘s classic murder simulation/action-adventure mix series silently creeps on DRM-free platform GOG with Hitman: Blood Money and Hitman: Absolution.
Being the fourth title in the long-running series of games that have been as much about controversy as about a unique mix of stealth, action, and strategy, Hitman: Blood Money, originally released in 2006, still holds a few surprises. Of course trying to figure out how best to eliminate the targets of Agent 47 remains unchanged, but now the more effective and creative the kills are, the more (blood) money the player earns to spend on bribing witnesses and police, customizing weapons, buying specialist equipment, and gathering information.
This time Agent 47 is caught up in a conspiracy, as the contract agency he works for, the ICA, becomes the main target of people who also want to get rid of their employees. The only way to be prepared for is to modify Agent 47’s weapons and take out every threat with accuracy and preferably silence. Being able to disarm and distract enemies becomes as important as making deaths look like accidents or simply letting bodies disappear or using people as human shields if it gets tough. Agent 47 is much nimbler, too, being able to climb, hide, and get over ledges while automatically passing low obstacles. As the AI is improved as well, with guards following clues and behaving much more realistically, Agent 47 needs all the help he can get.
Hitman: Absolution came out in 2012, so it’s obvious that due to its modern graphics and more cinematic presentation, it has aged much better than the other four games. The silent assassin Agent 47 is now hunted by police and the organization he worked for, so it’s much more intense, although the shooter elements are still complemented by stealth segments. Of course it’s up to the player if he or she wants to attack with all guns blazing or make people disappear without others noticing.
Finding the right disguise and blending in with the environment is still important for survival, so knowing people’s movements and where to best dispose of them while stealing/using their clothes becomes second nature again. With the new Instinct Mode it’s also possibe to predict enemy movements, discover new ways to kill and use the right weapons at the right time. Despite the bleak subject matter, there is still enough silly humor, mostly because of some of the disguises, to elevate the experience from a single-minded murder simulation into something much easier to digest with black humor situations.
Both Hitman: Blood Money and Hitman: Absolution are now available DRM-free on GOG with a 75% launch discount. They’re also part of the Hitman series promo which offers all the other games with reduced prices. But don’t wait too long, as the discount is only valid until April 11th, 1pm UTC.
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