Previews

Curtailing the cartel — Hands-on with the Santa Fortuna, Columbia mission in Hitman 2

The sun is bright, tourists are snapping pictures, and the muddy square of this tiny Columbian town is being set up for a grand event. I’m seated in the shade, reading a newspaper, listening to Andrea Martinez ask about the preparations for the unveiling of a new statue. The unveiling is going to happen, but it’s not going to go as she plans, because I am Agent 47, and she is one my targets.

I got to spend some quality time with Hitman 2, exploring the new Santa Fortuna, Columbia, where we’ve been tasked with taking out the Delgado Cartel. This mission requires that we take out three different targets within the cartel: the cartel head, Rico Delgado, his PR guru, Andrea Martinez, and their chemist, Jorge Franco. While all three can be found within the same town, they are each in different locations, and some, such as Delgado, is rarely found outside of his well fortified mansion.

We arrive at the bus stop, armed with little more than a tourist outfit, a pistol with a silencer, and a few coins; it’s time to go explore the village and get the lay of the land. My demo was on an Xbox build, and I did struggle a little with the button placement as you can see in the video; after having logged so much time on my Switch, the locations of A, B, X, and Y are relative. In fact, when I first picked up the controller, I tried to press Y to pick up some rat poison, but actually pressed X, knocking out a tourist. Oops.

Hitman 2 is visually great. The town feels rundown, muddy, and dirty, but the rain forest is beautiful and lush, with matching ambiance. Santa Fortuna is impressively large, with a whole lot of different areas to explore, tools to collect, and, of course, people to knock out. Tourists talk about their vacations and try out peyote, armed guards loom large with automatic weapons gossiping among each other, and locals try to scrape by in their hovels.

There’s no shortage of ways to approach a mission as big as taking out three cartel heads; I focused on sabotaging a statue which Rico Delgado had paid to have erected in his honor, hoping to be able to take both he and Martinez out during the dedication ceremony, but quickly discovered a number of other options. From sneaking into the compounds to disguising yourself as the drug mule and begging an audience with Franco to ask forgiveness for breaking the cocaine-loaded figurine he was smuggling, Hitman 2 is already shaping up to have the scale and scope of freedoms and options we expect from this series.

Santa Fortuna is filled with secrets, including hidden caves, a corpse which Agent 47 actually had nothing to do with, and other exciting finds which we can’t yet talk about. Check out the video above for 30 minutes of gameplay. Hitman 2 will be coming to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PCs on November 13, and we have more news and videos soon to come.

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