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Author Topic: Hitman: Blood Money impressions  (Read 1644 times)
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Ridah
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« on: June 01, 2006, 02:15:38 AM »

This is my first foray into the Hitman series, I didn't have any sort of expectations for the game going into it although I know its been a decent series. I brought home the 360 version today and played through the first mission, so I have some early impressions to give.

First of all the game looks pretty good graphically. Actually, I was worried the game was going to look average or less for a 360 game since it was released on the PS2 and Xbox as well, but it seems they actually put some work into increasing the resolution and making a better character model. Also, thankfully, playing in 720 and 1080 modes doesn't cause any sort of frame rate issues like Tomb Raider: Legend does. The special effects kinda suck, like explosions and blood splatter when you shoot people.

So far the game is fun, but sometimes it feels a bit unforgiving. Its probably just because I'm brand new to the game, but it seems very easy to screw up your mission. On normal difficulty you are given 7 saves per mission which is enough but definately makes you think twice about whether you want to save or not. I like that there are so many different ways to take someone out, the controls can feel clunky occasionally but for the most part the camera works out and you can control your character pretty smoothly. I read through the instruction booklet and it seems like the missions will offer a good amount of strategy in terms of how you kill people, who you decide to kill, and covering your tracks because apparently you gain notoriety by leaving witnesses and such which makes your future missions more difficult.

So anyhow, only about an hour of impressions so far and I'm liking it. IGN rated it an even 8.0, so it might be worth playing the whole way through. I'll post again when I have a few more hours of play time.
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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2006, 05:47:35 AM »

Sweet.  I actually went to Blockbluster to try and rent this for the Xbox today but they didn't have it.  I really enjoyed Hitman 2, Hitman Contracts was okay and I've been looking forward to this one so anything else you can say about it would be appreciated.
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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2006, 05:54:33 AM »

Well, I can add in a few things:

The levels are TRULY freeform.  I'm going to tell you about the different ways I found to take out one target in the game...I'll tag it as a spoiler just to be safe:

Spoiler for Hiden:
There is a mission where you have to take out a Senator's son.  You can shoot him in the face and deal with the consequences, poison his drink and let the waiter bring it to him, get underneath his Jacuzzi (which pokes through the bottom of a cliff) and shoot the glass, dropping all of the people inside the bowl to their death, use an aphrodesiac in his drink which will make him leave the Jacuzzi and head to some place more private...which is a good place to shoot or hit him with the fiberwire, you can wait till he peers over the edge of the railing and give him a nudge, you can use a rifle with a silencer and tag him from far away, etc. etc. etc.
 Every level seems to have about a half dozen very non-obvious ways of dealing with your intended targets.  Very VERY freeform.  So far, I'm finding it very challenging without being obscene.  Its good to have a game with a little difficulty behind it. smile
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Ridah
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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2006, 07:03:44 AM »

Ugh, I've been stuck on the Opera level for almost three hours now. Gotta admit though, this is the most fun I've had being stuck in a while. Any tips, Knightshade?

Spoiler for Hiden:
I already killed the actor by replacing the prop gun with the real one. How do I kill this next guy when he's surrounded by so much security? I suspect I need to kill the lights somehow but I can't figure out now.
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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2006, 07:07:44 AM »

Quote from: "Ridah"
Ugh, I've been stuck on the Opera level for almost three hours now. Gotta admit though, this is the most fun I've had being stuck in a while. Any tips, Knightshade?

Spoiler for Hiden:
I already killed the actor by planting replacing the prop gun with the real one. How do I kill this next guy when he's surrounded by so much security? I suspect I need to kill the lights somehow but I can't figure out now.


Sure thing.  As always, there are quite a few ways.  Here are a few that I tried:

Spoiler for Hiden:
You can get above the lights and put a bomb up there.  When the guy runs up under the lights to grieve over the dead actor you pop the lights.  Happy accident, Silent Assassin.  Similarly, you can go to the very top and put a bomb on the big chandelier and when he trips running towards the stage you can drop it on his head.  Again, Silent Assassin.  If you bring the rifle you can get up on the scaffolding up top and pop him in the head, but that is more....messy. slywink
Hope that helps!
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2006, 01:15:10 PM »

Quote from: "Knightshade Dragon"
Every level seems to have about a half dozen very non-obvious ways of dealing with your intended targets. Very VERY freeform. So far, I'm finding it very challenging without being obscene. Its good to have a game with a little difficulty behind it.


You've just sold me on this game.

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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2006, 01:56:40 PM »

Unfortunately, this is the thing that always kills the Hitman series for me.  Trial and error gameplay with limited saves (though I'm playing at "easy" to eliminate that, but then you don't even get a notoriety meter) makes it too freeform for me.
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Jimmy the Fish
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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2006, 05:54:06 PM »

How is the difficulty level of this  game? I tried the first Hitman long ago and just couldn't get into it because it got sadistically hard after one or two levels.
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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2006, 09:20:08 PM »

Quote
Unfortunately, this is the thing that always kills the Hitman series for me. Trial and error gameplay with limited saves (though I'm playing at "easy" to eliminate that, but then you don't even get a notoriety meter) makes it too freeform for me.


Hitman holds a lot of the same appeal for me that the Thief series does: although it's possible to stumble your way through a level, knocking out or killing anyone who discovers you, the challenge is in figuring out how to slip in and out of a heavily guarded compound before anyone even knew you were there.  Any game lets you take center stage as you run and gun your way through waves of opposition; precious few reward you for inconspicuously casing the joint and sliding in and out of cracks in the security system like a ghost.

One of the things that bugged me about the demo for Hitman: Contracts was that I could *not* figure out any way to blow up that damn submarine without raising an alarm and causing collateral deaths.  If I wanted to blow things up, I'd play Black.  I want a game where I can leave behind a dead body in a room surrounded by guards and sealed from the inside....  :twisted:

I do have a question though: the demo for Blood Money had an option for "Simple Strangulation" or "Easy Strangulation."  What exactly does that option do?

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2006, 02:15:56 AM »

Picked this up over lunch, but don't have impressions yet because I've only played through the tutorial mission.... twice.  Major bug/glitch that I was hit with as follows -

I played through the tutorial mission.  At the end, you're given an achievement.  I'm in the habit of whenever I see the "Achievement Unlocked" message, I hit the guide button so I can immediately see what it is.  I did it this time.  The guide started to slide out, but stuck halfway and it looked like the box locked up.  Seemed like I had hit it right when the game was loading whatever "Mission complete" screen it gives you.

I let it sit for about 20 seconds, and it kicked back in and showed the achievement ok.  Hitman was still a black screen under the guide though.  I closed the guide, and instead of going back to Hitman it dumped me out to the dashboard.  I loaded up Hitman from the dash and all my progress was gone - including all the save games I had made during the mission.  So in effect I had to start over from scratch.  Lesson learned - don't use the guide while Hitman is loading anything.
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« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2006, 02:44:14 AM »

I do love the Thief series through and through, but there I don't feel like my exploration is punished or that it's really trial and error.  With Hitman, it always seems like I make a mistake and there's no recovery.
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jimmyorr99
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« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2006, 01:29:31 PM »

I love Hitman, I need to check this out pronto, but I haven't got around to it. Although I probably prefer them on the PC, I'm interested to see how this one will be on the 360, especially with the controls.
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« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2006, 01:48:55 PM »

Quote from: "kathode"
Lesson learned - don't use the guide while Hitman is loading anything.


Don't use the guide when the 360 is loading anything has been my experience.
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« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2006, 02:20:28 PM »

I do it all the time in loading screens and it's been fine.  It's actually a Microsoft requirement that it work during loads.
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« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2006, 03:18:34 PM »

I think it happened to me in NFS:MW so I have enver done it since.
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« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2006, 05:18:59 PM »

I'm about 8 missions into into it now, unfortunately the game is quickly becoming stale. Each mission is basically the same formula: They give you a few marks to kill, maybe something to retreive, and you have to figure out how to kill the marks without being caught.  Also, the sneaking aspect of the gamepay is hugely under-developed, I almost never need to sneak, even when I'm coming up behind someone to strangle them, I simply run up and do the deed. Its also too easy for your cover to accidently be blow, resulting in gunfights. Which brings me to another complaint - Why even have guns in this game? If you ever get into a situation where your cover is blown and someone is shooting at you, tons of backup arrive within seconds so there's no point in even attempting to survive a shootout. There may be a few rare occasions where the incident is isolated and once you've killed your attacker your suspicion meter goes back down, but 90% of the time you attract his buddies.

I'm not sure how far from completing the game I am, but unless some of the missions I have left to do turn out to be really good and unique from the rest, this game will become a victim of repetetive gameplay and an under-developed game engine.
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« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2006, 10:40:47 PM »

I played Contracts. and it was fun, but I didnt put any effort into it, and got bored quickly, because I wanted to run and shoot and turn it into James Bond.

But I think I might give this a try as well.
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« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2006, 12:54:34 PM »

Contracts really sucked big time, just re use of the old hitman 1 missions.

Blood money however is the best game i have played in a very long time, it's on my top 10 list of best games ever.
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« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2006, 12:57:36 PM »

Quote from: "Ridah"
I'm about 8 missions into into it now, unfortunately the game is quickly becoming stale. Each mission is basically the same formula: They give you a few marks to kill, maybe something to retreive, and you have to figure out how to kill the marks without being caught.  Also, the sneaking aspect of the gamepay is hugely under-developed, I almost never need to sneak, even when I'm coming up behind someone to strangle them, I simply run up and do the deed. Its also too easy for your cover to accidently be blow, resulting in gunfights. Which brings me to another complaint - Why even have guns in this game? If you ever get into a situation where your cover is blown and someone is shooting at you, tons of backup arrive within seconds so there's no point in even attempting to survive a shootout. There may be a few rare occasions where the incident is isolated and once you've killed your attacker your suspicion meter goes back down, but 90% of the time you attract his buddies.

I'm not sure how far from completing the game I am, but unless some of the missions I have left to do turn out to be really good and unique from the rest, this game will become a victim of repetetive gameplay and an under-developed game engine.


Tell me what the name of the mission is and I'll tell you how close you are to completing it.  I'm writing my review of it tomorrow. smile
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« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2006, 05:02:40 PM »

I didn't bother finishing the game, I was uninspired by the time I reached the level where your in some sort of mardi gras party happening on the streets. Very repetetive gameplay, and not nearly as much freedom as it seems.
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« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2006, 06:09:24 PM »

I finished it a couple nights back.  Last night I got the Most Notorious achievement, which is very difficult.  Once you get up above about 50 notoriety, someone can recognize you very fast.  Around 90 and it is nearly impossible to stand still without someone yelling "Psycho killer!!!" and running for the cops.  I had some trouble with it at first.  On the opera level I actually managed to kill every single person on the map.  It took about two full hours because I was constantly getting killed by swarms of cops and bodyguards but I finally did it and got the "terrorist" rating with 66 kills.  However, my notoriety didn't go up almost at all.  The reason?  I didn't leave any witnesses smile  For that reason, the New Orleans level is great for jacking up your notoriety, though it's not as easy as it might seem at first.

Overall I loved it.  There are a ton of ways to complete each mission and I love the formula of how it just drops you in with marks and lets you figure it out.  I also loved dumping the lighter fluid on the barbecue in the suburban level and watching the result.  Or shooting out the bottom of the porn king's grotto smile  Definitely lots and lots of memorable kills.  The double camera system is also very cool, even if you can feel the framerate drop noticeably when it engages.

Ridah, gun use is pretty easy with a few simple guidelines.  First, always use a silenced weapon.  If you've got a silencer and no one is looking you can pretty much fire with impunity.  People do react to missed shots hitting the wall by them, so you've got to kill them before they have a chance to warn others.  Without a silencer you can still use guns but you have to be much more careful.  You have to kill on the first shot, and you have to immediately change clothes.  Someone is bound to come running and if they see you standing there in an outfit they've already seen you in, you're toast.  If you've changed though, you're good as long as you don't go sprinting away.

Keep in mind though, any gun use at all will remove the possibility of a silent assassin rating.  Gotta be sneaky with the syringes.
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« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2006, 04:30:01 AM »

Guns still useful if you want to get Silent Assassin rating. Just remember that gun can be useful even if you don't shoot anyone/anything with it.

But if you don't want Silent Assassin rating, then you just need to kill them fast enough. A sniper rifle can be good for slaughtering security personnels from as distance without endangering yourself.
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« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2006, 04:36:08 AM »

Quote from: "Ridah"
I didn't bother finishing the game, I was uninspired by the time I reached the level where your in some sort of mardi gras party happening on the streets. Very repetetive gameplay, and not nearly as much freedom as it seems.


If you stop playing at that level, then you miss out on some great missions later on. As for repetitive gameplay, what you expect? You're playing a hitman so of course all the missions are about Mr. 47 killing marks. But while you're tasked to do the same thing every mission, unlike previous Hitman games, this time the missions are vary enough to be interesting.

Also if anyone want a challenge, they can try to finish most missions by limiting to staging accidental death of the marks (possible to do in all missions except maybe one of the marks in the White House mission).
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