I had been working to get to my target for the past 45 minutes or so, but she always evaded me. But now was the perfect time. She had just been handed a love letter. Obviously, this was the perfect opportunity to eliminate her.
Silently, I crept up behind the woman standing precariously near the balcony outside her quarters. She had no idea I was there. She was too caught up in the contents of the letter to notice I was about to push her straight over the ledge and into the waiting ocean below, where she would languish in her watery grave. It was kind of comical, actually, watching her fall, and then making a swift exit so that I could go eradicate my next mark.
Hitman 2 is a cacophony of these moments, each as well-executed as the last. The sequel to the popular reboot is true to IO Interactive's take on the assassination simulator, with a swath of improvements and augments. Agent 47 is larger than life and as deadpan as ever, and through this game's follow-up to 2016's Hitman and six new massive story missions to complete, there's a little to learn about the character that makes for an intriguing adventure.
As Agent 47, you're tasked with eliminating various targets, all connected to collecting intel on an entity known as the Shadow Client. The story missions you're meant to complete have you gathering information on the International Contract Agency (ICA) and the targets in its crosshairs. From Miami to New Zealand and everywhere in between, you travel the globe on your manhunt. Elaborate, painstakingly mapped areas become your playground as you grapple with ways to take out the ones you came to kill, and it's all deeply rooted in each character's personality.
While the game's overall tone is quite serious when meting out tidbits of its backstory, it's rife with some particularly hilarious moments. In the first level, as you work to take out professional race car driver Amanda Knox and her father, you come across a bright pink flamingo mascot outfit that you can wear right up until you take their lives. It's not as simple as just finding the outfit, putting it on, and killing them, of course. There are several machinations involved that you'll need to go through before you can pull off some beautifully orchestrated assassinations, but when you finally do so, it feels like ripping open a carefully wrapped gift.
So much effort goes into "clean" kills so you can exit each level without worrying about being found on the way out, and that's where Hitman 2 truly shines. You can run around and kill people at random, sure, but the "proper" way to play, and the decidedly more entertaining one, is to play through the assisted stories tied to various different items in each stage. You might, for example, need to poison someone so you can open up a clear shot at your target. Or maybe you need to dress up as a security guard to get close enough for an assassination attempt. Perhaps you're a barber waiting for your target, slicing through their jugular at the right moment when they come in for a little off the top.
There's a wide selection of tools you can use to do Agent 47's dirty work, and they never get old. The game demands that you remain patient, accurate, and doggedly determined, and that's what makes it such an addictive affair.
With online multiplayer options, DLC that allows you to replay the first game's missions, and challenges to go back and complete (as well as different paths through each assassination) by way of the Legacy Pack. It's free if you already own the original Hitman, and purchasable otherwise if not. There are only six missions right now, unfortunately, but with the promise of more on the horizon,
It's clear this is a game that will be getting support for the long haul. If you're a fan of the 2016 Hitman or a longtime supporter of the games since they made their console debut long ago, you'll undoubtedly fall in love with Hitman 2 from the first mission's hilarious encounter to the emotional ending.
Hitman 2 is available now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.