‘Hitman 2’ review

'Hitman 2' goes in for the kill with more of everything you love

Hitman 2 takes everything you love from the series and expands on it in every way.
Hitman 2 takes everything you love from the series and expands on it in every way.
Hitman 2 takes everything you love from the series and expands on it in every way.

Highs

  • Countless ways to take down your target
  • Challenges with high replayability
  • Vast and detailed locales
  • The series’ core is not replaced, but improved
  • Offers plenty of tools for both newcomers and experienced players

Lows

  • The episodic format of the first game is surprisingly missed here
  • It can feel short if you’re not a fan of replaying episodes

Hitman 2 takes everything you love from IO Interactive’s take on the series and expands on it in almost every possible way. Abandoning the episodic format from the previous game, we’re introduced to a complete story from the very beginning. This new approach, in addition to the online multiplayer, sniper assassin mode, and hundreds of challenges available, are sure to excite your inner assassin. It’s an overwhelming but fulfilling experience that makes for one of the best entries in the stealth genre to date.

It’s in the details

Hitman 2’s story begins with 47 searching for intel on the Shadow Client. It follows the events of 2016’s Hitman and brings with it six new story missions that reveal clues about the current state of the International Contract Agency (ICA) and its targets. Between levels and through cutscenes, we get to watch 47’s hidden past reveal itself, leading to a few unsuspecting twists.

There’s one word that sums up Hitman 2 and it’s complex. Each new locale, from Miami to Mumbai, impresses with an ever-increasing scale, boasting massive structures, interactive stores, ornate villages, maze-like cities with breathtaking architecture, and even secret hubs underground. Each location has its own unique charm bringing out the personality of each target.

When it comes to killing, Hitman 2 challenges you to get creative. Assassinating targets require taking on delightfully outlandish roles in risky situations to complete missions. From impersonating a mechanic that sabotages a racing car to posing as a smuggler that infiltrates a massive drug lab, the variety of perilous situations you’ll find yourself in is only supplemented by the number of ways you can approach them.

A perfect execution

Hitman 2 does an excellent job of letting you choose between assisted stories or the full 47 experience (diving in blindly without a disguise). I opted for the former, slowly getting to know the maps and uncovering the stories.

Finding the most efficient way to complete your objective quickly becomes addictive in Hitman 2.

These stories often appear during conversations with NPCs as they slip you information on an international celebrity on their way to meet a target or a poorly built statue that can be used as a weapon. Some NPCs are readily available while others have to be discovered, but they all serve as a wonderful guide, also delivering on some of the game’s best moments.

One of our favorite missions involved working alongside another unknowing assassin, leading our target to the right spot and tasking them do the dirty work.

It’s all about stealth and being a chameleon is the best feature in the game. The possibilities are limitless. Changing identities in just a matter of seconds never gets old and neither does the vast selection of tools available. From more traditional weapons such as pistols, machine guns and bombs, to rudimentary options like fishes, rat poison and even muffins, the weapons you’ll use in combat are only meant to compliment your stealth, allowing you to kill or perform a non-lethal attack on targets without being caught. And of course, the suitcase has returned in Hitman 2, an accessory that lets you hide weapons in specific parts of the map, including 47’s trusty sniper rifle.

Even with all the weapons and tools in the world at your disposal, Hitman 2 demands accuracy. It’s a game with a learning curve. Finding the most efficient way to complete your objective quickly becomes addictive and it all comes down to experimentation. Following each mission, players can review their results. These include what you have accomplished during a level as well as all the different things you could have done instead. It invites players to try multiple runs and further explore levels.

Right from the very first moments, Hitman 2 is a massive experience.

In our case, that involved lots of reloading previous save files until a mission was perfectly executed with no traces of our presence or unnecessary casualties left behind. Hitman 2 rewards meticulousness with new equipment, items, disguises, and stories, all wrapped up in an online rank that levels up the more you play and complete additional tasks.

A long road ahead

Aside from main story missions, Hitman 2 introduces Ghost Mode, an online multiplayer where you compete against another assassin, taking down a number of targets in a limited amount of time. You cannot interact with other players and instead, see them as ghosts, as the name implies. It requires a more immediate reaction, and the best way to tackle this is to prepare yourself beforehand in single player, getting to know the maps in detail. Keep in mind that IO Interactive considers the current state of Ghost Mode a beta, and it will likely go under changes based on community feedback.

Hitman 2 Review

And that’s not all for multiplayer. Sniper Challenge mode is integrated in Hitman 2 and offers both single-player and co-op modes. In this mode, 47 can only use a sniper rifle while overlooking the map and must find the most efficient way to take down a number of targets. There is only one map available at this time and in this mission, targets include bodyguards as well.

Hitman 2 includes an expansion pack with additional content planned for the future. There’s also the possibility of returning to the levels of its predecessor by purchasing the Legacy Pack which is free for Season 1 owners. It includes improved graphics and all of the quality of life improvements and additions of the sequel. All of this, along with Elusive Targets and free content planned, ensures that there’s plans for a long roadmap ahead. And luckily, there aren’t any microtransactions in sight.

Our Take

Right from the very first moments, Hitman 2 is a massive experience. Landscapes are gorgeous playgrounds for chasing objectives and the variety of tools and weapons at your disposal feels endless.  Completing all the story missions is just scraping the surface of Hitman 2’s potential as it demands more finesse in your following visits, and shows promise for the future with its current roadmap. Hitman 2 takes everything we enjoyed from Hitman and improves on it, bringing forth the ultimate assassination game.

Is there a better alternative?

No. Hitman 2 is a unique and enjoyable entry, both to the stealth genre and the series.

How long will it last?

Our playthrough took about 10 hours but a completionist run along with additional modes and the upcoming Elusive Targets guarantees dozens of hours with ease.

Should you buy it?

If you’re not a fan of replaying levels, the story mode might fall short for you. But even if you’re not familiar with the series, Hitman 2 is an experience worth diving

Product Review

Anybody seen my grenades? ‘Battlefield V’ shows up late and unprepared

Battlefield V’s War Stories give us a new perspective on World War II, but the game’s lack of polish across both its campaign and multiplayer modes are almost impossible to ignore.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Gaming

‘Hitman 2’ makes a target of the unkillable Sean Bean, but you’d better not miss

Famously mortal actor Sean Bean will be available to kill in Hitman 2 beginning November 20. He'll be in the game as an Elusive Target for two weeks and you'll only get one chance to take him out.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Gaming

‘Marvel’s Spider-Man: Turf Wars’ sees Spidey confront the villainous Hammerhead

The second part of Marvel's Spider-Man's The City That Never Sleeps DLC swings into action on November 20. Titled Turf Wars, the new storyline is focused on Hammerhead, who is waging war across New York City.
Gaming

Mount up: Latest ‘Fortnite’ update adds powerful turret weapon, Food Fight LTM

The latest update for Fortnite added a Mounted Turret weapon to the battle royale mode. The weapon features unlimited ammunition, but it can overheat if fired too long without interruption.
Gaming

Xbox One adds mouse and keyboard support, levels playing field with PC

The latest system software update for Xbox One has added mouse and keyboard support. The support is limited to Warframe and Fortnite at the moment, with more games coming in November and December.
Mobile

Check out 30 of the best iPhone games you need to be playing

The iPhone has some of our favorite games available for any mobile platform. Here are the best iPhone games for every big-name genre, whether you're into puzzles, strategy, or something else entirely.
Gaming

The Army wants YOU … to play esports with soldiers

The U.S. Army is creating esports teams for games such as Overwatch, Fortnite, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and League of Legends. The initiative looks to boost recruitment, after missing the mark for the first time since 2005.
Computing

If the speed of AMD’s Radeon RX 590 doesn’t entice you, the game bundle will

AMD's Radeon RX 590 is a new video card that targets 1080p gaming at maximum detail. Starting at $280, it fills a gap between the Radeon RX 580 and the more expensive Radeon RX Vega. AMD says the new RX 590 can beat Nvidia's GTX 1060 Ti.
Gaming

PlayStation 4 celebrates fifth anniversary with ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ bundle

The PlayStation 4 is officially five years old today, November 15, and to celebrate the anniversary, Sony is offering a new console bundle that includes a free copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
Gaming

Bug is turning ‘Fallout 76’ players into mutants even more terrifying than usual

A bug linked to the Power Armor gear in Fallout 76 appears to be turning players into bizarre naked mutants, complete with extremely long limbs that are more than a little unsettling.
Deals

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.
Gaming

Tips for surviving the nuclear wasteland in 'Fallout 76'

Before running into nuclear wasteland with your Pip-Boy, take a moment to consider these Fallout 76 tips. From food and water to maintaining weapons and armor, here are the things all beginners should know.