Hitman 2: What You Need To Know
Agent 47 returns to stores next week for another round of cold-blooded contract killings in the seventh instalment in the Hitman franchise. Hitman 2 is the direct sequel to 2016's reboot Hitman and is due to make its arrival on Tuesday November 13th, here's everything you need to know...
So what's the synopsis here?
The first thing to point out here is that Hitman 2 has dispensed with the somewhat contentious 'episodic' format of its predecessor – instead, all six of the new game's chapters are available from the get-go this time around.
That said, the story featured in Hitman 2 does pick up roughly where Hitman left off and will see Agent 47 heading to six very different locations, each containing multiple missions. These include taking out a trio of cartel bosses in the Colombian jungle and killing a racing driver and her tech mogul father at a Formula One type event in Miami, but you'll also be heading to a handful of other places including Mumbai, Hawke's Bay in New Zealand, Whittleton Creek in the US state of Vermont and a mysterious North Atlantic island known as Sgàil (the Gaelic word for 'shadow', in case you were wondering).
Ultimately though, Agent 47 will be hunting down the enigmatic Shadow Client and attempting to disassemble his militia, discovering some new revelations about his own past in the process.
What's the gameplay like?
While the episodic approach to Hitman was undoubtedly a divisive issue among the franchise's community of fans, it certainly had its admirers and even the most vocal critics of the format would have to admit that the level of detail and the number of opportunities for organic discovery represented a big step up from earlier games in the series.
This time around the developers have tried to provide the best of both worlds and the levels and locations featured in Hitman 2 are every bit as immersive as those in its predecessor, some of which feel even bigger than ever.
There's also a huge amount of flexibility in terms of the ways in which you can take out your targets, allowing you to get creative with your kills and dish out all kinds of crazy deaths using anything and everything around you, from slitting your target's throat with a razor blade to feeding them to a hippo.
The time-limited Elusive Target missions also return in Hitman 2, with the first of these already revealed to be played by Sean Bean. The Yorkshireman stars as Mark Faba, a former MI5 agent turned freelance assassin who has earned himself the nickname 'The Undying' thanks to his knack for cheating death. Faba is set to make his arrival in the game on November 20th, one week after launch.
Any new features this time around?
Quite a few, actually, and they're all welcome additions. Perhaps the biggest of these is the new two-player co-op mode Sniper Assassin, which was originally shipped as a pre-order bonus mini-game but also features in the main game from launch. Set in Austria, you're tasked with eliminating three retired members of a gang called The Yardbirds at the wedding of one of their daughters, using all of your skills - and some help from a friend - to ensure it's a day to remember for all the wrong reasons.
There's also Ghost Mode, which allows you to face off against another player in a parallel scenario where the first to kill five targets wins. Targets are selected at random each time, and your actions will only have consequences for you, without affecting events in the same location for the other player.
Another addition in Hitman 2 is the new 'picture-in-picture' feature, which gives you a real-time view of any activity going on elsewhere in the surrounding area that you might want to be aware of. For example, if you've taken out a guard but failed to hide the body, its discovery could spell trouble for your mission, so a mini-screen pops up to alert you of the impending danger.
Other additions include gadgets such as concussion grenades, remote-detonating cellphones and proximity tasers which offer lots of different ways to take out targets and other enemies. The briefcase also makes a welcome return, allowing you to carry larger weapons without arousing suspicion.
Can I see a trailer?
Yes indeed, take a look at the new gameplay launch trailer below...