If I may be so bold as to node a dissenting opinion...
I picked up a used copy of Hitman 2: Silent Assassin from a bargain bin for fifteen bucks on a whim one day.
I must say, I got roughly my money's worth.
Admittedly, the box for the game made it look *BADASS*. "Travel around the world, meet interesting people... And kill them" proclaimed the review on the back. A picture on the front of the Hitman himself, looking like death-incarnate in his impeccable black suit with black leather gloves, with his two chrome Ballers gripped firmly in his hands. And on the back, a picture of him crouched with gun in hand, the light darkening his features into something very, very scary indeed.
Oh yeah, this is definitely my kind of game.
Several hours later...
My avatar is walking s-l-o-w-l-y through the well-lit hallway of a building.
I'm wearing, I shit you not, a pair of khaki short-shorts with a matching button up shirt, along with a pair of knee-high black socks, and a jaunty black beret.
I look like a gay, geriatric Boy Scout.
Underneath my close-fitting khaki shirt is the following weaponry:
First, this is not NEARLY as badass as I envisioned it. Secondly, what in God's name is a precision killer like myself doing with this much weaponry when I'm trying to run a covert job?
This is just the beginning of the problems with what I will admit is an absolutely stunning idea for a game. I just think this could have been done *MUCH* better.
Color me underwhelmed.
The graphics for this game are extremely... OK. I gave it a good sporting chance, but I just did not see anything that impressed me at all, and quite a bit that did the exact opposite.
For starters, everwhere that the Hitman walks, and do I mean EVERYWHERE, his head is tilted at the exact same angle to the left.
Everywhere. For the entire game. It gets annoying faster than you would think.
Ragdoll Physics. Yawn. I've yet to see this done in a way that impresses me. I'll gladly trade it in for some halfway decent lighting effects and textures.
As for the rest of the graphics... Well... It isn't so much that they're BAD, as much as they just aren't all that GOOD. The character models aren't particularly stunning, and the levels aren't awe-inspiring at all. Everything just looks kind of low quality. And if you ever want to give yourself nightmares at night, swing the camera around to look at Hitman's face while he's climbing a ladder. Horrifying.
Graphics are the least of the problems I've found with this game. There are a number of things that make this game not-much-fun to play.
The first problem is that the HUGE barcode tattooed on the back of Hitman's skull kind of makes that whole infiltration-through-disguise thing a mite bit implausible. For chrissakes, can't he use makeup on it or something? If it isn't clear from the review above, taking out various people to steal their clothes and disguise yourself is a large part of the game mechanics. Aside from the barcode, Hitman just doesn't seem to play off some of these roles very well.
"The pizza guy is here. He's bald, and he has this big barcode tattoed on the back of his skull. He looks a bit like a gay geriatric Boy Scout, and he also appears to be concealing about seven or eight handguns and some ungodly amount of ammunition under a shirt that's entirely too small for him. Should I send him in?"
"For God's sake, Jones, are you crazy? Make sure he remembered my chicken strips first!"
Needless to say, I don't exactly feel immersed in my role here.
Aside from the fact that many of the disguises make a patentedly cool character like the Hitman so damned ridiculous, trying to navigate a level while wearing one is an exercise in frustration. I know it's supposed to be much of the point of the game, but the problem is that if you run while wearing one, you'll be assaulted by the guards.
So you're left with walking.
I understand that it is realistic that the aforementioned Gay-Geriatric-Boy-Scout-Pizza-Delivery-Boy/Contract-Killer wouldn't be sprinting through the building, but the walking speed is just *tedious*. It doesn't take very long before I snap, whip out my .45 Ballers, and start wasting civilians and guards alike out of pure frustration and impatience. Besides, I figure if I waste enough people, I'll get my target, eventually...
To make things worse, Hitman even ACTS like he's infirm. He doesn't do a whole lot besides walk, run, shoot, and climb ladders. Sure, you can move bodies, but you'd imagine that someone as badass as the Hitman would just sling them over his shoulder, and carry them off, right? Nope. He drags them along by one arm. S-l-o-w-l-y, of course. LAME!
So, when everything is said and done, there is really only two things to do. Get a disguise, walk at a infuriatingly snail-like crawl to your target, and waste them. Then leave. Either that, or switch into FPS view, and start blasting...
Stealth action? Disguise and infiltrate? Great idea. Horrible execution. I do, however, have high hopes for Hitman: Contracts.
As for Silent Assassin, however, just put a sticker on the front that reads "Pwn3d by Sam Fisher", and call it truth in advertising.
Considering that this is the 15th best selling game for Xbox, YM, of course, MV.