A harbour in Singapore. Three primary targets, plenty of cannon fodder and numerous opportunities. One pull of the trigger, to decide the fate of a couple drawn into a web of deceit and conspiracy.
Gods, Hitman 2 really is good, isn’t it? While the primary game is one of a sandbox wherein players can loiter around to their heart’s content as they keep an eye open for opportunities, it’s the Sniper Assassin missions which really highlight just how polished IO Interactive’s world of assassination really is. For a mode that anchors Agent 47 to a single position, Sniper Assassin is remarkable in the flexibility that it affords players even when he’s perched in a level that reacts with clockwork timing.
Much like the previous entry, it’s not just about gauging the distance of your target and nailing them with a headshot. It’s about emphasising the core aspects of Hitman, of moving unseen and maintaining an air of “everything is perfectly alright even if that fella next to me just suddenly disappeared”. It’s about covering up any traces that you may have just rearranged the grey matter within a target’s head using bullet surgery.
It’s about making a death look like an accident or an act of god, of hiding the body in nearby dumps of trash or in the ocean below. And when it comes to cocking up, it’s about flexing your trigger finger and taking control of a situation with the same level of precision as you’d expect a neurosurgeon to have on an operating table.
Hantu Port is another fantastic showcase of this surgical approach, and of Agent 47’s ability to use his environment to his advantage. With a 15 minute timer that ticks away at opportunities, there’s an astounding level of replayability in this mission, that ranges from the muscle memorisation needed for taking down targets in a certain order to finding new opportunities to send goons to the not-so-pearly gates of whatever religion they practice.
Several hours in, and I’m still finding new ways to complete a contract. I’ve managed to poison a target’s drink, hide a body in a garage that was opened with bullets and my patience has resulted in a particularly gruesome demise for all three of my marks when I operated a crane with my rifle. It’s that cheeky appetite for destruction combined with Hitman 2’s pitch perfect sense of tension whenever you gently squeeze the trigger, that makes Sniper Assassin so exhilarating to experience.
One shot, one kill. Hours of fun and plenty of consequences. Perfection.
Last Updated: March 28, 2019