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Hitman (series)
HitmanLogo us.svg
Hitman logo
Genre(s) Stealth
Developer(s) IO Interactive
Publisher(s) Square Enix
Platform(s) PlayStation 2, Nintendo Gamecube, Microsoft Windows, Xbox, Xbox 360
First release Hitman: Codename 47
November 2000
Latest release Hitman: Blood Money
May 30, 2006
Official website Official Site

Hitman is a stealth game series developed by the Danish company IO Interactive, now a division of Square Enix. The series is available on PC as well as several video game consoles, including the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Xbox 360. The game series has since expanded into a novel, Hitman: Enemy Within written by William C. Dietz, and a Hitman film adaptation which is loosely based on the storyline of the games. Released on November 21, 2007, it starred Timothy Olyphant in the role of Agent 47.

The series revolves around Agent 47 (usually simply referred to as "47" or "Mr. 47"), an assassin-for-hire, whose flawless record places him in high demand among the wealthy and elite. The games feature a mix of orchestral and electronica musical scores, composed by Jesper Kyd. Hitman 5 is in the works; according to the Square Enix team and is due for release late in the fourth quarter of 2010. [1]

Contents

Games

To date, four games have been released with a fifth title in development by IO Interactive for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows.[2][3][4] The fifth title has been officially announced by Square Enix, though no further information has been released. The games contain violence and blood and are rated Mature (17+) by the Entertainment Software Rating Board. All games are third-person stealth-based, although it is possible to switch between third-person and first-person perspective in all versions except in the first, which offers an optional camera angle comparable to one used in fixed-camera adventure games.

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Hitman Triple Pack

Hitman Triple Pack
Hitman-triple-pack-cover.jpg
Developer(s) IO Interactive
Publisher(s) Eidos Interactive
Engine Glacier
Platform(s) Windows, PlayStation 2
Release date(s) NA June 20, 2007
PAL June 22, 2007
Genre(s) third-person shooter
Stealth
Mode(s) Single player
Rating(s) BBFC: 18
ESRB: Mature (17+)
PEGI: 18+
Media DVD

A Hitman compilation was released for the PC and PlayStation 2 containing the last three games of the series; Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Hitman: Contracts, and Hitman: Blood Money. The compilation is called Hitman The Triple Hit Pack in Europe and Hitman Trilogy in North America.[5] It was released for the North American market on June 20, 2007 and for the European market on June 22, 2007.[5][6]

The purpose for this new release of the three latest Hitman-games is to introduce new players to the series as well as giving old players one Hitman-package. The compilation also includes a Kane & Lynch: Dead Men bonus disc with some special features.[7]

Included games are:

  • Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
  • Hitman: Contracts
  • Hitman: Blood Money

Note that Hitman: Codename 47 is the first game of the series and follows a slightly different game mechanic from its sequels. It has been omitted most likely due to the fact that it was only released for PC, as the trilogy pack was released for the PlayStation 2 as well. Furthermore, Hitman: Contracts includes some levels remade from Hitman: Codename 47. Hitman: Ultimate Contract, a PC-only compilation of all four games, was released on 17 Jul 2009.[8]

Gameplay

The core objective in each level is to kill an assigned target (usually one and sometimes a secondary target as an optional bonus). In most cases, Hitman allows the player different options to accomplish this task. Players can perform precise assassinations or slaughter indiscriminately in order to achieve the mission goals; however, the games reward a subtle approach by awarding special weapons or cash bonuses if players earn a favourable rank (usually achievable by eliminating only the assigned target, and without raising the alarm doing so). 47 can also wear a variety of disguises (such as repairmen, police officers and waiters) to fool enemies and gain access to restricted areas. The focus of Hitman is not hiding in the shadows from the enemy, but rather blending in amongst them. It is up to the player to initiate the violence, since guards do not usually open fire unless provoked.

In every game, the player character, Agent 47, has limited maneuverability; he cannot jump, scale walls, or mantle up ledges (there are a few pre-scripted places where he can jump from one balcony to another, but these are rare). This generally limits the player to a single plane of movement, although he is often presented the opportunity to move to higher or lower areas through the use of ladders, stairs, elevators, or hills.

47 is given the ability to hop over minor obstructions in Blood Money, and can also climb up certain edifices (such as fencing, vines, loose bricks, etc). There is also the option of climbing onto the top of elevators through the hatch, allowing the player to strangle a victim from above. This is thought to be a homage to the Luc Besson hitman film Léon, in which the title character kills in this way in an early scene.

A major feature in the game is the "tension" meter, detailing how much attention the player is receiving from the public or guards and is dependent on many things. For example, walking around in a guard's uniform with the correct corresponding gun won't gather much notice, whereas running around in a waiter's uniform in a restricted area while carrying a visible weapon instead of an appetizer tray will result in an unwanted confrontation with the guards.

Most cases, 47 is required to hide any dead bodies, to prevent alarm. As introduced in Hitman Blood Money, 47 can hide a body in a place such as a garbage dump. Many targets in the Hitman games can be assassinated without firing a single shot; this style of gameplay became more prevalent in Blood Money, where the focus was to make 47's hits look like accidents. Accidents can be caused remotely with RU-AP mines acting on some (usually heavy and suspended) object, directly by pushing someone over a railing, and by other, more elaborate methods such as:

  • Replacing a WW1 Replica Gun to be used in the opera Tosca with a real WW1 era pistol.
  • Crushing a man's neck using weights during his morning workout.
  • Rigging a grill to set a victim on fire.

The second game of the series, Silent Assassin, enforced the concept of kills without firing more than a single shot. As per the number of gun shots fired and stealth used, ratings were given after every mission. The best of these was Silent Assassin indicating no more than 1 gunshot per target (and a guard) with no alerts raised.

Hitman insignia

The logo for Hitman and 47's insignia

The Hitman insignia appears in Hitman: Codename 47 on the gates of Ort-Meyer's asylum, throughout his laboratory and is formed by Ort-Meyer's pool of blood when 47 kills him at the end of the game. It also appears in Hitman: Contracts on the floor of the cloning lab, this time as though it is the actual floor design, as well as on Ort-Meyer's belt buckle.

The symbol is engraved on the handles of his custom AMT Hardballer pistols. After Contracts, the symbol is on the slides as well. It is also found on 47's equipment such as his laptop, his briefcases and cell phone. In the film, 47 wears a pair of silver cufflinks with his insignia enamelled in red.

Methods of assassination

The Hitman series permits the player to kill targets (or non-targets) in a variety of ways, using firearms, melee weapons, or even conventional objects that 47 picks up (such as shovels, pokers, pool cues, etc). In Contracts, melee weapons such as knives can be used to kill in more than one method, including forward stabs, horizontal throat slitting, frontal slashes, repeated stabs under the ribcage, or thrusting the blade into the carotid artery.

47 also has a garrote wire, or fiber strangulation wire. Unlike conventional piano wire, the fiber wire is specially made for strangulation, with reinforced handles so 47 can use his maximum grip to choke and break the windpipe of his target. He carries it with him on every mission, even those in which he is stripped of all other weaponry. It is also one of the few weapons (along with the syringe, .22 SD and plastic explosives) which can bypass metal detectors.

To achieve the ideal Silent Assassin rank, it is recommended that 47 only kill his assigned targets, and no one else. The sedative syringes, or chloroform in Hitman 2: Silent Assassin (which only has a temporary, dose-dependent effect, unlike syringes), exist for this purpose, so that 47 may incapacitate an innocent person to take items or clothing from their body without harming them at all (so it does not count against the player in the final ranking). In Hitman: Blood Money, the ability to add sedative to food and drink was added, to avoid direct confrontation. Hitman: Blood Money also introduced the option to hold any player hostage using smaller arms and use them as a human shield, and allows the player to knock the hostage unconscious with the gun, saving the player much needed sedatives for food items or any impeding characters that are seated in chairs. In some missions, if a murder can be made to look like accidental death (using the accident system first introduced in Blood Money), some kills will not be counted as hits, but as accidents. Any civilians or armed personnel who witness a kill (even from afar) will count as witnesses, and will harm the player's rank if they remain alive or alert nearby guards. If however, someone (target or civilian) dies because of an accident, it will not matter if there are witnesses. 47 has the option of killing witnesses before they reach a guard, but the unnecessary murder will still count against his rank (unless he kills them with an accident). Witnesses also include anybody who sees 47 changing disguises or holding a weapon. In the games prior to Blood Money, the only consequence of having witnesses to a crime is that they will seek out police/guards and trigger an alert.

There are mission-specific options for killing a target in certain levels. Notable examples include locking a target in a sauna to stimulate a heart condition and cause cardiac arrest, poisoning a target's meal (this becomes more widespread in Blood Money, with meals or drinks that can be poisoned in almost every level), disguising 47 as a doctor and sabotaging a surgical operation, replacing a prop Mauser C96 handgun with a real one at an opera rehearsal, causing an actor to unwittingly kill the target, and causing stage pyrotechnics to explode and set the target on fire.

In most cases, it is required that 47 also hide the body of killed or unconscious victims, in order to avoid any unwanted alarm.

International Contract Agency

The logo of the Agency, bearing a close resemblance to the former logo of MI5

The International Contract Agency (ICA), also known simply as “The Agency”, is Agent 47's employer. It is a worldwide, well-funded clandestine operation organization, with underlying connections to the foreign legion, providing assassination and mercenary services; Credited assassinations have taken place in the Americas, the Pacific Rim, and Eurasia. The Agency enjoys the cooperation of affiliates such as the FBI, CIA, MI5, and even elements within the U.N. Although politically neutral and ethically amoral, the Agency avoids accepting hits ordered by enemies of its allies in government bureaus. In addition, most of 47's assigned assassination targets are criminals.

The Agency's motto, the latin, "Merces Letifer" means literally, "lethal trade." It is also interesting to note that the Agency's logo itself is based on the original MI5 emblem replacing, along with the images themselves, the characters in the three corners, originally M, I, and 5, from left to right with IOI, for IO Interactive.

The Agency uses “controllers” like Diana Burnwood as go-betweens with its agents. They provide freelance operatives like 47 with electronic correspondence and mission briefings. Contractors also sell intelligence briefings on the subjects of missions to their agents for the fee of USD 1,500 per file. In Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, 47's registration number in the Agency is BRO3886. To date, the Agency encountered and overcame a similar organization, known as The Franchise. The Agency managed to survive, though only 47 and Diana were left. In "Hitman: Blood Money", it is heavily suggested that the Agency structures itself similarly to the Royal Family, given Diana's position relative to a person she refers to as "Your Majesty". However, this may in fact be a literal title, especially given the Agency's link to Britain, suggested by its emblem.

In the Hitman film, which is set in another “universe”, the Agency is replaced by the Organization. Like the Agency, the Organization benefits from ties to various government agencies, is neutral in global affairs and morality, and performs missions all over the world. Unlike the game wherein the hitmen are contracted from a range of backgrounds, the Organization instead recruits orphans and trains them from an early age.

Major or recurring characters

  • Agent 47: A genetically-engineered assassin created from the recombinant DNA of five of the world's most dangerous criminals. The fact that the DNA came from multiple ethnicities allows 47 to blend in to a certain degree in most places in the world, or at least not look immediately suspicious and out-of-place. His name comes from the last two digits of a bar code on the back of his head – 640509-040147. He is a tall, bald, blue-eyed, no-nonsense individual and usually wears a suit with black leather gloves and a red tie and is known to disguise himself. Engineered from conception to be the perfect killer, 47's strength, speed, and intellect are above the human norm. 47 is voiced by David Bateson.
  • Diana Burnwood: 47's handler at the Agency. Diana briefs 47 on his assignments, oversees his progress, and serves as his guide over the radio. For the vast majority of the series, 47 never sees Diana, recognizing her only by voice. They do come face-to-face at the conclusion of Hitman: Blood Money and Hitman: Contracts. Diana has an upper-class English accent and a business-like demeanor. Although Diana usually handles 47's affairs from afar, she turns out to be a major character in Hitman: Blood Money; serving as a double agent, faking 47's death, saving the Agency from liquidation, and dodging death herself a few times.[9] In the end, her efforts pay off when the Agency is brought back online, although it is left unmentioned if Diana has been promoted to a higher position.[10] Diana is voiced by Vivienne McKee. In the Hitman film, Diana's only form of contact with 47 is through a synthesized voice via laptop. However, she does directly call 47 by phone in order to warn him that the Organization has targeted him.
  • Agent Smith: A fairly inept American CIA agent with ties to the Agency. He has a tendency to be captured and tortured by the people he has been assigned to spy on. As a result, the Agency has sent 47 to rescue him on a number of occasions. His torture experiences have caused him to take up drinking on the job, making him even more ineffective. Like 47, Agent Smith dons a variety of disguises, but most often he's seen beaten and stripped down to his American Flag boxer shorts. He seems to regard 47 as a friend, no doubt because 47 has rescued him so many times. The feeling is not mutual. 47 initially treats his relationship with Agent Smith as detached and professional, but as he is forced to rescue Smith again and again he increasingly sees Smith as an ineffective hindrance. In Hitman: Blood Money, 47 puts a gun to Smith's head and threatens to kill him. Smith's appearance changes somewhat in Hitman: Blood Money, having lost most of his hair through long term alcoholism and depression. In the Hitman film, Smith is instead portrayed as a very competent and dutiful CIA agent. In return for assassinating a high priority CIA target (Udre Belicoff, the brother of 47's original target), Smith helps 47 elude arrest by Interpol.
  • Lei-Ling: A young woman from the Chinese mainland, abducted and recruited into the brothel of Hong Kong crime lord Lee Hong. 47 rescues her in exchange for information about her employer in preparation for assassinating him.[11] After escaping from Lee Hong, Lei-Ling is later revealed to be prostituting herself to Hayamoto, another Asian crime lord. 47 ends up rescuing her again (much to his consternation).[12] Lei-Ling is apparently the first woman who has ever kissed 47; his reaction is different in the original game from the remake. In the original Hitman, 47 reacts with significant revulsion. In the remake Hitman: Contracts, his reaction is one of detached bemusement, although this may be the result of subject flash-back motif of the game. She was known as Mei Ling in Hitman: Contracts.
  • Dr. Otto Wolfgang Ort-Meyer: 47's creator and the ultimate villain of Hitman: Codename 47. A brilliant but dangerous individual. Ostracized by the scientific community for his radical theories on genetic manipulation, Ort-Meyer ran a sophisticated lab hidden beneath a Romanian asylum. There he labored on DNA splicing in an effort to create a flawless human being. He took a great part in raising and indoctrinating 47 at the asylum, where 47 was kept a prisoner until he matured. Ort-Meyer eventually engineered 47's "escape" from the asylum in order to test his performance in the real world. The consummate megalomaniac, Ort-Meyer contracted with the Agency to have 47 kill the other 4 men behind the Hitman Project (47's "fathers"), so that Ort-Meyer could enjoy the fruits of his labor by himself. Ort-Meyer then attempted to lure 47 to his death, having perfected "Mr. 48", an improved, mindlessly loyal series of clones. Ort-Meyer underestimated how far 47 had advanced, and in the final showdown, 47 slaughtered the 48s and then killed Ort-Meyer himself by snapping his neck.

Reception

Aggregate review scores
As of January 11, 2010.
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Hitman: Codename 47 74.43% 73%
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin 84.83% (PS2)
83.60% (GC)
85.14% (Xbox)
85.47% (PC)
85% (PS2)
83% (GC)
84% (Xbox)
87% (PC)
Hitman: Contracts 80.07% (PS2)
77.99% (Xbox)
74.97% (PC)
80% (PS2)
78% (Xbox)
87% (PC)
Hitman: Blood Money 82.54% (PS2)
81.84% (Xbox)
82.36% (PC)
83.06% (360)
83% (PS2)
81% (Xbox)
82% (PC)
82% (360)

The Hitman series has received overall positive reviews, with most titles after the original receive high review scores of over 80 on average review sites such as Metacritic and GameRankings.

References

  1. ^ http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=218427
  2. ^ "Page 17 of SCi Entertainment Group Plc Annual Report 2007" (PDF). SCi Entertainment Group Plc. http://miranda.hemscott.com/ir/seg/pdf/AnnualReport07.pdf. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  3. ^ "Magazine scan of Hitman 5 reveal" (JPG). XBox World. 2007-12-09. http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/9283/secretgames4ol6uy9.jpg. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  4. ^ "SCi reveals new Hitman". Gamespot UK. 2007-09-27. http://uk.gamespot.com/ps3/action/hitman5/news.html?sid=6179961&mode=all. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  5. ^ a b "Hitman Trilogy". Eidos Interactive. http://www.eidosinteractive.com/games/info.html?gmid=183. Retrieved 2007-06-16. 
  6. ^ "Hitman Triple Pack Now Available". GamersHell.com. 2007-06-22. http://www.gamershell.com/companies/eidos/355449.html. Retrieved 2007-07-07. 
  7. ^ "Eidos Unveils Hitman Triple Threat". IGN Entertainment. 2007-06-19. http://games.ign.com/articles/797/797853p1.html. Retrieved 2007-06-22. 
  8. ^ "Hitman: Ultimate Contract (PC DVD)". Amazon.co.uk. 2009-07-17. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hitman-Ultimate-Contract-PC-DVD/dp/B002FL50UW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1252943353&sr=8-1. 
  9. ^ Diana: You and I are all that's left of the Agency 47, and I doubt I'll last much longer. Eidos Interactive Hitman: Blood Money (US) 2006-5-26
  10. ^ Diana: Yes, your Majesty, almost all of our resources are online again. Hitman: Blood Money (US) 2006-5-26
  11. ^ Mei Ling: You foreigner. Then you understand. Listen, you have to help me, please. They kidnapped me and then they brought me here... [...] First you have to get me out of here and then the combination is yours. Eidos Interactive Hitman Contracts 4-20-2004 (US)
  12. ^ 47: Sill living a lousy life I see. I save you from Lee Hong and his Triad outfit in Hong Kong, and first thing after that mess, you're in it with another hotshot crimelord! Lei Ling: Well, I don't mind. The hours are short and the pay is good. But he is just an old rich bastard and I am bored now. Eidos Interactive Hitman 2: Silent Assassin 10-1-2002 (US)

Hitman V[1]
[[File:|256px]]
Developer(s) IO Interactive [2]
Publisher(s) Square Enix , Eidos Interactive [1]
Series Hitman [1]
Version 5 [1]
Platform(s) PC, X360, PS3 [1]
Genre(s) Action, Stealth [1]

Hitman 5 is an upcoming game in the Hitman series and is being developed by IO Interative.[2][3][4]

Agent 47 will be the protagonist.[1] [5]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "About this Game". IGN. IGN. http://ps3.ign.com/objects/143/14348845.html. Retrieved August 19, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "hitman-5-confirmed". gameshadow. gameshadow. http://blog.gameshadow.com/index.php/hitman-5-confirmed/. Retrieved August 19, 2010. 
  3. ^ "IGN PC". IGN PC. IGN PC. http://pc.ign.com/articles/101/1014445p1.html. Retrieved August 19, 2010. 
  4. ^ "EIDOS Annual Report". hemscott. hemscott. http://miranda.hemscott.com/ir/seg/pdf/AnnualReport07.pdf. Retrieved August 19, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Hitman 5 out 2010 - plot details". computerandvideogames. computerandvideogames. http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=218427. Retrieved August 19, 2010. 

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