Why Hitman 2 is such a great game – Reader’s Feature

A reader explains his love of IO Interactive’s latest sequel and why he thinks it’s the best example of a live service games so far.

I don’t quite remember when the term ‘live game’ was coined, entering the ever-increasing lexicon of gaming terms. The term hasn’t been met with warmth from gamers, usually seen as an excuse to release an unfinished product, with the promise of improvement later on.

The majority of games that offer a constant stream of new content fail to provide a meaningful reason to stick with an old game when new exciting experiences are out there. I want to shine a light on one of the few games that has managed to successfully use the live game model; benefiting both gamers and the developer. That game is Hitman 2.

Hitman 2 is a great game; the question is, why? Its story is convoluted and derivative; a lack of animated cut scenes leaves a rough mark on what is an overall polished game. What makes Hitman 2 the perfect example of a live game just so happens to be the same thing that make all Hitman games (Absolution excluded) so fun to play.

It’s the sandbox nature of the Hitman series that allows Hitman 2 to really shine. The series allows for an enormous amount of creativity, making almost anything a weapon. What Hitman 2 and its predecessor, Hitman (2016) did, was focus this sandbox freedom into a series of challenges, feats, and mission stories that retain a sense of creative freedom, but in a more purposeful way.

So much of what makes Hitman addictive to play is the satisfying feeling the player gets when 20 minutes of planning comes together in a fatal crescendo of death; still, you know what they say about best laid plans. There’s nothing worse than seeing all your work fall apart, whether through your own doing or that of the artificial intelligence.

Adding challenges takes that weight of the crescendo off of your shoulders, instead tasking you with the planning of the final outcome. Mission stories act both as set pieces and extra story content, allowing you to learn more about the motives of your targets. Mucking about is great fun but working toward something is better; this is the foundation of Hitman 2’s success.

The roadmap builds on this foundation. For almost a year Hitman 2 has followed a monthly content roadmap, releasing a steady stream of quality content. From escalation missions that increase in difficulty with each playthrough, to elusive targets that require thought and discretion. This side content is reason enough to return to Hitman, but unlocking new items really takes the cake. These items can be purely cosmetic, like different costumes, but many are new weapons that make your deadly job slightly easier.

I’m an ardent supporter of single-player games. Recent releases like God of War and Marvel’s Spider-Man (both PlayStation 4 exclusives) have proven that story-focused games are going nowhere. Hitman 2 isn’t a story-focused game, nor does it pretend to be; it knows what it is. Hitman 2 continues to be one of the best ‘bang for your buck’ games on the market. Pick it up and enjoy, you won’t regret it.

By reader Conor

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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