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Hitman: Blood Money
Score: 82%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Developer: IO Interactive
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Stealth

Graphics & Sound:
It is one thing to be the hunter. What happens when you become the hunted? Find out in another great addition to the Hitman series in Hitman: Blood Money.

The graphics are sharper and cleaner, which is to be expected as it is built on a new engine. The look is solid and the animations are crisper, adding to an overall improved look of the game.

Sound is one area I would like to see more attention paid to in stealth games. It seemed to be a little unbalanced, even with the "!" attention meter. Things I thought should tip someone off would go unnoticed, where a quieter noise would gain a lot of attention, depending on the trigger. With that said, I wasn't taken out of the game immersion and the level music where applicable was well chosen.

In Hitman: Blood Money, you once again assume the role and don the many costumes of the now infamous Agent 47. You will once again take the jobs provided, seek out your target, and execute them with extreme prejudice. Lather, rinse, repeat. This game plays just like its previous predecessor on many levels. Save for a few new mechanics, which will be discussed later, and an improved storyline, this could have been Hitman: Contracts all over again.

In the storyline, agents from your agency begin to "disappear" as some might like to say. Conscious of the fact you may be next, and that you need to find out who is doing this before they find you, you beat a retreat and regroup.

Hitman: Blood Money has more to offer now than its standard fare of: get job, kill, get out. The blood money system allows you to upgrade your weaponry for accuracy, concealment, and recoil and allows you to pay for information on the street to gather intel for a more discreet operation. This is important because the more of a scene you cause, and thusly the more press you get, the more likely you are to be recognized out and about. And, no self-respecting hitman wants to be seen on the street.

It is a tough being Agent 47 -- nobody likes you! Maybe because they know you are going to kill them. I love the fact that the difficulty settings also affect how often you can save inside of a level. This instantly adds a true sense of urgency and caution when you know you can't save on "Hard". The most difficult thing in this game does not come from the enemies themselves, it stems from hypersensitive action tags that force you to be in an absolute perfect spot to activate. They have gotten better about this over the series, but still have some alignment issues when trying to activate an item.

Game Mechanics:
The controls are far more forgiving in Hitman: Blood Money, but still a little tight for me. You have much better odds of surviving up close and personal encounters with their improved close ranged combat.

I liked this new addition despite its similar gameplay. The stronger storyline and improved mechanics really raised this game up in my mind. I would like to see a little more open gameplay with how you take out the objectives, but all in all, this was a great game to play. I enjoyed it, and look forward to the next title eagerly.

-WUMPUSJAGGER, GameVortex Communications
AKA Bryon Lloyd

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