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Hitman Trilogy
Score: 95%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Developer: IO Interactive
Media: DVD/4
Players: 1
Genre: Stealth/ Action

Graphics & Sound:
No doubt that, at some time over the past several years, you have heard or played a tale or two from Agent 47. Spread over several console and PC generations, three of his greatest hits (pun intended) have come together in the Hitman Trilogy. Retrace 47's steps as he lays a bloody trail to his destination. All of the games have received high marks from not only us, but other media outlets as well. What can be easier than putting three successful games together in one package for a good price point. I wonder why they would do such a thing? Maybe it has something to do with the Hitman: The Movie that is in the works. Personally, I have enjoyed his character and was glad to have the opportunity to don his many roles and disguises to get the job done. The hitman series is an M from the ESRB, so put the kiddies to bed.

The games are in their original state, so there have been no changes to the game's dark and tumultuous look and feel. Contracts and Silent Assassin were built on the same engine, while the third game, Blood Money was recently built on a new engine.

No changes to the look of the game means, well, no change for the music either. The series has always had a well received music score as well as high praise for its sound effects.

The Hitman Trilogy is based on stealth and well, OK, bloodshed. Your missions, though similar in outcome, have many ways to be completed. I remember Hitman as well as Splinter Cell to be some of my first experiences with open-play, stealth games. And I liked them. My controller may not have, as it felt the wrath of my anger, but hey... The trilogy contains Blood Money, Contracts, and Silent Assassin. We have had a chance to touch all of the PS2 versions here, so it was cool to personally take a look at the entire trilogy for the PS2.

Silent Assassin, better known as Hitman 2, features a retired Agent 47 that has been forced out of his retirement by the Mob. His priest, mentor and friend is in some serious trouble with the Mob. You got him into this mess, so it is up to you to get him out... in one piece, that is.
[Check out our original coverage of the game here.]

Contracts is another look at the life and kills of Agent 47 on the PS2. It is actually the third game title released under the game's name. You are a clone, grown to suit the needs of the corporation. You are an emotionless, killing machine that doesn't question anything, or do you?
[Check out our original coverage of the game here.]

Blood Money. OK, so as a hitman, it isn't a good thing when you get recognized on the street. The notoriety meter will either keep you in check or have you recognized by everyone. Also as a hitman, it isn't good when others in your line of work begin to disappear. Find out who is hunting you by killing off the competition.
[Check out our original coverage of the game here.]

It is never a walk in the park for our beloved Agent 47. And, playing through all of the Hitman Trilogy, it will be a very long walk, at that. All of the games have been well marked for their challenge. Nothing about sneaking around and trying to discreetly kill everyone involved is easy. Most of your hardships are self-inflicted. Either you get impatient and blow your cover, or you just flat-out put yourself in a bad situation.

Each game has its own level of difficulty and you can change it back and forth to whatever you like. If you are just here for the story, then, of course, easy is the way to go. But, I challenge you to be a super silent angel of death on Professional - but be warned... it might cost you a controller or two.

Game Mechanics:
In any stealth game, there is always that balance of how much noise will attract attention and how much exposure would get you seen. This has been my only complaint in any of these games, this delicate balance, but I have come to accept that they are the way they are.

One thing that stands out in the box set is a teaser disk for the upcoming Kane and Lynch: Dead Men. It was a fairly graphic representation of the game. Although it is currently unrated, this game is going to have teeth and a tongue to match. It hints at the fact that the two main characters are not so much cooperating, as they are buying time to achieve a common goal so that they can then kill one another. Both men are clearly psychopathic and driven. This doesn't look to be a stealth game, either. The included movies were of a very in-your-face FPS style of gameplay with the only pauses being to reload. I would look for this sometime in the very near future.

All of these games have always had high ratings and were well liked. The trump was to stick all of them together to create a very cool gameplay lineage over three disks. Maybe you missed out on one of the games. Maybe you need the refresher before the movie comes out. I would say that knowing the storyline is going to be important, or they probably wouldn't have done this.

-WUMPUSJAGGER, GameVortex Communications
AKA Bryon Lloyd

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