Without a doubt, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
is one of the best games released this year. Kudos to Eidos for finally creating a new franchise that doesn't involve a big-breasted English adventurer. In Hitman 2
, you take control of an assassin-for-hire who uses his stealth as much as his firepower to take out select targets in each of the levels presented to you (hence the title). But this isn't just another shoot 'em up. Sure, you'll see your fair share of blood splattered on the walls. But using your cunning wit is as effective as busting into rooms, guns blazing.
What truly sets Silent Assassins apart from every other game on the market (including Metal Gear Solid 2) is the way you go about completing your missions. True, you will eventually have to complete each objective in order to move on to the next level. But you have free reign on how you approach each objective. Nearly every mission allows you to find your own style of play. It's this somewhat open-ended gameplay that makes Hitman 2: Silent Assassin one of the best games I've ever played. The developers paid close attention to details, too. After you kill an enemy, not only can you take his weapon and drag him off to an obscure area of the map (so that guards don't find him), but you can then steal his clothes and use them to your advantage. These factors alone contribute a great deal to the excellent open-ended style of play.
For example, if your objective is to take out two Generals in an embassy, you really could work your way through the entire building, shooting everything and everyone in sight. Or, you can try the sneaky approach and wait for guards to turn their back before crossing the hallway. But you also have a third choice. You could initially take out a person working in the kitchen, steal his clothes, and just walk right up to the Generals and quietly strangle them. And if you do get noticed, when the guards start looking for a bald service worker (namely you), grab some guards' clothing and simply waltz your way out of the embassy without incident. However you approach it, there are many different ways to accomplish the same missions.