Bad-assed Baldy and his Ballers are back
The paparazzi put up a fierce
fight outside 47's mansion
My wait for Hitman 3 has
been an anxious, cold-sweat based experience, riddled with sleepless
nights and manic fits of paranoia.
I was disturbingly influenced by the second Hitman game
as it was my first real introduction to the open-ended gaming experience,
plus it dealt with the 'assassin' concept with which I've always
To deal with this paranoid anxiety, I've been keeping
myself "sharp" by putting several 'hits' on my girlfriend's
You just gotta stay sharp in the off season. That's
all there is to it folks. There is no way in hell that I'm going
down to rusty town, not today.
So, I received the "package" recently, much
to my girlfriends and her dogs delight/horror, and have been hammering
out the virtual 'hits' ever since.
I love this job. I'm glad to see I've still got my trusty
customised Silver ballers that allow me to really rag-doll some
of these punks into the back row. And look! I've still got my well
wicked Italian-styled threads happening too. It's party time!!
For the uninitiated, Hitman Contracts is the third game
in the series, which puts the player in the shoes of a bald hitman,
whose codename is 47. The opening level in Hitman Contracts (HC)
is ballistic. It's an escape mission with plenty of full scale riot
police wanting to stick their 12 gauge shot guns up your ring-ding.
To my surprise this is actually quite fun. That's right,
even dying in this game is fun. Allow me to explain: when you have
taken one too many hollow points to the head and torso, the screen
cuts to an ultra-slow motion, Matrix style bullets dodging
action sequence that is fully dramatised by the fading screen colours
and lighting. Of course, the next thing that happens is you die,
but hey, its a crazy business.
The Sniper Rifle - no assassin
should leave home without one
While all the things that made the previous Hitman games
so playable are back, this time Hitman hits the road with a darker,
For instance, the second level is one that really got my motor
running. It's a really twisted scene - you're at a rave in a slaughter
The setting is reminiscent of the opening scene in the first Blade
movie (1998, Wesley Snipes) where the vampires are raving away,
drenched in blood.
Anyway, in this level there are several rooms that are smeared
with dead carcasses, blood and meat - there are no vampires, but
there are cute little Romanian whores dressed in raunchy bondage
gear, dancing around the place. It's quite a steamy scene if you
can ignore all the carcasses.
Things get really twisted when you discover that one of the guys
you need to take out is one sick puppy indeed. He enjoys 50s music,
candle lit dinners, dancing around in his underwear, draping dead
girls upside down from the roof and the mutilation of human limbs.
The developers of this particular scene and character must have
been big fans of the movie SE7EN (1995, Brad Pitt, Morgan
Freeman) as there are several elements which are "borrowed"
from that movie and re-implemented into the scene, which may be
unoriginal, but you probably won't care when you see it in action.
The music, for that matter, is also along the same edgy lines of
SE7EN in that it is very dark and industrial, and also has
actual radio songs interwoven throughout the scenes.
For general gameplay and a more enjoyable experience, your brain
is required to 'nut-out' bits and pieces of this impressively versatile
puzzle. Some levels you can get by with a completely psychotic run-and-gun
approach, which will give you a rating of 'mass murderer' which
is fine for me, I am comfortable with that.
Inconspicuousness is the key to
But at the end of the day when the corpses of villains and innocent
bystanders have been randomly splattered around the room of a 5-star
brothel and there is nobody left to kill, you can't help but feel
as though you have wasted the level by not following one of the
numerous methods for mayhem laid out by the game's creators.
Stealth your way through the levels in quiet, clean and professional
perfection, and resist the temptation to recklessly destroy everything
and you'll have a much more rewarding time. Its more fun, but it
takes longer. Pros and cons my friends.
The weapon range has been updated with some new nice and friendly
little items in HC, with a silenced uzi which is lots of fun, a
sawn-off shot gun, plus you can now drown people.
There's more: A sharp Samurai sword that'll keep the kids entertained
for hours, a pool cue and a mini gun for the niggly little people
that try to run away or just refuse die.
I don't know why a mini gun is called a mini gun, because it is
actually a really, really big gun that spits out more metal than
Will Barker does useless info. Which is a lot. They should call
it a 'mini weapon of mass destruction' as it kills just about everything.
The fiber-wire is still there, but it doesn't make the cool little
"ping" sound when you stretch it out and you can no longer
fire two different guns at the same time. Little things like that
really piss me off! And they wonder why kids bring guns to school...
Another thing which is sorely missed is the weapons shed. In the
2nd Hitman game you would go out on a mission, pick up some weapons,
come back to the shed and decorate it with your new boom sticks.
Old Man 47, as he likes to be
take kindly to the door-to-door sales team
It would make you so proud to see all the guns, crossbows and knives
you had collected from passed missions hanging on the wall of your
cosy little garden shed.
And now... its all gone, no more garden shed. I don't know. Maybe
its just the Aussie bloke coming out in me. We love our sheds.
You start each level with the basics, i.e. ballers, fiber-wire,
binoculars, syringe and so on, and the lack of a shed speeds up
the game a lot, as there is no selection process before every level.
Hitman Contracts is actually a staggering 4x faster the Hitman
2 in loading time.
With a low density environment, you can destroy just about anything
in this game, such as lights, windows, and bottles, due to improved
"shatter object" support. Its a damn good feature, but
it doesn't solve my garden shed issue, now does it?
It's a dark game, the darkest addition to the series yet - in my
mind that's a good thing. A comment one of the Io team members was:
"It explores the darker side of killing for money." And
it's not far wrong, as the repercussions of taking out my lady friend's
pooch have lead to much darkness in my life.
Game: Hitman Contracts
Hitman Contracts is on the shelves now.