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Hitman: Contracts Review

Developer: Io Interactive Publisher: Eidos
Release Date: April 20, 2004 Also On: PS2 and Xbox

Hitman: Contracts is Agent 47’s third outing. While I’m a newbie to the series, you will be relieved to know that after finishing Contracts, I am considering a purchase of the last two games in the series. I’ve seen some screens of Silent Assassin, so I think I am capable of saying that Io Interactive used the same build with Contracts as they did with Silent Assassin. Why not though? Other developers use one game in a franchise and use the same engine for a sequel all of the time.

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Contracts delves you into the world of murderous rampage. As stated, you play as Agent 47, a ruthless, but effective, bald-headed assassin. The game starts with you killing a doctor that claims to be your father. You have a couple weapons, such as your trusty silenced pistol and dual pistols and must find your way out of what looks like a laboratory. Once out of the basement, you’ll have to either sneak past or disguise as a swat member.

Contracts has about ten hours of gameplay. You travel all over the world, including locations in England, Siberia, Rotterdam, and China. The tense levels are about as open-ended as you can get, aside from the Grand Theft Auto franchise. Either you approach accomplishing your goals with Sam Fisher accuracy and grace or you go all-out, blazing your weapons.

Most of Contracts will take place in a series of flashbacks. You will learn through cut-scenes that our silent assassin has been terribly wounded and is near death. His final memories are past jobs. In Contracts, you will play as Agent 47 in these past jobs. I gathered that on the final level, you killed people at an opera house, were wounded, and returned to your lair. From here you try to escape a police raid on your apartment complex.

I guess I should come clean on one thing. As in every game, I played the easiest difficulty, which was moderately difficult in later levels. If you’re wondering why I do this, I just like to see if it would be too difficult for less experienced gamers than me. With over ten years of experience under my belt, it’s my job to look out for the newer batches of gamers.

In the first level, you quickly learn that the swat police have body armor, high caliber weapons, and GPS to track each member. By killing a swat member, you can equip his weapon and armor. This also disguises you from people not in the immediate area, who won’t realize that you aren’t the person that you are masquerading as.

Contracts has some really cool tricks up its sleeve. In one of the levels, horses in a barn will throw your cover. Why not silence them by putting weed killer in their water supply? Want to distract the guards? Cut the power to their satellite television. Contracts’ character is much greater than other games on the market that teach you to simply go in and shoot without a sensible approach at all.

Throughout the game, the most useful tool will always be using a quiet approach. The second most useful tool is the map given to you, which displays where doors, stairs, guards, civilians, and targets are. You can see where guards are going and if they are looking towards you when you enter rooms.

The missions in Contracts are both diverse and interesting. You have plenty of opportunities to experiment, since the game provides you with seven saves per level. Levels will have the soon-to-be-killed request things, such as drinks. This gives you the opportunity to poison them, instead of using your gun. Weapons range from a syringe, pool stick, pistol, shot gun, AK47, silenced pistol, sniper, and more. The settings are often drenched in rain or snow, which helps you keep a low key.

After playing Contracts, I can easily say that looking into Silent Assassin is worth it. I tend to play series’ backwards, which might seem strange to many, but reviewing so many games, well, it happens that way sometimes. Timing in at about ten hours isn’t much for a game that isn’t budget, but for a rent, your money won’t be missed, but instead Contracts will, once you return it.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 10
Creativity: 8.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 8.6
Written by Kyle Review Guide