Hitman 2 Preview - E3 2018
We return to the world of stealthy deadly accidents in this sequel to the 2016 reboot
In Hitman 2, Agent 47 has finished shaving and buffing his shiny dome and is once again ready to hunt down some targets and solve their nasty breathing habit. Not to be confused with the original 2000’s Hitman: Codename 47 or Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, the game series was rebooted in its last entry, the episodic take on Hitman published by Square Enix in 2016. Now, however, IO Interactive has found a new publisher in Warner Bros. and the sequel has ditched its piecemeal nature in favour of a traditional full release.
The last game showcased the real essence of Hitman with its massive crowds, huge levels, gorgeous graphics, and sheer number of ways you could dispose of your targets. While the original Hitman games were fantastic stealth experiences in their own right, the options current-gen consoles (and PCs) offer IO Interactive allows them to bring their vision of Hitman to life. I had a chance at E3 2018 to sit down and take 47 on mission in Miami, where he had to take out a father and daughter arms dealer team.
After a cinematic introducing you to the mission and highlighting the various ways you may want to assassinate your mark - sabotage the daughter’s high-powered motor vehicle, classic garrot, etc - you’re dropped into the crowd. Dozens of heads bob and shuffle towards the entrance of a racetrack stadium; you catch snippets of conversations as you scope out the area. And while there were multiple paths to my destination, such as the underground walkway around the back or sneaking past a security barricade, they were, literally and unfortunately, barred off from my demo.
Adapt and overcome, 47. Commands at your disposal are easy to figure out. You can run, crouch, holster/unholster weapons, consult your minimap in the bottom corner, as well as utilize the instinct ability to highlight interactive objects in the world.
I pushed forward and slinked through the throng to the entrance where a security guard demanded to pat me down. I primarily go for pacifist, high stealth runs in Hitman, so I acquiesced to the very thorough search. Beyond the entrance, it’s easy to get lost in the amount of detail a Hitman level assaults your eyes with. Stands were set up and bustling, people chattered, hinting at possible developments and openings in the level. But the VIP entrance immediately caught my eye. However, I wasn’t getting in there without a pass... or a feathery disguise.
Walking further into the level, I received a call from Diana, informing me that my things are in a red van in the underground parking lot. I squeeze past the crowd, into the silent garage, where I find a pink flamingo mascot chilling by a soda machine. The coast was clear so I subdued my new friend and stole his outfit. I can’t just leave him there, though. I drag him towards one exit - but there’s two people walking down. Scratch that. I head into the garage and dump him in a big trash can.
Next I go and grab my belongings, using my instinct and creeping around the van to highlight a panel I can slide away. With my silenced pistol and sticky explosive in hand, I do a little more exploring. Down a corridor, I find a guy on the floor, nursing a bump to the head, being spoken to by an employee. I listen in. Turns out he was the mascot and had his outfit stolen... so who was the guy I made take a nap?
Questions aside, going down that path would only alert the two to something suspicious, so I head back out, having heard that our flamingo was to meet with my target. I flow through the VIP entrance and into the next area. A sports car rotates on a platform while a flamingo dances atop a podium, security patrols the area, and an array of entrances marked “employee only” catch my eye.
Unfortunately, my flamingo costume had no keycard in its fluffy pockets, but I do see a mechanic belonging to my target’s team. I follow him through the crowds, into a bar area where he meets up with a co-worker for a drink. It’d be a shame if someone poisoned that drink and stripped his clothes.
I head into the kitchen, duck down, and run to the back room, hoping to flick on the radio to lure a waiter into the room. However, he’s already spotted me and started yelling, so I knock him out - but then the chef’s running at me screaming so he’s gotta take a fist to the face, too. With the two unconscious, I rob his clothes and pick up the rat poison on the shelf.
Back outside, I make sure the bartender doesn’t see me and get suspicious, head to the two mechanics, get ready to sprinkle in a little poison... and press the wrong button. A flash of fists and he’s down. Everyone’s screaming. I keep cool and lay down his buddy, steal his clothes and card, and get the hell out of dodge.
The guards are on alert so I have to be quick, and stay out of their sights. I sneak towards the garage, keep out of the way of the security camera, and enter the pit stop station. After a quick chat with the head mechanic, I say I’m the new guy. I have three assassination options at my disposal - sugar in the engine, mess with the car, or plant my sticky explosive.
I like causing a scene, so bomb it is.
Job done, I waltz out of there and chill in the bleachers. Using my instinct, I track the target car and, and as it rounds the bend, a flick the detonator. Boom. The car’s engulfed in smoke and flame. That’s one down.
And that’s where it ends, for now. A gameplay reel showcases just some of the ways you can end your target - drop a shark on them, whack ‘em with a fish, garrote, and more. Like previous games, Hitman 2 is all about giving you tons of ways to execute your mission, all tied up in beautiful environments that demand mastery of your craft; whether you want to be stealthy, or use lot of firepower if you’re the kind of killer who leaves no witnesses.
Hitman 2 is scheduled for a November 2018 release on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.