- Publisher: Square Enix
- Developer: IO Interactive
- ESRB Rating: “M" for Mature
- Genre: Stealth
- Pros: Older games look nice and sharp; Blood Money is still great
- Cons: Silent Assassin and Contracts gameplay is pretty stiff; casual stealth fans won't like the older games
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What Is It?
The Hitman HD Trilogy comes on two discs - one with newly enhanced high definition versions of Hitman 2: Silent Assassin and Hitman: Contracts and the second with Hitman: Blood Money which was already in HD and has seen no changes or improvements in this release. In fact, Blood Money is exactly the same as the version already released on Xbox 360 in 2006, and also uses the same save files and achievements, so if you already played it you won't be able to earn the cheevos again. The former two games share a combined 1000 Gamerscore.
It is noteworthy that this actually isn't the entire Hitman series. The original Hitman game, Hitman: Codename 47, is not included. Codename 47 never had a console release of any sort in the past, and while it seems like it would have been a perfect opportunity to introduce the game to a totally new audience, it likely would have required a lot more effort to get it up to snuff compared to the other games included here.
Blood Money already had an HD release, and while certainly not holding up to more recently released Xbox 360 games, still looks decent. Silent Assassin and Contracts are nice and sharp with surprisingly crisp looking environments, but the character models look decidedly last-gen. It is undoubtedly the best these games have ever looked, but they won't exactly wow you.
The gameplay in the Hitman series has probably evolved more than any series out there. It started out as a very stiff and strict stealth game first and foremost, which stealth fans loved but it somewhat alienated other gamers. Gamers that have only played and enjoyed Hitman: Absolution may find the two older games included here to be a bit too frustrating and difficult, and the clunky controls are a far cry from how smooth and intuitive everything was in Absolution. Series purists didn't exactly love Absolution because it is very streamlined and much easier than the rest of the series. Good for newcomers. Bad for veterans.
Blood Money Is Still Awesome
Bridging the gap between the stiff older games, and the easy modern game, however, is Hitman: Blood Money, which is arguably the best in the series because it was able to appeal to longtime fans as well as attract new ones. Blood Money was the first game in the series to really loosen up and give players a bit more wiggle room to not only make a few mistakes, but even to sort of go crazy and play however they wanted. It still offered enough challenge and variety to keep veteran players happy, however.
Which brings me to this recommendation. If you are a die-hard stealth fan, and love a challenge and aren't frustrated easily, the Hitman HD Trilogy is worth a try. If, however, you preferred the more open and accessible gameplay of Hitman: Absolution, you might want to just pick up a copy of Hitman: Blood Money on Xbox 360 instead. The Hitman HD Trilogy is perfectly fine from a technical standpoint, but the huge difference in playability in these titles compared to more recent games in the series make it hard to fully recommend to modern gamers that don't have nostalgia for the games to fall back on.
Disclosure: Product was provided by publisher.