Hitman 2 is flying under the radar, which is unfortunate given how great its predecessor is. Reviews are finally out for the assassination simulation, though – and it sounds like more top-notch Agent 47 action. While some critics have labelled the sequel a "fancy" expansion pack, that’s good news as far as we’re concerned, because 2016’s instalment was near-flawless. Here’s a roundup of some of the reviews so far.
USgamer.net - 4.5/5
Hitman 2 may just be more Hitman, but it's somehow even better than before. The levels are all fantastic, the assassinations possible are all clever (and silly), the satirical writing is at its best. The assassination sandbox has never been more satisfying, and its slight technical hiccups and lackluster multiplayer do little to hold back the baldest assassin of them all. Even in your sixth or so time prancing through a map, you're bound to discover a new opportunity, or a new potentially-weaponized surprise, around the corner.
GameSpot - 8/10
But the new locations are the real stars, impressive and inventive sandboxes ripe for picking apart with exciting experiments. Hitman is about experiencing the anticipation of seeing whether a plan will work when you try it for the first time. It's about feeling the tension of briskly walking away from a bad situation, hoping you can lose the suspicious guards. It's the satisfaction of knowing the machinations of a level so well that when a target moves into a particular place at a particular time, you have the perfect way to intervene. Hitman 2 is a familiar experience, but in the Hitman world, familiarity is an incredible strength.
IGN - 7.7/10
Hitman 2 doesn’t add much of note to the structure of its predecessor and thus feels more like Hitman 1.5 than a full-blown sequel. But that’s not a bad thing. By offering more of the deepest, fullest stealth sandboxes in gaming in one single package rather than six episodic ones, it earns its keep. The inclusion of Hitman (2016) is a bonus for those that didn’t catch the reboot initially. Here’s hoping they put more effort into the plot next time.
Eurogamer.net - No Score
Hitman 2 is not the landmark the last game was, and given that it almost didn't happen at all, with Io wresting back the rights from Square Enix at the eleventh hour, that's only to be expected. It doesn't take us anywhere drastically unfamiliar for Hitman - all the maps have precedents in older games, and for all the multitude of smaller tweaks, like NPCs catching sight of you in mirrors or picture-in-picture footage of people you've successfully distracted, the rhythms are exactly those of the 2016 outing. There's plenty to go back to in each map, however, from Trumpian politicians to that slowly unlocking repertoire of subtler or more grandiose strategies, and in Ghost, at least, the suggestion of a series turning a new leaf. I hope IO has the chance to follow through, because Hitman remains one of the smartest stealth experiences out there and truly a game for unequal times - a window upon society in which spoiled elites always get what's coming to them, by fair means or foul.
Will you be putting on your flamingo suit and getting to working in Hitman 2? Sneak into the comments section and garrotte anyone who says no below.