Hitman: HD Trilogy - Xbox 360

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Hitman: HD Trilogy (Xbox 360)
Also for: PS3
Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Strategy: Stealth
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Io-Interactive Soft. Co.: Square Enix
Publishers: Square Enix (GB)
Released: 1 Feb 2013 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 18+
No Accessories: No Accessories


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IO Interactive's Hitman: Absolution is a big hit with the Xbox 360/PS3 generation, but whole swathes of them missed out on some of Agent 47's earlier escapades. This high definition collection of Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Hitman: Contracts and Hitman: Blood Money aims to rectify that situation.

In the second episode, we meet our intrepid assassin in a church on the Isle of Sicily. Codename 47 has been attempting to distance himself from his past, burying his career along with his identity. But his place of solitude is quickly discovered and Codename 47 is blackmailed into rejoining the criminal underworld of assassination. This time it's personal.

It's not an original story, but it's one that suits the setting of the game brilliantly. The tale spans some 20 objective and action-based missions, in which you must virtually travel the globe, meet with NPCs who speak in their native tongues (there are subtitles), guard your own life against hundreds of skilled assassins and become accustomed to library of deadly weapons such as sniper rifles and lethal explosives.

Hitman Contracts continues the cold-hearted and rather sinister traditions of the previous games, but don't mistake it for 'more of the same'. As well as delivering a host more brutal missions, the game also introduces a few new gameplay elements and visual overhauls.

The game kicks off in Paris as you find yourself wounded and trapped in some kind of asylum. From here the main task at hand is obviously to escape and, as with previous instalments in the series, there's more than one way to tackle the problem. Guns and ammo are not in short supply so the option of arming yourself to the teeth, taking the offensive and blasting your way right out of the front door is certainly not out of the question. However, the more stealthy approach can also prove handy - you've got your trusty wire for garrotting and you don't have to travel far before you find a willing volunteer with which to exchange clothing.

The rest of the game continues in similar style, with you travelling to various international locations and taking on a wide array of missions. In each case, you won't be surprised to hear that there's somebody or other who needs taking out - how you go about it is up to you. When you're infiltrating enemy territory it's often a good idea to take advantage of a recent victim's attire, but it's never too long before you're rumbled so be prepared to take part in some pretty large-scale shoot-outs.

Then, of course, there's Blood Money. When assassins from Agent 47’s contract killing firm The ICA are offed in a series of hits, it seems as though a more powerful agency has entered the fray. In an attempt to avoid the mortuary slab, Agent 47 travels to America – visiting and making money in places like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Mississippi.

Agent 47 has a number of additional features, including the ability to dispose of bodies in boxes and enclosed spaces, as well as making hits look like accidents, such as by dropping a chandelier on a target’s head or using a remote bomb. Hitman: Blood Money also has a redesigned NPC and AI system. Gamers can use the cash raised from hits to bribe the press or to customise and upgrade weapons to suit their individual style of assassination.

Even if you are new to the Hitman series, don’t worry, because the game offers a new rookie mode, as well as various levels of difficulty, that will give players all the training needed to be a successful contract killer.