Hitman HD Trilogy features remakes of classic Hitman titles, Silent Assassin, Contracts and Blood Money; and arrives soon after the recent release of the latest Hitman venture: Absolution. Anticipation and nostalgia is rife as soon as you switch on Hitman HD Trilogy. You are first presented with the title screen which gives a look at the original box art and makes the player tackle their first dilemma; which one do you play first?
The soundtracks are still the same and game mechanics are just as sound as they were back in the day. Straight away you know this release is about the visuals and aimed towards fans of the franchise. The gameplay has been left untouched for original fans, with much better looks for those new to the series.
Even though the games are non-sequential, I started as anyone would with the first of the trio; Hitman 2: Silent Assassin.
The first question you ask yourself when starting Hitman 2 is “How do I get into this villa?”. In the past my dinner went cold because of the original on the Xbox, so it surprised me how conscious I was of being rusty and not about to meet the expectations set by a professional Hitman such as myself years ago.
” Hitman HD Trilogy still manages to capture the player’s iconic moments. “
The first thing that gripped me was the way in which the HD collection, although looking different, still manages to capture the player’s iconic moments.
One of my favourite moments on the original Xbox was when a pixelated guard comes out of the villa and takes a leak behind the tree. This of course this is one of your many choices as the Hitman: kill, pacify or avoid.
The simple game mechanic of player choice has been the fabric that Hitman games have been woven from. This is evident from Hitman 2 all the way through to Absolution.
In HD, the guard was no longer pixelated and instead carried a clean shaven look. He was smooth but incredibly sharp compared to his original self. However, he carried himself in exactly the same way as before as he retraced his footsteps, walked up to the tree, cocked his leg and took a leak. As a player, I was able to perfectly retrace my footsteps right up behind him.
Time passed and rustiness made a once self-proclaimed professional Hitman commit many rookie errors time and again. These errors usually ended in a failure to be stealthy which resulted in a target being alerted and in nearly all cases, 47’s untimely death.
After a few attempts that resulted in mass murder, a rookie Hitman started to feel an old fire awakening inside and the original professional was returning. Within minutes the clean shaven, sharp looking guard fell afoul of some anaesthetic and while he snored away next to a folded up suit and red tie, an unaware target’s movements were being observed through a hostile sniper scope, with a steady but eager trigger finger in control. One squeeze of the trigger was all that was needed for the primary objective to be complete.
As the player I instantly felt like I had déjà vu and the old professional Hitman inside of me was truly alive and kicking and the only thing missing was the original fat Xbox controller (which went unnoticed). With more hours play ahead and more Hitman action to be had, it was easy to escape the Asylum in Contracts and sneak into the Theme Park in Blood Money. The HD Trilogy plays and feels exactly like the originals, but looks entirely different. A once very plain door frame now has peeling paint, a solitary scarecrow looks more vibrant, colourful and textured.
After spending 6 hours with the HD Trilogy and obtaining ranks from mass murderer through to professional, it felt just like a trip down memory lane but all shiny and new at the same time.
The Hitman HD Trilogy is a treat for existing Hitman fans but is also a chance for more recent fans of the franchise to experience the evolution of the Hitman series to what it is today, now all in true high definition.
• Full of positive nostalgia
• Easier on the eyes
• Classic Hitman gameplay
• Modern Perks included such as Achievements and Trophies
• Gameplay can feel outdated
• Doesn’t look as good as Absolution
Hitman HD Trilogy gets 7 from me, but what should you do? Buy it? Rent it? Or give this one a miss?
Hitman HD Trilogy is a better looking version of three classic games rolled into one package, with an already attractive price of £27.99, so in my opinion, go and buy it, especially if you loved these games before.