Disguise as a mascot to kill the target, manipulate the immediate environment for a seemingly accidental death, or snipe off the roof – the thrill of the Hitman series comes from the sheer creativity and resourcefulness in planning assassinations, followed by the sense of gratification after executing an unorthodox, successful death blow.
As Agent 47 returns to Hitman 2, the fun is set to continue, with more missions and freedom to explore different approaches of doling out deaths. With the arrival of the holiday season, however, the assassination game has turned up the heat, landing Home Alone‘s oh-so-famous Wet Bandits pair on the hitlist in the title’s first Christmas update.
Retaining much of the mechanics from the previous game’s Holiday Hoarders, it transports players back into the familiar terrains of a remixed Paris map, but with a few improved differences. Say hello to revamped graphics, a permanent Santa costume obtained through a slew of challenges, the newly-added profession-themed Featured Contracts package, and a host of bug fixes – an all-around holiday treat for the aspiring hitman.
Defeating Harry and Marv is easy. Channelling the inner Kevin McCallister is not. In a recent Google Assistant advertisement, Macaulay Culkin, who plays the whip-smart Kevin, reenacted several iconic scenes of Home Alone, and fans were once again reminded of the character’s playful, gutsy and cunning nature. These traits will come into play in the update, where players are awarded bonus points for repeatedly using bricks to knock the thieves out, stealing all the items before they actually pilfer them, and giving them a final farewell by blowing them up. Ho-ho-ho, Santa 47’s in the house.
Meanwhile, the Featured Contracts bundle primarily consists of user-made content that reflects the concept of ‘occupational hazards’. What this translates to is a lot of dressing as blue-collar workers, and then offing targets left and right. Players can expect five new contracts every month and be compensated permanently with equipment bits; for instance, completing five featured missions unlocks the measuring tape, while the Handyman Wrench is assured with 15 successful contracts.
Hitman 2‘s upgrade to graphics is not only limited to in-game visuals, but to the options menu as well. For those looking to tweak their settings for optimal performance, there are more options and detailed textures to check out. Accompanying it would be a refined Ghost Mode, in which opponents are granted an extra twenty seconds should a target be killed with less finesse or subtlety– keep it cool, guys.
The Holiday Hoarders update has already gone live, so let the holiday mayhem begin.
Si Jia is a casual geek at heart – or as casual as someone with Sephiroth’s theme on her Spotify playlist can get. A fan of movies, games, and Japanese culture, Si Jia’s greatest weakness is the Steam Summer Sale. Or any Steam sale, really.