Most helpful positive review
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2011
Very glad to see a Hitman collection with all four games in it. So far I've only seen collections that had the second, third and fourth games in it, like that makes any sense. These versions seem like they're patched and up to date. I installed the first one on Windows 7, 64-bit and it fired right up and without the crashing I remember from the early versions of the game.
It seems unfathomable, but I guess some people haven't played these games (although why anyone wouldn't have played them is beyond me) so I'll give a brief summary of what kind of gameplay you'll see. The old byline went something like "Travel to interesting places. Meet interesting people...and kill them". Hitman is an unapologetically violent game about (obviously) killing targets, but most of the gameplay involves stealthily maneuvering the levels, learning the routes and habits of all the NPCs and selecting your preferred ways of achieving the objectives. It's essentially like a rat maze with the cheese at the end being the murder of your primary target. There are options to play it as a shooter, but it requires quite a bit of skill to get through the levels that way. Also, the newer the game, the more they discourage you from playing like it's a shooter. There is some stealth influence from the Thief games which were also Eidos, but those expected you to only knock people out and not kill them. Hitman expects you to kill as many people as you like, but to do so quietly. The levels recreate locations all over the world and often with well-known landmarks. They also used a ton of action and gangster film references throughout the series.
Been playing Hitman since the beginning so I'm proudly biased. The first one is adorably campy with all kinds of exploitable glitches, bad A.I. and cheesy dialogue. If you block your view of an enemy's head with a narrow post, you can shoot him in the toe repeatedly and he'll have no idea where it's coming from. You can also make people fly 20 feet in the air with the shotgun and lodge their square-shaped doll-like bodies on various ledges and powerlines. Sadly I don't think they intended for it to be funny as the next two games are progressively darker and less exploitable. The fourth one was amazingly polished and could easily be deemed the best of the bunch...despite the awesome cheesiness of the first one. The soundtracks get progressively better throughout the series.
It's hard to categorize the Hitman games since shooters require little planning and stealth games usually downplay coldblooded murder, but they're something special in an industry that thrives on carbon copies. So if you're feeling like a mix of stealth kills and shooting, it may be your game.