PS3 Review: Hitman: HD Trilogy

Agent 47 in HD = Absolution?

The Hitman HD Trilogy contains Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Hitman: Contracts and Hitman: Blood Money, although oddly the original Hitman title is missing from this collection. Still though, it’s a solid collection of Agent 47’s outings transformed into HD, but is there anything new to this old gem?
The first Hitman game I ever played was Hitman 2 and it’s a game that I never completed, it was my first time ever playing a stealth game and it did take a lot of getting used to, it’s mechanics haven’t aged that well and the difficulty spikes are quite big. I have looked at playthrough videos recently and seen people tear the game to bits, making me feel a little inferior when it comes to stealth. Silent Assassin is definitely the weakest of the collection, but it’s a nice introduction nonetheless.

Hitman Contracts improves things, but it does still make things difficult for gamers. Its controls will frustrate at times and as with Hitman 2, the mechanics are dated. The series for me didn’t really become relevant till I played the best (and still is the greatest) Hitman title, Blood Money. It has a brilliant storyline, great locations, clever assassinations and truly memorable moments and its PS3 gamers first chance to play it in HD.

One thing that has always and continues to bug me about these HD collections is the annoying fact that you have to restart the game to select one of the other titles, either by ejecting and reinserting the disc or by pressing the PS button, select exit game and restarting it from the XMB. It’s a silly and outdated method, why can’t these developers simply add a “Quit to Main Menu” option on each game; it’d only be a simple line of code to reboot the game to the start.
In terms of a HD collection, the Hitman HD Trilogy does the bare minimum to pass as one. It feels more of an upscaled version of the previous games than a true HD remake. The visuals are dated and the voice-acting (with the exception of 47 himself, the legendary David Bateson) is cheesy and awkward, while the music is still brilliant thanks to a wonderful Jesper Kyd. Blood Money still looks impressive though and is easily worth the price of admission alone.

The Verdict

As a whole, the Hitman games are brilliant but do have very frustrating moments that will put gamers off from seeing them through to the end. Having said that, there are some truly great moments to be found and if you’ve been curious about 47’s past outings then the collection is well worth a look. Just don’t go expecting it to be like Absolution as that is a very different game. I would have liked more effort put towards the visuals in this “HD” collection but it does capture the original games more or less perfectly.