When I entered the dark confines of the Warner Brothers booth at E3 this June to get a closer look at HITMAN 2, I had a pretty good idea of what I would be in for. While I never dabbled too much in the previous HITMAN by IO Interactive, I have played as Agent 47 in the early days. Most of my knowledge of HITMAN came from our editor in chief’s incessant attempts at getting me to spend precious hours in a world where anything is a weapon, and everyone is a potential target. I don’t have a reason for why I resisted for so long, but I’m quite sure that will change when HITMAN 2 releases this November.
Welcome to Miami!
Warner Brothers assigned a helper to everyone trying out HITMAN 2 who assisted with how to best navigate a busy racetrack in Miami. Our goal was to assassinate a driver who was about to head out on the track for the race. Crowds were filled with all manner of race attendees and playing as Agent 47; it was my job to get to the target. To make the experience a smooth one and accomplish the task at hand in the time allotted, I was told about three possible ways to accomplish my mission. I should add that the time limit was purely artificial for how long Warner Brothers would let me play the game. Just in like HITMAN, players can take as much time to plan out and execute their mission as they’d like unless of course the target is on a schedule and intends to leave soon. In my case, I decided that the best bang for my buck – pun intended – would be in attaching an explosive device to my target’s race car and detonating it from the grandstand.
— HITMAN (@Hitman) July 9, 2018
Nothing to See Here
To attach the explosive device to the race car, I had to become a member of the pit crew. Starting at the outside of the track’s grandstand, the streets were filled with fans celebrating the event. This gave me an opportunity to try out HITMAN 2‘s improved instinct mode. In this mode, I can identify anyone that might potentially question my reasons for being there, and even allows me to get a sense of who will sound the alarm should I get too close.
The way Agent 47 can blend in and out of moving crowds was very seamless, and it didn’t take very long until I made my way into a bar area where some of the pit crew members were taking a break. Next step: get a hold of a pit crew uniform. The trusty standby of a little bit of rat poison in a drink should do the trick here. So I first made my way into the kitchen and followed a waiter into the walk-in refrigerator and knocked him out with a large fish. I should point out that that was my choice, but I also could have used any variety of kitchen utensils. It just felt like a missed opportunity had I not taken the fish route.
Now wearing the waiter’s outfit, I was able to head back out to the dining area and tend the bar for a while, biding my time until the moment that the pit crew member took his eyes off his drink and I walked over and poured the poison into his glass. Then it was just a matter of time until he scampered off hastily to the bathroom where I promptly subdued him and took over his uniform and role as a pit crew member. A new feature in HITMAN 2 to be aware of is that mirrors are now fully functional and NPCs will see you if you approach them from behind while they’re looking in a mirror.
Another new feature was pointed out to me when I made my way to the garage, being cautious not to get too close to other mechanics who would no doubt recognize that I wasn’t whoever’s name was on my uniform. Once there, the pit boss barked several orders at me from across the garage and trying not to raise any suspicion, I followed them and performed a few minor tasks. This is new in HITMAN 2 and will help shape the immersion as Agent 47 will have to do more than look the part to blend into his environments. During my repairs, I also attached the explosive device to the race car before leaving to head up to the grandstand.
Cool Guys Do Look at Explosions
We waited for a few minutes until my target was in the car and in a nice position for me to pull the trigger. A massive explosion was followed by screams of the watcher-bys, and I calmly made my way back to the entrance. We stopped by for a short moment to grab the mascot’s costume and stood in his place, just for good measure.
My brief time with HITMAN 2 showed me some of the new features and improved upon some of the complaints I had heard about its predecessor. As always, the graphics were beautiful and being able to take on any other role, choose any weapon or path to your target, will leave fans of the series counting the days until its November 13th release date. Expect more coverage of HITMAN 2 as we get closer, as well as a full review once the game is available.