Hitman: Codename 47
Hitman: Codename 47 is an action adventure RPG that was developed by IO Interactive, published by Eidos Interactive, and was released in 2000.
|Developer: IO Interactive
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Release Date: 2000
JustRPG Score: 70%
+Fun stealth controls.
+Humerus story elements.
+Interesting story line.
-Annoying sound effects.
-No replay value.
Hitman: Codename 47 Overview
Hitman: Codename 47 is an action adventure role playing game that utilizes many stealth mechanics. The player takes on the role of a hitman known by his codename, 47. The game supports many stealth mechanics as well as a decent combat system that keeps the player interested. The story is not bad and also keeps the player engaged throughout the playthrough. Overall if you are a fan of stealth games or the Hitman series, then Hitman: Codename 47 is the game for you.
Hitman: Codename 47 Screenshots
Hitman: Codename 47 Featured Video
Hitman: Codename 47 Review
You wake up in what seems to be a cell, drenched in sweat. You appear to have been clamped on to a bed near which are an impressive array of bloodstains. You are wearing what appears to be a patient’s smock. And all you have for company is a voice with a distinctly East European accent.
Yep, in terms of beginnings, Hitman: Codename 47does rather well. The opening few seconds of the game have a distinctly eerie touch to them as the main character on the screen stumbles around, following directions and instructions being given to him by an unseen person.
But before we delve deeper, a few words about the game itself. Hitman: Codename 47 was the first in the Hitman series of games. Although primarily an action-oriented game (read “a game in which the main character jumps around, guns ablaze”), it was a major contributor to the development of the stealth genre of games, in which the main character has the option of sneaking, rather than shooting, his or her way to glory. There are many who feel that the game set the stage for the likes of Splinter Cell, by introducing a hero with the skills, but not a license, to kill. And talking of heroes, Hitman: Codename 47 did introduce one of gaming’s most popular characters – the monosyllabic, sleek, and spectacularly bald Agent 47.
The game came on a single CD, but while it installed without any problems, it played at literally breakneck speed on my high-end machine (Windows XP Pro, Intel Centrino 2 Ghz, 1 GB RAM, ATI Mobility Fire GL 3200 with 128 MB RAM), making sensible gameplay impossible (how on earth do you play a game when the lead character is running around like a demented maniac?). I consequently had to trade machines with the Missus – her more modest system (Windows XP Home, Intel Celeron 2.2 Ghz, 512 MB RAM, ATI Radeon IGP 330M with 16 MB RAM) played the game perfectly. So much for the advantages of high-end computers!
The game’s story line is rather intriguing – a person wakes up in some kind of prison, escapes to be trained as a master assassin (named Agent 47, based on the bar code that appears on the back of his bald pate) and then undertakes a series of missions to eliminate different people (generally criminal ganglords) in locales that range from Hong Kong to Latin America. But, although he is a trained assassin and highly skilled in the use of a variety of weapons, Agent 47 does not really have the luxury (if you can call it that) of charging in with guns blazing and mowing down everyone in sight. Ammunition and explosives are often at a premium – he gets a budget before every mission – and the enemy generally has overwhelming numerical advantage. This is where the stealth element of the game comes in. Agent 47 is a master of disguise and this allows him to slip unnoticed into hostile environments. And unlike in the Soldier of Fortuneseries where stealth was useful only for a limited amount of time, in Hitman, it is a critical component in most missions.
The missions themselves are more or less similar. You have to make your way into a heavily guarded place and bump off a person. Of course, as the place is heavily guarded, you need to get in as unobtrusively as possible. In most cases, this involves killing someone (rendering them unconscious, for some reason is not an option), slipping into their clothes, and then strolling into the place in this handy disguise. While the idea of being able to disguise yourself in your victim’s clothes is a neat one, it does have its shortcomings. For instance, it seems that all the characters in the game have a universal-fit wardrobe – Agent 47 seems to be able to fit immaculately into the clothes of almost everybody. There is also the little matter of 47’s appearance – the guy would stick out like a sore thumb in a crowd with his height and bald pate, but no one seems to notice him once he wears someone else’s clothes. Weird!
The game has rather good graphics for the period in which it was made, and the sound effects are excellent. The voice acting for the most part is good – Agent 47’s dry, cynical tone is strongly reminiscent of Max Payne in places. Enemy AI is pretty good, too – if you are spotted doing something violent, there is a far chance that an alert will be issued within minutes, asking people to keep a look out for a suspicious assailant. And while killing itself is easy (whether you use a gun, bomb, or garrotte), you do need to hide your victims – if you leave them lying around, an alarm is likely to be sounded in no time at all. The game does not have too steep a learning curve – one can get to grips with it within 10-15 minutes. In terms of difficulty, the game is not too tough for those willing to bide their time and learn the ropes – the “let’s-go-in-with-guns-blazing” brigade will hate it though!
That said, the narrative remains taut, and with each mission, Agent 47 discovers a bit more about himself, and not all that he finds out is pleasant. All of which builds up to a thrilling denouement where Agent 47 finds himself not only battling his manipulator, but also…well, himself. Nope, I can reveal no more other than the fact that it is pretty spectacular stuff.
Unfortunately, a lot of this good work is thoroughly undone by the absence of a good Save Game system. The game operates on an auto save premise, which means that the game is saved automatically at some locations and you cannot save wherever you wish. And that can be a royal pain – imagine spending several minutes sneaking, disguising, and crawling your way to within inches of your victim, only to fail by a whisker. And then having to do it all from scratch because you do not have the option to save the game! Another minor niggle is the gameplay – while it is fluent for the most part, some things are decidedly odd. For instance, Agent 47 automatically decides when to jump (nope, you don’t have to hit the space bar, as in most games) from certain locations, irrespective of your wishes. The tutorial, too, is a bit of a pain, with your tutor sometimes lapsing into abrupt silence, leaving you with no option but to start from scratch.
For all that, Hitman: Codename 47 does deliver a fair deal of excitement and suspense. The mysterious assassin, the stress on stealth, and a decent narrative make it well worth playing. As for the flaws, do bear with them. The developers removed most of them in the sequel.
But that is another story. And another review.
|Final Grade: 70%|
Hitman: Codename 47 Videos
Hitman: Codename 47