Compared: January 20, 2003
After two long years Eidos and IO Interactive finally brings us the long-awaited sequel to the original hitman simulation. Hitman 2: Silent Assassin is not only a worthy sequel to the innovative original, it manages to keep everything that made that game a sleeper hit and improve upon it to give us a near-perfect sequel.
Simultaneously released on all the popular formats, Silent Assassin still managed to offer enough unique enhancments to create a serious dilema for owners of multiple systems. Hopefully we can break this game down and make the decision a bit easier for you.
Round 1: Control
While FPS games have always been better on the PC the third-person action games are generally not as twitchy and often play as good, if not better, on the consoles. In the case of Hitman 2 the WADS and mouse combo still seem to reign supreme when it comes to controlling our favorite assassin. There is a lot of camera tweaking that must be done throughout the game and this is always handled better with a mouse than by tweaking the right stick on a gamepad.
The Xbox and PS2 both share the second-place slot. Even though the designers have done an admirable job of adapting what is admittedly a PC game for the console, the control is still a bit awkward and takes a good deal of time to get comfortable with. The camera maniuplation is a bit touchy and accessing the inventory is extremely clumsy.
Round 2: Visuals
The graphics in Hitman 2 are close to perfection on all three formats but the PC manages to nudge into the lead if only for the simple fact that you can crank the resolution up as high as your system will tolerate. The Xbox easily keeps up with the quality of the PC and the PS2 makes a surprising show as well with graphics that are right on par. Regardless of which system you play this game on you are in for a real visual treat.
Round 3: Music & Sound
The sound and music in Silent Assassin are truly some of the best you will hear. With music from the Budapest Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir and sound effects that favor real-life more than Hollywood's perception of it this game is simply phenomenal. Since the Xbox doesn't make use of Dolby Digital this round is a draw between all three systems.
Round 4: Other Deciding Factors
Other than the extra high resolution and better control of the PC version, there is nothing that sets these games apart.
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin is one remarkable game that allows for branching path gameplay complete with a superior audio and visual presentation that compliments whichever system you happen to play it on. The PC offers the ultimate experience but may require hardware that exceeds the cost of an entire console that would play it just as well. In the end it doesn't matter which system you play this game on; just make sure you play it.