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  • Writer's pictureRoberto Nieves

Review - Hitman: Blood Money - Reprisal

Developer: IO Interactive, Feral Interactive

Available on: Mobile (Android, iOS), Nintendo Switch

Review console: Nintendo Switch

The sixth generation of video game systems may be heralded as a golden age of video games. In just a few short years, players embarked on adventures beyond their wildest dreams. On PS2, players embarked on the most intense mission ever imagined in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Xbox stepped into the gaming world for the first time and had players step into the armor of Master Chief in Halo. Nintendo introduced the GameCube and would have experiences still being talked about today, from Super Mario: Sunshine to Metroid Prime. Then, there was a bald assassin by the name of Agent 47.

Hitman: Blood Money stepped onto the stage in 2006. Steal action had been a thing for a while, between Metal Gear Solid and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell. Agent 47 arrived to give players a new dimension to stealth with a focus on assassination and infiltration. The game made a huge impact in the grand scheme of gaming as the game was lauded for its gameplay and setting.

Fresh Goods

Coming in hot off their port of Company of Heroes for the Nintendo Switch, Feral Interactive is back with a port of Hitman: Blood Money for the Switch. Titled Hitman: Blood Money - Reprisal, this new and improved port brings the classic to the new generation, with new features as well. After some time with it, Feral Interactive does it again, bringing an experience that is remarkable and refreshing. This isn't a simple coat of paint. This is a big upgrade!

Agent 47 is a mysterious assassin, working for a secretive agency of assassins. The FBI begins tracing Agent 47 across his spree of high-profile killings. His whereabouts and his identity are shrouded in mystery. Players are thrust into a world of stealth and espionage as the nameless Agent 47 hits his mark. A web of international assassination and conspiracy begins to unfold.

Hit Your Mark

Hitman is a stealth action game where the purpose is to eliminate high-profile targets discreetly and efficiently. No eyewitnesses. Nothing to trace you back. Only the clean cold efficiency of a well-trained assassin. While Agent 47 can hold themselves in a firefight, stealth is always paramount. The game drew incredible praise for not just its stealth mechanics but the options in those mechanics.

The objective was no longer straightforward. Payers had choices in meeting their goals. Using a disguise, eliminating guards, using distractions, and planting traps, these options put the game on the map. Hitman: Blood Money made quite the impression decades ago, and in 2024, Feral Interactive has given the game a new lease on life, with updated visuals, a new control scheme, and new features. The game has had every texture and polygon swept through and upgraded to give respect to this classic game

A Lethal Weapon in Plain Site

Visually, the game now feels like a PS3 with refined models and lighting. Cutscenes are improved and the sound is sharp. Htiman Blood Money-Reprisal feels like a restoration of sorts as if it's a movie that was just transferred to 4k. Visually, there's a love and care that is felt here that is genuine and I am more than satisfied that the team would treat this game with such reverence. From a graphical standpoint, Hitman: Blood Money - Reprisal should find itself among the list of best-looking ports.

The same can be said for the controls and gameplay. While players may have to get used to that PS2-era "jank" as people today call it, the gameplay is remarkably smooth. During the porting process, gameplay improvements inspired by later games in the series were incorporated. The port also boasts Instinct Mode, which highlights the environment with interactable areas. A new mini-map and gyro controls also complement this newly enhanced game. The Instinct Mode, in particular, is great for identifying items of interest and can benefit players new to the series.

Have It Your Way

Every stage feels vibrant and unique with various paths to complete the main objective. A hacienda in South America. A hotel on the Las Vegas strip. A rich night in Paris. Each of the game's twelve missions offers unique challenges for the player in terms of infiltration and eliminating targets. At the same time, the brilliance of the game is that it offers plenty of pathways to success. Each level is open-ended and allows players to approach their target in the way they see fit.

In one mission, namely the one at the hacienda in Chile, a party is going on. I snuck around the complex and snuck into the main quarters of one of my targets as a guard. As he played a string bass on the balcony, I went in for the elimination. Squeaking my way out, I then dressed as a wine worker and infiltrated the cellar, which was a front for drugs. AS I successfully assassinated the target, I found myself in a gunfight. After downing pursuers, I donned another disguise and made my way to the seaplane to escape.

Patience is everything

The entire experience felt fluid, despite a few moments here and there. Stalking, infiltrating, and successfully eliminating targets was satisfying. Getting detected isn't the end all be all of the mission and there are plenty of hiding spots to wait out pursuers. Shooting got the job done and the controls worked great. There were some aspects to get used to, like pausing to select specific items and relying on the mini-map, but this is what made Hitman: Blood Money - Reprisal a special experience. If a video game is all about players finding enjoyment in figuring out problems, the game has players use the tools in front of them to achieve the goal satisfactorily.

The foundations for the future are laid throughout Hitman: Blood Money - Reprisal and it still remains a solid experience. Some may say it looks primitive and archaic by today's standards

Be the Hitman

Hitman: Blood Money - Reprisal may take some getting used to. This is the PS2 era and some of the modern conventions we've come to see in games weren't quite there in 2006. Shooting is serviceable but there are no dynamic firefight mechanics like cover and such. Hitman: Blood Money - Reprisal is also a game of patience. Players need to wait, plot, and time their movements. Running with guns blazing is an easy way to mission failure. This may not appeal to certain players used to waypoints or want to light the place up.

This focus on patience even stems from the difficulty. Hitman: Blood Money - Reprisal does not have autosaves. Each level can last quite some time. On easier difficulties, players can save manually as many times as needed. The higher the difficulty, the fewer saves are possible. Even on normal, the saves are limited. The highest difficulties involve a true mastery of the levels, the target, and the stealth mechanics.

Hitman: Blood Money - Reprisal marks my first time engaging in the Hitman experience and the experience is remarkably solid. The core game that made the original so good is present but Feral Interactive's attention and respect make Hitman: Blood Money - Reprisal one of the very best ports on the Nintendo Switch.

Hitman: Blood Money - Reprisal is RECOMMENDED

The Hitman games established a fine legacy of being the undisputed assassin. A game experience that requires players to think and to problem-solve to achieve the objective. Hitman: Blood Money - Reprisal is an excellent experience concerning the legacy that the series has started and continues to make. Grab your suit, dress to impress, and get down to business.

Hitman: Blood Money - Reprisal was reviewed on the Nintendo Switch Oled thanks to a key generously supplied to Stack Up by Feral Interactive.

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