GOTY 2018: The Top 10 Games of the Year: #8
Welcome to the Tenth Annual Silicon Sasquatch Top 10 Games of the Year list! Using our tried-and-true methodology (i.e., we play a lot of games and argue until we’re tired,) we've finally narrowed down the 10 games that we feel accurately represent the best and most important that 2018 had to offer.
#8 – Hitman 2
IO Interactive | November 13th, 2018 | Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
There are two sides to every Hitman game. The first is a clockwork, focused stealth game where the player is tasked with accomplishing their mission in the cleanest, sneakiest way possible. The other one is a chaotic mess: a sledgehammer taken to the fine watchwork IO Interactive built, all while “Yakety Sax” metaphorically soundtracks the whole gong show.
Yes, Hitman is from a long lineage of serious stealth-puzzle games. And yes, stealth-action games like this get broken on a regular basis, and it’s often pretty humorous. But there’s something special to both sides of the Hitman formula, an intricacy and detail to the clockwork that pays off when you play it “right,” and a complete straight-faced no-selling of the audacious situations you get into when you play it “wrong.”
As well, it’s an improvement over the most recent unintentionally hysterical murder simulator, the 2016 episodic reboot of Hitman. Gameplay changes include tall brush to hide in, working mirrors for Agent 47 to watch out for, and better blending-in options when wearing a costume. But the small changes—like color highlights to tell when the player is trespassing—make for major improvements to the usability of the game.
The biggest change from a gameplay standpoint is the accessibility and greater friendliness with which the game provides players. While the 2016 reboot also had “opportunities” to follow a story thread within a level and find a unique way to off a target, the system is better fleshed out in Hitman 2, including much smarter level introductions, tracking, and record keeping for those various methods.
Many pieces may be shared with 2016’s reboot, but Hitman 2 is an excellent refinement of the formula and a great game on its own. Don’t miss out. — Doug Bonham