Hitman: Contracts is a 2004 stealth video game developed by IO Interactive and published by Eidos Interactive for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2 and Xbox. It is the third installment in the Hitman video game series, and serves as both a remake of Hitman: Codename 47 and sequel to Hitman 2: Silent Assassin , incorporating gameplay elements introduced in the latter into missions from the first game, which have been remastered with enhanced graphics. The game also includes several new missions, which serve as flashbacks experienced by the player character, the cloned assassin Agent 47, after being almost killed on a botched job.
Contracts was met with generally positive reviews; praise was directed at the improved gameplay elements, graphics, soundtrack, darker tone and atmosphere, while criticism was reserved for the lack of significant improvements and the familiarity with the previous two games. As of April 2009, the game has sold around 2 million copies.High-definition ports of Contracts, Silent Assassin, and the sequel Blood Money were released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in January 2013 as the Hitman HD Trilogy .
In Hitman: Contracts, players control Agent 47 from a third-person perspective, who is sent to various locations across the globe to assassinate specific targets. A wide array of weapons can be used, from kitchen knives, assault rifles and handguns to belt-fed machine guns. While stealth and subterfuge is encouraged, the game allows the player to take a more violent approach and gunfight their way to their mission goals. As players progress through the game, they can collect the various armaments found in the levels, allowing them to be used in future missions. Aside from the more straightforward ways of killing targets such as gunplay and strangulation, several missions allow the player more subtle ways to eliminate hits, such as judicious use of poison, or arranging "accidents" like a heat-induced heart attack inside a sauna.
Players are rated on their performance based on several factors; key among which are the number of shots fired, non-player characters (NPCs) killed (and whether they were armed adversaries or innocents), and the number of times the guards are alerted. The lowest rank is "Mass Murderer", which is awarded to players who kill large numbers of NPCs in the pursuit of their target and do not use stealth. The highest rank is "Silent Assassin", which is earned when the player accomplishes their mission without being detected, and generally without killing anyone other than the intended target(s).
Contracts continues the trend of context sensitive actions, which means that one button is used in multiple situations for multiple uses. For example, when the player is near a door, the context sensitive button will allow the player to perform door-relevant actions such as keyhole-peeking, lock picking, or if allowed, simply opening it. When the player is near an unconscious or dead NPC, the same button will allow the ability to either acquire the person's outfit, or drag the body to an area where it will not be found by guards.
Along with the context sensitive button, the "Suspicion Meter" returns as well; this meter informs players of how close they are to blowing their respective cover. Actions like excess running indoors, brandishing weapons openly, residing in restricted areas, or sneaking can raise suspicion. Proximity will also usually raise the meter. If the "Suspicion Meter" fills, guards will open fire on sight of the player and the current cover becomes useless. If the guards discover a fallen body, or if an unconscious person wakes and alerts them, the "Suspicion Meter" will raise much faster than it would otherwise.
Disguises can be either found in the environment or taken from the bodies of male NPCs. Depending on the disguise, the player can then access areas restricted to most individuals in a level. These disguises can be seen through by guards, as stated above; e.g. if guards in a level are all wielding shotguns, a player dressed as a guard but not similarly equipped will draw more suspicion. Also, certain behaviors (like picking locks) will cause guards to see through a disguise as well.
On March 17, 2004, around one year after the events of Silent Assassin, Agent 47 is shot and critically wounded while carrying out a mission in Paris for his employers, the International Contracts Agency (ICA). Returning to his hotel room, he reflects on his past, beginning with his escape from Romanian special forces after killing his creator, Dr. Ort-Meyer, at his own facility. He then recalls various contracts he carried out over the years, including the assassination of two fetishists who had kidnapped a client's daughter; the killing of a black marketeer in Kamchatka selling weapons to terrorists, and the destruction of their weapon labs aboard a submarine; the murder of a corrupt nobleman and his son in the United Kingdom; the assassination of a biker crime lord in Rotterdam; and the murder of the four men responsible for his creation besides Ort-Meyer.
During this time, an ICA doctor arrives and performs emergency surgery on 47 before he can bleed out, but officers from the Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale (GIGN) storm the hotel to capture 47. While the ICA doctor is forced to flee without dressing the wound, 47 regains his strength and addresses the matter, before recalling the briefing for his current contract. He remembers that he had taken out two of the three targets he had been sent to eliminate (an event later addressed in Hitman: Blood Money ), all of whom were involved in a child prostitution ring in Eastern Europe. He also recalls that the third target, corrupt GIGN officer Albert Fournier, survived 47's attempt on his life after being tipped off to his presence, and was responsible for his injury.
As the GIGN prepare to storm his room, which is slowly flooded with tear gas, 47 escapes from the hotel, intending to complete his contract. Upon reaching the streets, he finds and kills Fournier, before escaping to the Charles de Gaulle Airport. Boarding a plane that is leaving the country, 47 is reunited with his handler Diana Burnwood, who confirms his suspicion that someone knew about the contract and warns him that the ICA is being targeted by the same group. 47 agrees to handle the matter, and takes possession of a file regarding the problem, which names the group as the Franchise, an enemy of the ICA who is seeking to undermine them and gain control of governments worldwide.
| Soundtrack album by |
|Jesper Kyd chronology|
Hitman: Contracts Original Soundtrack was composed by Jesper Kyd and released in 2004. The score features the same Latin choral arrangements as in all the other scores; however, they are heavily sampled and mixed into the dark electronic soundscape. As summed up by Kyd, "First of all it is a much darker score. Hitman 2 was an epic story that kind of spanned all over the world. This one, although there are different locations, it's not one big epic story. It's a lot of darker, psychological small stories mixed together, so the score follows the darker aspect of Hitman and his career."The score was awarded the title of "Best Original Music" at the 2005 BAFTA Games Awards.
|1.||"White Room & Main Title"||5:31|
|3.||"Hong Kong Underground"||4:43|
|5.||"Streets of Hong Kong"||6:40|
|8.||"Weapon Select Beats"||1:40|
|13.||"Budapest Bath Hotel"||5:23|
Besides the original Jesper Kyd score, the game features the following songs:
|Metacritic||(PC) 74/100 |
Hitman: Contracts received mostly positive reviews. Critics praised the improved gameplay elements, graphics, soundtrack, darker tone and atmosphere, while criticism was directed towards the familiarity and the lack of significant changes and additions from the previous game.
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin is a 2002 stealth video game developed by IO Interactive and published by Eidos Interactive for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube. The game was re-released for Windows through the Steam online distribution service, and a DRM-free version was later made available through GOG.com. It is the second installment in the Hitman video game series and the sequel to Hitman: Codename 47. The single-player story once again follows Agent 47, a genetically enhanced human clone who worked for the International Contract Agency (ICA) as an assassin. Following the events of Codename 47, the former contract killer has retired and started a peaceful life at a church, but after his only friend, Reverend Emilio Vittorio, is kidnapped by unknown assailants, 47 resumes work for the ICA in hopes of tracking him down.
A stealth game is a type of video game in which the player primarily uses stealth to avoid or overcome opponents. Games in the genre typically allow the player to remain undetected by hiding, sneaking, or using disguises. Some games allow the player to choose between a stealthy approach or directly attacking antagonists, but rewarding the player for greater use of stealth. The genre has employed espionage, counter-terrorism, and rogue themes, with protagonists who are special forces operatives, special agents, spies, thieves, ninjas, or assassins. Some games have also combined stealth elements with other genres, such as first-person shooters and platformers.
Hitman is a stealth video game franchise developed by the Danish developer IO Interactive, and previously published by Eidos Interactive and Square Enix. IO Interactive remained a subsidiary of Square Enix until 2017, when Square Enix started seeking buyers for the studio. IO Interactive completed a management buyout, regaining their independent status and retaining the rights for Hitman, in June 2017. The games are available for macOS, Linux, Microsoft Windows and multiple consoles, including the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, and Stadia.
Hitman: Codename 47 is a stealth video game developed by IO Interactive and published by Eidos Interactive. It was released exclusively for Microsoft Windows in November 2000. It is the debut title in the Hitman franchise. Gameplay is presented from a third-person perspective, and revolves around assassinating targets in a stealthy fashion by using disguises and suppressed weaponry, though some levels are more action-focused and do not feature stealth as a possibility. Players control Agent 47, a genetically enhanced human clone who is rigorously trained in methods of murder. Upon escaping from his testing facility, 47 is hired by the International Contract Agency (ICA), a global contract killing organisation. His missions take him to locations in Asia, Europe, and South America to assassinate wealthy and decadent criminals with seemingly no connections between them, until it is revealed that they were all involved in 47's creation.
Hitman: Blood Money is a 2006 stealth video game developed by IO Interactive and published by Eidos Interactive. It was released in May 2006 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox and Xbox 360. It is the fourth installment in the Hitman video game series, and the sequel to 2004's Hitman: Contracts. The single-player story follows cloned assassin Agent 47's efforts to bring down the Franchise, a rival contract killing organisation that is threatening his employers, the International Contract Agency (ICA), and seeking to obtain the same cloning technology that created 47. Meanwhile, a frame story presents 47's life and various contracts he carried out, as narrated by a former FBI director to a journalist.
Freedom Fighters is a 2003 third-person shooter video game for the PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox and Microsoft Windows. It was developed by IO Interactive and published by Electronic Arts.
Thief: The Dark Project is a 1998 first-person stealth video game developed by Looking Glass Studios and published by Eidos Interactive. Set in a medieval gaslamp fantasy metropolis called the City, players take on the role of Garrett, a master thief trained by a secret society who, while carrying out a series of robberies, becomes embroiled in a complex plot that ultimately sees him attempting to prevent a great power from unleashing chaos on the world.
Tenchu (天誅) is an action-adventure stealth video game series, originally developed by Japanese developer Acquire, where the player assumes the role of a ninja in 16th-century Japan. The title in Japanese literally translates in English as "Divine Retribution", with 天 (ten) meaning heaven and 誅 (chū) meaning death penalty.
Agent 47 is the protagonist and antihero of the Hitman video game franchise developed by Danish developer IO Interactive (IOI). He appears in all games in the series, as well as comics published by Dynamite Entertainment, and two unrelated live action films. He first appeared in Hitman: Codename 47 (2000) and most recently in Hitman 3 (2021).
Jesper Kyd Jakobson is a Danish composer and sound designer who has worked on various video game, television, and film projects. He has composed soundtracks for the Hitman series, Assassin's Creed series, Borderlands series, Darksiders II and State of Decay, among many others. His scores use orchestra, choir, acoustic manipulations and electronic soundscapes.
Assassin's Creed is an action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It is the first installment in the Assassin's Creed series. The game was released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in November 2007 and was made available on Microsoft Windows in April 2008.
Hitman: Absolution is a 2012 stealth video game developed by IO Interactive and published by Square Enix's European subsidiary. It is the fifth installment in the Hitman series and the sequel to 2006's Hitman: Blood Money. Before release, the developers stated that Absolution would be easier to play and more accessible, while still retaining hardcore aspects of the franchise. The game was released on 20 November 2012 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. On 15 May 2014, Hitman: Absolution — Elite Edition was released for OS X by Feral Interactive; it contained all previously released downloadable content, including Hitman: Sniper Challenge, a "making of" documentary, and a 72-page artbook.
Tenchu: Shadow Assassins is a stealth game developed by Acquire and published by FromSoftware in Japan and Ubisoft worldwide for the Wii in 2008 and the PlayStation Portable in 2009.
Assassin's Creed II is a 2009 action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montréal and published by Ubisoft. It is the second major installment in the Assassin's Creed series, a sequel to 2007's Assassin's Creed. The game was first released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in November 2009, and was later made available on Microsoft Windows in March 2010 and OS X in October 2010. Several minor game-related features could be redeemed on Uplay and three downloadable expansion packs were released on Xbox Live.
Thief is a series of stealth video games in which the player takes the role of Garrett, a master thief in a fantasy steampunk world resembling a cross between the Late Middle Ages and the Victorian era, with more advanced technologies interspersed.
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is a 2010 action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It is the third major installment in the Assassin's Creed series, and a direct sequel to 2009's Assassin's Creed II. The game was first released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in November and December 2010 and was later made available on Microsoft Windows in March and June 2011.
Hitman: Agent 47 is a 2015 American action thriller film directed by Aleksander Bach in his directorial debut and co-written by Skip Woods and Michael Finch. It is based on the Hitman video game series, developed by IO Interactive, and its main character, a mysterious assassin known only as Agent 47.
Hitman is a 2016 stealth video game that was developed by IO Interactive and was released episodically for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One from March to October 2016. The game, which has six episodes, is the sixth mainline entry in the Hitman franchise, the first installment of the World of Assassination trilogy, and the successor to Hitman: Absolution (2012). The single-player story follows genetically-engineered assassin Agent 47 as he goes on a worldwide adventure and solves a mysterious series of seemingly unconnected assassinations. Hitman features a number of large, open-ended sandboxes that Agent 47 can freely explore. The game presents the player with various assassination opportunities, many of which are unconventional. IO Interactive introduced a "live component" to the game with new content being regularly delivered in downloadable form.
Hitman 2 is a 2018 stealth video game developed by IO Interactive and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Stadia on 13 November 2018. It is the seventh major installment in the Hitman video game series and the second entry in the World of Assassination trilogy, as the sequel to 2016's Hitman. Continuing the plot arc started in Hitman, the single-player story follows genetically-engineered assassin Agent 47 as he hunts down the mysterious "Shadow Client" and his allies, who are trying to destroy the secretive organization controlling the world's affairs known as Providence. After discovering the Shadow Client's identity, however, he and his handler Diana Burnwood switch sides and assist him in finding Providence's leaders.
Hitman 3 is a 2021 stealth game developed and published by IO Interactive for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Stadia, and Nintendo Switch on 20 January 2021. It is the eighth main installment in the Hitman series and the final entry in the World of Assassination trilogy, following Hitman (2016) and Hitman 2 (2018). The single-player story concludes the plot arc started in Hitman, and follows genetically-engineered assassin Agent 47 and his allies as they hunt down the leaders of Providence, the secretive organization controlling the world's affairs. Hitman 3 received positive reviews from critics.