Hitman: Contracts

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Hitman: Contracts
Hitman 3 artwork.jpg
Developer(s) IO Interactive
Publisher(s) Eidos Interactive
Writer(s) Greg Nagan
Composer(s) Jesper Kyd
Series Hitman
Platform(s)
Release
  • NA: 20 April 2004
  • EU: 30 April 2004
  • JP: 14 October 2004
Genre(s) Stealth
Mode(s) Single-player

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.

Contents

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. [1] 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 . [2]

Gameplay

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.

Plot

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

Hitman: Contracts
Soundtrack album by
Jesper Kyd
ReleasedJune 2004
Genre
Length60:31
Label
Jesper Kyd chronology
Freedom Fighters
(2003)
Hitman: Contracts
(2004)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
SoundtrackNet Star full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [3]

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." [4] The score was awarded the title of "Best Original Music" at the 2005 BAFTA Games Awards. [5]

Hitman: Contracts Original Soundtrack
No.TitleLength
1."White Room & Main Title"5:31
2."SWAT Team"3:58
3."Hong Kong Underground"4:43
4."Slaughter Club"8:51
5."Streets of Hong Kong"6:40
6."Double Ballers"2:36
7."Winter Night"3:34
8."Weapon Select Beats"1:40
9."47 Detected"3:10
10."Invader"3:41
11."Slaughterhouse"6:13
12."Sanitarium"4:29
13."Budapest Bath Hotel"5:23
Total length:60:31

Besides the original Jesper Kyd score, the game features the following songs:

Reception

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. [6] [7] [8]

Related Research Articles

<i>Hitman 2: Silent Assassin</i> 2002 video 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.

Stealth game Video game genre

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.

<i>Hitman: Codename 47</i>

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.

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Agent 47 Fictional assassin from the Hitman game franchise

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References

  1. "Corporate Strategy Meeting" (PDF). Square Enix. 22 April 2009. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 March 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  2. Sarkar, Samit (28 January 2013). "Hitman: HD Trilogy trailer revisits the series' hits". Polygon .
  3. SoundtrackNet review Archived 2012-02-23 at the Wayback Machine
  4. IGN: Jesper Kyd Speaks on Hitman: Contracts Archived 2012-02-06 at the Wayback Machine
  5. MonstersandCritics.com - Hitman: Contracts Soundtrack Wins at 2005 BAFTA Games Awards Archived 2012-07-21 at the Wayback Machine
  6. 1 2 "Hitman: Contracts for PC Reviews". Metacritic . Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  7. 1 2 "Hitman: Contracts for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic . Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  8. 1 2 "Hitman: Contracts for Xbox Reviews". Metacritic . Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  9. Reed, Kristan (April 15, 2004). "Hitman: Contracts Review". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on June 22, 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  10. Kasavin, Greg (April 20, 2004). "Hitman: Contracts Review". GameSpot . Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  11. Perry, Douglass C. (April 16, 2004). "Hitman: Contracts Review". IGN . Retrieved April 23, 2015.