Perhaps one of my more controversial choices, this was the first Hitman game that I ever played at any length and turned into a surprising favourite. In fact, I think it’s the only game this year that I’ve been moved to play through more than once.
It’s not spectacular looking or anything like that (‘clean’ is really the only superlative that applies to the 360 version, impressive Mardi Gras level aside); it just ticks the boxes that made me enjoy the Splinter Cell games so much. As you’re funnelled along through the story, it gives just enough room for improvisation to make multiple playthroughs feel different. I’m replaying the second level in my head now, and I can think of at least three different ways to approach the first target alone, and the elusive Silent Assassin ranking provides an effective carrot to the same perfectionist in me that Sam Fisher kept tempting.
I’ve heard from fans of the series that Blood Money is one of the best, so I hope that Eidos and IO can give 47 a proper next-gen runout. I’d love to see what they can do with these inventive scenarios when they properly tap into that extra power.