Articles/Game Reviews/PC/Hitman: Codename 47

Hitman: Codename 47 was the first game in the popular Hitman series and was released in 2000. The game basically consists of performing "hits" on various targets, while following a weak and cheesy storyline. You play Codename 47, a bald-headed guy that has a barcode on his neck and, for some reason or other, has become employed by a Murder Inc. style organization.

One of the important elements of this game is stealth. While you can run into every mission shooting, it makes the game even harder than it already is. A wiser approach is to sneak up on people, silently kill them, and hide their bodies. You can also take clothing from corpses to blend in with your surroundings and go unnoticed. However, in many cases, the outcome is very silly. For example, who wouldn't notice a bald pasty white guy dressed in Chinese robes sneaking around a Chinese restaurant or the same guy dressed up in jungle fatigues and infiltrating a jungle compound in Colombia?

The graphics in the game are respectable, given the release date of the game. Most of the textures and models are pretty detailed, providing an immersive experience. However, some missions look better than others and the jungle maps, in particular, look a bit silly with sparsely placed vegetation. If you were in the jungle, you would not expect to be walking on grass among trees that are spaced twenty feet apart and little or no bushes. Some other levels, including the great hotel mission, really shine and demonstrate what the game is all about.

One of the most disappointing elements of this game is the voice acting. While many of the NPC's have great voice actors, the main character has a ridiculous voice that sounds almost like a text-to-speech program was used in the studio. The main character has a monotone and nasal voice that shows zero emotion. While it is understandable that a hitman might show no emotion, it is executed poorly and they definitely made a bad choice for the voice actor.

Aside from the voice acting, the other sounds are realistic. All of the weapons have unique sounds, although it is not obvious why a stealth weapon, the fibrewire, would make such a loud noise when it is being used. It is a bit stupid when you spend a few minutes sneaking up on someone and prepare the fibrewire, only to have it make that notorious "zing" sound and alert the target.

The game uses a lot of cinematics to show the storyline and what is going on, but sometimes they get annoying. For example, in a mission where you are supposed to snipe a man that shows up at a meeting, you are interrupted by a series of cinematics that show various people arriving at the meeting. All dialog is shown in cinematics as well and you are not given any options of what to say during conversations. In addition to the cinematics, mission briefing screens give you a lot of the information needed to tell the story.

In conclusion, I think that this game is another case of a great idea being implemented poorly. It is simply too difficult for most players, particularly because of the ridiculous save system. In some cases, a player might go through ten or twenty minutes of gameplay only to die and have to do it all over again. While games should be challenging, they should not be impossible. This, combined with the terrible voice acting results in a mediocre review score. While Hitman: Codename 47 is indeed fun, you might be better off trying the newer games in the franchise.