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February 15, 2004
Hitman: Contracts - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
15/5/2004AtariIo Interactive1$99.95

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That's bloody, bloody.
The Hitman series really has grown from nowhere. The first game was released with little hype, and with reviewers commenting on awkward controls the game seemed to be lost in the shuffle. But gamers soon caught onto the idea of being a hitman and the game managed to become a success as you took on the role of the mysterious 47. The second game Hitman 2: Silent Assassin fixed many of the problems and advanced the game significantly in all areas including gameplay, graphics, controls and atmosphere. There was little doubt that a third game would be released, and Hitman: Contracts is that game.

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Using the knife.
Once again you take on the role of 47 and do what you must to get the job done, because in a professional hitman's hands everything becomes a weapon - knives, guns, ropes - anything. Hitman: Contracts once again sees Agent 47 enter a world of crime, sin and greed. Encounter his greatest adversaries, completing the work that made him so ruthlessly efficient and deadly precise, the ones that shaped him as an assassin. It will be necessary to travel anywhere the work requires, to assignments in Paris, Hong Kong, Siberia, England and more. Nothing counts except the target. Can Agent 47 make a perfect hit?

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I have no idea what this is...
Hitman: Contracts includes 12 levels, all of which will be quite large, often over an hour to complete as with previous games. Those of you that found the previous games a little tough will be glad to hear that the developers are starting this game off with a gentler learning curve. The controls are also being refined to include beginners and left handed control scheme, streamlined inventory access and quick access to mission briefing and objectives. The game also includes a ranking system which details how well you have played the levels. From Psycho to Mass Murderer to the ultimate - Silent Assassin.

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Nice enough graphics.
One of the greatest things about the Hitman series has always been the open-ended gameplay. There are literally hundreds of ways to complete the missions, you choose the weapons, the type of combat, the time of combat, the ways of approaching the target - everything. The range of weapons is impressive. These include close combat such as meat hooks, shovels, pool cues and firearms such as sniper rifles, pistols and shotguns. The game includes a wide range of animations for the killings including suffocation, varied strangulation moves, impaling, drowning and an improved stealth mode.

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More blood...
The physics engine includes improved 'ragdoll' and rigid body dynamics. Shot activate and shatter object support meaning that lights, windows and other objects in the environment can be destroyed. Graphically Io Interactive are pushing the game even further the past titles. The game includes much improved dynamic weather, explosions, bullet impacts and blood! The sound has also undergone some improvements with an increased number of voice channels and Dolby Pro Logic II support.

Hitman: Contracts is another certain winner in the series. Everything is coming together nicely and IO Interactive have been taking feedback from gamers about previous games and fixing any problems (controls). Expect a release in May.