I really liked Contracts, but I'm of course heavily biased :). I really felt it was a "back to basics" Hitman game after the adventerous Hitman 2. It was all about his jobs, but done in a flashback-esque way so that the cutscenes built up the climaxing level that was very well executed in terms of time and linearity.
Plus they addressed my biggest gripe that in Hitman 2 you only got rewarded for Silent Assassin the first few times. In HC you got rewarded for every single time you got SA. Even little easter eggs if you noticed little things and came back to them. One word: chaingun :).
Contracts built on the Hitman 2 concept of multiple completion. I think there was one level where I only found 3 ways of completing, but most of them there were at least 6 or more. The game was a lot better at throwing curveballs at you, though sometimes it did degenerate to creep-n-save on a couple levels. The Homage levels to Hitman 1 were a treat. While I didn't jive with the Lee Hong levels (they felt incomplete) the Budapest hotel, unquestionably the best level from Hitman 1, is done incredibly in H:C. There are *tons* of ways to complete that one, and even interesting little side notes like ghosts. Of course, can't forget playing "fresh towels, sir" bellboy or flower delivery on that level
I think the biggest complaint about H:C was that it was just more Hitman 2. There weren't a whole lot of compelling new features, so if you thought H2 had doldrums you weren't exactly surprised by H:C. I couldn't put it down though, thats just me. You really got into Tobias's character in H:C, and I think it was the best storyline of the three in terms of really exploring who Tobias is.
As far as Blood Money, I'm interested to see how the whole ICA antagonist plays out. I hope they don't cop out and make it a government spook operation that's wiping out ICA, but rather a competing organization, maybe the Triads for example. Even more interesting would be if you reached a fork that allowed you to choose alliances between the e publ, but given the tendencies of H2 I'm doubting that.
Spring 2005 seems *way* too close to put the right polish on it, and I am afraid they are getting tomb raider-esque pushes from Eidos, which is what I predicted back in the thread when they were acquired. Not knocking Eidos, I knew their publishing muscle would bring Hitman to a wider audience, and Hitman2 sales easily confirmed that suspicion
I'll reserve judgement until the first screenshots/interviews/website surface, but I'm looking for a Jesper Kyd announcement. The game is not Hitman without Jesper Kyd's music!
-DSR <-- is behind you with taut fibre wire RIGHT NOW!!!!This comment was edited on Nov 4, 14:38.