Hitman 2: Silent Assassin is a stealth-based shooter game, developed by IO Interactive and published by Eidos Interactive. It is the second installment of the Hitman video game series. The game was released first on October 1, 2002 in North America. It was released on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox and later on the GameCube. Its predecessor is Hitman: Codename 47 and its sequel is Hitman: Contracts It has sold more than 3.7 million copies as of April 23, 2009.
The game is available via download on Steam.
Hitman 2 features mission-based gameplay. On each level, the main character, known only as 47, is given a set of objectives to complete. Most levels require the assassination of one or more people. However, how missions are completed is up to the player, and there are almost always a variety of ways to complete missions. Instead of simply running and gunning through the mission, one can set sneaky traps, like poisoning a drink, to terminate the target in silence. Once again, it's up to the player to decide how he or she will kill the target.
47 can find disguises or remove them from an incapacitated person to blend in with his surroundings and access restricted areas. This plays in with the "suspicion" system; a bar beside the health meter on the HUD represents how much suspicion 47 garners. There are multiple ways to blend in more effectively; for example, the player can make sure to carry an AK-47 assault rifle while disguised as a Russian soldier. Despite the usage of a uniform, proximity to fellow guards will simply increase the suspicion as they would have an opportunity to more closely examine 47. Also, running, climbing and being in restricted locales are other ways to garner concern.
47's cover can be blown if suspicion gets too high, and the disguise will no longer be of any use. It is possible to switch between multiple disguises throughout the level.
Hitman 2 also uses the concept of a post-mission ranking system, in which the player is given a status based on how they completed the mission, rated along a stealthy-aggressive axis, between "Silent Assassin," a stealthy player who manages to complete the level without being noticed and only killing two non targeting people excluding the intended target(s), and "Mass Murderer," a non-stealthy player who kills everyone. The game rewards the player for critical thinking and problem solving, encouraging the player not to treat the game as a simple shooter. Achieving Silent Assassin status on multiple missions rewards the player with bonus weapons. These weapons, plus items found in previous levels, can be carried over into future ones, allowing for differing means of accomplishing the tasks. Big weapons like rifles and shotguns cannot be concealed, thus the player has to either be wearing an appropriate disguise to match the weapon, or make sure no one sees the player use it.
Agent 47 has retreated to a church in Sicily to seek peace. During his time in the church, he works as a gardener for the priest, Father Vittorio. 47 views Father Vittorio as his best friend and mentor, attending regular confessions to admit his sins. The priest understands that 47 has killed many but believes the man is decent at heart.
One day, after confession, Father Vittorio is kidnapped and a ransom note is left for 47, demanding 500,000 dollars in two days. 47 decides to go back to his old job as an assassin to track down Father Vittorio. He contacts his agency, who thought he was dead, and makes a deal with his handler, Diana. He will work for them if the agency can help him locate Father Vittorio. They accept the deal.
Diana informs 47 that Father Vittorio was kidnapped by a Sicilian Mafia capo named Giuseppe Giuliano. The man is holding the priest in a cell under his mansion, dubbed Villa Borghese. 47 infiltrates and kills Giuliano, but fails to find his friend. He is later told that a satellite image shows Father Vittorio being taken away by 'Russian-looking types in uniform'.
47 works with the Agency to repay their attempt to find Vittorio. After both sides are satisfied the deal is fulfilled, 47 negotiates for a pay raise and continues to accept contracts. He travels to different countries, including Russia, Japan, Afghanistan, Malaysia and India, to carry out his missions, assassinating the assigned targets ranging from terrorists and criminal bosses to enemy agents and generals. Eventually 47 gives up his search for Vittorio, believing him to be dead.
47 eventually learns that the entire thing was a scam by a man named Sergei Zavorotko who is an important figure in Russian organized crime. He also has ties with the Russian government and military. Sergei was an Agency client whom 47 had been working for all along. Sergei had hired 47 to kill all the people who knew anything relating to a major nuclear warhead he had purchased. Sergei was also the brother of Arkadij Jegorov, who was one of 47's "five fathers". Sergei believes 47 told the UN about the device, and sets up an assassination. 47 is then tasked by the UN to kill Sergei, but it is actually a trap. The actual client was Sergei, and he attempts to use 17, another clone of 47 to kill him. 47 then kills 17.
Finally, 47 tracks Sergei back to the church in Sicily, where he holds a terrified Father Vittorio hostage. After a running battle with Sergei's men, 47 eventually kills Sergei. Vittorio gives his old crucifix to Agent 47, asking him to follow the right way and find peace in his life according to his inner soul. Agent 47 takes a final look at Father Vittorio and leaves the church, hanging the crucifix on the church's wooden door. He realizes he will never find peace there and goes back to a life as a hitman.
The game's release sparked controversy due to a level featuring the killing of Sikhs within a depiction of their most holy site, the Harmandir Sahib. An altered version of Silent Assassin was eventually released on all the platforms with the related material removed from the game.