Hitman: Blood Money

Hitman: Blood Money is a 2006 stealth video game developed by IO Interactive and published by Eidos Interactive. It was released in May 2006 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox and Xbox 360. It is the fourth installment in the Hitman video game series, serving as a sequel and partial prequel to Hitman: Contracts.

Hitman: Blood Money
Hitman 4 artwork.jpg
Developer(s)IO Interactive
Publisher(s)Eidos Interactive
Director(s)Rasmus Højengaard
Producer(s)Helle Marijnissen
Artist(s)Tore Blystad
Writer(s)Greg Nagan
Composer(s)Jesper Kyd
SeriesHitman
Platform(s)
Release
  • EU: 26 May 2006
  • NA: 30 May 2006
Genre(s)Stealth
Mode(s)Single-player

Blood Money follows the life of hitman Agent 47, as narrated in cutscenes by a former director of the FBI to a journalist. The game was a critical and commercial success, selling more than 2.1 million copies. It has gained a cult following and is now considered by many publications and critics as one of greatest video games of all time.[1][2][3] The game was succeeded by a sequel, Hitman: Absolution, in 2012.

GameplayEdit

 
Agent 47 disguised as a security guard, sneaking up on the target, Don Fernando Delgado

In Hitman: Blood Money, the protagonist Agent 47 must assassinate his targets to complete missions. Armed guards, security checkpoints, witnesses and other obstacles attempt to prohibit Agent 47's success. The player guides Agent 47 through the game's levels from a third-person perspective. A map showing each topographical area and the location of targets and characters assists the player. To complete his mission, Agent 47 uses multiple methods to eliminate targets, regardless of witnesses or violence to bystanders. Blood Money penalizes players for making too much noise or being too violent.[4]

New features introduced in Blood Money included the ability to climb over obstacles, improved unarmed combat, the use of non-player characters (NPC) as shields, the ability to dispose of bodies, improved character animations, a new game engine, and the ability to upgrade weapons and equipment.[5] Seven of the featured weapons in the game, as well as assorted pieces of equipment can be upgraded.[5]

Every level in Blood Money contains a method to make the target's death look like an accident,[5] such as tampering with a grill to make it explode when it is turned on, rigging a chandelier to fall on a target or pushing a target off a balcony. Agent 47 can improvise weapons to complete missions, such as nail guns, toy air rifles, knives, screwdrivers, stilettos, cane swords, fire extinguishers, hammers, and hedge clippers.[4]

Blood Money introduced a notoriety system that rises and falls based upon Agent 47's success. The higher Agent 47's notoriety, the easier it is for NPCs to identify him. If Agent 47 is captured on camera surveillance or witnessed committing murder, the character's notoriety will rise.[6] If the player executes a mission perfectly, Agent 47's notoriety will be minimal. Blood Money provides players with methods to reduce Agent 47's notoriety, including destroying surveillance equipment and bribery.[6] Notoriety gained in early missions will affect later missions. The player receives payment upon completion of a mission, which can be used to upgrade weapons, or bribe authorities to lower your notoriety score.[7] The amount of money the player receives depends on how cleanly the assassination is carried out, with silent killings with no witnesses receiving the highest payout.[8]

Upon completion of each mission, a newspaper article is displayed containing the mission's results, Agent 47's notoriety level, the weapon most frequently used and how accurately it was used, the number of police, security, and civilians killed or injured, and the existence of witnesses. Sketches of Agent 47's face are displayed and become more accurate as the character's notoriety grows. Players are awarded ratings based upon the success of the mission, such as a designation of "silent assassin" when the target was assassinated as cleanly and quietly as possible.[9]

Blood Money improved the melee weapons system from previous releases, allowing players to lethally throw weapons at NPCs. Unlike previous games, melee weapons cannot be transferred to the player's inventory. Blood Money also introduces rival assassins.[10]

PlotEdit

American journalist Rick Henderson visits the estate of former FBI Director Alexander Leland "Jack" Cayne, in hopes of interviewing him over an attack at the White House or his career. However, Cayne reveals that the interview was merely a ruse, and that Rick was invited to be given the details concerning a far greater story - the full details on cloned hitman Agent 47, a contract killer for the International Contract Agency (ICA), a global organization involved in assassinations. Although skeptical over the existence of 47, who is deemed an urban myth, Rick decides to listen to Cayne's story, reading documents he provides about a number of contracts committed by 47.

The documents reveal that after 47 had committed an assassination against a bankrupt amusement park owner in Baltimore, Maryland, he went abroad to conduct jobs in Chile and France, assigned to him by his handler Diana Burnwood, before taking on several across the United States. During this time, the ICA found itself being targeted by a rival outfit called "the Franchise", who soon began killing ICA agents while hunting down 47. Although 47 avoids being killed by rival assassins, Diana is forced to shut down the ICA, and divides up its remaining resources between him and herself. Cayne eventually goes on to talk about the White House attack, claiming 47 was involved in the chaos that occurred, but was ultimately brought down by his handler as the law closed in on him, and deceives Henderson saying Agent 47 stole Dr. Ort-Meyer's cloning data to sell to the highest bidder, and that Agent 47 was working with "the Franchise" to kill the U.S. Interior secretary.

Unknown to Cayne, 47 had been made aware that the Franchise was working for a political organization called Alpha Zerox that sought to monopolize on Ort-Meyer's cloning technology. As the current US President was planning to legalize cloning, the Franchise was hired to assassinate him so that their puppet, the U.S. Vice President Daniel Morris, would replace them. 47 found himself hired by an old acquaintance, CIA agent Carlton Smith, whom he rescued in a previous contract, to prevent the Franchise operative Mark Parchezzi III and Daniel Morris from assassinating the U.S. president in White House. With the Franchise exposed, Diana decided to bring down the outfit with a risky plan by pretending to double-cross 47 and injecting him with poison - in reality a serum to induce a state that mimics death - so that he could be brought close to those involved in the Franchise.

As his bone marrow could be used by the organization's cloning rivals, Cayne had him prepared for cremation, and brings Rick to watch the ceremony. However, during the hasty funeral, Diana kisses Agent 47 after applying fresh lipstick with antidote. As the funeral begins, the antidote works and Agent 47 awakens, killing everyone in the church. With no witness alive, Agent 47's identity remains a secret. With his anonymity preserved, Diana steals the Franchise's assets to reopen the ICA.

DevelopmentEdit

Hitman: Blood Money was announced in November 2004, with a scheduled release for spring 2005.[11] However, the date was later delayed into 2006.[12] In March 2006, it was revealed that the game would be released on the Xbox 360, making it the first Hitman game to be released on the seventh generation of video game consoles.[13][14] Blood Money was released on the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows on 26 May 2006 in Europe and PAL territories,[15] and 30 May in North America.[16] The game, along with its predecessors, was made available on Steam in March 2007.[17][18] On 29 January 2013, Blood Money was included in the Hitman HD Trilogy, a compilation also including Hitman 2: Silent Assassin and Hitman: Contracts, released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.[19] In March 2018, the Xbox 360 version of the game was made backwards compatible for the Xbox One.[20] Blood Money was also included in another compilation, the Hitman HD Enhanced Collection, with Hitman: Absolution, which was released on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in January 2019. This version of the game was remastered with updated visuals and could be played in 4K resolution.[21]

SoundtrackEdit

Hitman: Blood Money Original Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Released
30 May 2006
Genre
Length64:41
LabelSumthing Else Music Works
Jesper Kyd chronology
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
(2005)
Hitman: Blood Money Original Soundtrack
(2006)
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
(2007)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
SoundtrackNet      link

The Hitman: Blood Money Original Soundtrack, composed by Jesper Kyd, was released on 30 May 2006 by Sumthing Else and Eidos. The score was performed with the Budapest Symphony Orchestra and the Hungarian Radio Choir. It features Kyd's trademark ambience and dark, foreboding arrangements with the choral parts in deep brooding Latin.[22]

The soundtrack was nominated for the Best Video Game Score at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, losing to The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.[23][24] It received the "Xbox Game of the Year-Best Original Score" award from IGN.[25]

No.TitleLength
1."Apocalypse"4:33
2."Secret Invasion"5:06
3."Before the Storm"2:40
4."47 Attacks"2:12
5."Hunter"6:21
6."Action in Paris"3:10
7."Amb Zone"3:56
8."Night Time In New Orleans"3:17
9."Vegas"6:28
10."Club Heaven"5:52
11."Invasion on the Mississippi River"4:15
12."Rocky Mountains"2:41
13."Day Light in New Orleans"4:43
14."Trouble in Vegas"3:35
15."Funeral"2:47
16."Main Title"3:05

Additional music includes a rendition of Franz Schubert's "Ave Maria" sung by Daniel Perret of the Zurich Boys' Choir, a rendition of "Tomorrow Never Dies" by Swan Lee, "White Noise" by The Vacation, "Slasher" by Institute For The Criminally Insane, and a Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major.

ControversyEdit

Several advertisements promoting Blood Money generated controversy for their violent imagery.[26] The ad that drew the most attention depicted a woman lying on a bed in lingerie, seemingly asleep but with a bullet hole in her forehead.[27] The caption above the picture read, "Beautifully Executed..." Other ads were "Classically Executed"[28] which featured a cellist who has been executed with a garrote, "Coldly Executed"[29] which showed a body in a freezer, and "Shockingly Executed" which depicted a woman electrocuted in a bath by a toaster. These advertisements were criticized for promoting murder, with one commentator saying they were in "extremely poor taste".[27]

ReceptionEdit

Hitman: Blood Money reviews
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic(PS2) 83/100[30]
(PC) 82/100[31]
(X360) 82/100[32]
(Xbox) 81/100[33]
Review scores
PublicationScore
1Up.comB+[35]
AllGame     [34]
Eurogamer8/10[38]
GameSpot8.2/10[36]
GameSpy     [37]
GamesRadar+     [41]
GameTrailers7.9/10[40]
GameZone8.5/10[39]
IGN8/10[42]
PC Zone84/100[43]
TeamXbox7.6/10[44]
VideoGamer.com8/10[45]

Hitman: Blood Money received "generally positive" reviews across all platforms, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[31][30][33][32]

GameSpot reported that diverse imaginative scenarios gave Blood Money its share of violent thrills.[36] GameSpy praised the expanded scope and options in each level, such as making kills appear as accidents, saying the game provided enough choices to encourage players to play missions multiple times," but criticized the notoriety system as "underutilized."[37]

IGN praised Blood Money's "impressive orchestral compositions."[42] GameTrailers wrote that the soundtrack "drives your emotions" through the missions."[40]

In contrary to this praise, TeamXbox criticized Blood Money for offering no innovations from its predecessor Hitman: Contracts.[44]

Hitman: Blood Money sold more than 1.5 million copies by July 17, 2006.[46] By 2011, it had sold more than 2.1 million copies.[47]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The 100 Best Games of All-Time". GamesRadar+. Future US. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  2. ^ Polygon Staff (27 November 2017). "The 500 Best Video Games of All Time". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  3. ^ "The 100 Greatest Video Games of All Time". slantmagazine.com. 9 June 2014. Archived from the original on 12 July 2015.
  4. ^ a b C. Perry, Douglass (26 October 2005). "Hitman BloodMoney". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  5. ^ a b c "ShackNews.com". ShackNews.com. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  6. ^ a b "ShackNews.com". ShackNews.com. Archived from the original on 29 August 2009. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  7. ^ C. Perry, Douglass (11 March 2006). "Hitman: Blood Money: Hands-On". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  8. ^ Reed, Kristan (11 May 2005). "Hitman: Blood Money". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  9. ^ Bunker 37 Archived October 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "ComputerAndVideoGames.com". ComputerAndVideoGames.com. 12 September 2006. Archived from the original on 19 September 2009. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  11. ^ "Eidos announces Hitman: Blood Money". Gamesindustry.biz. Gamer Network. 4 November 2004. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  12. ^ Thorsen, Tor (20 December 2005). "Tomb Raider, Hitman: Blood Money, and 25 to Life delayed". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  13. ^ C. Perry, Douglass (31 March 2006). "Hitman is 360 Bound". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  14. ^ "HITMAN: BLOOD MONEY on Xbox 360 - Beautifully Executed in HD". Gamesindustry.biz. Gamer Network. 4 April 2006. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  15. ^ Bramwell, Tom (13 April 2006). "Hitman: Blood Money dated". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  16. ^ Adams, David (31 May 2006). "Hitman Strikes Stores". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  17. ^ Purchese, Robert (16 March 2007). "Eidos embraces Steam power". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  18. ^ Thorsen, Tor (16 March 2007). "Eidos building up Steam". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  19. ^ "Report: Hitman HD Collection Listed by Retailer". ign.com. 1 June 2012. Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  20. ^ Wales, Matt (6 March 2018). "Hitman: Blood Money leads the latest Xbox One backward compatibility releases". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  21. ^ Sheridan, Connor (4 January 2019). "Hitman HD Enhanced Collection is a 4K update for the most loved and most hated Hitman games". GamesRadar+. Future US. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  22. ^ "IGN: Hitman: Blood Money Original Soundtrack Review". Uk.music.ign.com. 1 June 2006. Archived from the original on 7 March 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  23. ^ "2006 MTV Video Awards: Winner Predictions". Slant Magazine. Slant Magazine, LLC. 21 August 2006. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  24. ^ Associated Press (1 September 2006). "List of Winners at MTV Video Music Awards". Fox News. Fox Corporation. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  25. ^ IGN.com presents The Best of 2006 - Hitman: Blood Money Archived May 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ Video Game Features, PC Game Features Archived October 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ a b "Assemblyman strikes back over Sony ad". East Bay Times. 28 July 2006. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  28. ^ "Classically Executed" Archived November 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ "Coldly Executed" Archived November 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ a b "Hitman: Blood Money for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  31. ^ a b "Hitman: Blood Money for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  32. ^ a b "Hitman: Blood Money for Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  33. ^ a b "Hitman: Blood Money for Xbox Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  34. ^ Leach, Gracie (30 May 2006). "Hitman: Blood Money - Overview". allgame. Archived from the original on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  35. ^ Coffey, Robert (30 May 2006). "Hitman: Blood Money (PS2)". 1Up.com. Archived from the original on 5 January 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  36. ^ a b Greg Kasavin (31 May 2006). "Hitman: Blood Money Review (PC)". Gamespot. Retrieved 3 April 2008.
  37. ^ a b Will Tuttle (31 May 2006). "Hitman: Blood Money Review (PS2) - Agent 47 is back and more dangerous than ever, spilling blood in every corner of the globe". GameSpy. Retrieved 3 April 2008.
  38. ^ Reed, Kristan (26 May 2006). "Hitman: Blood Money". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  39. ^ "Hitman Blood Money - PC Review". GameZone. 4 May 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  40. ^ a b "Hitman: Blood Money Review (Xbox)". Game Trailers. 30 May 2006. Archived from the original on 13 March 2008. Retrieved 3 April 2008.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  41. ^ Graziani, Gabe (31 May 2006). "Hitman: Blood Money review". GamesRadar+. Future US. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  42. ^ a b Douglass C. Perry (30 May 2006). "Hitman: Blood Money". IGN. Retrieved 3 April 2008.
  43. ^ "PC Review: Hitman: Blood Money Review". ComputerAndVideoGames.com. 1 June 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  44. ^ a b Dale Nardozzi - "Legba" (31 May 2006). "Hitman: Blood Money Review (Xbox 360)". TeamXbox. Archived from the original on 11 April 2008. Retrieved 3 April 2008.
  45. ^ Orry, Tom (29 May 2006). "Hitman: Blood Money Review". VideoGamer.com. Resero Network. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  46. ^ Thorsen, Tor (17 July 2006). "Tomb Raider, Blood Money go multiplatinum". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  47. ^ "New 'Hitman: Absolution' Game Uses 'Avatar' Performance Capture Technology, Hollywood Talent". The Hollywood Reporter. 5 November 2011. Archived from the original on 1 January 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2012.

External linksEdit