Prior to the gun-toting, leather-clad nun antics of Hitman: Absolution IO Interactive carved a place for itself in the hearts of gamers with a swathe of slow burn stalk-and-strangle open world hits, three of which have snuck their way onto this High Definition re-jig from Square Enix and the team behind the rough and ready Kane & Lynch. Nestled on the disc and bumped to 720p are Silent Assassin, Contracts, Blood Money – making its PS3 debut despite an appearance on Microsoft’s machine all the way back in 2006 – and a download code for Sniper Challenge, the deliciously dark and addictive Hitman: Absolution pre-order tease.
Despite its age, Silent Assassin (2002) still manages to hold its own, while Contracts (2004) comes off much worse with its miniscule onscreen menus attempting to guide you through in-game interactions. While Empire dug through the various options on offer, there doesn’t appear to be any way to alter this, which means ogling at prompts and text boxes can be more challenging than mastering the game itself. And then there’s Blood Money (2006), arguably the high point of the series so far despite its ugliness – chalk that up to being punted to 360 so early in the console’s lifecycle.
Overall gameplay has been left untouched, which feels like a missed opportunity – minor tweaks to the AI and level design could certainly have been beneficial to the sense of realism and authenticity, but for 20 pounds, it’s hard to complain. Still, there are a slew of trophies and achievements for you to have a stab at nabbing, and if you’ve never played Blood Money this is your only opportunity to do so on PlayStation 3. More than that, if by some bizarre chance you’ve never dipped your toe into the murky underworld Agent 47 prowls around then this HD Trilogy, despite the lack of frills, is an investment well worth making.
Reviewed by Sebastian Williamson