A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Hitman 2 is an action game for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PCs. Using a variety of weapons -- including firearms and both sharp and blunt instruments -- as well as poisons, explosives, and normal household items, the player has to kill a bunch of people, often resulting in bloodshed, gore, and destruction, although the character can also opt to just render people unconscious. There are references to cocaine in dialogue, a joint in someone's drawer, and bottles of booze both lying around and being enjoyed. After being knocked unconscious, the player can drag targets to hide them, which sometimes exposes the underwear and butt cheeks of female characters. The dialogue includes such curse words as "f--k," "c--k," and "s--t," as well as some sexually charged comments. Two add-ons for the game have been announced; there are also two separate versions of the game with bonus items available. This is the latest game in the franchise, which has spawned games and movies.
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What's it about?
HITMAN 2 is the latest installment in a long-running series of stealth action games, but it's only connected to 2016's Hitman, not the other games, and it isn't a remake of 2002's Hitman 2: Silent Assassin. Set after the events of the previous installment, it has Agent 47 tasked with trying to find the so-called Shadow Client and dismantle his militia. As a result, you spend most of your time traveling the world, sneaking around, looking for important documents, and killing anyone who gets in your way, including many of the Shadow Client's friends. Such is the life of a contract killer with amnesia who's looking for revenge ... and clues to his past.
Is it any good?
A sequel in every sense of the word, this third-person stealth action game has more of everything that made the previous installment such a hit (no pun intended). In Hitman 2 (which isn't a remake of 2002's Hitman 2: Silent Assassin), everybody's favorite bald assassin is back, and sneakier than ever. Using a variety of weapons, poisons, explosives, housewares, and a range of costumes, Agent 47 has to once again take out a bunch of people without getting caught, killed, or arrested. Aiding him are a vision mode similar to the one used by Batman in the Arkham games, a penchant for disguises, and, seemingly, a master's degree in improv.
But while this is mechanically the same as 2016's Hitman, it has a lot more than new targets and places to kill them. The areas you hunt in are larger and much more elaborate, which gives you not only more ways to approach your target, but also more ways to get the job done. It goes even further with the dark humor of the previous game, though never to the point of being silly or slipping into self-parody. That said, not all fans of sneaky games will appreciate how unforgiving this can be: One mistake can sometimes cost you an entire mission's worth of planning. On the other hand, some longtime fans won't like the sillier stuff, like mascot costumes that you can dress up in. But players that can strike the balance between the challenge and the absurdity will find that Hitman 2 has everything they love about stealth games and this series ... and then some.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Hitman 2 affected by the fact that you're targeting and eliminating people? Is the impact affected by the fact that you can knock out targets instead of kill them?
If you have to commit bad actions to stop bad people, does that make you a hero, or a villain that's just as horrible? Why?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Warner Bros. Interactive
- Release date: November 12, 2018
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Use of Drugs and Alcohol
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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