Hitman: Blood Money
|Hitman: Blood Money|
Hitman: Blood Money is a 2006 stealth video game developed by IO Interactive and published by Eidos Interactive for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox and Xbox 360. It is the fourth installment in the Hitman video game series.
The story follows the life of professional hitman, Agent 47, as narrated in cutscenes by a former director of the FBI to a journalist who is interviewing him. The game was a critical and commercial success for Eidos, selling more than 2.1 million copies. High-definition ports of Blood Money and its predecessors, Silent Assassin and Contracts, were released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in January 2013 as the Hitman HD Trilogy. Remastered versions of Blood Money and its successor, Hitman: Absolution, were released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as part of the Hitman HD Enhanced Collection.
In Hitman: Blood Money, the protagonist, Agent 47, must kill characters 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.
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. Seven of the featured weapons in the game, as well as assorted pieces of equipment can be upgraded.
Every level in Blood Money contains a method to make the target's death look like an accident, 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.
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. 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. Notoriety gained in early missions will affect later missions. The notoriety system is not available on rookie mode, the easiest difficulty setting.
Upon competition 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. As one advances further into the game, newspapers containing headlines from previous missions are scattered throughout levels.
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.
In Blood Money, developers introduced rival assassins to the storyline to make the game more critical.
Blood Money begins with a flashback to an amusement park accident in Baltimore, Maryland. Negligent maintenance of a Ferris wheel caused it to collapse and kill 36 people. The father of one of the victims contacts the International Contract Agency, "the Agency", and orders a hit on the park owner, Joseph Clarence. After completing the hit, the assassin, Agent 47, receives contracts from additional clients.
Most of the game occurs as flashback sequences as discussed by journalist Rick Henderson and former FBI Director Alexander Leland "Jack" Cayne. Cayne lies to Henderson, saying Agent 47 stole Dr. Ort-Meyer's cloning data to sell to the highest bidder, and that Agent 47 was working with a group of assassins known as "the Franchise" to kill the U.S. Interior secretary.
Throughout the game, the Agency's employees are assassinated by the Franchise. Ultimately, Agent 47's handler, Diana Burnwood, informs him that they are the only operatives remaining. Burnwood closes the Agency and divides its profits between them. After completing his final assignment, Agent 47 is approached by an old acquaintance, CIA agent Carlton Smith, who Agent 47 once rescued. Smith offers Agent 47 $1 million of diamonds to prevent the Franchise operative Mark Parchezzi III and Vice-President Daniel Morris from assassinating the U.S. president. Parchezzi and Morris work for Alpha Zerox, a political organization that seeks to monopolize the cloning technology used to create Agent 47. Since the president intends to legalize cloning, they hope to replace him with Morris.
Agent 47 successfully eliminates Morris and Parchezzi in the White House, exposing the Franchise to the public. Hunted by the police, Agent 47 flees to his hideout. Without warning, Burnwood visits him, arousing his suspicion. Burnwood proposes an escape plan to Agent 47. As Agent 47 considers a brief Burnwood gave him, Burnwood injects him with poison. Agent 47's body is surrounded by SWAT officers, and Burnwood is formally inducted into the Franchise by Cayne, its founder.
Agent 47 is scheduled for cremation so his bone marrow cannot be collected by cloning rivals. During the hasty funeral, Burnwood kisses Agent 47 after applying fresh lipstick. The poison Burnwood had injected was actually a fake-death serum Agent 47 used in an earlier mission, and her lipstick contained the antidote.
As the funeral begins, the story concludes in one of two ways. In one ending, the antidote failed to work and Agent 47 is sent to the crematorium. In the second ending, the antidote works and Agent 47 awakens, killing everyone in the church. With no witness alive, Agent 47's identity remains secret.
After the funeral, Burnwood uses the Franchise's assets to reopen the Agency. She receives a call from someone she refers to as "Your Majesty." Burnwood informs the caller that the Agency has lost track of Agent 47. Meanwhile, Agent 47 is seen at an unknown establishment engaging in conversation with an Asian man. The two discuss a service that can be found "in the back." The story ends with the curtains literally closed on two sides.
|Hitman: Blood Money Original Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by|
30 May 2006
|Label||Sumthing Else Music Works|
|Jesper Kyd chronology|
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.
The score was nominated for the "Best Video Game Score" in the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, losing to The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It received the "Xbox Game of the Year-Best Original Score" award from IGN.
|3.||"Before the Storm"||2:40|
|6.||"Action in Paris"||3:10|
|8.||"Night Time In New Orleans"||3:17|
|11.||"Invasion on the Mississippi River"||4:15|
|13.||"Day Light in New Orleans"||4:43|
|14.||"Trouble in Vegas"||3:35|
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.
Despite the violence within Blood Money, its advertisements generated more controversy than the game. 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. The caption above the picture read, "Beautifully Executed.." Other ads were "Classically Executed" which featured a cellist who has been executed with a garrote, "Coldly Executed" which showed a body in a freezer, and "Shockingly Executed" which depicted a woman electrocuted in a bath by a toaster.
GameSpot reported that diverse imaginative scenarios gave Blood Money its share of violent thrills. 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."
IGN praised Blood Money's "impressive orchestral compositions." GameTrailers wrote that the soundtrack "drives your emotions” through the missions." The soundtrack was nominated for Best Original Music in GameSpot's Best and Worst Awards 2006.
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