Since he debuted in 2000’s Hitman: Codename 47, master assassin Agent 47 has starred in multiple sequels and spin-offs. Over the years, the series has gotten bigger and bigger, spawning two films (that spectacularly missed the point of the games’ appeal), as well as novels.
What’s the appeal? For one thing, Hitman gives players an impressive range of freedom, allowing us to choose various modes of assassination. Want to enter that gangster’s mansion head-on and blow his bodyguards away with a shotgun? Go for it. Prefer to take a more discrete approach, garrotting your way through shadowy corridors instead? Feel free.
Of course, like any long-running game franchise, the Hitman series has moments that stand out from the rest. Join us as we run through Agent 47’s top 10 missions below …
- 1 Anathema (Silent Assassin)
- 2 A New Life (Blood Money)
- 3 Invitation to a Party (Silent Assassin)
- 4 You Better Watch Out (Blood Money)
- 5 The King of Chinatown (Absolution)
- 6 Curtains Down (Blood Money)
- 7 Beldingford Manor (Contracts)
- 8 Sapienza: World of Tomorrow (Hitman 2016)
- 9 A House of Cards (Blood Money)
- 10 Flatline (Blood Money)
Anathema (Silent Assassin)
For those of us who’d never played the first Hitman outing, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin was an amazing introduction to the character and his ruthless world. As the first ‘real’ level of Silent Assassin (following a brief tutorial stage), Anathema is a blast from start to finish, however you choose to play it.
On the hunt for his kidnapped friend, Agent 47 has to kill a mob boss holed up in his sprawling manor – provided his horde of protectors don’t ice you first. You can get into the estate by numerous means, though the delivery man tended to be the easiest. Remember sneaking up on him while he relieved himself? Remember the thrill of walking up to that gate in disguise?
A New Life (Blood Money)
Set in a quiet little suburban street, A New Life sees you trying to find a microfilm sneakily hidden away and killing a man who’s in witness protection. Again, you have multiple methods at your disposal.
A New Life is a well-constructed mission, and its setting is an unusual one for the series. You also have a range of awesome disguises to choose from (including Corky the Clown, which lets you live out your psychotic-clown fantasies again and again).
Invitation to a Party (Silent Assassin)
Another cracker from Hitman 2: Silent Assassin.
Invitation to a Party sees you having to infiltrate a fancy gathering at a lush German embassy. You’re ordered to execute a general, grab a suitcase, and then get the hell out of there – but why not have a little fun first?
Naturally, this being Hitman, you can knock out a waiter, don his outfit, and wander into the embassy to kill your target on the down-low. Still, if you don’t care about getting the best rating, why not go wild and waste everyone at the gathering instead? Running through those grand hallways, pistols in hand, popping guests left, right, and centre … ah, it’s the little things.
You Better Watch Out (Blood Money)
This mission takes place at a Christmas celebration in the Rocky Mountains, and allows you to steal a Santa costume from a drunk … which is as fun as it sounds.
This is a fairly saucy mission, with lots of drinking and flirting, not to mention ladies in bikinis. Being set at the home of a porn tycoon, it’s not surprising to see such things, and it helps to give the mission a fun, blackly-humorous atmosphere. Being able to shoot the bottom out of a jacuzzi and watch the bathing people inside fall to the rocks below is pretty cool, too.
The King of Chinatown (Absolution)
Absolution may not go down in history as the greatest Hitman game ever, but it did feature the excellent The King of Chinatown mission.
Here, 47’s asked to follow his target through the streets of Chicago’s Chinatown, which are as alive and bustling as you’d expect. There’s an amazing range of methods available for killing the target himself, from kicking the moron down a sewer grate to blowing up his car in grand style.
This freedom, combined with the vibrant setting, makes it an outstanding mission.
Curtains Down (Blood Money)
Curtains Down was Blood Money’s second mission, and allowed you to make your hit look like a nasty accident – how can you resist?
Set in a stunning opera house in Paris, the mission sees 47 trying to kill a renowned tenor. If you’re happy to take the long way round to the mission’s end, you can switch a crucial prop gun for a real, loaded one – bringing the tenor’s stage career to an untimely close without causing a hint of suspicion.
You’re also required to off a second target, and this too can be made to look like the result of an unstable chandelier (with help from a handy little explosive). It’s a great, great set-up, and a testament to the imagination and skill behind the Hitman series.
Beldingford Manor (Contracts)
47 travels to a delightful farm in England for this mission. It’s got everything you’d expect: a massive house, hedges, stables – the lot.
Still, you’re not there to sightsee: you’re there to save a man who’s been kidnapped, and execute his kidnappers. As usual, you can do so through stealth, or go for a more bombastic approach – the sheer variety of methods here makes it an ideal mission for experimentation.
Meanwhile, the countryside setting is incredibly atmospheric, with heavy rain, thunder, and authentically-rustic buildings. The music also helps to add a real sense of suspense and danger, while creeping through people’s rooms as they sleep feels very sinister indeed.
Sapienza: World of Tomorrow (Hitman 2016)
The second mission in 2016’s episodic Hitman game, Sapienza sees you given the run of a picturesque Italian town. Everything is pretty and rustic, really capturing the atmosphere of its setting.
The sense of space and opportunity is terrific, and you feel like you’re free to do anything (even if you’re not). You can even wander down to the beach and hang out with scantily-clad tourists, or explore an ice cream parlour like a good tourist.
There are plenty of nooks and crannies to explore, and you have many different disguises to try.
A House of Cards (Blood Money)
A House of Cards tosses you into a grand casino-hotel in Las Vegas, where you’re required to kill three targets – it’s easier than it sounds, but still requires a little of the old Hitman patience.
The setting itself is a lot of fun to explore, and certain moments (such as climbing onto the roof of an elevator to wait for an unsuspecting target to wander in below) really stand out.
Flatline (Blood Money)
Flatline takes place in another unusual setting: a rehab centre.
47 has to somehow get inside, identify which of the three resident mobsters plans to give up his valuable information, and execute him. You’re also required to rescue an agent who’s gone missing in the clinic.
Flatline gives you an amazing variety of paths, such as pretending to be a therapist (which makes killing your target easier, seeing as they come to you instead). Having to rescue a fellow agent adds a nice extra challenge, and the mission’s atmosphere remains tense throughout, thanks to the pulse-pounding music.
What are your favourite missions from the Hitman series? Let us know!