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Hitman: Blood Money is giving me the most rewarding gaming experience I’ve had in years.

Content of the article: "Hitman: Blood Money is giving me the most rewarding gaming experience I’ve had in years."

Hitman is a series I've always been low key interested but never did take the plunge nor did I know a whole lot about it. I knew it had a cool looking protagonist, a god awful movie adaptation and it played around with disguises. But that's about it.

Luckily, last year, Hitman 2016 was available through Playstation Plus and I jumped to the chance of experiencing Hitman in all its slick looking glory… but I got so overwhelmed! The game (and mostly, the series) is happy to set you loose in a very large level to figure things out on your own and bombard you with options, tools and chances to take down your target. I jumped of that game rather quickly.

The thing is I was approaching this game in the wrong way. This ain't a stealth game. This ain't an action game. This is a puzzle game. With a lot of moving pieces and a plethora of opportunities to have fun.

Recently I got to watch a few videos all praising the new Hitman games IO Interactive has been putting out and, despite my bad experience, I was still pretty intrigued by those games. So I looked in my backlog and found I had bought Hitman: Blood Money long ago. I decided it was time to give it another try but really take my time with it.

Boy o boy I'm glad I did that.

Hitman Blood Money has a legendary status by now. Amazing level design, limitless freedom and pretty impressive crowds (Mardis Gras is still impressive in 2020, damn). It lived up to the hype and then some but it does ask a lot of you… and it is mostly patience.

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You are dropped into a pretty big level with a target and some different weapons but little more than that. The thing is there are so many options or paths to take that initially you are grasping at straws not knowing where to go, what avenue to take or if this or that disguise will be helpful at all. I decided to take thing slow and started learning the level, which are viable entry points and where could I sneak out. Then check out guards placements, how to avoid them or… Disguises: What works where? Because all disguises will be helpful for something even if you don't know where. Trial and error is a frustrating design choice but letting you figure things out on your own brings its own sense of reward.

There's absolutely nothing like pulling off a hit you carefully planned and set into motion into a breathing and living world where anything could go wrong at any moment. Once you pull it off, walking slowly through the exit avoiding civilian NPCs makes you feel like the baddest motherfucker alive.

Blood Money requires a lot of patience. Each level could take a few hours out of you and in this day of age, where we move from set piece to set piece, maybe that's asking a lot. But each mission was expertly crafted to test your skills and seeing your carefully laid out plan through is one of the nicest gaming experiences out there. I'm so glad I gave this game another chance and I can't wait to enjoy the newer games.

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