- Situs Inversus (Hokkaido, Japan): My favourite level in nu-Hitman. Unique and original setting, with a really cool, hyper-modern aesthetic. Extremely well designed level in terms of how interconnected every area is. The extra challenge of reaching Soders is a welcome change from the other levels, and makes his kills more satisfying. I also love just exploring the map and taking in every detail. It's one of those cases where I'd love to actually be in that place in real life.
- The Showstopper (Paris, France): I always preferred this so the more popular Sapienza. It doesn't feel as excessively sprawling. Everything is very well connected and efficiently designed. The map isn't too large, and the two targets move around a decent amount of it. I always love the high-society vibe, and the atmosphere of Paris at dusk (captures that specific time very well). An excellent reintroduction to the Hitman series after years of nothing.
- World of Tomorrow (Sapienza, Italy): Though I have criticisms with how excessively sprawling this map is, with far too much redundant space, I do still really enjoy it, if just for exploring the map and taking in the relaxing and picturesque vibe. Probably the closest Hitman has come to being a straight-up James Bond game. I also think that Silvio is one of the best Hitman targets, with a very interesting and nuanced personality and backstory.
- The Finish Line (Miami, United States of America): Though this is a similarly huge level like Sapienza, I feel it uses the space a bit better. The two targets cover quite a large proportion of the map, and the other areas are still full of relevant opportunities and content. The incredible level of detail put into this level makes it obvious that IOI almost certainly spent more time developing this level than any other in Hitman 2. I also think the several car-related deaths are really fun and unique.
- Golden Handshake (New York City, United States of America): I love this level, because it's proof to some of the doubters that smaller, more compact single-location maps can be great as well. This is definitely a case of quality over quantity. I never got bored of playing this level over and over again. The smaller map and shorter play-time made it easier to get back into to complete all the challenges. Hopefully there are more maps of a similar size in the next Hitman game.
- The Last Resort (Haven Island, Maldives): Surprised at how much I enjoyed this level. At first I thought the setting of a beach resort a bit simple and uninteresting, but the positives outweigh that. The fact that the targets cover pretty much the entire map is great, and I like that none of them are stereotypically or over-the-top evil like in other levels. Added a bit more nuance to them. I also like the secret underground lab more than the other nu-Hitman ones (e.g. Sapienza, Santa Fortuna). It was a really pleasant surprise when I accidentally stumbled on it for the first time. I had no idea such a large part of the map existed.
- Chasing a Ghost (Mumbai, India): Bordering on being a bit too sprawling, I still really like this map. The setting of the teeming Mumbai streets at dusk is fantastic; that golden light basking the exotic locale is something that brings me back to this level. The unique mechanic of trying to discover the final target's identity and tracking him down is cool, and it goes without saying that Dawood is awesome.
- A Gilded Cage (Marrakesh, Morocco): I agree with the criticisms of the excessively large useless space covering much of the map, but I still don't mind playing this level. Both of the targets are very engaging, and I like the contrast between the atmosphere of the embassy and the marketplace/school. The difficulty of reaching the targets is nice too. The level has probably my favourite backstory of any nu-Hitman level – the protest and attempted coup are pretty interesting.
- Club 27 (Bangkok, Thailand): Not a great level, but not bad either. Ken Morgan is the most lame target in the entire game (and a runner-up for the entire series too), but Jordan Cross is great – a distinct personality that isn't particularly villainous. Not much to say about this level one way or the other. It's fine.
- Nightcall (New Zealand): Wasn't sure whether to classify this is a proper level or not. But it feels close enough to one, albeit very small and limited. Obviously there isn't all that much to do here, but I love the dark, ominous atmosphere of it all – there's way too few night levels in nu-Hitman, so I always appreciate one. I also like that it's a completely hostile area but not a pain in the ass to navigate (unlike certain others). A decent small level. Not much else to say.
- The Ark Society (Isle of Sgail, North Atlantic Ocean): The setting of this map is pretty awesome, and finally we get a proper full-on night level, thank the gods! But aside from that I'm not a big fan of it. The two targets are completely uninteresting, and I just found almost all of the challenges to be really difficult, which put me off replaying the level a lot. Thankfully the expansion levels were great, so Hitman 2 didn't have to end on this weak note.
- Three-Headed Serpent (Santa Fortuna, Columbia): This could have been a great homage to A Vintage Year from Blood Money if the map wasn't so excessively huge and sprawling. The almost complete lack of interconnectivity between the three target areas, and the ridiculous amount of time it takes to run between each of them, kills this level for me. I love the town area where you start, and the drug plantation was pretty cool, but the villa and office that the other two targets are in are completely bland. Replaying this level was a huge chore. I feel like nowhere near as much effort was put into this level as others.
- Another Life (Vermont, United States of America): I wanted to like this level because it was smaller and more concentrated, but by god is the setting brutally dull and uninteresting. A completely generic middle-upper class suburb in the US. Not exactly riveting stuff. I live in the suburbs – they aren't interesting whatsoever. The map being full of mostly civilians was also boring. Janus is an interesting target but Cassidy is not. And collecting all the evidence on repeated playthroughs is extremely tedious and unfun. I don't enjoy this level at all.
- Freedom Fighters (Colorado, United States of America): Yeah, everyone knows this will be last. Just how it is. This level has a lot going against it: completely dull location, too many targets for its small size, excessively hostile, etc. I'll give the level credit for trying something different, but I don't think the execution of it was well done.
As for the bonus levels, I haven't played the Patient Zero ones, but I enjoy the other three from Hitman 2016. I especially like A House Built on Sand because of the lovely atmosphere of the night market. They reminded me of the size of some levels from Blood Money: compact but plenty of stuff to do in every part of the map.
Also, on the topic of the tutorial levels, I don't care for the yacht one, but I quite enjoy the Cuban airbase. An example of a hostile environment but one that isn't tedious to play in.
Okay, that's all. I typed for way longer than I thought. I'll be amazed and thankful if anyone actually read to the end. Have a nice day 🙂
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