Hitman Blood Money playthrough: Complete

That is my Hitman Blood Money narrated playthrough complete now; all eleven rated missions have been completed on the Pro difficulty level getting Silent Assassin ranking, I've retrieved and escaped with the suit and used in total only three bullets. I've excluded the tutorial mission, what some consider the first mission, "Death of a Showman" as it is not rated and forces you to use a lot of moves I make absolutely no use of during the game; I've also omitted the last level, "Requiem", as again, it isn't rated and to complete it requires as much luck as it does skill and there's very little of the latter.

I've been through all of the posts and added an eye-catch screen of the targets as displayed during the loading screen (on the PC version at least) and also fixed a few other minor errors: I was incorrectly specifying the video size in some of the later missions as 514 pixels wide instead of 512, not sure how this crept in; I've also finally uploaded the high-quality version of Mission 2, that video was missing some meta-information but it took a full upload to fix that.

Below are thumbnailed links to all of the missions and I've also provided a retrospective on this project at the end.

For my runthrough I played the latest version (1.02) of Hitman Blood Money on the PC. For recording the games I was in the lowest resolution of 800x600, this is so that HUD features such as the attention meter is visible on the smaller Flash videos. Ordinarily I play on 1280x960 but shrinking that would make HUD details tiny. All features apart from self-shadowing are turned on (anti-aliasing, high detail etc.). I used FRAPS to record the videos, and an average 10 minute run through would take up about 6GB; I then use the process detailed in one of my write ups to come out with a high-quality version and a decent quality Flash video version.

After putting what I write in perspective I guess my website could now be on all sorts of government watch-lists for some of the topics I'm covering (especially Mission 11's write-up). It should go without saying that I unequivocally do not endorse or condone killing, professional or otherwise, of any sort and everything written is done so within the context of the game. Those who know me will know I have a strong separation between reality and fiction (apart from with squirrels who are omnipotent!) so this writing and narration should not be used as a character reference.

I began doing my Hitman runthrough because I had watched a few other video runthroughs for Blood Money and was unhappy at the level of skill displayed and so set out to prove that Silent Assassin ranking was not only possible but preferable over the gung-ho, run-and-gun methods employed by some. I've always treated the Hitman games as a puzzler rather than a shooter and my enjoyment comes from figuring out the cleanest and most efficient way to take out the target(s) rather than how many bodies I create.

To an extent, playing it as I do means I miss out on some of the little nuances the game has to offer. For instance, my first experience with the game (on the Normal difficulty), I didn't touch the weapon upgrades until I was forced to for the ninth mission and plot points such as the other assassins completely passed me by as I stealthed my way through the levels. I probably still don't have a full grasp on the tenuous story running through the game - as evidenced through some of the inconsistencies in my narrations - but I never played the game expecting a literary tour de force.

I've been a huge fan of the Hitman games ever since the first one came out, and while that one had a similar monetary and rating system, it was far less accomplished than Blood Money's and most levels degenerated into a shoot out rather than a slow-and-steady approach; and the game did nothing to deter that sort of play. Hitman 2 was a benchmark for the series and provided vast, interesting missions and rewarded you for stealthy, innovative play. Many felt Hitman Contracts was more of a mission pack than a fully fledged game and, to a certain extent, that's true with the reprise of three missions from the first game; but Contracts epitomised everything I love about Hitman games: atmospheric and involved missions and a puzzle mentality to solving them. Blood Money is the logical extension of Contracts and continues the "story", and while it contains relatively few missions, the levels are now larger, denser and more intricate than the previous games.

Really this is me putting Hitman Blood Money to bed, there are very few places I can go from here apart from doing a speed-run (which one of my friends suggested) but that can wait for another time. I'm more than willing to do a Hitman Contracts playthrough and demonstrate the no-bullet run, however it's coming up to silly season for games (Christmas) which may put a dampener on that idea; if I ever have a decent chunk of free time it's certainly a possibility. From start to finish this project has taken two weeks which includes play (finding the best SA route on Pro), recording (replaying that route), narrating, encoding and write-ups all with a 9-5 job and several nights out in-between so this has been far from intense.

Who knows though, maybe by the time I get around to doing Contracts or even Hitman 2, a new Hitman game may have landed...