Published on January 26th, 2024 | by Boouya
Hitman: Blood Money Reprisal Review (Switch)
Summary: Overall Hitman Blood Money Reprisal is a very strong port and a welcome addition to the Nintendo Switch library whilst not without its flaws it still manages to offer up plenty of replay-ability and addiction to satiate the blood lust of all us budding Hitmen and Women, without overstaying its welcome. Also with the Quality of life improvements it has brought the game closer to how the more modern titles are played without totally removing itself from the source material.
Back in 2006, almost 20 years ago (scary I know), Hitman: Blood Money released for the PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Windows. Now it is back, for Nintendo Switch in 2024, lets see how well this game has held up and whether the Nintendo Switch was a good platform to release on.
Hitman: Blood Money Reprisal sees the character of 47 attempt to take down the shadowy organization known as the Franchise. This is able to be accomplished through a variety of means, from the Loud and Proud with a bullet to the head. To the more subtle poison in the drink. Every hit allows the player freedom to choose the method of the kill. Whilst more linear in level design than the more modern games like the World of Assassination Trilogy, Blood Money Reprisal still offers the player that agency to decide how and when they will strike.
Whilst for the most part Hitman Blood Money Reprisal is a faithful 1-1 copy of the original game, newer players will rejoice that some quality of life changes have been implemented. This includes a new minimap that gives players a greater awareness of what is close to them and where the target has moved to. Hugging either side of this new minimap are the health and suspicion levels. Suspicion is based on how well you are blending in with the surroundings, this can be done by knocking somebody out and stealing their clothes, thankfully it seems everyone is your size and all the clothes fit nice and snug (How lucky is that?). Certain areas of level require you to have certain disguises, Example being in a guard uniform in the first non tutorial level allows you access into the party and able to walk right up to the first target without arousing suspicion. Also players can hide there misdeeds (bodies) by dragging and placing into a variety of handy places be it bins, furnaces or even of the edge of a balcony. No one can be suspicious if there is no body to be suspicious about (Hitman tip #1).
One feature that was made for the Nintendo Switch is the Gyroscopic aim, this allows for aim to be done by the movement of the controller making headshots easier than trying to use the joysticks even with the added auto aim.
The final big feature added is the now staple Instinct mode, putting yourself in instinct mode allows the player to see highlighted objects, be it objects to climb like trellis and fences to usable items for weapons and distraction. But more importantly it allows you to highlight your target. Making tracking and target acquisition fair easier than in the original game.
For those of you who would like to play as close to the original as possible, all the new features are able to be toggled on and off in the settings menu.
Performance during gameplay
Now actually playing the game for the most is very fun and addictive but there are a few problems which may put people off. One is the fact that they decided to cap the framerate of the game to 30fps in both Handheld and Docked mode. The only difference between the two modes being the resolution upgrade from 720p in Handheld to 1080p in Docked. Even for a game that is 18 years old and has had fixes and enhancements added, being locked at 30fps seems a travesty, even more so when on certain levels you even get performance drops. Whilst not massive drops they are still noticeable. I did also suffer from 3 crashes to home during my play through two of the times when switching from a cutscene back to gameplay. Thankfully we are in 2024 and this should hopefully be patched fairly quickly.
The other issue that I could see being made is the AI, fans of the newer game will have higher expectations than this game can deliver, at times the AI is baffling more than once I killed someone close to a guard and they just ignored me because I had a disguise on forgetting the fact they just watch me grot the guy. Other times the AI can feel like they have a six sense and with 360 and agro on you when there is now way they could actually see the murder. But at the end of the day this sort of thing should be expected when playing such an old game.
Graphically the game is as close to the original source with only a few enhancements to the lighting. Playing this one the Nintendo Switch I found the look of the game to suit the console especially when playing in handheld mode. Whilst some animations are stiff and movement can be fiddly at times it is really one of the best ports the Switch has had. Especially compared to bigger budget releases like the GTA Trilogy or the Batman Arkham Trilogy.
Overall Hitman Blood Money Reprisal is a very strong port and a welcome addition to the Nintendo Switch library whilst not without its flaws it still manages to offer up plenty of replay-ability and addiction to satiate the blood lust of all us budding Hitmen and Women, without overstaying its welcome. Also with the Quality of life improvements it has brought the game closer to how the more modern titles are played without totally removing itself from the source material.