Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
Buy On
  1. 100
    In this captivating outing, 47 revisits the past while modernizing the nagging flaws of his previous games, making for his best trail of assassinations yet.
  2. Simply the most atmospheric game we've played this year. In terms of overall presentation, it is beautifully accomplished, but, and it's becoming more and more rare these days, beneath this veneer lies a game that's enjoyable whether you approach it as a stealth specialist in need of a fresh and fulfilling adventure or simply as a mindless blast-a-thon.
  3. For many, HC will be a disappointment, but its inventive storyline and intricate level design will entertain lounge-room assassins.
  4. Excellent, A+, great, great game. I can only think of one thing this game is missing; online gameplay.
  5. Yes it’s short. Yes it sticks to the series’ formula. And yes it is essentially a one-trick pony. But like a good popcorn action flick, Hitman Contracts hits you in all the right ways and proves to be truly captivating while it lasts.
  6. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    An excellent refinement of the previous Hitman game. For newbies, a spectacular assassination sim with few flaws, but for veterans, perhaps a little underwhelming. [June 2004, p.85]
  7. 90
    Elaborate levels and the multiple paths you can take to solve them go a long way in making you forget about the lack of narrative element.
  8. 85
    It's got a nice open-ended style, a character that fits the gimmick, and plenty of violence.
  9. A glance back and a look forward in a PS2 title that does not advance the series but maintains the momentum.
  10. The completely open ended style of the game means that no two gamers will tackle the challenges the same and this offers a great level of replay to the game as well.
  11. 84
    This is more of the exact same Hitman you played with "Hitman 2." It's good, it's deep, but it's not really all that new.
  12. 81
    A nice addition to the series. It is darker than the previous releases and delves deeper into Agent 47's pshyche trying to immerse you into the game further.
  13. If you're after a stealth game that isn't simply a matter of 'stealth to point A because that's the only way it can be done', however, it comes highly recommended, as each level can be replayed any number of ways, depending on how you mix up your stealth and blasting action.
  14. netjak
    The gameplay formula is as tight and rewarding as ever, and the slightly dated graphics can be forgiven thanks to an innovative approach to the story, logical gameplay mechanics and excellent level design.
  15. The different solutions to each level provide enough replay value for a couple of extra run-throughs of the game.
  16. From the story angle alone Hitman: Contracts is a worthy addition to the series, and will particularly entertain fans of the franchise who’ve played both the predecessors. That said it’s certainly time for some innovation.
  17. PSM Magazine
    Be ready for loads of violence, a short running time, and all the production value and quality gameplay that you need. [June 2004, p.24]
  18. A few questionable issues with AI and replay aside, it’s a good purchase for stealth-action fans who want to see some action in with their stealth.
  19. Although it's a bit on the short side with only 11 missions and a tutorial mode, there are multiple ways to go about doing things which offers up some pretty hefty replay value.
  20. AceGamez
    The gameplay is the most open-ended I've ever seen and you have such freedom to try different things that the replay value is really there.
  21. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Even though it's easier than before to bail yourself out with Plan B and a submachine gun if you do get caught, the subtler assassinations are usually worth the trying and dying. [June 2004, p.90]
  22. It’s best to think of Hitman: Contracts as a mini game to keep fans of the series satisfied until a true sequel is released.
  23. Essentially a filler game with a few new weapons and tools of murder, and, of course, its new and improved game engine. The problem is, while it’s nowhere near the leap from Hitman: Codename 47 to Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Hitman: Contracts is still a highly enjoyable game, and one that gives us hope that the next title in the series will have much more effort poured into it.
  24. Given that "Hitman 2" was such a huge improvement on the original, it's inherently somewhat disappointing that the new Hitman: Contracts is really just a rehash. It's more of the same, replete with everything that was good and everything that wasn't so good about the 2002 game.
  25. The list of flaws may not be long, but they are extenuating. Moreover, on Normal difficulty the game can be completed in about 10 hours, which is on the short side.
  26. 75
    If you're looking for some stealth gameplay in a sandbox environment, this is a great beginner's course into the world of Agent 47. If, however, you're expecting something as revolutionary as the multiplayer in Pandora Tomorrow, or the high polish of Snake Eater, this isn't for you.
  27. The series will be in trouble if it doesn't fundamentally improve the stealth mechanics in time for the fourth installment, but for now, Hitman: Contracts is a value-packed, highly enjoyable stealth action experience that no fan of the genre should overlook.
  28. Despite some linear missions the game tends to ooze replay value in the form of freedom and variation.
  29. An ambitious release for IO, but the end result is a garbled mess of a game that has lost its way. [June 2004, p.122]
  30. 72
    The level of freedom offered may be a dream come true for some but will simply be far too much for others, thusly alienating this title from a majority of gamers.
  31. More of the same? Absolutely, but whether this is a good or a bad thing depends on your enjoyment of the previous games in the series.
  32. If you're a gamer that embraces the open-ended trial-and-error gameplay, and don't mind that it's neither the best example of stealth nor action gameplay, then this will serve you well.
  33. And when atmosphere is the only new thing that you bring to the table, it had better be damn near perfect to make a good impression. Hitman: Contracts is just short of that, but is more than enough if you haven’t played Hitman 2.
  34. Despite some motion stiffness with Agent 47, Hitman: Contracts is one of the top single player action-stealth games on the market.
  35. Edge Magazine
    The picaresque form allows the levels to function as discreet puzzles rather than as parts of a story arc: the objective remains pure and always the same. The obstacles and methods open to you are what change, and it's in these areas that Contracts has both expanded and improved. [June 2004, p.103]
  36. games(TM)
    The whole thing smacks of laziness - of the 12 missions, we count a total of four completely new ones...the annoying thing is that Contracts is an enjoyable game; that IQ had the cheek to crib from its previous work almost doesn't matter when the result is still worth playing. [June 2004, p.98]
  37. 70
    A handful of glaring errors and nagging problems hamstring the title, preventing it from garnering overly high acclaim.
  38. Play Magazine
    It's a shame he's such a one-dimensional character, wasting an exceptional opportunity for a compelling psychological backdrop to join the pervasively strong imagery. [June 2004, p.56]

Awards & Rankings

#72 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2004
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 46
  2. Negative: 2 out of 46
  1. JustinS.
    Jan 14, 2008
    Great game. But sloopy controls and hard to use wepaons like the syringe make you just pull out a AK or MG and go to town.
  2. JeddyK.
    Jan 27, 2005
    The challenge of playing the role of an assassin is interesting, but the problems with this game are that it is unforgiving. Playing the easyThe challenge of playing the role of an assassin is interesting, but the problems with this game are that it is unforgiving. Playing the easy level - which is called 'normal' in the game is not that easy. Alerts suddenly and unexpectedly and ones rating drops. The close combat weapons are useless they are next to impossible to use. The concept of killing in self defence does not exist. One mission in particular I would like to mention Tradition of the trade- the setting is a hotel, the funny thing is that there is no kichen and no catering service for the rooms - there is round the clock cleaning going on though. All the women are wearing the samed dress which is absurd. The cheat code works in some mission s in others they do not. Achieving a Silent Assassin rating is next to impossible. For want of a better term the game is clausterphobic. The targets are never in clear sight and it is impossible to get to them without killing others. So the expectation from player of the game are set too high. It should not be more forgiving. Full Review »
  3. VladB.
    Dec 20, 2004
    For me i dont really like that every mission is at night and i get pretty nervous and sometimes scared to do the mision at night!!!