This is a rather odd package, in the sense that it was an unexpected sort of quiet release. The Hitman HD Enhanced Collection brings back two past titles as a bundle. They appear as separate entities once purchased and downloaded, odd that they bothered to place them together. With this release we're seeing Hitman: Blood Money HD and Hitman: Absolution HD. I enjoyed the latter far more upon the revisit, though in general it was nice to see the games again and get that sense of evolution within the franchise. In the former you're being told a past tense tale of Agent 47 going around and eliminating targets.
In the latter and more recent entry you're seeing a tale of betrayal and then mystery. Both are decent releases from the series and lengthy experiences. In Blood Money you have very standalone styled missions with a medium sense of exploration and choice in how you complete tasks. There's also more of a sense of discovery as you actually need to get out there and meet folks to figure out certain targets. With Absolution you're getting a very streamlined narrative where everything simply flows from one scene to the next, it's quite cinematic. It's also less about open playgrounds, you get them but in smaller doses. It's an interesting change-up, being very close to the modern take on the franchise. It is also worth noting that the Contracts mode has been removed from Absolution.
With these remastered efforts, it's always interesting to see what types of improvements have been made. The titles were improved to a 4k resolution on Xbox One X with no HDR. The native output resolution for them is 3200 x 1800p. You do get a native 4k GUI however, with improved textures in general and a far better lighting quality.
You can really tell Absolution is from the lens flare era as it is glaring at times. It does play into the hyper stylistic look that game carries. The general 60fps is appreciated for the titles as Agent 47 moves fluidly throughout the environments. While the improvements to gameplay are great, some elements lag behind. The cutscenes are certainly not enhanced, they look rather rough at times being what I assume are the highest original quality videos they had. Certain parts of the gameplay such as textures and mechanics have also not aged too well.
The Hitman HD Enhanced Collection brings two great titles from the franchise and enhances them in a number of ways providing a solid revisit. There's more value here for new players as the games are both fairly long, that time of course being based on how efficient you are. Not everything holds up perfectly, but they're still good games to experience. You really do get to see an evolution of the mechanics, especially if you're familiar with the modern initially episodic iteration.
These games do seem a tad over the top at times, but they're certainly a product of their era. I enjoyed playing the titles again, even though elements of both haven't aged the best over time. It would have been nice to see a bit more of a clean-up, this release comes across as something that could have been achieved with an enhancement to the backwards compatible titles. It's also weird to see these particular titles come back, suppose because they're from the last generation it was easier to do.
Read our Hitman 2 Review
View our Hitman Hub
Hitman HD Enhanced Collection Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by MSL Group