Murder for Money (and Achievements)
Hitman: Blood Money is that rare game that actually delivers $60 worth of fun. The game consists of a dozen large levels - and these levels are populated with security forces, civilians, our bald protagonist and a few soon-to-be-killed targets.
Blood Money is the Hitman Franchise's only entry into the current-gen console space, and the visuals are a solid step up from previous entries on the PS2 or Xbox -- but the standard color palette and the low-key audio design won't lead anyone to rush out to buy a new console.
The gameplay is king, here, not the graphics -- and that is where Hitman: Blood Money really shows off. Players are dropped into a scenario with the weapons they've selected, a slick black suit with a red tie and a person of interest to snuff out. Stealth gameplay is rewarded with a higher contract payoff and little notice from the outside world, but players are free to choose to run through the level leaving a bloody trail of death behind them -- as long as they don't mind the lower money bonuses and the newspapers bringing heat down on you with accurate physical descriptions and comments on your particular methods of dispatching foes, making future jobs that much more difficult.
This flexibility in play style (and the multiple paths that can be followed to the targets, either stealthy or action-packed) mean that you can play the same scenario a half-dozen times without having things play out quite the same way twice.
With all that said, however, this is not a game that will appeal to everyone. The gameplay ALLOWS you to behave how you choose, but it rewards and encourages stealth play. If the idea of waiting behind a bathroom door with your pistol raised, preparing for the moment that a drug-lord needs to relieve himself (thereby opening the door and putting his face in front of your gun) sounds thrilling to you, then this is a game that you'll spend hours and hours with. And you're a weirdo. Just like me.