Hitman: Blood Money — Reprisal review
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Hitman: Blood Money — Reprisal review

Our Review by Campbell Bird on December 8th, 2023
Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: NOT SO SMOOTH CRIMINAL
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This stealth-action game works surprisingly well thanks to some (imperfect) Feral Interactive magic.

Developer: Feral Interactive Ltd

Price: $14.99
Version: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: iPad Pro

Graphics/Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

When thinking about kinds of games that tend to have an especially hard time working well on mobile, games like Hitman: Blood Money - Reprisal are near the top of that list. Action games--particularly those that rely on precision, patience, stealth, and some element of trial and error--usually have too much going on or ask players to attend to too many things to make them enjoyable in a mobile format. This is precisely what makes Feral Interactive's revamped version of Blood Money such a delightful surprise. In fact, the way Blood Money - Reprisal plays and feels using a touch screen is the main reason why I fought through a variety of bugs and strange AI behavior to see the experience through to the end.

Kompact killer

Blood Money puts you in the shoes of the now-iconic Agent 47 as he is tasked with infiltrating everything from an opera house to an underground dance party to accomplish a variety of objectives, all of which invariably involve killing people without alerting too much attention. Since its original release in 2006, IO Interactive's contract-killing formula has modernized itself into somewhat of a live service model, but the groundwork for those games are well-established here and feel like they've mostly aged well.

As far as story goes, don't expect much. There is a whole cutscened frame narrative for the game, but all of it boils down to people thinking they can take down the most lethal man alive and being surprised that they--in fact--can't. Your missions are supposed to connect together some other plotline about cloning, but there just isn't enough done to convey that very clearly. In any case, none of that really matters because the coolest parts of the game are all the stealthy killing you are tasked to do, thanks mostly to how you are given a great deal of latitude and variety in figuring out how to best complete a job.

Modern murderer

This version of Hitman: Blood Money is not just a port of the original game. Feral Interactive went to great lengths to make this console classic feel natural with tailored touch controls and the inclusion of a minimap and an "instict mode" view, all of which go a long way to make things feel manageable and somewhat modern.

If you prefer a controller, there is full support, though it is far from necessary. A lot of Blood Money involves slow and deliberate planning that is easily manageable on the touch controls provided. And, if you find yourself in a position where you might want or need quick and precise inputs, it's likely because you've been caught and probably should try again. Speaking of which, Blood Money (along with many other stealth games) definitely involves a certain amount of trial and error, to the point that certain difficulty levels limit the amount of saves you can make on a stage. While limited (also manual) saves on a mobile game sound like a surefire way to make you lose progress, this game actually does a great job of auto-saving if the game happens to crash or you close out the app in the middle of a level even if you haven't saved.

Crashy contracts

It's extremely good that Feral implemented such a nice save system in Hitman: Blood Money - Reprisal because my only real complaint about the game is its bugginess. I had several hard crashes while playing (which luckily auto-resumed to exactly where I was when the crash happened upon reboot), but there were also times where my character could no longer run for whatever reason.

Outside of that, there was some other odd behavior in my playthrough, though I couldn't quite tell if some of it was in the original game or not. There were times where a dead body would clip through and object to fall somewhere where it was more easily discovered, and times when guards would suddenly go on full alert for no discernable reason. All of these felt a bit like 2006 jank so my assumption is that this just comes with the territory for a game like this no matter which version you play. In any case, these odd behaviors did not interrupt or impact my progress through the game nearly as much as the crashing and bugs I experienced.

The bottom line

When Hitman: Blood Money - Reprisal is behaving the way that it should, it's an amazing port of a pretty great game. The technical issues are obviously a problem, but--generally speaking--they did not sour me on the experience. The fact that the stealth-action of Hitman: Blood Money - Reprisal works so well on mobile despite the rough parts almost makes Feral Interactive's work on this version even more impressive.

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