Hitman: Blood Money

Prowling through the first level of the third-person assassination simulation Hitman: Blood Money, we got the distinct feeling that we were being watched. A sizable hunk of that feeling came from the voices coming through the little earpiece and the constant, spoon-fed updates to our progress in the upper right corner of the screen. Of course, that's because the first level is all about getting your feet wet and instructing you how to go about your human hunting activities.

Throughout the level, almost every activity we engaged in was at the command of the tutorial and any deviation led to added difficulties. There were quite a few times that we tried to distract some thugs with a coin, as instructed, and it didn't work (the thugs just wouldn't take the bait). Still, although the thugs noticed 47 lurking behind a door, we were still able to take them out quickly enough as to not arouse suspicion.

And that's really what Hitman has going for it: even if you're not the cleanest of contract killers, you'll still do all right as long as you can take care of your mess. It's a running theme in this seriesin whichyou strive for perfection, but often can't avoid making mistakes. It's how you deal with them that determines your notoriety and success (and, more importantly, how much you get paid). So even though you may botch things by making too much noise entering a room - and subsequently have to grease everything that moves - as long as you leave no witnesses, you're still a mysterious mass murderer (key word: mysterious).