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Hitman HD Enhanced Collection is a 4K update for the most loved and most hated Hitman games

If you felt like Hitman 2 didn't change enough from its predecessor, developer IO Interactive's Hitman HD Enhanced Collection will - for better or worse - remind you of a different time. The new title for PS4 and Xbox One includes updated versions of Hitman: Blood Money and Hitman: Absolution, featuring refined 4K-ready visuals, better performance, and updated control schemes. It's coming on January 11.

Hitman: Blood Money was the fourth Hitman game in six years when it arrived in 2006. The fourth time was the charm: Blood Money fulfilled the series' potential by embracing its 'murder puzzle box' philosophy, intricately designed levels and infiltration mechanics allowing players to set up subtly engineered "accidental" deaths or chart their own path through sprees of violence and cover-ups of cover-ups. Both Hitman (2016) and Hitman 2 (2018) followed Blood Money's example.

Hitman: Absolution arrived in 2012 after a big gap in Hitman history, wherein IO Interactive was busy making both Kane & Lynch games and Mini Ninjas (bless their souls). Absolution was different. It played up a narrative with multiple characters you weren't necessarily trying to kill - something previous Hitman games never cared about all that much - and most of its levels were fairly linear. It felt more like your typical Cinematic Action Game than the cerebral/slapstick machinations the series strove for and finally struck with Blood Money.

Absolution changed enough about Hitman to feel too mainstream for fans but not enough to fully broaden the series' appeal. It remains a black sheep. But bundled together with a spruced-up Blood Money (and arriving after two back-to-back great new Hitman games), maybe it will be easier to appreciate Absolution on its own terms.

Find more to play all throughout the year in our guide to new games 2019. 

Connor has been doing news and feature things for GamesRadar+ since 2012, which is suddenly a long time ago. How on earth did that happen?