Before IO Interactive turned heads with the slick World of Assassination trilogy, many diehard fans considered 2006’s Hitman: Blood Money to be the crown jewel of the iconic stealth series. This bad boy dazzled players with its emphasis on strategic planning and improvisation across 14 expansive, interactive levels – from a quiet Chilean vineyard to the halls of the White House itself.
Blood Money marked a franchise high point by capturing Agent 47’s lethal talents in all their grisly glory. It masterfully blended tense action, globe-trotting escapades, and devilish humor into a thrilling whole.
Now, publisher Feral Interactive aims to LET Switch gamers in on the fun with Hitman: Blood Money – Reprisal. Reprisal is a faithful port of the original title with a fresh coat of paint. The core experience remains untouched, but Feral has implemented some key improvements under the hood. These range from a useful Instinct Mode for scoping out targets to a handy minimap for tracking guards. There’s even gyro aiming for pulling off stylish headshots with motion controls.
So whether you missed out on Blood Money the first time or crave some on-the-go assassination antics, Reprisal lets a new generation live out their stealth power fantasies. Time to suit up for another round of creative contract killings!
Killer Freedom Leads to Creative Carnage
At its core, Blood Money – Reprisal sticks to the same addictive formula that made the original a hit. Players step into the expensive leather shoes of Agent 47 and jet set across the globe to pull off high profile assassinations.
Each lavish level offers multiple paths to take out your target in clever and sadistic ways. Want to poison their breakfast or loosen that chandelier? Maybe cause a fiery “accident” with the backyard grill? The choice is yours. Half the fun is experimenting with the environment to engineer seemingly natural deaths. The other half? Marveling at how spectacularly you can shatter the illusion when things go off the rails.
Reprisal preserves the insane freedom players enjoyed back in ’06 while smoothing out some rough edges. Handy additions like Instinct Mode and an on-screen mini-map make plotting efficient missions easier without compromising the hardcore challenge. Instinct acts as 47’s spidey sense, briefly highlighting critical objects and characters. The map lets you monitor guard patrols and enemy cones of vision.
Combining these helpful tools with a disciplined, stealthy approach leads to the cleanest kills. Though patients who prefer wholesale slaughter over precision strikes can still blast their way to bloody victory. Just don’t count on the highest score.
That said, Reprisal inherits Blood Money’s flawed notoriety system, which fails to meaningfully punish reckless killing sprees. The costs of reducing heat by bribing cops or slaying witnesses are laughably low compared to mission payouts. But for those seeking thrills over efficiency, Reprisal won’t judge the means, just the body count.
Aged But Solid Assassination Visuals
It’s no secret that Hitman: Blood Money first hit the scene nearly two decades ago. So when it comes to visuals, Reprisal shows some understandable wear and tear. You shouldn’t expect the crisp, photorealistic graphics of modern titles. There’s no ray tracing or cutting edge lighting at work here.
Instead, Reprisal’s environments and characters sport a distinctly last-gen vibe. The textures lack finer details and the NPC models boast more jagged edges than high fashion runways. Yet while the visuals fall short of today’s standards, Blood Money still retains its signature stylistic charm. The vibrant locales and eccentric costumes haven’t lost their flair. Fans who lived and breathed Blood Money back in ’06 should feel right at home.
On the technical side, Reprisal puts in a solid performance on the Switch, easily hitting its 30fps target. However, expect the occasional hiccup, especially when moving between gameplay and cutscenes. Short frame freezes do pop up, briefly interfering with the flow.
In docked mode, Reprisal runs at a full 1080p, while handheld mode drops the resolution to 720p. Ultimately the portable experience feels a tad smoother. Spreading those pixel counts across the Switch’s smaller screen gives Blood Money’s dated visuals a little boost. Still, performance remains stable either way.
So if you seek bleeding edge displays or silky smooth 60fps, newer Hitman titles beckon. But for a steady 30fps portable assassin experience, Reprisal gets the job done. The odd visual hitch is a paltry price to pay to execute targets on your morning commute.
Intuitive Inputs and Handy Upgrades
Despite its age, Blood Money feels surprisingly natural on the Switch thanks to Reprisal’s intuitive control scheme. The original inputs have been smartly adapted to fit Nintendo’s layout without compromise. Whether using a single Joy-Con or the Pro Controller, all essential actions map cleanly.
Players can sneak, shoot, and strangle with responsive precision. The addition of gyroscopic aiming also grants an edge for landing tricky shots or close range garrotings. Simply enable motion controls and minor tilts of the Switch screen translate to snappy crosshair movements. Dial up the sensitivity to snap between targets with a flick of the wrist!
Reprisal also folds in a few handy extras from later franchise entries to streamline the user experience. Alongside the aforementioned Instinct Mode and minimap, the menus have enjoyed a major overhaul. Players can now quickly save custom contract hits and checkpoint saves help retry tricky sections instead of restarting entire missions.
Other new amenities include detailed statistics tracking for completionists seeking mastery, plus online leaderboards to compete with assassins worldwide. All these user friendly changes help ease first-timers into Blood Money’s intricate systems without diluting the hardcore cred.
At the end of the day, REprisal keeps the classic Blood Money action fluid and responsive while making beneficial tweaks. Whether you’re a returning veteran or greenhorn killer, the intuitive controls and upgraded features let players focus on their contracts instead of wrestling with inputs.
A Worthy Port Packing Vintage Hits
When evaluating Hitman: Blood Money – Reprisal as a Switch port, it’s critical to assess it on its own vintage terms rather than unfairly compare it to today’s titles. This re-release stays faithfully old school, prioritizing the original experience over modern makeovers. And for the most part, Reprisal delivers Agent 47’s killer charms intact.
The core gameplay remains hugely engaging despite the dated visuals and AI quirks. Slinking through mission locations while plotting creative kills is just as slyly satisfying. The level design itself stands the test of time with intricate environments full of murderous potential. Unlocking new paths and methods with each replay retains that compelling hook for perfecting the perfect assassination.
Granted, Reprisal is not without some flaws marring the experience. The oversight of allowing unlimited saves diminishes the strategy. Visual glitches occasionally shatter immersion, and crashes threaten lost progress. Yet none of these issues ruin the unique thrills of portable Blood Money.
In the end, Reprisal’s strengths dwarf its drawbacks. Getting to carry Blood Money’s sandboxes in your pocket is a stealth fan’s dream. Nothing else on Switch really replicates that potent blend of tactical experimentation and darkly amusing executions. And while the HD sheen has dulled, the carnage Copper retains his sharp, sardonic edge.
So does Hitman: Blood Reprisal earn full marks as a Switch port? Not quite. But gamers seeking iconic assassinations need not wait for absolution. Reprisal delivers Agent 47’s greatest hits in compact, compelling form. And there’s nothing more dangerous than a classic killer in between stops.
Still a Hitman Highlight
At the end of the day, Hitman: Blood Money – Reprisal stands tall as an excellent stealth sandbox on Nintendo’s handheld hybrid. The dated visuals and occasional technical hiccups can’t conceal the fact that the moment-to-moment gameplay still holds up superbly.
The genius level design continues to enable seemingly endless assassination approaches, while the enhanced user interface makes experimentation smooth. Reprisal cherishes player creativity rather than restrictive hand-holding, just like Blood Money did back in ’06.
Could the performance issues see improvement? Absolutely. Do the graphics reveal their age? No doubt. But neither seriously detracts from the sadistic joy felt when perfectly orchestrating a freak chandelier “accident” or explosives-rigged barbecue.
Veteran contract killers can revisit Blood Money’s greatest hits with a new coat of paint, while newly inducted assassins can discover why Agent 47’s exploits remain legendary across generations. Either way, Hitman: Blood Money – Reprisal earns its place in any stealth fan’s Switch library. Just watch your back when Mr. 47 comes to call.
Hitman: Blood Money - Reprisal
The hits keep coming. While Hitman: Blood Money - Reprisal shows wrinkles befitting its aged source material, at its heart this port brandishes timeless assassination tools in spades. Provider players modest visual and quality-of-life concessions, Reprisal's missteps barely graze its lasting appeal. This is still Blood Money in all its creative cruelty - silent and savage. A chilling classic compacted for your killing convenience.
- Faithful port of a beloved classic Hitman game
- Retains the creative, open-ended assassinations
- Useful quality-of-life updates like Instinct Mode and gyro aiming
- Convenient and smooth portable experience
- Dated graphics don't stand up to modern standards
- Occasional frame rate drops and visual bugs
- Flawed notoriety system lacks meaningful consequences