Hitman 2: Silent Assassin picks up where the original PC adventure left off, with Agent 47 having grown accustomed to the somewhat peaceful existence he now endures at a Sicilian monastery. This idyllic lifestyle is cut abruptly short when a priest is kidnapped by a group of rather unsavory characters. Players, as Agent 47, must once again take up arms and hunt down those responsible for this heinous act. Things, as tends to be the case, aren't quite as simple as they first appear, however, and players will find themselves traveling the globe as they participate in 20 objective-based missions. As the title implies, the gameplay in this third-person actioner revolves around the methodical and quiet removal of whoever happens to be your current target. Missions are preceded by briefings from an Agency contact. These outline the objectives you must complete, while highlighting the level and type of resistance you're likely to encounter along the way.
How you go about completing the tasks laid out before you, is left to the player. Excessive force can be used, silently killing any resistance you encounter, or more subversive tactics, such as disguising yourself as an inconspicuous delivery boy or fireman will allow you to move about the environments relatively unhindered. When disguised, however, suspicious behavior (indicated by an onscreen suspicion meter), such as carrying a firearm while in disguise or running, can blow your cover and see you beset by numerous bodyguards, police or whomever the opposition happens to be at that time. Those wishing to embark on a mission with a small cache of weapons can do just that; weapons accrued during each mission persist throughout the game and can be equipped prior to the commencement of any particular mission. Players can arm themselves with pistols, shotguns, automatic weapons, rifles, as well as melee weapons, such as a knife or fiber wire for particularly stealthy kills. Gadgets such as night-vision goggles and remote bombs can also be used in limited quantities.
Agent 47 is capable of performing a number of maneuvers, including picking locks and dragging bodies out of plain sight. A simple button press will allow Agent 47 to sneak, quietly but very slowly through areas, while a first-person mode allows for more precise aiming when the situation calls for it. Also, to ensure that players are aware of their surroundings at all times, the camera can be manipulated with the right-analog stick. At the conclusion of each mission players are awarded a rating affected by various factors, including innocents killed, alarms triggered, kills achieved, and so forth.