Hitman: Codename 47

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Hitman: Codename 47
Hitman Codename 47 cover.jpg
Release date: November 19, 2000
Developer: Io Interactive
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Series: Hitman Series
Platforms: Windows


Hitman: Codename 47 is the first canonical entry in the Hitman series of video games. Developed by IO Interactive and Eidos Interactive, in 2000 for Windows, it remains the only PC-exclusive Hitman game.

The story centers around Agent 47, a bald test subject branded with a barcode tattoed on his head, who is rigorously trained in methods of murder. Upon escaping from a test facility, 47 is hired by the Agency, a European contract killing organization. His mission takes him to several locations—China, Colombia, Hungary, and the Netherlands—to assassinate wealthy and well-protected criminals.

It has sold more than 600,000 copies to date


Though the game takes place from a third-person perspective Hitman's control setup is akin to first-person shooter: 47's movements are restricted to turning, strafing and moving forward. The player can peek around corners by using the lean function, which prompts 47 to tilt slightly to one side. 47 is able to climb ladders, but cannot defend himself with a weapon while doing so. In addition, he is unable to jump at all. 47 creates 'sound' while walking which will alert any hostile characters in the facility. To move without being detected, the player can use the "sneak" function, which causes 47 to crouch and move in a stalking manner. Sneaking also allows 47 to retrieve a weapon from his inventory without anyone hearing it; if 47 is standing upright when the player pulls out a weapon, it will alert nearby characters.

An on-screen cursor which indicates which direction 47's attack will attack. The heads-up display includes a life bar (which measures 47's health), ammo capacity, kevlar durability, and the current item selected. Alert messages sometimes appear next to the health readout. These occur whenever enemies discover a body on the map, or if 47 falls under suspicion.

Disguise plays a large role in Hitman's gameplay. Any time a non-player character is incapacitated, 47 may take their clothes and impersonate them. This is necessary to access restricted areas where only guards may enter. At the start of each level, 47 begins in a default costume. This costume is folded and left on the ground whenever 47 changes clothes. The player may replace 47's outfit with a previous one by simply approaching them and selecting the "Change clothes" option.

47's weaponry consists of various short and long-range firearms, a garrote wire, and a knife. Pistols generally have excellent range, while automatic rifles and machine guns decrease in accuracy the farther away 47 is from his target. 47 can also equip himself with a sniper rifle, concealed in a special suitcase, which must be reassembled before he may use it. Once he is finished with the rifle, 47 can take it apart and place it the suitcase once more.

Characters who are unconscious or dead may be dragged at any time. If anyone on the map spots a body lying on the ground, it will create unwanted attention for 47. In the event that 47 adopted the clothes of someone he has slain, his disguise will be compromised as soon as the body is discovered. When dragging, 47 lifts up the closest available leg or arm and begins to hoist it away.

Each level of Hitman takes place in an open environment which is teeming with non-player civilians and armed guards. Although mission criteria may vary, the goal is generally to find 47's assigned target and kill them by any means possible. Though the path may appear linear, it is rarely possible to approach a target directly without eliciting a violent reprisal.

On a technological note, Hitman: Codename 47 was one of the first games to use the now popular ragdoll physics.


Official Website

Hitman: Codename 47, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Hitman: Contracts, Hitman: Blood Money