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Crows, nuns, clones and more - these are Agent 47's greatest hits

In the 16 years since he first appeared in Hitman: Codename 47, our favourite baldy assassin has travelled the globe eliminating targets in all manner of creative ways. We've trawled through his extensive rap sheet to revisit the most memorable assassinations Agent 47 has pulled off.

In Hitman: Contracts Frantz Fuchs is one of Agent 47’s five clonefathers – the men who supplied portions of DNA to splice into the ultimate assassin – and therefore ranks extremely highly on 47’s ‘people to murder’ list. Fritz Fuchs is Frantz’s terrorist brother (do try to keep up), and not involved in the cloning business at all, but if you’re related to somebody Agent 47 has a beef with, you’d better watch your back. Actually, there’s no point watching your back. It makes absolutely no difference. Agent 47 will be there any time he pleases, so you might as well just chill out in an expensive hotel spa and enjoy yourself until our man decides play time is over.

Agent 47’s lucha libre fight to the death with an eight-foot-tall mutant Mexican wrestler was Absolution’s shark-jumping moment. More than 30 stones of lumpen muscle, and growing every day, Sanchez wouldn’t have looked out of place as a mid-level boss in Resi 4, which perhaps makes it appropriate that you fight him via the time-honoured system of a quick time event. Following button prompts to block and counter Sanchez’s haymakers, you could be forgiven for shedding a tear in memory of Hitman’s previous free-form assassinations. The gameplay might have been compromised, but how about those camera angles? Wow!

Hitman plots often revolve around the theme of human cloning and Agent 47’s various efforts to murder the people who created him. In the very first game of the series, Codename 47, he escapes from the laboratory of cackling mad scientist Dr Ort-Meyer and finds work as a paid assassin while he accumulates the cash and skill he needs in order to bring lethal justice to his old man. However, it seems that the Doc hasn’t just been sitting idle in his fortified lair, waiting for the prodigal son to return. Instead, he has been busy creating an entire army of 48s – a more obedient version of 47 – to bar the route to his inner sanctum. It’s minigun time!

Professional killer Angelina Mason passes the time by talking smutty with her husband while she waits for the go-ahead to kill a politician. This would be fine – it’s a private conversation between consenting adults, dressed as giant birds – were it not for that fact that she does it over an open radio channel which Agent 47 is also monitoring and can’t be turned off. After you’ve heard comments like ‘this dirty bird is flying south tonight’ for about the tenth time while scouting Blood Money’s bustling Mardi Gras level, it becomes personal. And what better way to shut her up than to drop a grand piano directly on her head, Wile E Coyote style?

As the realisation dawned on us that Absolution was going to be more of a stealth/cover shooter than a traditional Hitman game, the very first assassination set the tone for everything that was to follow. You find Diana naked and defenceless in the shower. She’s Agent 47’s long-time handler, the voice behind the scenes in every previous game and the only person he ever trusted. Despite their history together, despite Diana having saved 47’s life and set up the brilliant vengeance climax in Blood Money, 47 obeys his sinister new masters and shoots her in the gut. What’s worse, he does it in a cutscene. Classy.

The sprawling Beldingford Manor is the kind of level Hitman: Contracts fans could get lost in for days. Patrolled by guard dogs and shotgun-toting guards wearing jumpers with elbow patches, it even comes with its very own hedge maze, and it’s fairly typical of the dauntingly huge locations that characterised the series before the design got tightened up somewhat in Blood Money. The Beldingford family owns stables for imprisoning hostages, and the house itself boasts two-way mirrors for perving at the maids while they’re in the shower. Sadly for Alistair, no amount of glory holes can save him from the new bald butler’s poisonous whiskey. Chin chin!

Arguably the greatest level in Hitman history, this Blood Money standout features not one but two costume parties to attend. Heaven is on the top floor of a skyscraper, where guests dressed in white gawp at angelic dancers, while the basement houses Hell, which is Vaana Ketlyn’s venue of choice. Every now and then she steps onto a balcony to orchestrate a pyrotechnics show, which is one of several ways to ensure her demise. One tweak of a gas valve and she’s toast, but the best part is that the balcony is suspended over a huge fish tank inhabited by a great white shark who likes his food crispy.

One of your tasks in this slaughterhouse level from Hitman: Contracts is to rescue a kidnapped girl. Unfortunately, by the time Agent 47 reaches her there’s not a lot left of the girl to save, as she’s been thoroughly butchered by an obese Scotsman who is one of the most repulsive characters in Hitman history. He has parts of her strung up from hooks in a torture chamber that’s been festooned with Magic Tree air fresheners. After giving him a taste of his own medicine, Agent 47’s next target is the opium-smoking lawyer who recently got the Meat King freed from police custody on a technicality. See, 47 does have a heart, of sorts.

The Paris episode of 2016’s Hitman asks you to assassinate a power couple: he, a Russian oligarch lording it over his guests at a bustling fashion show; her, an ex-supermodel now hosting a black market auction in the rooms above. The two are careful to never meet, cleaving the fashion house into two contained levels. At least, that’s how it appears. Steal a remote firework detonator and you can draw both targets to the back garden with the display - he watches from the patio, she observes from her balcony up top. Sneak behind her, and one good shove later she’ll hurtle to her death, crushing Victor in the process.

This is the quintessential Hitman 2: Silent Assassin murder. Agent 47’s target here is actually big-time arms dealer Hayamoto Sr, but his location has been a closely guarded secret for many years. To flush him out, Agent 47 instead goes after his son – but not to interrogate him or trace his phone calls back home or anything like that. No, 47 intends to whack Hayamoto Jr and plant a tracking device inside the corpse, which he’ll be able to follow all the way to the grieving father’s hideout. The preferred method for taking him out is inexpertly prepared fugu fish, which makes lethal sashimi if you cut it the wrong way. Bon appetite, junior.

A former director of the FBI and all-round shady Illuminati type, Cayne spent years obsessed with capturing Agent 47 in order to sample his DNA and improve his own super-soldier cloning programme. At the end of Blood Money he finally gets his man, apparently dead and about to be cremated, but 47 pulls off a surprise funeral comeback, rising from his coffin like a bullet-spitting Lazarus and laying waste to all witnesses, the vicar included. Cayne trundles away in his wheelchair but there’s no escape. Agent 47 even has time to visit a tool shed and select a garden implement with which to ram home his point. You get why his DNA is in high demand.

One of Dr Ort-Meyer’s first successful cloning experiments, Agent 17 is a shadowy presence sent to kill Agent 47 towards the end of Silent Assassin. He crops up as a guard for a cult leader, making a nuisance of himself by covering no-go areas with his deadly accurate sniper rifle, and although he can’t save his boss from Agent 47’s garrotte, he escapes and lives to fight in another level. Actually, it’s just the very next level. Trying to kill 47 isn’t the most sensible of career choices for a professional assassin, and it doesn’t take long for 47 to track him down and throttle him dead in St Petersburg.

Blood Money is packed with memorable levels, and Curtains Down is probably one of the hits that people most associate with the game. It’s where the possibilities available to Agent 47 really begin to open up, with many satisfying ways to dispose of opera singer Alvaro D’Alvade and his people-trafficking partner in crime. D’Alvade is busy rehearsing the firing squad scene from Tosca, and swapping the blank-firing prop gun for a real one is the most obvious way to off him without having to get your hands dirty. But if you want to make things more personal, you can take the place of the other actor and pull the trigger yourself. Take a bow, maestro.

Blood Money’s fantastic A New Life level sees Agent 47 targeting former mafioso Vinnie Sinistra, who’s about to turn state’s evidence. The incriminating microfilm that Vinnie’s former friends would like returned is actually hidden in his wife’s necklace. Surrounded by FBI goons, Mrs Sinistra is bored and permanently drunk, so there are ways of getting the necklace without harming her. However, there’s also a big bottle of lighter fuel with which to rig the barbecue, causing the unlucky lady to burst into flames and run around shrieking in distress. There’s no saving her now. When she’s cool enough to handle, that fireproof necklace is all yours.

Absolution copped some predictable flak from the taste police for its lurid troupe of sexy nun assassins, but theirs actually turned out to be one of the best levels in the game. Their cunning disguises, consisting of nun headdresses and, erm, rubber fetish gear, mean that they blend in with the crowd in places where you might normally find members of religious orders, such as the seedy motel where they turn up to try their luck at killing Agent 47. Carnage ensues, but the best part is when 47 gets to stalk the last ones that he hasn’t already blown up through a cornfield while dressed as a scarecrow. Confession time: we love this level.

This article originally appeared in Xbox: The Official Magazine. For more great Xbox coverage, you can subscribe here.

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