Hitman: Codename 47 (2000)

by Christopher
7 minutes read


Hitman: Codename 47 introduced the world to a new kind of stealth game, where brains often trump brawn. With its intricate plot, deep gameplay mechanics, and the enigmatic Agent 47 at its center, the game remains a beloved entry in the stealth genre, offering a mix of challenge, strategy, and narrative depth.


Hitman: Codename 47, released in 2000, is the first installment in the renowned Hitman series, setting a new standard for stealth-based tactical shooters. It introduces the character of Agent 47, a genetically-engineered assassin, whose quest for identity and redemption takes players on a gripping journey across the globe.


In the shadowy world of contract killing, one name stands out: Agent 47. A genetically engineered assassin, he is the embodiment of lethal precision and icy resolve. Developed by IO Interactive and published by Eidos Interactive, “Hitman: Codename 47” thrusts players into a clandestine universe where murder is an art form.

The game opens with Agent 47 awakening in a sterile room, strapped to a bed, clad in hospital garb. A disembodied voice crackles over the loudspeaker, releasing him into a series of grueling obstacle courses. These trials serve as his initiation—lessons in firearms, stealth, and the art of killing. His captors underestimate him, for 47 is no ordinary man. He’s a genetically enhanced clone, bred for one purpose: assassination.

Upon escaping the testing facility, 47 is recruited by the International Contract Agency (ICA), a global organization specializing in discreet eliminations. His missions take him across the globe, from the neon-lit streets of Hong Kong to the opulent mansions of Europe and the rainforests of South America. His targets? Wealthy and corrupt criminals who believe themselves untouchable.

Lee Hong: A Hong Kong mob boss with a penchant for brutality. His empire thrives on drugs, extortion, and fear. 47 infiltrates his inner circle, donning disguises and slipping through security checkpoints. His silent approach leaves no trace—until Hong breathes his last.

Pablo Belisario Ochoa: The Colombian drug lord, ensconced in a jungle fortress. Armed guards patrol the compound, but 47’s stealthy maneuvers allow him to eliminate Ochoa without raising alarms. Poison, garrote wire, or a well-placed bullet—the choice is his.

Franz Fuchs: A terrorist mastermind in Budapest, plotting chaos. Fuchs hides in plain sight, surrounded by his fanatical followers. 47 must blend in, observe patterns, and strike when least expected. The dance of death begins.

Arkadij Jegorov: A weapons smuggler operating out of Rotterdam Harbor. His network spans continents, and his arsenal fuels global conflict. 47 infiltrates the harbor, navigating shipping containers and shadowy alleys. Jegorov’s demise is inevitable.

As 47 eliminates each target, a pattern emerges. These seemingly unrelated criminals share a common thread—a sinister conspiracy that threatens the world order. The ICA remains tight-lipped, revealing only fragments. But 47 is no pawn; he seeks answers. The web of intrigue tightens, leading him to a revelation that shakes his very existence.

“Hitman: Codename 47” emphasizes stealth and subtlety. Players must navigate semi-open environments, avoiding civilian casualties while eliminating targets. Disguises play a crucial role—don the attire of a waiter, gardener, or bodyguard to slip past security. Silent kills yield higher rewards, encouraging players to be surgical rather than reckless. Peek around corners, climb ladders, and strike swiftly.

Despite mixed reviews, “Codename 47” revolutionized stealth gameplay. Its unique approach—rewarding finesse over brute force—set the stage for the Hitman franchise. Over 500,000 copies sold by 2009, cementing 47’s place in gaming history. The saga continued with “Hitman 2: Silent Assassin,” but it all began here, with a genetically engineered killer seeking truth in a world of shadows.


Agent 47, the protagonist, is a highly skilled assassin with a mysterious background. Other notable characters include Agent 47’s handler at the International Contract Agency (ICA), Diana Burnwood, and various antagonists that 47 encounters, each with their own motivations and ties to his mysterious origins.


Gameplay focuses on stealth and strategy, with players needing to plan their assassinations and execute them with minimal notice. Disguises, poisons, sniper rifles, and a variety of other tools can be used to accomplish missions. Players are rewarded for clean, unnoticed kills and penalized for excessive violence or detection.


Hitman: Codename 47 stands as a seminal work in the stealth and tactical shooter genre. Its blend of strategic gameplay, a compelling narrative, and a unique protagonist set it apart from its contemporaries. While not without its challenges, the game laid the groundwork for a series that would continue to evolve and captivate players for years to come.

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