One of the things I think makes Blood Money neat in respect to Hitman as a whole is the way they use Agent Smith.
Agent Smith is a CIA agent who finds himself stripped down to his boxers and needing to be rescued in every Hitman game. (As a sidenote, I find the amount of male bondage and torture in Hitman games inordinately great. I am sure there is some psychological angle of interest to that, given their target audience of STRAIGHT MALE GAMER.) They don't really go into how these things happen in the narrative, so Agent Smith comes off as a hapless failure of a spy and 47 treats him as such. I personally like to think that this is his specialty, though. I can't see why the CIA wouldn't get rid of him otherwise. Perhaps his allowing himself to be captured so often is a part of his missions. He’s obviously very hardy and can take a beating, although he starts to break down from it in Silent Assassin, taking to drinking on the job and becoming even more of an apparent liability.
If you ask to most other Hitman fans, they tend not to like Contracts. This makes sense, as it’s atmospherically different from Codename: 47 and Silent Assassin (despite cribbing many of its missions from the former) and the difficulty was brought down quite a bit. In terms of scope, as well, where someone who’d played the other two might expect another epic globetrotting adventure, Contracts was very small and self-contained.
I think it’s sort of interesting that way in that the first two games, sprawling and grandiose with large conspiracy plots, were thematically about the search for self. Throughout Codename 47, as 47 is hired to kill each of his genetic donors off one by one, he’s given information about who they are and where he came from whereas before he knew very little. Silent Assassin follows through on that and 47 briefly tries to come to terms with his place in the world until the brother of one of the dudes from the last game kidnaps the preacher whose church he’s living in and he has to work for the Agency again for them to use their sources for information to find him. ‘Cause Diana loves you, bro, but this ride ain’t free. Read more
So GTA gets a lot of shit for being, among practically every other social ill, sexist. And let’s not kid ourselves, it totally is. This is, if you’ll recall, the game where you can fuck sex workers and then kill them to get your money back.
But under that, it also has a lot of really good female characters. (I’m only gonna talk about ones from the III continuity, but IV has some gems as well.) I think sometimes it’s hard to see this because III’s overall tone tends to be outrageous and exaggerated so all of the characters, even moderately serious ones, come off as jokes. But if you look at a Donald Love without the knowledge that he’s a cannibal, you get a different picture and he seems like a ght guy.