Create

Hitman vs Tomb Raider: Which is the better action-adventure series?

Two of the best stealth-based action-thriller video game series compared (Images via Eidos Interactive and IO Interactive)
Two of the best stealth-based action-thriller video game series compared (Images via Eidos Interactive and IO Interactive)

The Hitman Trilogy and the modern-day revamped version of Lara Croft’s Tomb Raider Trilogy are two of the most captivating third-person adventure series launched in the last 10 years that have stealth-based action as one of their primary combat elements.

Developed by IO Interactive, the Hitman series is a purely stealth-based third-person adventure, whose protagonist, known as Agent 47, has acquired legendary status over the years. Perhaps no other game has re-created silent assassinations better than this franchise.

The Hitman World of Assassination trilogy is about sneaking around and killing targets covertly in a semi-open-world setup. Agent 47’s unique ability to disguise himself by changing clothes on-the-go has acquired iconic status. The freedom given to players in terms of the different ways they can approach certain assassination attempts is immense.

youtube-cover

The modern-day Tomb Raider trilogy, on the other hand, is one of the most underrated action-adventure trilogies. While most developers these days are quick to come up with a sequel after the successful launch of a game, they forget to include the gameplay features that made the first installment so popular.

In the Tomb Raider trilogy, there is continuity in the features, and at the same time, the developers have gone on to introduce fresh new gameplay elements with each new edition.

It's also a pleasure to follow Lara Croft’s character evolution, which holds up remarkably well throughout the series. The gorgeous open-world environment in each of the games in Tomb Raider is a spectacle in itself.

youtube-cover

In this feature, both the story-driven action-adventure trilogies are dissected based on four vital parameters of gameplay, storyline, game environment, and character customization. At the end of each round, a final score will be calculated that will determine the best trilogy to pick.

Note: This article reflects the author’s opinion


Best third-person action-adventure thriller: Hitman World of Assassination Trilogy vs Tomb Raider Trilogy

1) Gameplay

In the Tomb Raider trilogy, Lara Craft must defeat enemies, and solve mysteries and puzzles in a dazzling open-world adventure (Image via Eidos Interactive)
In the Tomb Raider trilogy, Lara Craft must defeat enemies, and solve mysteries and puzzles in a dazzling open-world adventure (Image via Eidos Interactive)

When it comes to gameplay, the Tomb Raider Trilogy offers a wide variety of gameplay elements in one package. There are intricate puzzles to solve, hard-to-reach places to explore, enemies to gun-down in frantic shootouts, or sneak behind and kill, depending on the situation.

With each subsequent edition, developers have managed to introduce cool new features, especially in the stealth-combat system. Lara Croft’s ability to hide behind a bush and cover herself in mud while evading enemies were some of the cool new gameplay features that made it a fun third-person adventure series.

Despite having so many gameplay elements, the third-person shooting experience in the Tomb Raider Trilogy feels mediocre sometimes, to say the least.

The Hitman World of Assassination titles are some of the best stealth-based games ever made, comparable to the Metal Gear series. The protagonist Agent 47 can approach the missions in innovative ways to take down enemies rather than the same monotonous rushed way of shooting them one after the other.

Players can scout and track the target’s movement for a long time, hide underneath tables, and throw objects to distract NPC characters. The iconic ability to change outfits on the fly and blend in with the open-world environment in the blink of an eye are reasons enough to make Hitman a cut above other stealth-based games.

Agent 47 in the Apex Predator mission set in the industrial suburbs of Berlin in Hitman 3 (Image via IO Interactive)
Agent 47 in the Apex Predator mission set in the industrial suburbs of Berlin in Hitman 3 (Image via IO Interactive)

The Verdict

The Tomb Raider trilogy may have a host of different gameplay features ranging from third-person shooting and puzzle-solving to even stealth-based combat systems, the Hitman World of Assassination trilogy stands out because of its sophisticated stealth-based combat mechanics where there are no ideal ways to approach a particular mission.

When it comes to gameplay, the Hitman has an edge in terms of a refined gameplay experience. Having said that, the revamped Tomb Raider trilogy has so much more to offer than just stealth-based combat.


2) The Plot

youtube-cover

The Tomb Raider Trilogy builds on Lara Croft’s character remarkably well as the series progresses. In the first edition, released in 2013, a young and naïve Lara Croft finds herself stranded on a Japanese island in a story about the protagonist finding her true inner strength.

This was followed up by an equally endearing sequel in 2015, the Rise of the Tomb Raider. Traumatized by the events of her past adventures, this time around, Lara Croft finds herself seeking answers towards attaining immortality in a hidden ancient civilization located deep inside the forests of Siberia.

The trilogy concludes on a high note with the Shadow of Tomb Raider, where Lara Croft is depicted as a transformed personality at her grittiest best.

Lara's story from Rise of the Tomb Raider was quite the tale to tell. Check out these animatics featuring early concept art and the talented @camilluddington, who fully captured her plight to find the Lost City before Trinity. #TR25 https://t.co/dKVbHLD3L6

In many ways, the Hitman World of Assassination titles are James Bond games that gamers never got. Since the release of the first Hitman game back in 2000, the third-person crime thriller has aged fine like wine. The revamped trilogy developed by IO Interactive sees the legendary silent-bald killer Agent 47 return into a world of power structures and elites who shape the world behind the scenes.

The World Assassination trilogy takes players through a windy journey full of dramatic cut-scenes of revenge and betrayal across some of the most gorgeous re-creations of contemporary cities of the world. At the end of Hitman 3, the entire trilogy also wraps up on a brilliant note.

youtube-cover

The Verdict

Both the Tomb Raider series and the Hitman World of Assassination trilogy manage to offer two riveting tales in their own right. The Hitman World of Assassination trilogy stands out because it has a ton of character development cut-scenes, coupled with a brilliant backdrop where the world is dominated by three shadow organizations and their tussle for world dominance.

The storyline in the Hitman trilogy only makes sense when the three editions are put together. The writers did a fabulous job in weaving together a wonderful story filled with conspiracy theories that made the stealth-based series one heck of an immersive ride.


3) Open-world & Visuals

Agent 47 at Marakesh, Morocco during the Gilded Cage mission in Hitman 2 ( Image via IO Interactive)
Agent 47 at Marakesh, Morocco during the Gilded Cage mission in Hitman 2 ( Image via IO Interactive)

The Hitman Trilogy is not an open-world game in the typical sense like those of GTA and Far Cry, where there is a massive open-world map to explore. However, the Hitman trilogy does offer un-parallel freedom when it comes to stealth gameplay, where Agent 47 perfectly blends in with the environment staged as explorable mini maps.

The developers did a fine job of re-creating some of the popular contemporary cities where the stories unfold as separate explorable maps.

The Tomb Raider Trilogy is set in an open-world environment that follows a semi-linear storyline. Players are free to explore most parts of the map as per their wishes. The open-world environment is dotted with a lot of checkpoints in the form of bases and outposts. Hence, traveling around the map feels hassle-free.

Each open-world, be it the islands of Japan in the first Tomb Raider or the vast forested lands of Siberia in the Shadow of the Tomb Raider, has breathtakingly beautiful ruins and landscapes to gaze upon.

youtube-cover

Despite many boxes being ticked, the open-world maps of all the Tomb Raider games have scarce interactive elements. At some point in time, the vast snowy white forested wilderness of Siberia in the Shadow of Tomb Raider, for instance, feels pointless.

The Verdict

This one is a really hard call. The Hitman World of Assassination games are not open-worlds in a technical sense. However, each sandbox mini-map gives players ample freedom to disguise themselves as such instead of different stages in the storyline.

Missions such as A Gilded Cage in Hitman 2, which takes place in the bustling streets of Marakesh, Morocco, are richly detailed and truly bring alive the Bazaars of the Northern Coast of Africa. Similarly, the Apex Predator mission in Hitman 3 that takes place in the suburbs of Berlin are creations of art in itself.


4) Character Customization & Levelling up

Decipher ancient monoliths, take down enemies in challenges, and complete side quests to earn more experience points in the Shadow of the Tomb Raider (Image via Eidos Interactive)
Decipher ancient monoliths, take down enemies in challenges, and complete side quests to earn more experience points in the Shadow of the Tomb Raider (Image via Eidos Interactive)

Tomb Raider games have a traditional RPG-styled leveling system where experience can be gained by taking down more enemies or exploring hidden locations. When the level meter fills up, skill points that can be invested in improving various attributes of Lara Croft are earned.

The Hitman Trilogy employs a performance-based XP system wherein each time Agent 47 performs a skilled move, for instance, silently killing an enemy, points are fed into the player’s profile. This adds to the mastery level in that particular mini-map. Completing map challenges will also unlock further new ones.

The Verdict

IO Indicative’s leveling-up systems slightly deviate from those of traditional RPG adventures. Although their approach has been quite well received by the gaming community, the old-school leveling up system used in RPG adventures has never faded in relevance for decades. So, on the character customization front, Tomb Raider gets the nod.


The Bottom-line

What do Hitman, Dragon Age Inquisition, Life Is Strange, & Rise of the Tomb Raider all have in common? Customisable subtitles #gamedev #a11y https://t.co/ugRoBhMP3P

The bottom line is that there are no bad choices. Both the Tomb Raider Trilogy and the Hitman World of Assassination trilogy are unique in their own ways. While the former focuses more on open-world exploration set in a semi-linear storyline, the latter is a stealth-based classic crime and murder thriller full of intriguing cut-scenes and expert storytelling that will be hard to emulate for many years to come.

Based on the above analysis, The Hitman World of Assassination Trilogy shades over the revamped Tomb Raider Trilogy in three aspects- gameplay, storyline, and in-game environment. This makes it a score of 3-1 for the Hitman Trilogy. However, the open-world and visual parameters are highly debatable depending on the taste of each gamer.

Both trilogies provide equally captivating storylines. However, the plots of Hitman 2 and 3 are a class apart. The gameplay mechanics in the Hitman trilogy are also superior to that of the Tomb Raider series.

Quick Links

Edited by Sohan Dasgupta
Be the first one to comment