By Sam Coles:
Hitman is a series that I’ve always loved because it requires patience and skill to pull off good assassinations and plus it’s nice to change gears and slow down a bit after playing action games. After the lukewarm reception Absolution got back in 2012 which honestly I loved, Hitman had a bit of a hiatus. It wasn’t until E3 of 2015 we got a brand new trailer for the new game which as annoyingly named Hitman which will mess with my filing system. However Square Enix said they were releasing it episodically which did not gel well with gamers.
Hitman’s story is paper thin as it tends to focus on the gameplay, but the basic premise is that you play as Agent 47 the world’s deadliest assassin who works for an agency that take contracts to kill targets such as political figures or people of the business world. The game starts off as prequel as you see Agent 47 train in the agency then it has a flashy montage of his previous assassinations from prior games and it’s a nice set up for the game to come.
The series has always been about patience one stupid move can compromise the mission, it’s all about exploring the levels examining your target’s routine and find opportunities and flaws to take them out undetected. Hitman returns to its roots from Blood Money rather than the tight corridors of Absolution, with massive sprawling levels with lots of different ways of assassinating your target.
There are six episodes in total with two bonus episodes and these can take you over an hour to finish so you’re looking at 10 plus hours of gameplay with the main story. However it does not end there, the game is constantly being updated with player made contracts where they will task you with assassinating a certain target in the level but you have to follow certain stipulations such as you have to use a certain weapon or you have to dawn a specific disguise.
There are illusive targets that happen every month where you’re given a target on any map and you only have one chance to kill them because if you fail you can’t replay that mission again. This encourages a slow approach where you watch your target and find a pattern or weakness. These really test your skills as a silent assassin and when you pull it off without anyone noticing you it feels deeply satisfying.
The presentation is excellent, not as good as Absolution but the scope of the presentation is impressive with big wide open environments coupled with huge crowds. Each location is unique and different from the isles of Italy to a runway show in Paris where you can blend in with the audience or disguise as a fashion model with a look that can literary murder.
The only issue I have with this game is that the controls for taking cover can be a pain which can result in the enemy spotting me as I’m only crouched behind a wall and not taking cover against it.
Hitman is a return to form for the series with open ended levels that let you experiment which will have you revisiting levels over and over again to see what ridiculous ways you can kill your target. If you were hesitant about the episodic nature then this is the best way to get it as it comes in a complete package with content that will keep you occupied for hours.