The Hitman franchise goes from strength to strength, and considering their latest stealth em up came second for Best Stealth Game at the Global Game Awards, this game is no exception. I’ve recently completed it and was left wanting for more. At first, I was skeptical about Hitman’s episodic release schedule and that fact it was digital only. I honestly thought it would ruin the continuity but I’ve never been so happy to be wrong. What the delay between missions meant, is that I wasn’t rushing and I could fully explore the world IO have created, as well as the multiple ways to take out your target.
Hitman’s format is similar to when your favorite TV show ended the season on a cliffhanger, keeps you pondering for what’s next. Of course now, all the episodes are out so can play through as quick as you like. Apart from the multitude of weapons you have at your disposal, you also have a vision, where your target is highlights in a red glow. It also covers guards, who think you’re up to no good, in orange. Seems like its a cheat, but when you’re in game, it’s part of your armory.
It’s a scenic game, you’ll travel the world, visiting France, Italy, Morocco, Thailand, America and Japan. Personally, the Italian mission in Sapienza is my favorite. The bustling crowds, lovely scenery and almost Bond villain-esq with how it plays out. Each time you play a mission, the more ways you carry out your kills, the more unlocks you get. Works well to aid you play it from every angle possible.
Part of the review will cover the levels, but will remain spoiler free so you get the same enjoyment I did under 47’s many disguises. All the episodes have multiple ways to carry out your kills, some brilliant and some down right comical. If you’re a hardcore Hitman fan, you can play around and figure it out for yourself. If you’re new to the genre, you can come across “opportunities” that will help you and point you in the right direction. I tried to do them without help first, but then used the help to experience all the different ways.
Episode 1 – Paris
Tobias Reaper’s first assignment is two targets in the City of Love- Paris. The venue is a fashion show, swarming with people and it’s a great introduction as to how the game can be played. At first, it looks like there’s only a few ways to get into building, but there’s loads open to you. You can essentially play it a different way every time. Overall, you’ve got 4 levels of the building to explore, whether you strut down the catwalk or go vampire masquerading whilst doing it. My favorite assassination on this one, gets two birds with one stone.
Episode 2- Italy
Mr. Reaper’s first holiday. Okay, maybe not but it’s a lovely coastal town that has 2 more people to knock off. This one has 2 contrasting areas. Normal everyday millionaire’s mansion upstairs, evil villain underground lair. This appears more open than Paris and there’s as many options to attack your kills from. This is the level I had most fun on, mainly as I tried to kill every single NPC in it. I managed it in the end, it’s harder than you think! Favorite assassination in this, one gets shot straight out the sky.
Episode 3 – Morocco
The sheer amount of NPC’s on this level is insane. A full busy market, complete with a protest in front an embassy. Again, there are a few contrasting areas to enjoy and plan your next move from. The tricky part is that most of the level is under military lock down, so getting anywhere, or a useful disguise, is a hard one. Extremely pleasing, though, when you manage to pull it off. This is also another level I tried to do the opposite of stealth, it didn’t end well…at all. My favorite way to complete this one, is a relaxing end.
Episode 4 – Thailand
Again, Mr. Reaper goes on holiday. An exclusive hotel, complete with two more targets to meet their makers. As with previous hotel levels on older Hitman games, it’s a busy place and a tad tricky to get up to one of the targets. You’ll find on this one that all your planning and preparation can easily become unraveled. You’ll easily find yourself trespassing, but nothing a quick costume change will sort out. My best way of killing on this one for me, was a tasty final treat.
Episode 5 – America
Home of the brave, land of the free takes 47 to Colorado. Not for the scenery, this one gets you taking out 4 targets. It is a massive level, but it’s only really a flat field to get through. There’s a few garages and a house to explore. By far, this was the hardest level I found. I could normally get one or two down…in not so stealthy manners. The rest, I just straight up made errors. Everything is a bit tricky, but once you’ve got a routine going and a very good plan, you’ll get to see the story really heat up! The favorite murder of mine is a cracker of a safe.
Episode 6 – Japan
If this level is a vision into the future of medicine, then sign me up for my knee replacement right now. Start off as a patient in the swanky high tech hospital, and you’ve got two targets to send to the morgue. This level is especially tricky as most of the doors are locked and can only be opened by acquiring a specific disguise. There is also a fantastic challenge that’s a tribute to Kill Bill to find and complete. Overall, this is such a great way to end the first season. The favorite and last assassination, will be a little “shocking.”
Oh, you thought that was it for the game? The missions are just the tip of the iceberg. You can create your own contracts and share it with the world to do. It’s similar to Super Mario Maker on the Wii U. You have to complete it in the way you want others too, or else you can’t share it. The beauty of this mode means that if a particular guard annoyed you, you can go full mob boss and get him whacked.
The other part they have made is called Elusive targets. These are missions that IO make difficult and it works a treat to add to the game. You only have a set time where the mission is available to complete. You’ll get a video to watch, then its all you and your skills. There’s no Hitman vision showing your target in red, so you’ve got to listen and work out where they are in the level. Once you’ve located them, you then have to work out how to get the job done. Oh, and you only get one shot. There is no retries here.
My personal view on this outing for Mr. Reaper, is one of his best. As confirmed in one of our previous articles, a second season is in the works which should be amazing if this one is anything to go by.
Rating: 5/5 stars
Which was your favorite level? What was your most pleasing kill? Feel free to comment below or scope me out on Twitter @Steelcitygam3r.