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Review: Hitman Episode One: The Kotaku

The Hitman series has been around for nearly 16 years and started all the way back on PC back in 2000. Now after months of waiting, the latest game of the Hitman series has been released. So it is time to put on the suit, grab the garrote wire and see what Agent 47’s latest missions have in store for us.

Developer: IO Interactive
Publisher: Square Enix
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Also Available On: Xbox One, PC
Release Date: Out Now

The game starts 20 years in the past, following Agent 47’s escape from the asylum in Romania. After his escape, Agent 47’s skills as an assassin are noticed by the ICA, an organization that specializes in eliminating targets across the world. After being taken to a secret training facility, He is recruited into the organization. 47’s latest mission has him in France where he must eliminate the powerful, corrupt power couple Viktor Novikov and Dalia Margolis by any means necessary.

Hitman 2

Much like you may have  seen already thanks to the game’s beta (not to mention mass amounts of coverage), gameplay consists of Agent 47 being dropped into an open level and then being given the task of eliminating a target. At first the level beings in a very liner manor, basically suggesting how you would get from A to B. Afterwards the game opens up to a free roam mode where I had many choices on how to kill my target like poison their food or kill them using a sniper rifle to name a few.

Cycling through options of not just how to eliminate your target but also getting to them in the first place proves to provide the most fun. For example; during the Paris mission I was able to disguise myself as bartender, poison Viktor Novikov’s drink, causing him to get sick and run off to the toilet- giving me a perfect opportunity to take him out. Each mission offers different opportunities to choose from and shows how creative Agent 47 can be with the art of killing. To also give the player more options to work with, there are a number of ways to can enter the map and start the mission. This much variety is nice to see and makes each mission have tremendous replay value.

While the gameplay is fun, it is not worth the time the game expects you to invest in executing a mission. Once I had my mind set on taking out my target, I found myself waiting around in areas for a good amount of time before I could pull off each step of my plan. In the end it’s great to see a plan come together, but I felt that the amount of time I had invest didn’t make it worthwhile. Most of the time it just felt easier to take a more straightforward approach of running in, shooting the target and then quickly making my escape. Once I figured this out, I found myself rarely trying to go for the stealthy approach and just kept things as simple as possible.

Hitman 3

This first in an episodic release takes place in Paris – which has a much bigger map than I’d expected and feels alive with massively populated areas and hundreds of NPCs. Seeing all the background characters  interact with each other (along with 47) feels great and brings life into the world. If it wasn’t for the mutable options on where to start on the map however, I would have ignored a lot of areas on the map and missed the bustling environments. during my time in the Paris map I’d spent most of my time within an indoor area and as long as I kept to my objectives, there was really no incentive to leave and explore.

This instalment of Hitman’s story has taken a huge hit thanks to the late decision to make break the game up into episodic chunks. It would have helped if each episode could have its own arc while building up into something bigger greater combined. This isn’t seen in here though, there is very little story given in the intro pack. Instead we follow just how Agent 47 got into the ICA and some information on the targets. When the game’s plot finally started to build momentum was right at the end of my playthrough, before cutting me off and now I have to wait till the next content drop to see what happens next. Again this feels like an effect caused by breaking the game up into episodes rather than creating an episode game from the ground up – a similar complaint seen with the release of Capcom’s Resident Evil: Revelations 2.

Hitman 4

In the end I didn’t enjoy Hitman as much as I wanted to, though the game did have its moments. The heavy focus on stealth gameplay was great to see and the environments were beautiful to look at, but this was enough to out way the parts I didn’t like. For a game that focuses heavily on stealth, it is so much easier to give up on the stealth approach and just run guns blazing. There is little incentive to explore areas of the map once I have eliminated my targets and the story is practically non-exciting. In the end Hitman was a disappointment and didn’t reach what I was expecting from it.

Fun open world to use as your deadly playground.
Beautiful Paris setting.
Rich, populated environments.

The decision to split a full game into episode does not reflect well on its story.
Not very much incentive to follow the game correctly instead of adopting a run & gun style.
Though the created world is beautiful, there is not much intensive to explore.

The Hitman series has been around for nearly 16 years and started all the way back on PC back in 2000. Now after months of waiting, the latest game of the Hitman series has been released. So it is time to put on the suit, grab the garrote wire and see what Agent 47’s latest missions have in store for us. Developer: IO Interactive Publisher: Square Enix Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 Also Available On: Xbox One, PC Release Date: Out Now The game starts 20 years in the past, following Agent 47’s escape from the asylum in Romania. After his escape, Agent 47’s skills as an assassin are noticed by the ICA, an organization that specializes in eliminating targets across the world. After being taken to a secret training facility, He is recruited into the organization. 47’s latest mission has him in France where he must eliminate the powerful, corrupt power couple Viktor Novikov and Dalia Margolis by any means necessary. Much like you may have  seen already thanks to the game's beta (not to mention mass amounts of coverage), gameplay consists of Agent 47 being dropped into an open level and then being given the task of eliminating a target. At first the level beings in a very liner manor, basically suggesting how you would get from A to B. Afterwards the game opens up to a free roam mode where I had many choices on how to kill my target like poison their food or kill them using a sniper rifle to name a few. Cycling through options of not just how to eliminate your target but also getting to them in the first place proves to provide the most fun. For example; during the Paris mission I was able to disguise myself as bartender, poison Viktor Novikov's drink, causing him to get sick and run off to the toilet- giving me a perfect opportunity to take him out. Each mission offers different opportunities to choose from and shows how creative Agent 47 can be with the art of killing. To also give the player more options to work with, there are a number of ways to can enter the map and start the mission. This much variety is nice to see and makes each mission have tremendous replay value. While the gameplay is fun, it is not worth the time the game expects you to invest in executing a mission. Once I had my mind set on taking out my target, I found myself waiting around in areas for a good amount of time before I could pull off each step of my plan. In the end it's great to see a plan come together, but I felt that the amount of time I had invest didn't make it worthwhile. Most of the time it just felt easier to take a more straightforward approach of running in, shooting the target and then quickly making my escape. Once I figured this out, I found myself rarely trying to go for the stealthy approach and just kept…

6

Good

A stealth game that reached expectations

While there were some good moments in Hitman, the game did not hit the strong expectations I had. The story was weak, there was no incentive to explore certain areas and the stealth approach did not feel worth the time.

Overall

Official site

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Aspiring writer, that is trying to get into video game journalism. Very enthusiastic about gaming and fond of anything that is nerdy.

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