Also On: Xbox One, PC
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: IO Interactive
I wouldn’t call myself a hardcore Hitman fan, however I have been playing each game in the series since “Hitman 2”. I enjoyed the series in the beginning, yet as the series progressed, I felt as if each new entry would lose a piece of the Hitman identity. The biggest draw into this franchise was the ability to kill your enemies in so many different ways. You could go in guns blazing, but would usually not get very far.
Fast forward to 2016, Hitman has made his return in a rather unusual fashion. You have the option to pay $59.99 for the complete experience (essentially a season pass) or $14.99 for the Paris episode, was a strange decision and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. Despite having to wait monthly for the rest of the levels, you are given a couple of “training” levels which were part of the public beta previously. In my opinion, I have spent more time revisiting these levels vs the main level. In these training levels, you are treated to simulated scenarios that mimic actual missions that have taken place previously.
What’s strange was I spent more time enjoying the training levels vs the actual Paris episode. Maybe it was because when I played the beta, these were the levels you had access to and I felt the need to attempt them again with various solutions. Despite the limited scale of these levels, the amount of ways you could complete each mission was fruitful and is hopefully a taste of what the other future episodes will be like.
For me, Paris didn’t give me the same satisfaction as the training levels. I can’t put my finger on it, and maybe that’s because I haven’t been very successful at completing it in a stealthy way. In the instances where I have completed the mission, I would be running for dear life since I get spotted every time. The level design is top notch and the scale is more of what you would expect from a Hitman game including the large population of people on screen at one time.
In the Paris mission, you’re attending a fashion show and your objective is to assassinate the top model, Helmut Kruger who just so happens to look like Agent 47 (wink wink). At first glance, it may seem like the ways to approach the mission are limited, but the options are limitless and this is where the game shines the best. Replayability is something I wasn’t sure would work for this episodic formula. How wrong I was. As of this writing, I’m still playing the mission and finding new ways to kill old Helmut.
But as always the good comes with the bad. One of my favorite pastimes since the original PlayStation. The dreaded load times. Other than last year’s Just Cause 3, load times haven’t been quite as strenuous as Hitman. At times, I waited almost a minute before the level would queue up. This is when I learned, you can accomplish a lot in 60 seconds. Grab a snack, drink, take a piss, and even grab the mail. It’s a bummer when you are first getting familiar with a level and have to repeatedly reload after dying. I have rage quit a couple times from this alone.
Most people won’t’ let this affect them and in their case, you’re likely to have a good time with Hitman. I will be doing smaller reviews as each Episode is released and will discuss some of the other options in the game like the Contracts mode, which I haven’t spent much time with yet. Since this isn’t a full release, the score per episode will vary and hopefully for the better.