The season finale of Hitman is finally here. Throughout the year I have had the privilege to play through the entire season. About halfway through, I felt some fatigue. The story had not picked up yet and I was still assassinating what I thought were random targets, but then the plot finally did begin to advance. Hitman has not really done anything groundbreaking for the gaming industry, but it has been quite entertaining. The developers have also successfully adapted the franchise into an episodic format—somehow it just fits. This final episode requires one to stay on their toes, adding another unique dynamic to the same old formula.
The content of this episode largely matches the rest. The developers needed to keep the same ESRB rating across the board for all episodes. Here is a look at the content guide for the first episode which has so far been carried out across each episode:
Sex & Nudity: It has been said that there will be no nudity in the game, and the only sexual content to be found is among the chatter of NPCs and within the dialogue.
Violence: Hitman is all about killing, and encourages the player to do so in a number of ways. There is very little blood and gore no matter how you subdue your target. The only noticeable blood is from a few melee attacks.
Language/Crude Humor: You will never hear any cursing from the main character, but it can be heard within the bustling crowd in the game. Words like c**k, f**k, and s**t are presents along with some other mild swear words.
Alcohol/Drug Use: Throughout the event that takes place, people in the crowd can bee seen consuming alcoholic beverages. The player has the option of using a chemical substance to poison the drinks of their targets in order to kill or incapacitate them.
Though this is the final entry, there is not much that differs from the previous episodes. The presentation is quite similar, and things work the same in terms of gameplay. I have learned that what makes each episode unique is the setting and encouraged approach to accomplish the mission. This hospital building is super secure and secretive. The layout had me going in with literally nothing while also making use of multiple floors. No silenced pistol, not even garrote wire—just Agent 47 and a kimono. The idea is for players to think resourcefully and use whatever you can find to get the job done.
The previous episode had us going after four targets, but now we are back to the usual two. The first target in every episode has a standard pattern of movement. The idea of striking when you see an opening in the pattern is present yet again. I struggled with finding a way to the main target at first, but I was taking the wrong approach. I’m not going to spoil how it was done, but I had to explore my surroundings a bit more to find how I was going to get the job done. Going that route was creative on the developers’ part, showing us that the real objective is not always right in front of you. I will say that Agent 47 does finish the job in a rather entertaining manner if you choose to go that route.
One of my favorite moments of this episode is a call-back to two of the previous missions. Spend enough time walking through the hospital and you will find a robed man with bandages on his face after some facial reconstruction. Once he sees you, the man accuses you of stealing his idea, angrily saying you could have gone for someone like Jordan Cross instead of Helmut. Helmut Kruger was a male model in the first episode that Agent 47 resembled a little too well, and Jordan Cross was of course a target only a few missions prior. That resemblance yet again proves to be useful on the path to completing your mission.
When it was all said and done, I was looking forward to what the ending cutscene would be like. Video games and movies alike are known for setting up sequels after they end things, but all we get here is set-up. This entry into the franchise seems to be an all-around reboot based on what I have witnessed in this final cutscene. From previous games we know the background of Agent 47; it seems we will be heading down that road yet again during the next season. This episode contained more of the same processes and actions it takes to complete a mission, but there would be no point to make any changes within the final act.
Along with my comments on the final episode, within this review I am wrapping up the season. I went through some ups and downs, much like a roller coaster. It was during Episode 4 when I began to think, “Is this really it?” At the end of that episode was when the story really began to advance. I took back those negative thoughts when I was finished with it. The developers even got a little more creative with the last couple episode and make it an even more enjoyable experience.
I have said it before, by no means has Hitman sent any shockwaves through the gaming Industry. Square Enix and IO Interactive took a leap of faith into the episodic format that is usually found with games like King’s Quest, The Walking Dead, and just about everything Telltale creates. I was skeptical like many other fans of the series, but they somehow pulled it off. The visual presentation is only slightly above average, but the gameplay has greatly made up for that throughout the season. This 2016 addition to the Hitman series is ultimately a solid product, but nothing more. Having said that, I am looking forward to seeing what the next season is going to be like. There is now a retail version of the complete season for those who were holding out on the final episode’s release, or you can still purchase the full experience if you prefer the digital route.
Review copy kindly provided by Square Enix
[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B00ZM6GX5I]