Agent 47 is sent to Paris, his mission is to infiltrate an exclusive fashion show where he must take down a pair of fashion moguls who are also the leaders o an international spy ring by the name of IAGO.
- Elusive Target Mode: Available for a limited time the elusive target can only be found through clues. Players can earn new suits when successful
- Escalation Mode: A series of stage-based challenges which test the true skill of an expert assassin
- Contracts Mode: Players will have the chance to mark targets and challenge other assassins to take on the mission, this mode makes a return from Hitman: Absolution
2 & 1/2 Hours
March 11th, 2016
Developer: IO Interactive
Publisher: Square Enix
Price: $14.99 for Intro Pack; $59.99 for “Full Experience”
It has been just over a month since wrote the preview for Hitman, where I noted that there were a few things missing in which I thought a beta should include. My time with the game was definitely short but i was glad to see Agent 47 back in action. Now that Hitman has been officially released, I have had a chance to see what the developers were really striving for with this new episodic addition to its series. The first leg of our tour takes us to Paris where an exclusive fashion show is being held.
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. At the moment 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.
When the Hitman beta released, I only had a small sample of things to come, including training missions which took place twenty years before in the events of Hitman: Absolution and more detail on that can be found those in my e preview. For now we travel back into the present day where Agent 47 has taken a contract located in Paris. For this mission, we have a pair of targets: fashion mogul Viktor Novikov who is accompanied by his partner Dalia Margolis. Their public identities are deceiving however—they are secretly leaders of an international spy ring under the acronym IAGO. The organization plans to expose the identities of a number of operatives who work for MI6. To accomplish his mission, Agent 47 must infiltrate an exclusive fashion show that is being held in Novikov’s mansion.
Upon entering the front gates of the mansion suited in a tuxedo, the world around me felt very much alive with folks entering and exiting or simply having conversation. I even received a few compliments on my snappy suit! The crowd turns its attention and applause toward the announcement of my target as he makes his way down to the main floor of the mansion. Meanwhile, I begin to case the area and discover that my other target is still upstairs possibly located in a room somewhere. Now comes the fun part in deciding how to get the job done. Overall, I felt very immersed in a world in which I knew I was not welcome. Even though it may not be the best looking game out there, this feeling is what Hitman generates best.
While being inside the shoes of a master assassin, you have many different ways to subdue your targets and a variety of disguises to wear while doing so. The choice is yours, whether you want drop a chandelier or speaker on them and make it look like an accident, or if you wish to handle things from a distance and use a sniper rifle. While planning before the start of the mission, you can decide what kind of weapons and items you want to take with you, and if you need something extra you can set an agency drop that will place the item of your choosing in one of the available locations. In this same phase, you can also choose your point of entry in case walking through the front door just isn’t your style. However, your options in all of these categories are limited in the beginning. You must first prove yourself and complete some of the feats and challenges that are available for this location.
For those who haven’t had much experience with the Hitman franchise, know that disguises are a key mechanic with these games. If you’re skilled enough, one of the challenges even calls for completing the whole mission by not using any and just wearing your suit. Otherwise, are a number of disguises available for you to get into those areas that are likely restricted. They range from the stage crew to waiters, including even the star of the show himself who bears a striking resemblance to our silent assassin. As the star, you can get into makeup and hit the catwalk, or if you want to get in real close it may be wise to take the disguise of a waiter and serve the drinks and hors-d’oeuvre. When incognito, you still need to be aware that over the heads of certain NPCs will be an icon. These are people who you need to watch out for because if they spot you, they will notice that you are not who you claim to be. Thankfully there is a cool new blending feature that has never been seen in a Hitman game.
Based on my experience, it is clear that to get the most out of Hitman, you will need to come back and try different things and explore the area. The first time around only took me about an hour before I became familiar with my surroundings and efficiently took care of my targets. To keep things interesting, there are a few other modes of play that you may want to check out. The first is the Contracts mode, making a return from Absolution. These are player-created assassinations, and a few uniquely created by the developers. The other mode is called Escalation, where a player must complete a series of challenges within a certain time limit and be ranked among friends and other players. The third mode is called Elusive Target, but at the time of this writing, it is unfortunately not yet available.
Overall I feel like Hitman has grown growing on me; the episodic formula in which it’s being released is still kind of taboo, but I feel like I’m beginning to understand the reason for it the more I play. If Square Enix chose to release this as a full game would we really be inclined to explore everything that these levels have to offer? I would go so far to say that we probably wouldn’t. I’m positive that the hardcore gamers, fans, and completionists would definitely go for it, but the average gamer would probably just fumble through the assassination and barely escape to see the light of day just like I did in Absolution a few years ago.
At this point, I only have a few complaints. There is next to no story present so far, and what we get comes in the form of a few very well done cutscenes before and after the missions, but nothing more. I am curious to find out if the plot will thicken and connect as other installments are released. My second complaint is the horrendous load times which can take up to a minute! I can literally check my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and maybe even send a quick text by the time this game is done loading. Additionally, If you want to check your map or intel during a mission, several seconds elapse before the menus come up. Unfortunately all of this can be discouraging for a game that encourages a large amount of repetition.
I truly believe the reason for the episodic formula encourages you to put yourself in the shoes of Agent 47 in order to get the most out of Hitman you must think and act as he would during an assignment. I am definitely looking forward to the new content which will be available at some point next month.
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+ Life-like setting
+ Variety of weapons
+ Many different ways to assassinate the target
+ Returns to the classic formula
- Very little story
- Ridiculous load times
- Not all modes are unlocked (yet)