Footage from: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwH1xJhcXG0dPGmbx35nhuzEacgKdjCUo
Available from: http://store.steampowered.com/agecheck/app/236870/
HITMAN™ involves you playing as the world-famous bald and grumpy assassin known as Agent 47. Each level basically involves you staging an assassination. The levels are generally pretty massive with lots of stuff to do in them. So the idea is that there are so many ways to complete any given level that most of the fun, is trying out different ways to take out your next victim.
You could probably polish off the whole game in a day, if you weren’t particularly interested in exploring the pretty expansive missions, trying out all the novel assassination techniques and eavsdropping on all the back story.
Now the controls took me a while to get comfortable with at first, you can rebind them, but eventually I got used to it all. I think pretty much every Hitman game except Absolution has pretty janky controls, but if you (like most Hitman die-hards) see this game as more of a puzzle game than as an action/combat game, you’ll probably find it easier to forgive once you get into the swing of it all.
For a game as complicated as this, yes there were AI mishaps from time to time, but for the most part I ran into surprisingly few bugs, considering I played the day one Linux release and the levels ad character mechanics are just so expansive and complex, even compared to previous Hitman titles.
The level design has always been a strong point of the franchise, and this takes it all to a whole new level. Different disguises that you can wear, will look less suspicious in areas where you’d expect to see that outfit, and for the most part you can even find ways to circumvent any given checkpoint or level-stage. It also fits in little nuances like other staff wearing the same uniform as yours being more likely to see through your disguise, given that they’ll likely know who they co-workers are, this incentivises you to work out who people like the shift supervisors are, since they tend to be the ones who most likely know who’s on their shift.
The novel aspects of each mission and dark humour also make this game what it is, in one of the earlier missions, you can even kill two of your targets, by pushing one off a balcony on to the other below. A two for one kind of deal. It also made me realise why the two Hitman films were so bad (apart from the writing and acting) was that Hitman is a dark comedy at heart and nothing resembling a Hollywood action thriller. In fact the franchise regularly parodies Hollywood action thrillers.
Personally I’ve had the most fun out of achievement hunting in this game. Growing familiar with the basic layout of a level so that it feels comfortable delving into the minutia of it. So you don’t really get lost after a point, but there’s always more stuff to discover.
The addition; them using some of these expansive levels for multiple missions also feels like a good use of resources. You have the game creators making these incredibly complex set pieces and it would be a shame if there wasn’t a reason to come back to them. Extra games modes really help this.
Another great addition is that you can start off a mission undercover. This requires you to play through the level somewhat competently to unlock these, but it’s a nice incentive to play through the game a few more times, using different methods. Doing this also unlocks new weapons and tools and gadgets and such.
I’ve not been playing much past the first few levels since I’m completely hooked on the achievement hunting, but the first two locations alone (plus a pretty decent tutorial) make the £20 I payed for the game more than a good deal. The game launched on Linux at 50% off as a launch offer which which I think has now expired, so if you don’t feel like stumping up the full price tag, there’s a good chance it’ll come back down to that price in the next Square Enix sale.
The fact that it’s an always online single player game, is probably one of it’s biggest downfalls, but they do somewhat justify it by having it as a gateway to a lot more new free content as well as a leader-board which I kinda like. I know that’s not much of an excuse for some of you, but as someone who plays this pretty competitively, I get something out of it.
But overall, I couldn’t give this game a more glowing review. Yeah it certainly has it’s faults, but so has every other Hitman game but this definitely has the fewest. This can really be described in short as Blood Money two. Blood money was one of my outright favourite games of all time, and I’m so glad Blood Money runs well under WINE, but once I’ve played through this one a few times, this could easily be one of my favourite games of all time and it looks like there’s a significant amount of new content yet to come.
Check it out if this looks good to you.