Platforms: Xbox One, Windows 10, PS4
Reviewed On: PS4
Developer: IO Intractive
Publisher: Square Enix
Distributor: Megarom Interactive/Digital
Release Date: 11 March 2016
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The latest Hitman title comes in two packages. If you want to buy the first episode, which this review is based on, then you can purchase the Intro Pack for R218. You can purchase the Full Experience Pack for R799. If you have purchased the Intro Pack and decide you want the Full Experience, it will set you back R679. This review is based off the Full Experience Pack, however, due to the release lineup for the game, this review only includes details on the base. We will cover episodes as they are released in the future.
Hitman has always been a staple in the stealth genre, and as the games have released, they have been improved on dramatically. The latest Hitman has taken everything which made the series great in the past and refined it into a solid Hitman game. Although the release plans might be questionable, the Intro Pack had just the right amount of meat to chew on to make a solid impression. Hitman is fantastic, but you will have to wait to experience the full game as each episode releases over the year to the lead of up the full retail version in early 2017.
Episode 1 takes us to Paris. Before you head into a fashion show to assassinate leaders of a secret organization, the first episode takes you through a short training session where you learn the basics of the game. Here you are taught of the many possibilities to each assassination, various routes you can take and disguises you can wear to help infiltrate certain restricted zones. Unlike the previous game, Hitman Absolution, NPCs give away hints when they talk which reveal certain opportunities you can track. One of these for example, is the ability to take on the appearance of a model who apparently is a big deal. As you take on his persona, you can the take down the target easily.
Each mission, including the tutorials, has multiple assassination opportunities, which means that you will be tempted to replay them a few times to try each one. The tutorial for example, had a few which involved rat poison, an explosion, and a simple strangulation. Taking control of Agent 47 is easy enough to get the job done, hiding behind cover and lurking in the shadows is rewarding as you sneak past guards and make your way into the objective area. It is tough as one wrong move and you will alert the wrong person, blowing your cover. The game however pushes you to be careful rather than going in guns blazing.
The biggest feature of each level, is how much there is to do. The developers have created such rich and content filled environments for each mission that it will keep you busy for hours. Sure there is an easy way around each mission, but what is the fun in that? It is all about being creative, and really taking on the Hitman persona. Weapons also add to this, if you can pick it up, you can try to kill someone with it. Using a wine bottle, or an axe, even your hands. Agent 47 gets the job done when it needs to be done
The Intro Pack also includes Contracts and Escalations, which are a fun way to explore the missions. The post-game content sees you replaying the same mission with added challenges like hiding bodies away in certain amount of time or using a certain weapon to take enemies down with. If anything, IO Interactive really made sure that even though you have one episode to play through, there are plenty of things to keep you busy with while you wait for the second episode to release.
Although you will have to be patient when investing in the game, if all future content is as great as this first episode, it will be worth the wait. Hitman is fantastic, and if you have ever played any of them before this and loved it, then this is a must. For those newcomers, you need to decide if you want to wait a whole year to pick this up as a complete package, or dive in with the Intro Pack. Suggestion, do not wait.