Hey guys, you ever wonder what it would be like to be hired to assassinate the target, then leave like a bad-ass? Well wonder no more, Hitman is here to help you fulfill that curiosity. I will be touching on the good and the bad on this subject; However, Hitman this time around takes a different approach as it will be an episodic release. This means more content will be released each month. That’s the plan, anyway. I will be reviewing each episode as they are released. Future reviews will be more streamlined though as there will be no need to touch on the same points I’ll make here. Ok, enough introduction, on with the review.
To be back at work again.
The last time we saw Agent 47 was on the PS3. The game was fun but felt a little confined compared to the other games from the PS2 days. This title seems to want, and try, to fix that. With exploration on the scale of the Blood Money days, there is plenty of paths to take, plenty of ways to kill, and plenty of disguises to use. It takes a bit of time to pick up the control scheme again, but it feels right once you do. The first release is the same content that was in the beta, plus the Paris mission titled: The Showstopper. The level is huge and very open, I found myself lost a few times in the vastness of the area at which you are free to prowl. Everything up until this point has been flawless in my opinion, and it’s nice to feel like you truly have control again. Unlike the ps3 title which made you feel a bit restrained.
Ummm, you’re not supposed to sit there.
Hitman, being episodic, means they should have more time to work on the game as a whole. Preventing bugs, glitches, and overall just improving the experience to be had, right? Well, that’s what I thought until a guy came into the bathroom, sat in a cabinet like it was a chair, and watched me drown someone in a toilet. Seriously guys, I couldn’t make this up if I tried. I don’t know what bug could have caused this to happen, and as funny as it was, it kind of takes you out of the immersion of playing. I didn’t know how he would react but seeing as how he acted as if I was never there, I continued on with my plan. After drowning the target right in front of him, he never moved. He was physically in that bathroom with me, but it’s as if he was actually in the room he was meant to be in. This isn’t the first instance of something like this happening either. During one of the training missions, I had subdued someone to dawn their outfit as a disguise. Upon dragging them away to a more confined space where I could strip them down to their undies and stash the body, his leg seemed to go through the floor. And there he remained, stuck. I couldn’t move him or drag him out of site, and before I knew it someone had spotted him and I had to restart the mission. I was pretty much, for lack of a better word, screwed. Funny bugs or glitches I can deal with, but game-breaking ones like this aren’t welcomed. I am sure there will be patches to fix issues like this. All we can hope is that they are hasty with pushing them out once discovered.
You can’t escape me, I’M THE HITMAN!
Unlike the PS2 games where you had little to no help finding out what you could use to kill a target with (or how), Hitman for PS4 offers help to those that honestly need it. In the options, you can fix it so the game will hold your hand all the way through, like a child crossing the street, if you so choose. It will even shout at you every now and again like a parent on a bench at a park. Or for the teen who wants to go to the mall alone can turn off the help completely. Well, almost completely. You see, in the options settings, under the opportunities tab, you have the choice to turn notifications and way-points on or off to help you achieve some crazy ways to kill your targets. Ranging from getting a bartender’s outfit and making one deadly cocktail, to sneaking up onto the rafters and dropping thousands of hefty glass lighting fixtures. You can, of course, find all these on your own, but if you just want to get stuff done the game is here to aid you. Aside from all the help you can have to make killing easier and flashier, the “instinct” makes its comeback. Holding down a single button allows you to not only see through walls, but it highlights targets and useful items and weapons. A useful little feature, especially those new to Hitman games. Of course, much like the opportunities option that you can turn to minimal or off, you can also turn off instinct if you want a complete retro feel. The choices for making the game harder or easier, I do like that about this.
Hitman is online all the time…unless it isn’t
You can play Hitman in offline mode as much as you like, there is no denying that; However, to use the games full content such as picking a spawn or being able to have an agency pickup placed in game, you need to be online at all times. Now normally this kind of thing doesn’t bother me as I have grown accustomed to devs and/or publishers wanting to protect whatever it is they say they are trying to protect. This time though, it really has been an annoyance to me. If you start a game in online mode and something happens, like if you lose internet for a short time or more likely something goes wrong with the server and you can’t connect, then guess what? You are booted from your game and won’t be able to finish it until you can reconnect to the Hitman servers. This is an unusual kind of DRM, and as stated, I can usually deal with it. But I have been disconnected from the servers enough times to where I don’t even want to play the game. That pisses me off cause the game itself is actually amazing and truly fun to play. In this case the server is acting like a really strict parent and just not letting you go outside to play. I am hoping the servers will be worked on and improved over time. ‘Cause right now it’s a pain to try and play the game knowing that any minute I’ll be kicked, and having to resume from wherever the Autosave last updated.
What the game does, it does well.
As far as core gameplay, and how everything seems to be a truly alive world for you to explore and learn, it’s flawless. The A.I. often seems eerily alive, like they are being controlled by actual players. Sometimes they show that they aren’t by acting like the normal NPC characters you’re accustomed to. Still I was amazed at how they interact with one another. The graphics are more or less what you would expect from a Hitman game, but they are fine tuned and very well polished. I am glad to see they stuck with this look instead of trying to revamp like a lot of companies do to their characters to “modernize” them. I can’t touch much on the story due to, as previously stated, this is episodic. That will be something I touch on in the final release. So far though, it seems interesting enough to where I anxiously await the next release to continue it (as long as the servers will let me play). All in all, this is but the first release and I would have been shocked if there were no problems whatsoever. My final verdict is Hitman Episode 1 gets a 6.5/10 I’ll take all the scores from each episode and rate the total package accordingly. Here is hoping episode 2 is much, much.. better and the servers are better adjusted to allow me to play without being interrupted so often.