By: Jason Smith ~Staff Writer~
The game Hitman puts the player in the role of Agent 47, a blank slate of an assassin who has an innate ability to blend in with his surroundings. Hitman was released episodically last year, and 2017 welcomed the release of the full game on disc. Throughout the time the episodes were released, the developer, IO Interactive, continuously tweaked the game, relying on feedback from players.
The result is a deeply rich game that mainly takes place over seven episodes, with three mini bonus episodes. The premise is simple: Agent 47 must take out his target. His handler Diana gives the parameters of the contract. Sometimes it is as simple as taking out a target, but other times files must be found and destroyed.
If Hitman just stuck to the premise, it would appear to be a grim game with no joy. That is the farthest thing from the truth. Sprinkled throughout the missions are many moments of levity. When Agent 47 is disguised as a waiter, people ask about tip amounts. When he’s a stagehand, people praise the stage setup. It is constant. Additionally, the background characters have their own behavioral quirks, which put a humorous twist on the missions.
The idea is when given a mission, Agent 47 starts in one location. Depending on how successfully the mission is accomplished, more locations and disguises become available. By completing different opportunities, the player levels up for each location. By level 20 all the items are unlocked, with some rare exceptions.
As each location is cleared, a cinematic cut scene reveals a larger conspiracy at hand. This game is called Hitman: Season One, so of course the developer is working hard on bringing season two, and there are rumors of a third season being made.
The game shines in the repetition of each mission. Playing each level over and over reveals more and more nuances and opportunities to succeed. While initially receiving criticism, releasing a game episodically was brilliant on the developer’s part. Any player who takes the time to complete a master mission has his or her work cut out for them.
Hitman is a refreshingly challenging and surprisingly humorous game that manages to be serious when it needs to. Graphically it is a wonderful title to showcase on any system. The controls are responsive, and the atmosphere is as immersive as can be.
This is an essential title that makes a great addition to any gamer’s collection.