Hitman is a long-standing series following Agent 47 on his various assassination jobs with a bit of story in between to make it just a tad more interesting. This latest entry, Hitman: The Complete First Season, is set seven years after Hitman: Absolution with a quick snippet of prologue being a prelude to the Hitman: Codename 47.
As Agent 47 you again undertake various contracts to assassinate the high and mighty, seemingly, for the greater good. Taking out the targets is where the player comes in. While killing is the main objective it isn’t just about eliminating the target but rather doing so with style. Killing the target is the bare minimum requirement but every mission is rated and so the task is not so much to simply kill the target but to do so as much flare or subtly as possible.
The Levels really have a sandbox feel to them. There is an area and within it things happening around you whether you choose to interact or not. You could take advantage of an accident to acquire a new disguise or simply be in the right place at the right time to over hear a useful bit of information that might get you a lot closer to your target than you could have hoped for. But all these things aren’t just in your face, you need to both explore and investigate the area to fully optimise the possibilities at your disposal. The game really enables resourceful players a lot of creativity in how to take out their targets (honesty not something I thought I’d ever say about killing someone). However, if clean and precise is not your style you can still be as messy or boring as you like.
Mistakes can be made and while a messier approach is an option you are punished for it at the end of the mission as it impacts your overall rating and possible bonuses.
As you progress you gain overall levels. These levels allow you to start with better advantage and sneak in things in better places depending on your level. So not only does each level provide an already large variety of lethal options but gives those perfectionist opportunities to come back later and perfect their killing score.
You will find the save option to be your biggest friend. You can spend quite some time staking out a bystander to simply obtain a better disguise to get you closer to the main objective and one wrong move, like thinking a door was a walk-in freezer, can waste a lot of time having you start all over from scratch again if you forgot to save. There is an autosave feature but it’s timing doesn’t always provide the best restart points.
While there is story I have to say I didn’t find it a big contributor to my motivation to play the game. I can easily say the hitman missions are what the real draw cards are and if they happen to contribute to a bigger story well, then I guess that is almost a bonus.
Mechanically the game is mostly smooth. There can be some issues with opening and closing doors if you are in the wrong angle or spot but mostly the combat, stealthing and overall gameplay mechanics work well with the environments to provide a fluent experience that allows you to adequately perform the tasks you want.
Hitman does require a certain amount of meticulous attention and patience. I can say you really need to be in the right mood or the sort of person to simply enjoy the planning and seeing a good plan come to fruition to fully enjoy this game. Admittedly I can be an impatient gamer but I find the lengthy build up to the final completion of the job certainly makes its end a lot more satisfactory.
A big annoyance I found in the game was the need to login as online each time you start up the game. Playing offline actually subtracts from the games experience. While you can complete missions in offline mode doing so deprives you of rewards and in game achievements. Logging into servers takes quite some time so you are generally not inclined to do so in the first place. If you complete a mission offline you simply miss out on the in-game rewards and bonuses and if you would like those rewards, you have to re-complete the whole mission in online mode. This is frustrating and frankly turns me off playing further. It really subtracts from an overall enjoyable game.
Hitman: The Complete First Season is a compilation of new episodes for Agent 47 to complete. It provides even more elaborate and varied jobs to take. It does require a certain level of patience and perseverance but certainly provides and fun challenging and unique set of scenarios to play through.Sadly, the online/offline issue ruins a good thing but if you remember each time to login and don’t have internet issues it has a fair bit to offer. I can appreciate it may not be every one’s idea of a fun killing time but is well crafted game that offers its own version of this.
Released: February 2017
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC (Windows 7 or Higher)
Developer: IO Interactive
Publisher: Square Enix</p