Intro and Gameplay
Many fond memories of the original stellar yet quirky HITMAN come flooding to my mind when I first booted up the latest iteration from the folks at io and Square Enix. Our own Mick Joest already gave a fantastic overview of the episodic release and a few impressions so I'd like to expand a bit further on on what has already been said about our bald hero's latest adventure. First off, the good news. This is extremely polished HITMAN game. It feels just right overall. There. Now, the bad news. The hand to hand combat is laughable, the episodic nature is odd, and most of all, online only for a game like this is inexcusable.
If this is your first foray into the world of Agent 47, let's just say, you won't be able to 'Call of Duty' your way through this bad boy. The levels are massive, detailed, and require astute observation and at times, require zen-like patience. Honestly, it was a bit hard to slow back down after some recent run n' gun style games. That being said, patience and a sharp eye allow for some awesome surprises and best of all, the challenges of offing your targets with anything from chandeliers to rat poison. Yep, the possibilities are endless and besides the hand to hand combat, the game delivers and then some, especially for existing fans of the series.
Graphics and Sound
Graphics and animation have always been a strong point of the series and I'm happy to report that HITMAN in 4K at 60 FPS is at times, absolutely stunning. Even the fake sunset of the first training levels looks convincing but mostly, the showcase is the fashion show in the last level of the game. Smoke and fog pour from the run way, the gardens are teeming with life, and animations of high class women strutting their stuff in the large mansion is all very impressive. Textures are extremely sharp and that really adds to the look of the game. Thank you io!
The sound design and execution is equally if not more impressive. Sound effects are solid and voice acting is across the board top notch. I don't remember much of the music but it was decent enough. The biggest item of note is the sheer amount of sound bites and dialogue you'll be eavesdropping on whether searching for clues or hints throughout the game or just realizing how jacked up the seemingly perfect lives of your targets really are. Overall, this a fantastic audiovisual package and I can't wait to see what comes next!
Fun and Conclusion
Well, it all comes down to this. For me, I had a blast playing the game after I bridled my patience quite a lot. You CAN rush through this levels but you won't fully enjoy the piece of art that has been created here and the best parts of the game, the challenges, will be meaningless. That being said, I am anxious to see the quality and timing of future content. You can start with the $14.99 intro pack or purchase the full package for $59.99 but I haven't seen when the next content will actually launch.
As I mentioned, this is a mixed bag when it comes to design choices such as online only for the full experience (WHY?!) and a very limited amount of content for this first launch package. While I am sure there will be some quality content, it seems a little skinny. Either way, if you love stealth, high quality production values, or a long time fan of the series, you're next hit is here.