We're still a ways out from our official review of Hitman, but let's just say so far things are looking incredibly good! First off let me say that far and away this has been the most impressive Hitman title to date for me personally. The stages are larger and absolutely packed with people, and the game looks graphically stunning. That's to be expected when the last console title we played was Absolution back in 2012, but it shouldn't be taken lightly!
So far we've seen a black site Hollywood set where Agent 47 has to prove his worth to the organization and a fashion show in a posh French mansion. Both looked equally incredible! While the French mansion had far more going on, the Prologue set has been my favorite so far. Little things like looking off the edge of the yacht during the mission and seeing blue tarp simulating water, and set lights in the distance were a small touch that I really appreciated.
The French mansion though??? Well I'll just let my terrible attempt at a walk through tell the story. I tried to make a quick run through but ended up getting into trouble early and just kind of gave up. It's pretty bad, but it gives you an idea of how beautiful this game is!
What does Hitman do better this time around? I think there's quite a bit more dark humor this time around. The series has always had a bit of humor injected, but I've really stumbled upon some chuckle worthy moments and situations in the first 2 episodes! Here's a couple examples of my shenanigans...
Sometimes it's intentional, sometimes it's just the way the game reacts to you being weird. Either way it always brings a little more light heartedness to the fact you are an assassin trying to kill someone.
It might be because I've been out of the universe of Hitman for awhile, but I feel like this version is a bit more difficult than past titles as well. If you think you'll be able to do the typical quick run and gun sans disguise you'll be shot down quick...literally. This is where the new "opportunity" mechanic comes in. Throughout your missions you'll get notifications of mission path's opening for you to complete your objective. This helps you distinguish the multiple paths and keeps you from aimlessly serving cocktail's as a waiter for hours waiting to serve poisoned champagne. It's not at all vital to completing missions, but does open up different aspects of the level which make for interesting play through. A lot of these opportunities also complete challenges which yield more items, options, and separate scenarios for later replays!
All this said there has been some controversy regarding the studios decision to do an episodic release. While there were a few detractors, gamers for the most part came to the consensus that this was a good move as it would give us a better game product in the long run. Now that it's here, let's go through the positives and negatives.
One of the big positives is that each level has a huge replay factor. It's impossible to complete every challenge and still complete the mission, so if you want all the items you gotta play again...and again...and again. It's not tedious it's actually fun as hell! I wouldn't take the time to replay if I had more missions to go through however, and I doubt a majority of us would until after a first completion.
Now let's talk a negative, and full disclosure, I have no idea if this is something that happened due to time constraint or not but it does drag the game down. Hitman has the dreaded "always online" thing that really can drag down a run through. In my three days of playing I've been kicked from an online play through 4 times...and my Xbox One is hard wired into my internet connection. While the game does have an offline mode, none of the challenges or unlocks can be accessed or completed unless you complete the mission online. I have no idea why, as it would seem like a fairly easy thing to make available offline! Personally I'm hoping they fix this problem down the line.
Another thing is the episodes are not auto downloading to my game. It'll notify me...but then it's on me to go to the Xbox store and get the new episode and side missions and it's a real pain in the ass. It's especially frustrating for someone who owns the complete package outright...it's not like I'm buying episode to episode! I already paid full price in good faith just do me the solid of putting it in the game for me when it's available.
Issues aside none have been so severe that I've stopped playing. I still love the game and see myself, barring further complications and catastrophe's, giving this one high marks. I highly suggest if you aren't buying this now to get it when you feel comfortable doing so especially if you like Hitman. Hands down the best entry in the series so far!