We’ve been lucky enough lately to get hold of the latest edition of the Hitman series, from IO Interactive and Square Enix. We have loved Hitman since its initial release back at the turn of the millenium and we were super excited to get some time with this title as a part of our Parent’s Guide series. It’s not exactly all we hoped for, but we still rate it as a decent purchase.
The first bone to pick is the episodic release format, which can act as a sort of money spinner for some publishers but not that we can see in this case. While we are limited to one main story zone, that of the Sanguine fashion show in Paris, there is a fairly comprehensive tutorial and test zone, which both give a little more, while they are not as large as the main Story area.
As well as the story missions, we have the Contracts area we saw in Absolution, which does add another string to the bow, letting you test your mettle against hits requested by other players, as well as challenging them by creating your own contracts. As well as that, escalation mode and Elusive Targets will keep us going, as the episodes release monthly throughout the year.
It’s worth noting that you do not have to purchase episodes individually, and for a one off payment, coming in a little cheaper than some AAA titles, you can purchase the whole season of episodes, and download as and when they are released.
This game definitely has us hooked. The Loading times are a fair bit longer than we’d like, and the menus are rather clunky, and a little tedious to use, however once you get into the gameplay itself, we are back at our Hitman roots. With enough guidance for new players, allowing them to get the most from the game, it does have the option to turn off assistance, leaving you with just your wits, and the whisper of overheard conversations guiding you through the Parisian mansion.
If you purchase the Full Experience or the standalone Paris starter pack, you’ll be looking at the main Paris sandbox, as well as two training areas, all of which are covered with different challenges for those completionists among us. The same three levels also serve as locations for any player created contracts as well as Elusive Target and Escalation mode
Escalation mode pits you in the same hit, again and again. With the contract getting harder each go round. While you may just have to terminate your target on mission one, mission two may see you required to do it with a certain weapon, or in a particular disguise. This ramps up as we move up the levels. Elusive targets are available only for a moment, and you have to concentrate to make sure you don’t miss the window for these hard to touch hits.