Hitman: The baldy bitch-slapping bastard with the big Silver Ballers is back once again like the Renegade Master!
This time round, we start off 20 years earlier, taking us back to before the first title, Hitman: Codename 47, but it doesn’t take too long before you’re back in familiar territory. There are so many ways to skin a rabbit, or even, kill people: poison in a drink, garotting, scissors to the head or even drowning in the toilet – always making sure you dispose of the body where possible.
After you complete a mission one way, you get the option to complete it in other ways, eg. the first one, on the yacht, allows you to bump off the baddie in any way you choose. Next time, it’s with rat poison. However, this just extends the training-type scenario, and if you’ve played all the games in the series, as I have done, then you have no reason to do endless training – you just want to get stuck into the game proper!!
Sadly, as Hitman 2016 is being released in episodic form, you’ll be waiting a long time to do that, since just as you get started… it’s over!
Square Enix say they’re doing this so that they can get each section exactly as it should be, but since they’ve had over 3 years to make this title, shouldn’t they have done that already? I know there’s been other games releases this way such as Life Is Strange and Game Of Thrones, but personally, I don’t get it. When I watch a TV drama, I prefer to check out an episode or two each day (not possible with conventional scheduling, but we’re definitely moving away from that), so I want my games the same way.
I know one of the main features of the Hitman series is that you can attempt to smackdown the enemy in numerous ways, and while I’ve completed the Paris section one way, there are many others to attempt (you can see the video of my taking down the two targets in the video featured), but this opening episode still feels like we’ve only been given one proper mission with two training missions and that shouldn’t be the case.
That said, you can attempt Contracts, including those created by other gamers, one simply telling you to take out the annoying reporter, Lindsey La Couer, at the start of the Paris mission, and then escape.
Go to page 2 for more thoughts about the game.
The graphics look stunning BUT, how come – even on a rig as fast as mine, everything slows down from time to time? If I walk about slowly and the location’s not too busy, then it’s okay but fill it with moving bodies, and it’s more jerky than jerk chicken. Frequently the game autosaves, and that also causes a slow-down during this time. Why?? The same thing happened with Tom Clancy’s The Division, also released in the same week. I started off with everything on max and scaled it back a bit, but even after that, the problems were still there. This is a great shame as the locations are incredibly lush. I’ve subsequently learned that if I change Vsync to ‘2’, it makes things a bit more smooth, but it also drops the framerate down to 30fps, and I love the look in 60fps, which is very much what you want an expensive graphics card to produce.
When it comes to the audio, at first, I was having issues with background sound stop/starting. Sometimes it was atmospheric effects – such as the wind blowing one moment and then not the next, before starting up again; other times it’s background music and, in the Paris episode, it included the TV presenter being filmed. Her dialogue stop/started like Norman Collier ! However, a reboot seemed to fix this, but it didn’t solve any of the graphics anomolies.
I’m using a Logitech joypad and, while the game does recognise when I’ve switched between pressing buttons on the keyboard and using the controller, the training level tells me to press the wrong buttons. “A” should be “X”, “B” should be “A”, and “X” should be “B”. It gets “Y” right, though! However, there are some oddities, such as when I approached the entrance to the boat in the training level and a graphic came up telling me I needed a disguise… yet there was no way to remove that without going back to the mouse and clicking it away. Why can’t “B” for back work like every other game? Or maybe it’d be “A” this time.
And why “Hitman“? That’s the same as Thief 4 being named “Thief“, and the forthcoming fourth Doom game simply being called “Doom“. Since this game was subtitled in the trailer, “Enter a world of assassination”, and since you jet around the world bumping people off, it should’ve been called “Hitman: World of Assassination“. I can’t imagine why they missed this!
On the plus side, at least this didn’t fall foul the way of Hitman: Absolution when it would finish off a level for you, carrying out the assassination as if you weren’t there. Seriously, what the hell was that all about??
The next episodes will feature Sapienza (April), Marrakesh (May), plus Thailand, USA and Japan later in the year, but I think this is a mis-step, and that people will lose interest with the game released that way. A physical copy of the whole thing won’t be available until January 2017, which is 10 months after this one came out. Perhaps Square Enix thought that it could repeat the success you see with Young Adult dystopian future movies such as The Hunger Games and Divergent, but as other titles are released throughout the year, I’m not sure Agent 47 fans are going to be tossing coins Hitman’s way on a regular basis throughout the year.
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- Publisher: Square Enix
- Players: single player campaign
- HDTV options: 720p/1080i/1080p
- Dolby Digital 5.1 sound: Yes
- Spoken language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Intel i7 Six Core Processor i7-5820K (3.3GHz) 15MB Cache
ASUS® X99-A: ATX, HSW-E CPU, USB 3.0, SATA 6 GB/s Motherboard
16Gb Kingston Hyper-X Fury DDR4 2133MHz (2 x 8GB)
4GB nVidia GeForce GTX 980
250Gb Samsung 850 EVO SSD, SATA 6Gb/s (upto 540Mb/sR | 520Mb/sW)
3Tb 3.5″ SATA-III 6GB/s HDD 7200rpm 64Mb cache
16x BLU-RAY WRITER DRIVE, 16x DVD ±R/±RW
CORSAIR 750W CS Series Modular 80 Plus ® Gold, Ultra Quiet
Creative Sound Blaster Z 5.1 PCI-E Soundcard – OEM
WIRELESS 802.11N 300Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit w/SP1
Zalman Z11 Plus Black Mid Tower Case
Directors: Christian Elverdam and James D Mortellaro
Producers: Hakan Abrak, Markus Friedl and Ole Mogensen
Writers: Michael Vogt, Oliver Winding, Hans Lucht, Thomas Golzen and Fredrik Gyllenhoff
Music: Niels Bye Nielsen
Agent 47: David Bateson
Diana: Marsha Thomason
The Gatekeeper: Philip Rosch
Various characters: Martin Frislev Ammitsbøl, Kenneth Andersson, Catharina Christie, Anders Heinrichsen, Heidi Keller and Kim Sønderholm
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.
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