If you are looking for a next generation stealth fix, your search is over; Hitman’s got you covered.
The 7th game in a long running series, Hitman, developed by IO Interactive, is a sandbox assassination sim, where stealth is your number one allie. Originally released as an episodic game, the culmination of the ‘first season’ bring together a total of 9 mission under one roof to shoot or disguise your way through.
Whether you’re bounding between crowds in downtown Paris, or getting lost in a maze of rooms in a Bangkok hotel, there is massive, near infinite amount of choice in how, when and where, you deliver the most final of justice to your targets.
Play aggressive with full body armour, a fist full of shells, and a boomstick in tow. Or maybe slink around like a snake, everybody strangled to a cold slumber, while you steal their unneeded cloths, to assassinate your target without being harassed.
Whatever your preference – I usually pick the boom stick option – Hitman can and will provide.
The previous Hitman Game; Hitman Absolution was a linear and story based affair and a step away from what made the previous Hitman games great. I Remember playing the first Hitman on PC and it was a great game, as hard as adamantium coffin nails, and so ahead of its time with the open levels and do whatever the hell you want gameplay.
But Absolution’s mechanics, theme and tempo were all inexplicably different from the established Hitman norm. It ditched the beautiful sandbox gameplay for, only one way will work, dumb it down, console crap.
This new Hitman has rectified the situation, you will have to use your brain and creativity once again. Agent 47 is back, and he’s better than ever.
And the best way to show you he’s back is to walk through the first mission.
Walk through of the First Mission
Welcome to the First Mission
The first mission acts as a guided training session where a woman with the thickest English accent that almost made my ears tingle from tinnitus as she threw instructions at me. What? I’m welsh with strong valleys accent! The English accent doesn’t agree with me. Suffice to say I did my best to ignore her as often as possible.
The level, though modest, offered far more possibilities to assassinate my target than I first realized. The mission could be played out in a multitude of ways and I counted at least 15 different ways to ‘bump off’ fancy pants Kalvin Ritter. A great indicator of the depth, complexity and choice of assassination type that is offered in later missions.
As the level loaded, my mission was made clear: Hunt down criminal Kalvin Ritter (He specialized in priceless art. Who doesn’t?)
Additionally, I was reminded early on that this was a simulation of a prior mission carried out by a different agent. All weapons would be fake and fire blanks, so no slaughter then. How boring.
The level began with the camera sliding in behind my bar code tattooed friend, Agent 47. He stood there, balled head lit up like a golden-pink balloon, as a construction site light draped the area in a fake sunset light. As his head wandered from side to side, his neck stretching in a stripped turtle neck scouting the area for advantages and hazards, he looked ready to do ‘business.’ Agent 47 looks like somebody you wouldn’t mess with. As with every Hitman game that has come before, Number 47 is the star of the show.
As I do with all games on first loading up, I can’t help but spin the camera and take in my surroundings. A simulated, made from wood and nails, super yacht sat before me, probably on painted blue concrete or something like that. As it turns out, that’s exactly what it was: A fake ship, on blue concrete. A number of cars were dotted around the dock area. One particularly nice car had a gentleman in a white suite with a distinctive red shirt blanketed underneath.
Along with the cars, there was some makeshift wooden structures and the occasional palm swaying in a faked breeze. Aboard the ship must have been over 100 hundred people. They all Partied, milled around without a care in the world. All playing their part in this elaborate training mission. And all of this drawn on a giant canvas, draped behind, acting as the sky. The sun, a bright 4 stroke gantry light, painted the orange hues of a Med sun as it tired from a hard days shinning. Ready to slide under the blanket of the horizon.
The graphics seemed attractive, as most games this generation do, but they had a starkness about them, a basic feel that worked well with the core mythos of the game. Agent 47 is not a cold killer, randomly striking out with gun or knife, spilling color. No, he’s controlled, simple, and uncomplicated. I liked how the graphics echoed that.
Trying to Get on Board.
I walked forward to get a feel for how the game responded. As 47 strode forward, he held the gate of a Terminator that had forlorn knowledge of his impending victory. Suffice to say, the agent that my nimble figures controlled did not lack in confidence.
I strode forward, slowly, half looking to drink in the atmosphere, half attempting to curl a nail bitten grip around the different controls. The basics presented themselves quickly: run, cover, duck, all elegantly laid out on my PS4 controller. (Yes, you all know I’m a console gamer at heart!)
Out before me, to the side of the makeshift boat, was a metal staircase that led up-to the first deck. Two men, bound in the garb of police, stood steadfastly and protected the way up.
Over I walked, taking care not to run, or doing anything suspicious, anything that would give myself away as a potential threat. As I approached the police protecting the stairs I got the standard, ‘you can’t go here, piss off,’ bullshit. My blood, brought to a simmer by the policeman’s arrogance, made me search for a weapon to use against them. I quickly flicked through my inventory to find I had kindly been outfitted with a silenced hand gun.
Should I pull it out and pop a cap in the heads of these insolent fools? Nah, better not. By the time I shot one of the cops, all hell would break loose on the ship and my chance of getting to Ritter without mowing down half the on board guard would slip away faster than Usain Bolt running toward a finish line. No, I would have to find another way.
Need to Find another Way In
I turned around and headed for the single building I had access too. Made from wood like the rest of the elaborate set peace, the area immediately outside was a traffic jam of large shipping boxes, wooden crates and other traveler detritus. I slithered through the mass and entered through a door way.
Inside was another collection of boxes, oil drums, a door that had ‘toilet’ written in a muddy scrawl upon it. The storage area was typical of a working harbor, but there in the corners was a target. A man emblazoned with a yellow safety jacket, and the cargo pants of an engineer, stood stopped over what looked like manifesto or… It didn’t matter, his attention fixed upon the unimportant, I slothed over, crouched upon the floor, silent like a mouse in a grave yard on Christmas eve.
I got so close, on a cold night my breath would have prickled the hairs on the man’s neck. Then with snap of the square button, I lunged up and forward, a meaty arm grasped and squeezing down upon the engineer’s neck. His wind pipe constricted, he fell down, indistinguishable wheezes and squeaks escaped with whatever little oxygen could pass by my forearm. And then he fell limp to the floor.
With his body splayed out across the concrete, the option to change into his clothes presented it self to me and I would not turn it down. Within moments I was Agent 47, mechanic extraordinaire. With the fluorescent vest strapped around my broad chest, I wrapped my fingers around the unconscious engineers wrist – I had resisted the erg to break his neck you will be happy to know – and dragged him toward door that apparently had a toilet behind it.
Opening the door, I was greeted by a toilet that looked as bad as it probably smelt. The stench of stale urine, bitter, foul, hard edged, assaulted my nostrils. Damn my amazing imagination. Resisting the urge to gag, I spied a locker, the perfect place to hide the body. I popped the metal door open with a sharp squeal from the hinges, slid the gentleman inside – night night – and slowly pushed the door shut to minimize any noise. They won’t find him in a hurry.
Time to get on board.
Having stolen a new set of threads, I wandered back to the faux ship and strait past the guards standing sentinel at the steel steps. I climbed up, the metal slippery and squeaking underfoot, and stepped out on to the hollow thud of the wooden ship. The yacht was heaving with party goers, many of them out on deck, drink in hand, chatting about their businesses, legal and not so legal, as they bathed in a bath of tangerine light. The first think I had to do was find my target.
Bat… I mean Hitman Vision
Fortunately, finding him would be the easy part. Hitman comes complete with its very own take on Batman Arkham Asylums Bat vision.(Please tell me you have played that game?!) With a hold of R1, the screen drained away color like a child that spotted a ghost, and wire-framed all the ‘important people’ in the mission in an x-ray style.
My main target stood out from all the other people as the Hitman vision painted him a blood red, which is ironic considering it’s my job to drain him of all his red. Whether my target was sat next to me, or half way across the map, the Hitman vision will paint him color crimson and identify him.
As it turned out, he was situated at the bow, the front, of the ship. The Hitman vision is a great addition to the game as it keeps your eye on the prize. You can get to know your targets movements intimately, staying as close to them as a tick on a dog. You never feel lost, never left in a crowd with your eye bouncing from one person to the next, asking yourself who the hell am I supposed to kill. Hitman Vision gives you purpose, literally at your finger tips.
Up To The Bar.
Having had the Hitman vision paint a clear picture Kalvin Ritters whereabout, I just had to make my way to him, asses the situation, then make a decision. Would it be the right time to strike immediately or would it be better to wait? I slid forward, out from the bowels of the ship I had found myself in, out toward the side decking in an effort to inch my way closer to the target area. The crowd of people thickened, the millionaires flaunted, flirted, and spilling $100 glasses of champaign as if it were but water.
The type of people that wipe their arses with $50 bills then. I slithered through the teaming mass, my arms gently guiding the unbalanced and unaware to one side, I was a ghost in plain site.
My eye flitted from side to side, looking for the odd look, the slow reach for a concealed weapon. My fingers were ready to jump into action if needed. But the need never came. I walked, as nonchalantly as possible, into a bar area. The last place Hitman vision placed Mr Ritters.
There, standing up against the bar in a deep purple jacket and plum hued sun glasses was my target. And 2 yards behind him; a bodyguard. I can recognize a heavy anywhere. The body guard dressed in all black, and happy to flaunt his UZI 9mm, stood with eyes hidden behind jet black sun glasses. I stayed well clear. I couldn’t take on that firepower yet. Ritters was having a conversation with the barman, leaning in with interest, he suddenly straitened, and without looking around, walked out of the bar. It was my cue to follow him.
You’re Not Allowed Up Here
Following Ritters and his body guard out of the bar, they aimed to make their way up some stairs to another level; Ritters own private deck. At the bottom of the stairs was another body guard. Ritters and his personal muscle, walked past unobstructed. I casually walked over, only to be warned I wasn’t allowed up. To hammer home his point, the bouncer rolled back the lip of his jacket to expos the smallest twinkle of gun barrel, I had a feeling I wouldn’t get another warning, so I gave him some space.
Knowing the only way to get up in my mechanics uniform would be to force the situation which would end in gallons of blood shed and my own death, I decided I desperately needed to find an alternative route up. As I Stood Idle, racking my brains for an answer, a man walked out a door before me wearing all white, plate in hand, a chefs hat puffing like a mushroom on top his head. He walked strait past the guard and up the stairs in chase of Mr Ritters. The door swung back shut, Kitchen typed out in thick black font on the front. So cooks are allowed up! Interesting.
I Slid over to the door, opened it up and walked in, being careful to close it behind me. The room was a typical kitchen, cooking machines sat in a large island in the middle. Around the perimeter, apart from one large trunk, were metal shelves stacked high with pots, pans, utensils, and ingredients.
At the end of the island of was a lone chef. Carving away at vegetables next to a steaming pot. He was engrossed in his work, I doubted if he even knew I was in the room. I walked down to the other end to get in behind him, and as I did, noticed two potential weapons at hand; A hammer, a large wrench.
I slid behind him and the option to knock him out appeared, I pressed square, and within seconds, all my might went into chocking, nearly, all the life out of him. In return for my bear hug embrace his body slumped to the ground.
I quickly changed into the all white of the chefs uniform, and dumped the exposed body into the trunk sat snuggly against the wall. I stood up and before leaving the relative safety of the kitchen, noticed I could poison the food he was making. It was just a hint that even in this ‘small’ tutorial level, there was huge variety to perform your mission. It hinted to the massive choice you would have in each mission later on.
Having gained another disguise, It was time to test it out. I sauntered through the kitchen door and without so much as a muttering from the guard on duty, walked up the stairs to Ritters’ private level.
The metal clanged and echoed as my feat fell heavily upon each step until I was back on the bass thud of the wood. There were less people up here, far less than there were down stairs. It seemed like the private level was reserved for extra special guests. Taking a moment in the quieter lull, I pressed R1 to bring up the Hitman vision. My target was standing, his red silhouette arms gesticulating as if in conversation, at the fore end of the ship. I let go of R1 and the color flowed back into the screen like a wave washing over dry sand on a lazy Sunday.
I headed strait to the fore, moving past individuals, a hand to a shoulder here, a side ways slide there and I was out in the open, the fake orange of the sun turned the white of my chef attire into orange peel. I looked around and there was the man in plums purple, leaning up against a railing looking over the splendor of his ‘floating’ fan party. Next to him stood a makeshift bar with another man in what looked like cooks cloths standing making drinks.
An indicator showed Ritter was suspicious, his head turning, his eyes squinting in a struggle to identify who or even more frighteningly what I was. Instinctively, I slid in behind the bar, I was a cook after all, in an attempt to blend in. It worked! I interacted and made drinks as I waited for my chance. Then he arrived…
The man in the white hat
Within a few seconds of attempting not to spill drink all over my bleached shirt, a man in white arrived and started talking to Ritters. He was the same man down by the car when I first started the level. I should watch him in future play throughs as it seemed he had the run of the place. For a moment, they exchanged pleasantries, something about not being able to drink before 6pm, then Ritters invited the man to his office. With no protesting, the man in the red shirt, turned and walked away with Ritters. Perhaps my chance would arise in his office.
You’re Not Coming in Here Pal
As the 2 men slinked off to a more private conversation venue, I slipped out from behind the rickety temporary bar and followed them. There were people stumbling around everywhere intoxicated on alcohol and adrenaline. There was no quiet corner to get a shot off, no dark room to strangle my target to an oxygen starved death. No I would have to be patient.
The men walked a little further then arrived at a door. A guard garbed in black, hand wrapped tight like bandages around a black Uzi; must be the gun of the day. The 2 men paused, Ritters cocked the door handle, an they both walked in, then closed the door behind them with gentle slap. As I approached, the guard, looked me from foot to face, raised his gun a little higher, then told me to ‘piss off,’ – how rude. He then lowered his gun back down.
There was no way I could take this guy down before he got a shot off. I couldn’t get in behind him, and if I selected my silenced gun, he would notice it in my hand before I raised it to get shot off. I’d be toast. There had to be another way…
The Open Window.
Occam’s razor stipulates that the simplest solution is often the right one. Well, when trying to get into a room to assassinate a target always look for an open window before trying the complicated. Having been denied entry by the guard, I at least knew where the room was, its shape, and roughly how big it was. I headed to the outside of the ship and turned toward the direction in which I thought Ritters room would be located.
It turned out, Ritters’ office had commandeered the main bridge as his new office. Panoramic windows ran the full length of the room’s perimeter, except two had been removed on one side. I walked over, as calmly as I could muster, and clambered in through the windowless frames. I found myself behind the two gentlemen. Ritters was standing by his desk, hand placed on keyboard near a computer typing something out.
The white suit man, was standing by the window, surveying what would have been the sea. I delved into the menu, spun through my items until my hand gun popped into view, then fell back into the gameplay. With a pull of the left trigger, my gun site raised. I steadied a bead on the head of Ritters and pulled the trigger. There was a thud. A puff of red from the head. His body fell limp and silent to the floor.
The distinct taste or iron filled my mouth as the red mist aerosoled through the room. Before the man in white could notice, I picked his head as a target, pulled the trigger, and a red bloom gave way to a wet thud as his face planted the floor. These guys won’t be causing much trouble any more.
My mission a success it was now time to head off the ship and reach the extraction point. The bodies still warm and with a bit more metal, I left them and climbed back out the window I came in. Stood, looked left and right, and calmly walked down two flights of stairs past police, guards, and civilians, then down off the metal ramp to take me back onto the dock. Nobody had a clue I had just put a bullet in the brain of their boss. An indicator showed my extraction point; a car near the dock exit. I walked over, and as I approached the level ended.
What an Introduction
Hitman’s first tutorial level, was sublime to play though. It was simple, short, yet conveyed all the key aspects that made the series so beloved by its fans. I would go onto another mission and walk you though my success and failings. But that would spoil it for you. And I don’t think the editor will be happy if I go over the word count.
What other missions await you
The Prologue Continued
After completing the opening yacht mission, the games tutorials continue on as you look to assassinate a cyber criminal in the heart of Cuban military base. After this it’s a change of scenery and content as you fly off to dazzling Paris for your first full assignment.
Paris will have you infiltrate the very heart of society in this blood pumping mission in the centre of the fashion capital of the world.
Here you will get the chance to eliminate a shadowy crime syndicate in the middle of a frech palace as a full blown ball elegantly parades around you.
Here you’ll head to sunny Sapienza, a coastal town in Mediterranean hugging Italy. This little town is full of dark mysteries, Hitman breaking challenges and contemporary and ancient architecture for the creative assassin to use to his or her advantage.
After the European glitz of France and Italy, You will dash off to the dry lands of the dust blown Moroccan city of Marrakesh. Violence has broken out beyond the gates of the Swedish consulate, and it’s agent 47’s job to find out what’s going on and put an end to it; by spilling blood if necessary.
Located next to the Phraya river outside Bangkok, the Himmapan Hotel will be the stage for one of your most difficult missions yet. You get to explore thee massive halls and endless rooms of this opulent hotel. And once you find your way out of this max, you can explore the natural splendor that surrounds Himmapan. Slither your way through tropical gardens that cling, vine like, to the exterior pavilions. You must hunt down some of the most dangerous criminals in Thailand, but can you navigate this massive maze without causing stir?
What was once a quiet farming community has been converted into a militia training camp. Upon infiltrating the cultivated pastures you’ll find the place overrun with ‘modern warfare’ gorilla fighters that have taken the idea of the war of intelligence literal by training their own group of elite hackers, weapons experts, and intelligence gathering agents.
Colorado, offers an intense infiltration mission that will force you to change your tactics on the fly. To drop tired and trusted technique in favor of the creative and sometimes outlandish.
In this mission, Angent 47 is tasked with hunting down and infiltrating the elusive and exclusive Gama medical facility that cloaks itself in snow high in the Japanese mountains. Here you will find all the luxuries private health car can off, and all the dangers sinister criminals with ulterior motives can hide.
Having been a huge fan of the Hitman Franchise since its inception, this new Hitman game is everything every fan of the series could have hopped for. It has righted all the wrongs of Hitman absolution. Removed the ball and chain that was the linearity and story. Reintroduced the sprawling sand box levels. And brought back everything that made this franchise such a massive hit.
From the opening level that re-introduces you to infinite possibilities that Agent 47 affords, to the sprawling maze like levels that comes after, this is a game that gives and gives until you can’t take any more.
Hitman, is back, and this is its best ever outing. I have no issue in stating that. I thoroughly enjoyed ever aspect of my play through.
If you are after a slice of stealth action, If you looking for a game that hasn’t caved in to the pressure of the Call of Duty generation, If you want a game that throws you in to a situation, expecting you to work it all out for yourself, Hitman is the game you need.
It is one for the connoisseurs of gaming, the gamers who want a more intellectually stimulating experience. And I for one Love it.
So Hitman, Go get it, you’ll thank me later.
-Stunning stealth action
-Solid shooting mechanics
-Huge amount of choice
-Perfecting a level is satisfying
-Lots of extras and DLC
-Great, if a little uninspiring, graphics
-Good selection of main missions
-Infinite variety of contract missions
-Huge, open levels
-Extremely creative ways to ‘end’ your targets.
-No story to hold you back, just strait up gameplay.
-Animation can be a bit wooden.
-No real story
I Recommend Hitman as a ** MUST BUY** for all fans of stealth, or games where you have to use your brain a little more.