Stealth and trickery are the usual suspects of the 2016 action-adventure game, “Hitman.” The sixth installment of the assassin-based game was put out by Danish studio Io-Interactive, a subsidiary of Square Enix.
This installment of “Hitman” utilizes a rather peculiar story arc, focusing on the before and after of the current timeline. The game is being released in episodic fashion, which means the game is coming out piecemeal monthly instead of one large release.
“Hitman” is a third-person-based stealth game that follows the quiet, collected character simply named “Agent 47.” Agent 47 is a highly-trained assassin of an organization that pulls the scenes of society behind the curtain to move the economy and politics as they see fit.
A genetically-enhanced superhuman, Agent 47 is described as having above-average speed, strength, stamina and mental acuity. In addition, 47 has been the recipient of advanced espionage training since childhood, turning him into a superb killing machine.
It becomes apparent during his training that 47 is not a fan of the position he has been forced into, as it is revealed that he holds a very large amount of hatred for his trainers, often injuring them in fits of rage.
The game’s timeline takes place during the final evaluations of Agent 47’s training. During the last stages of this, his handlers decide that he is far too dangerous to be allowed into real world scenarios without any form of leverage against him should he turn against them. In light of this, one of his handler’s rig his final test for him to fail, and the initial mission is about you overcoming the rigged test to be allowed out into the world finally.
For games like “Hitman,” the appeal of the game doesn’t reside in the story, the targets Agent 47 is assigned to kill, nor the assigned weapons available to use. The full range of creativity…this is the true gem of “Hitman.”
Instead of just shooting enemies full of lead, the very obvious and vanilla route, players can plan for fireworks to go off at a certain time, lighting the targets dress on fire and encasing them in a burning inferno. There is also the standard variety of long range sniper weapons, close range pistols or blades and the unique use of explosives to either destroy targets or make it look like an accident.
The only downfall of “Hitman” is not so much the fact that it is being released in an episodic fashion, but that the game itself feels incomplete. The mechanics seem rushed or often not used to the full purpose it seems they were originally intended for.
Nevertheless, the game has a lot of potential and there are still quite a few more episodes to be released, so I can give it a high recommendation, especially if for players who have enjoyed the previous installments of the series.