Developer: IO Interactive, Nixxes Software (PC)
Publisher: Square Enix
Age Rating: 18
Platforms: Xbox 360, playstation 3, PC
Review platform: Xbox 360
So, I guess a good place to start is by saying that before this game, I’ve never played any others in the series so far. I wasn’t sure what I was in for really. I knew the game was highly anticipated by a lot of fans of the series, as a game in the series has not been released since the release of the Xbox 360, which is almost a millennium ago I think.
As I was new to this series, I’ll start by saying about the difficulty and the games play style first.
I played through the game on Normal difficulty, which is what I do with every game, just feels right to not have a massive challenge first time around, so you can enjoy the game and story whilst not raging over how insanely hard one part is. However, because of me being a noob to the series, I actually found Normal difficulty very hard. I think the majority of it was just learning about how to play the game, when to be stealthy, and when to be all out aggressive. But that’s part of learning. I think there should be more games with this type of game play style in my opinion. Too many games now are just easy to pick up, play and complete, without any thought or learning. So it was nice to have a challenge to actually learn.
The story revolves around Agent 47, a well known Hitman from an organisation known as The Agency. This is what got me, a Hitman is supposed to be mysterious and not recognizable, yet, everywhere you go people say, “Do I know that man?” or “He looks awfully familiar”, even so without a disguise you still stick out like a sore thumb! Anyway’s back to the story, Diana, 47′s old handler, now 47′s target for assassination, why? She kidnaps an asset of The Agency, Victoria, another trained assassin, though training is forced on her. So 47 goes and takes out Diana not realising that she was not the target, she was just protecting Victoria who was created, not birthed. Created without anyone’s knowledge she was to become the next assassin after 47, but I guess 47 and Diana had other ideas. I feel that the story was a bit bland, it was really unravelled in the cutscenes alot more than the gameplay, that is where the story really came to life. I felt that for a man who did not let his emotions get involved with his line of work, he brought so much of it to the game with his passion to save Victoria.
This is obviously the highlight of the game. I have never played a game like Hitman before, the sandbox-like story telling creates so many possible ways to plan and finish each mission, and I think that’s what gives this game so much replay value. Especially with its score system. I enjoy trying to better my score, and seeing how going full on stealth mode affects my score compared to going in with guns blazing, as you are rewarded for both styles of play style, but are rewarded more for the stealthier side of play. I love the instinct abilities, like being able to predict where enemies are walking to, which is displayed as a line of fire on the ground. Also being able to see enemies through walls and also objects of interest is a much needed help, as you can use this to your advantage to plan routes, whether they’re for stealth purposes or an offensive purpose. I love that you can pick up numerous items per level to use as weapons, like screwdrivers and fire pokers. It adds diversity to the game play, which is never a bad thing.
The graphics in this game are very pleasing. Minor details in this game are just everywhere. From ciggarette butts stuck into vents and all the details inside the buildings, you can see so much time has been put into making sure every corner of this game is the best it can be. The lighting effects are also nice, and I praise the game for allowing so many characters on screen at once. Like in the second mission “The King of Chinatown”. It feels like a lively and real place as it seems like the people have their own way to go, and act in the environment as they should. This could be improved obviously, by making the people more diverse in clothing, and all that. But I don’t think that is necessary.