The concept of the Hitman series has always intrigued me -- you’re an assassin who has to kill people and not be caught doing so. Yes, it’s that simple; come on, the title is Hitman! The bald-headed killer-for-hire travels the world taking out evil people, so all is good because you’re not just some psycho -- you’re a professional.
However, I’ve never gotten into the franchise because I felt that it was slow and boring. I was too impatient to wait for the right moment, so I’d wade in gun-first and fail in minutes. However, I decided to actually approach Hitman as it should be -- take in everything, wait, watch and plan. It kinda almost worked, with only the odd moment of chucking a bust at the wrong person’s head, and attempt to be gung-ho.
Hitman returns Agent 47, the franchise protagonist, to the employ of the International Contract Agency. Hitman Absolution saw him leave The Agency (or just ICA as it is often called), but previous games aren’t spoken of. There is, however, an awesome credit/title sequence after the tutorial which shows a ‘greatest hits’ of the past several titles, so it is an actual sequel not a reboot.
Now that Season One has ended, Hitman has six levels. You might be saying “only six, what good is that?” Well, I must have spent nine hours on this game. Yes, you can finish the levels in under an hour if everything goes right for you, but with the bi-weekly Elusive Targets and a special Holiday mission things took a little longer. Also tons of reloading save games.
The main story sees you taking out targets as normal, before you discover it’s all a part of a bigger plot. Unfortunately the plot is only discovered towards the end, so I assume it will be the main point of Season Two. Honestly, I can’t wait for it. But I will have to, as Square Enix haven’t actually confirmed a Season Two past referring to Hitman so far as Season One… At least each mission is replayable.
Each kill can be handled in numerous ways -- poison the food, shoot them from across the room, push them off a cliff… In one of the missions I was nowhere near the target when they died, thanks to my machinations. But before that you have to actually get to them -- do you steal a keycard, dress up in disguise, sneak in with a distraction…? Each level is huge and has a variety of ways to do everything -- so long as you cover isn’t blown by someone realising you’re not who you’re pretending to be or seeing you with a body.
Each different way used to kill will also complete Challenges, which earn you experience points. Getting a higher your level will let you choose better equipment and different starting positions in the mission loadout. Unfortunately, your level doesn’t carry over between missions, so acing Paris over and over won’t help you complete Hokkaido.
The Elusive Targets appear for a few days to a week, and you only have one shot at killing them. No saving and loading, no restarting -- win or lose, that one shot is all you get. You can take on player-made missions, which set you on the trail of some random NPC in one of the game’s six locations. I’ve not attempted any of those yet, but I certainly shall while I await Season Two.