What can be said about the game where you play a nameless bald man with a barcode? Perfection. It’s been 4 years since the last Hitman game, so what does Square Enix have in store for us this go around?
The original Hitman game was released back 2000 by IO Interactive, when we were introduced to 47 – a genetically modify assassin who was contract by the Agency to take out targets around the world. The original game was clunky, had control issues, but overall an engaging story. It pioneered a blend of action and stealth with assassinations the primary objective. Next came Hitman 2: Silent Assassin. In this game, players were able continue to make their own decision and decide their own path to take out the games bosses. The story was an out of “retirement” tale about 47 in a path of redemption from the life of being an assassin. In ’04 we were treated to “Contracts” in which it was essentially a remake of the original game. Hitman 3 Blood Money was next in the series, which detailed the corruption and espionage in The Agency intertwined with other political intrigue.
The story was told from a third person and in flashbacks, and ended with a wonderful finally securing the identity of our skilled killer. Finally we had Hitman Absolution, where with wonderful graphics and new gameplay and abilities – we saw the game from a new light. The story took an interesting twist here, with even more cover-ups and government secrets.
So now we have Hitman, the new game in the series. One of the downfalls to Absolution was a very linear level design in which the player still had choice, but still followed a predefined path in the levels. In the next installment we are going back to the roots of the original games, in which level design is fluid almost like mini worlds – with various paths that a player can take to get to the end point: assassinating your target. One of the staples of Absolution will return – large crowds and lots of AI. Levels in Hitman will be larger than that of Absolution with the same fill rate of crowds and NPCs. Checkpoints have been dropped moving back to the traditional “save as you please”. One of my favorite modes of play was the higher difficulty in which the number of saves was limited – making the game even harder.
Contracts, something introduced in Absolution also return in the new game, as a welcomed way of showcasing user created contracts and maps. Instinct will also return but in a more subdued limited use, as in Absolution it was slightly overpowered and used.
Everyone is excited to step into the shows of 47 again, with new contracts that seem to be back to the simple roots of the game – you are given the assignment and have the freedom to choose how to play it out. One thing being tried differently this time around is release content. Essentially there will be 2 versions of the game: The full traditional version which will include the entire game and the other option is a “trial” pack, where for part of the cost you can gain basic access to the game to try it out, and if you wish to play more – have the ability to pay the difference to get the entire release. This is an interesting twist to game release, which gives the player an option to try the game out, instead of paying full price.
Are you excited about the new Hitman game? What are you looking forward to, what are you hoping they will change and improve? Make your comments below!