|System: PS4, Xbox One, PC|
|Pub: Square Enix|
|Release: March 11, 2016|
|Players: 1 Player|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080i||Blood, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes|
What's really nice is that the camera and controls are something you learn in the first few minutes and then forget about. The little mechanics that should be invisible are invisible. Sneaking, scaling and climbing, taking cover, throwing, shooting... no matter what you need to do at any given moment, you're never more than a simple button-press away from making it happen. The only thing that got in the way of my playing was an inconsistent indication of who could see me and who couldn't. Sometimes you'll be in an occupied room, but you're able to subdue a person, steal their clothes, and hide the body as long as they're in a dark corner. Other times you'll sneak up behind a guard, and as soon as you wrap around their neck to choke them out soldiers 100 meters away, soldiers who you thought weren't even looking in your general direction, will see what you're doing and engage you immediately.
Typically, and this is especially true if you're going for more difficult objectives that require your not being detected, this forces you to restart the mission or load up a save file. This wouldn't be a big deal if the load times weren't so awful. It takes almost a minute for a stage to load or reload. That may not sound like much, but next time you reach a peak of action in a game you're playing, press pause and watch the second hand of your watch go all the way around before starting back up. This is easily my biggest gripe about the game. It's structured in such a way that not only encourages, but requires that you try to take out targets in a variety of ways, but whenever you fail - and you'll fail a lot - you have to sit through a painfully long loading screen.
When you're playing and engaged, Hitman is a thoughtful, well-paced, and beautiful introduction to what should be an incredible multi-part adventure. It's hard to imagine how Square Enix and IO could possibly screw up something this good. If nothing else, for $15 The Prologue and Paris Showstopper missions are absolutely worth your time and money. The stages were so lovingly pieced together and offer you seemingly endless possibilities for creative, violent expression. Even after you execute every hit every way you possibly can, you can create your own contracts or take on those of your peers for an extra challenge. It's an incredible bang for the buck, and I can't wait to to head to Italy next month.
Date: March 11, 2016