Were You Disappointed With Hitman’s First Season?

Were You Disappointed With Hitman’s First Season?

Agent 47 will be arriving in Colorado very soon. As Square Enix starts drumming up hype for the penultimate episode of Hitman and promoting the physical edition of the game dropping January 31, I feel like I need to offer my opinion on the the first season as it’s played out so far. I want to talk a little bit about the highs and lows of the game as a whole, and suggest that it may be best to save your money and hold off on pre-ordering until we see how things turn out.

You’ll see from my review that I actually did enjoy Hitman from the beginning. In fact, the first few episodes were wonderful. I enjoyed an encouraging honeymoon period after which I felt confident that Square Enix had revived the series to unprecedented glory! Hitman fans all over were extremely pleased with the early game. The missions in Paris and Sapienza are the most fun I’ve ever had playing a stealth game.

I wholeheartedly recommend that you spend your money on the Intro Pack and Sapienza . The “Paris Showstopper” mission is included in the intro pack, along with two tutorial stages that are highly enjoyable and highly replayable on their own. In these two episodes Hitman fans will play through four levels that will remind them why they love the series so much. The gameplay hook shines brightly here. Step one: carefully explore large, detailed, beautiful locale. Step two: poke around, eavesdrop on all of the interesting NPCs, and raise some hell while creatively procuring some new costumes. Step three: use those costumes to close in on your target(s) and eliminate them however you’d like.

That’s your first playthrough. After you complete a mission for the first time, you’re rewarded for your creativity and skill with wonderful incentives to replay the level. New spawn points that start you out in the thick of it all with a great costume, secret areas where you can recover weapons or tools, alternative targets, and altered mission parameters all enable you to further explore these incredible environments and interact with their inhabitants in new ways.

Sadly, I had no desire to explore Marrakesh or Bangkok after my initial playthroughs. If I’m completely honest, I don’t think I would have even completed those missions at all if I hadn’t been live-streaming them. Both episodes – both locations – represent consecutive steps in the wrong direction as far as I’m concerned, and they completely disrupted the momentum and interest that I had building in this first season and its conclusion.

Were You Disappointed With Hitman’s First Season?

Marrakesh was not a fun area to explore. The lantern shop shown off in episode trailers is by far the most visually appealing part of the entire map. When I think back to my time spent roaming Marrakesh all I remember is dirt, generic soldiers, too many people and too many eyes on me to explore or have fun, and an anemic whimper of a climax.

Bangkok was another dud. You do get to explore a rather lavish resort, but past the stunning lobby, there isn’t much else to see. The majority of your time is spent between hallways and in small rooms. The setup and targets were also incredibly underwhelming. In Bangkok’s “Club 27” mission, your target is the lead singer of a pop band who pushed his girlfriend off of a balcony. Her family has hired you to get revenge and take out this random pretty-boy and the lawyer that got him off the hook. Why do we care about this? Agent 47 works for the freaking ICA, an organization which attracts the appeals of the world’s most powerful movers and shakers. Its actions determine nations’ futures. It all felt petty.

That’s two solid episodes and two strikes, so far. Hitman ‘s next episode takes place in Colorado and, according to Square Enix, “This is one of the toughest episodes yet. Not only do you have four targets, but from the moment you set foot in Colorado, you’re on enemy ground.” I understand that the game’s difficulty is expected to ramp up, but so far what that has meant in Hitman is we’re completely deprived of everything that made the first two episodes so fun: the ability to curiously explore these beautiful, detailed areas and interact with a variety of interesting NPCs to go undercover. When you start off the mission and feel forced to spend every moment struggling to remain hidden and avoiding detection, you lose a lot of the charm and whimsy that made the early game so enticing.

Have any of you felt the same way playing through Hitman so far? Have the later episodes swayed your opinion of the first season as a whole? Maybe there are some of you who think that every episode has been better than the last, and the more challenging episodes have been your favorite. Sound off in the comments and tell me how I’m enjoying Hitman for all of the wrong reasons.

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