HITMAN [Beta Face-Off Review]: Enjoy the Silencer.
GEEK – Good to see you back, old friend. Glad you brought your Twin Ballers.
This first closed-beta of Square Enix’s Hitman reimagining is pretty robust, but also minimal. There are several different ways to successfully pass the mission. The mission? C’mon, we all know the mission. The same mission we’ve had since the very 1st game: eliminate targets. This Agent 47 is no different in that regard. Same mission, same feel, same vibe. However, there are new ways to manuever and murder within the mission. The beta was fun…
But let me make this clear: I’ve never been blown away by a new Hitman. It’s usually just the same game with a different reason to be killing different people — with better graphics and a few new features. Usually that’s all you get, alongside a few new ways to sneak in and out, and the disguises play a bigger, more dynamic influence on your success this time. But, overall this reboot feels the same. It’s essentially the iPhone7 of the Hitman franchise. But don’t get it twisted, I LOVE THIS GAME and will always be excited for the new ones.
The real excitement will come with the full game though, although you’ll have to wait a bit for that to happen. Similar to Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Hitman will initially include the prologue mission and one location, Paris, and will cost $15. But I’ve been hearing good things about the online modes and the DLC plans, which include Italy in April, Morocco in May, and eventually Thailand, US and Japan later in the year. Square Enix will also offer monthly content updates, weekly live events and extra content in between those months. Thus, the replayability and longevity of this game is expected to be pretty epic! I can’t wait to sneak on March 11th. 4.5/5 Murder Bibles.
NERD – Everyone’s sorta favorite Hitman is back. He’s bald, the sardonic, he’s stoic, he’s deadly (er, well only as deadly as the player’s skill dictates), and he’s on a quest to piece together his forgotten past!
It’s hard not to argue with the Deacon E’s assessment above when it comes to the Hitman franchise’s newest installation, a little more of the same since 2006’s Hitman: Blood Money. From what I experienced in the Beta, it’s essentially a rinse, wash repeat of every other Hitman title to date. Get your mission, stalk, choke, shoot, hide, infiltrate, distract, kill. There are “accidental” kills that can be unleashed on unsuspecting marks, which plays out similar to the “unique” kills from Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate.
Also, like in previous franchise titles, there’s very little margin for error. Agent 47 simply cannot soak up damage; 3-4 consecutive shots from enemies will put you down for the count, and at that point the mission is essentially over anyway since your foes will be mostly on high alert and hunting for you in groups. This is neither a good thing, nor a bad thing as it comes down to player preference. But, unlike Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, having your cover blown simply means the player needs to adapt and fight their way out and, usually, survive. Agent 47 is no Solid/Naked/Venom Snake, and due to some wonky camera angles and unpredictable NPCs, it can lead to some fairly frustrating deaths.
In total, the beta experience was fun, and this Disciple did like the “guided” mission where the player is given step-by-step instruction during the mission to help give you an idea on how to complete the task. This could be very helpful to players new to the franchise. Once that was complete, players were given the option to complete the mission afterwards by any means they saw fit, leaving plenty room for player choice. If this makes it into the final version, I could foresee many new fans to a franchise that is beloved by its hardcore fanbase–but simply “meh” to casuals. 3.5/5 Stealth Bibles.