A few short days ago IO Interactive and Square Enix released the first part of their new Hitman game, and I am happy to report that the Hitman franchise is back on track, but it still has quite a few bugs to work out. Pretty much like every Hitman game before it, there are just a few things holding it back from perfection. Well except for Absolution there were a lot of things holding that game back from perfection.
As with all the Hitman games you take the role of Agent 47. This game starts before he was the feared assassin, and has you complete two humorous training levels complete with plywood yachts and tarp oceans, but the main focus of this game is later in 47’s career at a Paris fashion show. It might be one of the best Hitman levels ever made.
There is so much to do and interact with in Hitman: Paris. The map truly frees your imagination to complete the objectives in any way you see fit. You want to knock out a supermodel steal his outfit and literally bring down the house while walking down the runway? Cool. Want to dress up like a waiter and poison a drink? Good plan! There are a ton of ways to go. Meaning you can play this level over and over again. Which is good since otherwise this game would be incredibly short.
To make things even better they have brought back Contracts mode allowing people to make their own assassination contracts and share them over the internet meaning there will always be a new take on the mission. Hitman has also added optional objectives that help you gain ‘Mastery’ on levels. The higher your ‘Mastery’ score is the more stuff you unlock for that map, like new starting locations and disguises or weapon drop off locations. Also later they are going to add Elusive Contracts that are only live for five hours, and once you accept it you will only get one chance, so pretty much like a real hit.
All of this is great, but sadly Hitman has some problems. For one this game can be glitchy. People’s voices will sometimes change without reason, or people will walk through walls. There was one time I had it where when I loaded the map from a game save I could see people warp from their starting locations to the closets that I had stuffed them in. Also if there is a crate next to a railing make sure that the crate is highlighted and only one ‘Y’ button is showing. If there are two ‘Y’s on screen you are going to dump that poor sap over the railing and on to the ground below. I did this a lot.
The biggest downer is the online connectivity. For the Contracts mode or the objectives to work you need to be online, and more to the point their servers need to be handling the load of all the people playing the game. If not, if you are playing online and the servers crash, your game will crash back to the menu, or if it forces you to play in offline mode you cannot gain any ‘Mastery’. It is really a bummer. I have seen some people complain about load times, but they haven’t bugged me too much, but I am using an external drive, so that may be helping.
For $15 you get a bit sized chunk of assassination with Hitman Part 1. It took me almost three hours for my first play through of Hitman, but I am drawn to play the Paris level over and over. I am also thinking of going back and playing the second training mission over again to see if I can get the Silent Assassin achievement, so for me it is well worth the price of admission. Despite the glitches and the down servers, this might be shaping up to be the best Hitman yet. I just hope that they keep up with the monthly content like they promised for parts 2-5, and that they fix their servers.