Developer: IO Interactive
Release Date: 11/03/2016
Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms: PC, PS4, XBONE
season 1 has wrapped up
A while back we did a review of the prologue and the first episode of the IO Interactive strangling simulator. And since we've come to the end of the first season, I think it's time to recap on this new direction and evaluate whether it's worth renewing for a second season.
We've seen the series chop and change in so many ways, (most of them subtle) often times for the best, other times taking away a certain appeal that the previous games held dear. One of which is releasing the new game in episode form.
Every month a new Hitman contract is released giving us another beautiful vista to explore and murder someone in. This has never been done before, and it was a bold move for IO in terms of staying power. A monthly rollout of fresh content sounds like something a Telltale game would do, something an early-access project would do. Hell. Even most multiplayer FPS games are drip feeding new maps to keep players coming back, but the big question is does it work in a Hitman game?
The answer is yes, releasing monthly episodes has been great for the game because in allowing time between contracts to fine tune and properly finish each new level, we've seen a massive diversity between contracts and attention to detail in each new location released. Gone is the feeling of completion after finishing an area first try in Hitman: Absolution. In Hitman(2016) - the levels have a real depth and provoke an urge of replayability that the series was starting to lose.
Sure, it's different. And some players simply forget about the game and move on after waiting for the next episode. This industry is becoming so rich with instant gratification that every new multiplayer game has barren servers 3 months after release.
As mentioned in the Episode One review i did some aeons ago - the game has strayed from the Absolution formula of scoring points based on your choice of assassination, ability to stay undetected, and overall hitman prowess to move towards the classic methodical stealth (and almost puzzle game-like) infiltration gameplay we all know and missed. If you haven't yet played the new Hitman(2016) and are on the fence, you can find the link to my original review at the bottom.
But without digressing too much, this trickle of content makes me happy. And the new Hitman is the necessary addition to picking the series up from the downward spiral that Hitman: Absolution was starting.
You can find my original article here, where I talk about the mechanics and flesh out the game properly. The overall game hasn't changed over the last 8 months. - Nick