The fourth Hitman episode is here and it takes Agent 47 to Bangkok. As always, it may be beneficial to take a look back at reviews for previous episodes before reading below.
Episode 4 is fascinating not for its upping the ante for the title, but rather because it brilliantly illustrates some of the main flaws in the game.
One of the things that has been touted with this new Hitman is that the levels are huge, especially when compared to earlier entries in the franchise. The issue is that “huge” feels as though it has come to act as a stand-in which operates in place of “well-designed.”
My first play through of Bangkok saw me visit an exceptionally small percentage of the level as, rather than going straight at the outset of the level, I turned left. Within a minute or two, I had, quite accidentally, stumbled upon a brilliant way to carry out one of the two assassinations. That first assassination brought the second target into close proximity, and I completed the episode in little time.
As I say, it was a complete accident that I stumbled upon this simple assassination method, but it was an accident borne of any gamer being able to look at the main entrance to the level and thinking “huh, I wonder if there’s a way to go around the side.” That is, I followed some basic gaming logic and victory was quickly at hand. I missed out on much of the level.
Well, to say “missed out” may not be quite accurate. I just didn’t need to visit most of it because the targets came to me. This feels like both a great thing if you’re an actual hitman and a terrible thing if you’re playing Hitman. A solution with minimal fuss seems perfect for an assassin, but waiting two months to play the next episode and not having to do much at all once it does arrive is not good.
The thing of it is though that maybe, if the level can be beaten that quickly, it isn’t a level that’s very much worth playing. There are some interesting nooks and crannies and alternate assassination methods available, but why bother?
So much of Hitman involves knocking out the NPC with the appropriate uniform, putting on said uniform, and then just waiting for an opportunity to kill the target. At this point I feel unconvinced that it matters all that much whether I’m doing that in Marrakesh or Paris or Bangkok.
We are certainly not playing for the story, which, unfolding in cutscenes, isn’t determined by player actions and, as noted, every episode requires the same basic techniques in order to win. Now, with Bangkok, visiting much of the level isn’t even required.
As I have said in reviews for other episodes – perhaps if I could just move on to the next level and go after another objective this wouldn’t be so bad, I would just pat myself on the back and play on. Instead, I wait and hope that things will improve in the next installment.
Hitman is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB for Blood, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Strong Language, and Suggestive Themes. This game can also be found on: Xbox One and Windows PC.