Hitman is shaping up to be the hit that no one saw coming. Despite the controversial decision to break the game into an episodic format, especially so close to its release, the format has served it well. If even just the few maps that have been released so far were released all at once, it would feel overwhelming. The time in between each batch of content is ample for digging into each of the incredibly dense environments and explore all of their nooks and crannies. Case in point, Marrakesh, the latest expansion for Hitman. This map is easily the most detailed and tightly packed so far.
Hitman’s first episode took place in Paris, but it really didn’t show much of the actual city as most of the action took place indoors. Not that it had to, since just hearing the name Paris inspires all types of mental imagery and the fashion show featured in the first Hitman episode really captured that modern high-fashion feeling. This episode takes place in Sapienza, Italy and unless you’re familiar with some of the lesser known towns in Italy this name doesn’t evoke the same icons that Paris does. Despite that, this episode’s mission features a beautiful and more fully realized environment than its predecessor.
The feeling of walking into a crowded ballroom with the intent of committing a murder and leaving without anyone being the wiser is something only the Hitman games have really achieved. Eavesdropping on conversations to learn about an evil dictator’s favorite food so you can poison the dish and leaving as he dies of food poisoning is a special kind of satisfying. Combining the better elements of previous entries in the series, Hitman presents all of these scenarios in a very open-ended fashion in some very elaborate and detailed environments. Even if the episodic release schedule does cut a lot of the fun short right when it gets going.
It's been fifteen years since we first wrapped up that iconic garrote wire and choked someone out as Agent 47 in his first stealth adventure, Hitman: Codename 47. In order to celebrate Hitman hitting the mid-teens, it's time we look back at one of our favorite stealth/assassination franchises. While Thief, Splinter Cell, Assassin's Creed, Metal Gear Solid and the Batman: Arkham series have all gone toe-to-toe with Agent 47, we still prefer Hitman when it comes to good old fashioned wetwork.
In theory, there's nothing wrong with rebooting the ‘Hitman’ franchise (a popular video game series that spawned only one 2007 film). The Timothy Olyphant version was nothing particularly interesting or exciting, so the chance to try again is something that we can't fault Fox for. But, when you reboot a movie and it still looks as stale and by-the-books as the new ‘Hitman: Agent 47’, then what was the point in the first place?