Originally written for quickdontdie.xyz
Hitman is a game that, on the surface is a short game with little story, but when you go deeper than that, you find an experience that can be rivaled by few games. Hitman is a game that takes you to 6 locations each with nearly infinite ways to assassinate the targets. As you replay each level, finding the best routes and unlocking new disguises, starting points, and items that can be used on any map, barring the two training maps. In the 6 sandbox levels, as well as smaller levels based off of them, you can kill the targets unseen, go guns blazing, or anything inbetween. There is no "wrong" way to play Hitman.Gameplay
In Hitman, you can go through each assassination however you please. If you happen to die along the way, you can reload a save you make, or an autosave if you didn't expect it. The game only autosaves every three minutes, and to me it seemed that it wasn't often enough. Oftentimes, those three minutes could have many different events between them that I would have to replay. The save system also allows for you to see multiple assassinations based off of the same "opportunity," which is a surefire way to assassinate the target based off of what is happening at the time during the mission. These opportunities vary from 47 being an exterminator to 47 being a cameraman, and anything inbetween. These opportunities often provide extra lore for each mission, and also offer hints on how to effectively assassinate a target.
When you are done with opportunities, there are still many different ways to assassinate each target. Playing through and gaining mastery on each mission unlocks you many items, such as poisons, guns, and explosives. While some are only useful on certain maps, they all provide different paths to an assassination, some messier than others. You can choose to plant an explosive to somewhere a target will walk, detonate, and run away, or you can use coins to distract a target away from their guards, then silently use a fibre wire to kill them and put their body in a dumpster.
Aside from the main mode, the game offers contracts and escalations. Contracts mode features user-created contracts with leaderboards. For contracts mode, you are allowed to select characters to kill, excluding "crowd" characters, disguises to kill them in, and, lastly, how to kill them. This wouldn't be a good mode, but IO Interactive selects "featured contracts" each month that are well made, and offer further replayability. Escalations mode features contracts created by IO Interactive with specific instructions for you to follow. These generally have a specific route to follow, so they don't add as much content. That being said, they are still a fun distraction for a few minutes each.Story
The story in Hitman is smaller, and isn't a huge focus in the game. Yes it exists, but it isn't very important in the game. It is delivered through cutscenes after each mission is finished. Aside from that, you can pick up on hints about the story in each mission, and connect mission to mission with NPC dialogue. This NPC dialogue was more memorable than the cutscenes, and aside from helping the interconnecting lore, the dialogue provided self-sufficient lore for each level. If Hitman continues, then the story will be expanded. Unfortunately, for now, there simply isn't much to it.Graphics and Sound
This game is not a game that stands out graphically, but in the sound department the game is one of the better ones. The game uses the glacier engine, and while it doesn't look stunning, for the most part, it never looked "bad". Hitman doesn't feature too many "spectacular moments", but they are there, and they look nice. I wouldn't say anything in the game dazzled me, but the game was never focused on graphics and I never had a problem with the game running at a poor framerate, and none of the assets looked poor.
The sound department is much better when compared to the graphics. The sounds themselves blend well, give you hints, and were scarcely annoying. The NPC dialogue in this game either give you hints on ways to assassinate the targets, give lore, or are intentionally hilarious. I have two complaints with the sound, however. Some of the NPC dialogue can get repetitive after multiple playthroughs, and the gun sounds themselves aren't very realistic which was mildly distracting. Overall, however, the game is incredible in the sound department, and the NPC dialogue is generally a huge positive point.Achievements
The game currently has 69 achievements for 1360 gamerscore, offering a varied and fun-to-unlock list. The list for each episode generally includes a few of the best kills, completing all of the opportunities, and reaching mastery level 20. None of the achievements are too hard, but they offer a good challenge and carry you through the game quite well. While they aren't varied from episode-to-episode, they still feel that way because how different the routes are for each episode. Aside from all of the DLC achievements, the starting list has achievements based around the different modes, such as completing 10 contracts and the easiest achievement, pacifying a guy. All around, the achievement list is a fun one, and one that you'll not be groaning while completing. Especially with the easter eggs.
In the end, Hitman is a really good game, and one you'll be playing over and over. There are many modes to play through, and the NPC dialogue can help guide you to assassinations. The achievement list is a fun one, and one that will hold you through the game. If you like replayable content, you will like Hitman.