By Scott Southard, Kyle Holmer, and Jarrod Jones. While it’s hard not to ignore the patently lame piecemeal release schedule of IO Interactive’s latest Hitman game, we’ve willingly immersed ourselves in the scads of ways in which we can snuff out our intended targets. Falling chandeliers, poisoned hors d’oeuvres, or the good ol’ fashioned knife to the cheek, there is literally countless ways to professionally murder in the latest Agent 47 romp.
But what’s next? Seeing as though we’re still waiting on the release date for the next Hitman chapter (due presumably sometime later in April), we’ve dug into the recesses of our minds — the parts of it not presently occupied with slaughter, mind you — to dream up the 6 things we’d love to see in the next few chapters of Hitman. Bang.
1. Let’s Continue the Ramp Up of Elaborate and Absurd.
I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point, the Hitman series started embracing convoluted puzzles that lead to massively involved espionage (en route to simple murder). Maybe the tipping point was the trophy you could earn for killing folks with a bong in Absolution, but for me, the catwalk sequence in the newest game upped the ante. The sheer audacity of cornering and killing an international supermodel and then strutting your stuff in front of everyone in the building before finishing the mission is a moment of the highest tension. I reckon that only Bond villains understand this feeling of a brazen middle finger to the world before pulling the trigger on their plan. Derek Zoolander would be proud. — SS
2. Gary Busey.
Don’t ask me why, I don’t pretend to understand gaming culture at all (someone’s gonna have to sit me down and spell it out for me one day), but the latest ad campaign for Hitman features a genuinely brillaint conceit: vote for your least favorite Hollywood Gary — be it the manic Busey or the smarmy Cole — and the winner will be featured as a mark in an upcoming episode. (You can cast your vote at chooseyourhit.com.) Yes, it’s probably true that killing Gary “Bill Lumbergh” Cole could possibly be the most satisfying murder assignment next to taking out Hitler, but fitting the absolutely bonkers Gary Busey in the middle of my crosshairs would definitely be so much more hilarious. — JJ
3. Contracts Regression.
With Hitman: Absolution, IO took their first stab at a multiplayer component. And while it wasn’t flawless, it was a pretty robust gameplay mode that kept the community strong for months after the initial release. This newest Hitman removed all of the supporting mechanics from the previous version (the ability to purchase weapons and upgrades to expand your contract) and reduced the options to what’s available within a given map. This isn’t necessarily terrible, but one would assume as this is their second attempt at a multiplayer mode, IO would add new systems and features to expand upon, or at the very least replicate, its predecessors. I’d love to see the ability to add unique weapons, costumes, and unique skills that are completely absent in its current state. Hopefully with the release of the newer episodes we’ll be given the option to merge components from each of the sprawling maps, thus adding some longevity to the Contracts mode. — KH
4. A Continuation of Piecemeal Content
When the new Hitman was announced as a vaguely episodic venture, something inside of me sneered at the idea. Had it really fallen that far since it’s sewer-crawling, bureaucrat-impersonating glory days? Then I realized that there might be some merit to the concept. Very few people load up old Hitmans to play through the entire game, but plenty of folks re-run their favorite missions every now and then. The episodic nature of the new entry allows players to pick and choose the content they want to engage with and gives the opportunity to run through the game in short bursts rather than marathon sessions. I, for one, love the idea of poisoning some wine, watching a dignitary run to the bathroom, murdering them on the toilet, and doing it all to someone else in a month or two. Nothing beats some year ’round cold-blooded killing. — SS
5. ‘Elusive Targets’ to no longer be a phrase taken literally.
“Elusive Targets” has been the one promise from IO that would seem to make the episodic prospect of playing the newest Hitman game worthwhile. But it’s pretty difficult to reward the developer for their deadline lapses (or whatever excuse they’re currently hiding behind) when “Targets” — of all things — keeps getting pushed back for undisclosed reasons. Sure, there are plenty of ways to do in your intended marks in the first chapter of Hitman, but without “Elusive Targets” to throw ourselves at in-between episode launches, it’s getting harder and harder to understand why I should stay locked into a game that’s ultimately gonna take five to six months to complete. — JJ
6. An improvement on ‘Hitman’ server reliability.
There’s a litany of minor problems with the latest Hitman that are easy to overlook, but the most glaring (and so far completely ignored by IO) are the server issues. It’s completely beyond my understanding why Hitman needs to maintain a constant online connection; obviously the multiplayer component requires that connectivity, but the fact that every major system in this game is completely unusable without being connected to the servers is unexplainable. That, and the Hitman servers are completely unreliable; I’ve been dropped countless times and while this shouldn’t be a problem in single player (as there’s a mid-chapter saving system), a sudden disconnection completely breaks all challenges associated with that run. — KH
Check out the LOAD FILE review of ‘Hitman’, here.