Hitman: Definitive Edition Review: Binging the Murder

The Hitman series is famous for presenting players with a target and a sandbox and then let players run wild. This leads to some innovative ways that players have completed their contracts. For many of these ways, it is unclear if the developers intended them to work or not. Originally releasing in 2016 and boasting an innovative episodic release schedule, the latest Hitman was a return to form after the divisive Hitman Absolution which even though there were glimpses of the greatness of the Hitman that came before, Absolution ultimately fell flat. Hitman needed to be bombastic and fun to have any hope of any continuation of the franchise after release.

Although originally episodic in release, Hitman: Definitive Edition is the second release that collects all content in one place for one price after Hitman: The Complete First Season was released last year. The Definitive Edition release is important for two reasons: one, it drums up excitement for the sequel releasing in November 2018; and two, it is the first release for Agent 47’s new home after Square Enix sold IO Interactive.

What we’re given in this package is a collection full of content, albeit content that has been released before. What is collected here is every episode of the first (and probably only season, since Hitman 2 will have a traditional release), all content from the Game of the Year edition such as another campaign and some wacky costumes, and all of the “extra episodes” that were released during the original episode release schedule. There are also several packs of costumes and weapons that have been released up to date. The only thing missing are the previous “elusive target” missions; special one-time contracts that must be completed the first time.

Performance Lab®  - Not all supplements are the same

Gameplay: Murder Innovation

Each of the (?) maps are giant open worlds where the only limits are the limits of the player’s imagination. The story missions are designed to use the map well, challenging the player to make their own way to the target. In typical stealth game fashion, the goal for players should be to find a way to eliminate the target(s) in such a way that only Agent 47 and the target know the player has been in the world. Players are given tools to finish the mission in several ways, such as finding ways to eliminate the target while making it look like an accident or just a quick shot to the head. Is there a section where you can’t seem to infiltrate? Agent 47 can put on the clothes of any male NPC, many of which have their own sections of the map where they will not be suspicious. Some places do not allow weapons, so players must find ways to smuggle in weapons if necessary.

In previous entries into the series, it always seemed that the games were trying things that the technology of the time just couldn’t handle; as such the previous games had things that must be overlooked to enjoy the game. Hitman seems like the first entry where the technology can keep up with the developer’s vision. Hitman is able to cram so much content into each map without having to compromise for memory concerns. Every room can be entered, sometimes several ways allowing for players to pick a well-practiced route or try out a new one.

The replay factor of each map is nearly limitless, and trying new things raises a “mastery level” for each map which will unlock new weapons, entry positions, or even allow players to begin in a disguise. This gives players reasons to replay missions, or even undertake one of the side missions – this was more important when episodes released monthly but gives incredible value to players who pick up the Definitive Edition.

Other than the main story, there are several other game modes included. Two more campaigns, the Sarajevo Six and Patient Zero, are mission packs that span all of the maps. There are other contracts called escalation missions where one target leads to another; there are also the elusive targets which are one-time only missions where if the target escapes, or the contract expires, the mission is gone forever. Other than a couple of the extra episodes which change up the map, everything else just takes place in the same maps with the same NPC routes, reducing the feeling of hunting and tracking that the missions are supposed to feel like.

Hitman
On the Weekends, Agent 47 can be found walking the catwalk and strutting his stuff.

Graphics: Hitman vs the World

The graphics in the game are outstanding. Running on a PS4 Pro, everything feels alive. Places feel crowded and lived in, and players feel as if they are leaving a mark in the world. Each NPC has their own routines and patterns and are predictable. One of the problems with the world is that it seems that most of the creativity was put into the first couple of maps to hook players, as the further into the game players will get, the plainer the environments become. It’s not bad, but it is a bit noticeable that the later missions are not as interesting.

Another problem found are the sudden shifts of Agent 47 into one of his animations. It’s a little jarring to try to hide a body and the game shifts into the animation, seemingly skipping the transitional animation; or when doing any of the contextual prompts in the world. It reminds players that they are playing a game instead of immersing themselves into the world.

The first mission released was a bit of a mixed bag, performance-wise, due to some frame rate drops and some jittery animations. These technical issues have been patched out, however. Everything runs smoothly, especially if the player locks the framerate to 30 FPS.

Contracts Mode: Player Generated Insanity

The only form of multiplayer to speak of is the user-generated mode called Contract Mode. Players can create their own exciting missions creating their own targets. This is then uploaded to the server where others can then play the mission for themselves.

How it works is the player loads up their map of choice and then picks a target while playing. Kill up to three NPCs and then escape. The creator must be able to make the contract work, finishing the mission themselves. When uploading the mission, the creator can then adjust many different modifiers such as requiring the same weapon to be used, or a certain disguise to be worn. Players around the world can then try for the high score on the contract. It’s a great mode to mess around in and some of the contracts are seemingly impossible until the trick is learned.

A Murder Simulator

Overall, Hitman: The Definitive Edition is the best way to jump in if you haven’t already. The amount of content that is present in the package is a definite selling point. The fact that all of the content is excellent is a major plus. In an industry where “player choice” is no more than a buzzword, IO Interactive has created a game where player choice is important and makes a difference. Hitman has many stories to tell, most of them created by the player and their imagination. Agent 47 is a total blank slate, so players can put themselves in his shoes and feel like they are the one who is solving the puzzle and getting the job done. This game is highly recommended for anyone who hasn’t already given it a chance.

Do you have opinions on Hitman, or it’s new sequel Hitman 2? Do you want to just talk about the whole series? Join us on Facebook and Twitter or join our Discord!

THE GOOD
A Living Breathing World
Graphically Impressive
Plenty of Ways to Complete Objectives
A Ridiculous Amount of Content
THE BAD
Some Strange Animations
Content Has Been Released Before
10
Essential

Review Summary

Overall, Hitman: The Definitive Edition is the best way to jump in if you haven’t already. The amount of content that is present in the package is a definite selling point. The fact that all of the content is excellent is a major plus. In an industry where “player choice” is no more than a buzzword, IO Interactive has created a game where player choice is important and makes a difference. Hitman has many stories to tell, most of them created by the player and their imagination. Agent 47 is a total blank slate, so players can put themselves in his shoes and feel like they are the one who is solving the puzzle and getting the job done. This game is highly recommended for anyone who hasn’t already given it a chance.

Nureltro™ was created for everyone, including gamers. It is an advanced, next-generation nootropic supplement designed to maximize your minds’ potential. Take your brain and game to the next level of health and performance.

Jonathan Thornburg

Jonathan Thornburg has been playing games for almost 25 years, and in that time has developed a love for the Gaming Industry. He plays on the PS4 mostly, but can be found indulging in games from the past 25 years as well. He streams on twitch.tv/leftstick and uploads to youtube.com/c/leftstickgaming.

Next Post

5 Relaxing Games To Play After a Long Day At The Office

Wed Jun 27 , 2018
So, you just got back from your 9-to-5. You’re settled in on your couch, exhausted from a relentless day at the office, ready to play some video games… but today is different. You don’t feel like shooting down Tracers in Overwatch, hiding from zombies in Resident Evil 7, or questioning […]