Review: Hitman (PS4) – Episode 2: Sapienza.
The controversial Hitman (PS4) returns in episodes with a new board in sunny Italy. There is no need to hide – Sapienza is a stealth fan’s dream come true … which does not mean that it was without flaws.
What happened to this Hitman. The game, divided into episodes, received a strong 8/10 in my review from last month, but the further from the premiere, the worse plays from the developer were revealed. And no, I would not change the eight, because I was judging the game at that moment – no server problems (loss of connection automatically ends the mission), no disappearing DLC from the preorder and the promise that there will be time-limited missions Elusive Target for days (they are not until today). It wasn’t that bad back then, although the loading times left a lot to be desired.
A month and a half passed and we got another episode, i.e. a large map with one story mission and one cut-scene. Of course, this board gives access to side missions and contracts created by players, so the composition of this episode only looks poor. Before I move on to the Italian Sapienza (yes, I know, it’s a university in Rome, but here is the name of such a fictional city), I’ll focus on the current state of the game itself.
If you thought the episode form of the game would keep improving the gameplay, I have bad news. I did not experience any problems with the Network, but the interpenetration of the characters or the shaking of the body while moving the corpse are errors that still occur quite often. There is no point in polishing the AI either – I do well, but the immersion is blown away by unpleasant details, such as characters who do not see Agent 47’s reflection in the mirror or bodyguards following the philosophy of “until I saw a kill, everything is fine.” If a guy’s only job is to protect a certain woman, and I kill her and hide her body when he turns away for a moment, how is he not alerted by her absence ?! And he greets me as if nothing had happened … But let’s focus on the main course.
Sapienza. From the very first moment, I was struck by the warm colors and idyllic atmosphere of the recent Just Cause 3 (PS4), also from the Square Enix stable. It is a beautiful, picturesque town, where we can find a multitude of small shops, twisted and narrow streets, ruins of an old castle, a huge mansion and … an underground laboratory where work is underway on a perfect weapon – a virus attacking the genetic code. In addition, the church, the funeral home, there was even a place for the beach! And how many possibilities for killing, paths, hiding places … Even after the sensational board in Paris, I did not expect such a solidly designed spot.
After a quick three hours of researching each corner, I started to test the most interesting methods of killing two story mission targets. Here, of course, a lot of freedom – shooting in the head or strangling with a garrotte is always one of the options, but what if I tell you that in the ruins of the castle there is a cannon that we can use? And this is a reference to the last mission from Hitman: Blood Money (PS2) … a fairy tale! Once again, all these different opportunities for accessing certain locations or kills are listed in the menus, but I didn’t play around with the hints and tried to discover as much as possible for myself. There is satisfaction in investigating these effective and inventive methods yourself – I recommend that you approach the matter this way.
We come to the point where I have to rate the whole Hitman cut once again, and again it’s not an easy task. On the one hand, we get a perfectly designed map, on which I will be happy to complete challenges and additional orders, but on the other hand, the creators have not fixed the existing bugs, there are still no Elusive Target missions, the loadings are terribly long, and moving to the map or other options in the menu is not a smooth procedure. In the plot, we again get a kind of related short cutscene, which gives an insight into the greater intrigue, but it’s hard to keep the viewer’s interest by releasing a few minutes of scenes every month – but the potential is there! In the end, I decided to evaluate the board itself, and this one deserves a high note. However, keep in mind that technical problems are still present, and remember that this is not an assessment of the entire production.
Finally, I have to refer to the additional missions in the PlayStation 4 version – “Sarajevo Six”. Each episode of Hitman gives us the possibility of killing one of the members of this group, but in practice it works like a regular contract from another player – we have a different target on the same map and we have to kill him. No introduction, no cutscene, just a brief description of the character at the beginning of the mission. This exclusive content is a joke that only unnecessarily infuriates players from other platforms because they didn’t get it.