IO Interactive’s most recent HITMAN game took an interesting approach when it released a couple of years ago. Not only was it going back to its roots when compared to the last game Hitman Absolution (a title which wasn’t well received by fans of the series), but it was also taking an episodic approach that’d see it release bit by bit over time. That was all back in 2016 though, so why am I still talking about the game in 2018?
Well, after severing ties with original publisher Square Enix and getting all of the rights to the series back, IO Interactive have teamed up with Warner Bros to release the ‘Definitive Edition’ of the game, loading up all of the original content and a few extra bits into one big package. It’s a very good package too, and one that’s absolutely heaving with high quality action-packed assassinating fun.
HITMAN: Definitive Edition initially takes players back to Agent 47’s origins, showing how he originally came to work for the ICA and how he bonded with his handler Diana Burnwood. Time moves on though and, after showing off Agent 47’s work through the previous games in the series, players are taken to 2019 where they begin working for a mysterious client in Paris. What are this client’s intentions? Well, you’ll find out across each episode, of course…
It feels unnecessary to go into all of the details of how HITMAN: Definitive Edition works – I mean, the game has been out for some time now and it’s already been deemed a success by critics and gamers alike.
The important thing gamers need to know is that each mission takes place in a wide open environment where you’re able to approach the job in a multitude of ways. This is clearly conveyed in the opening tutorial mission, where you need to assassinate someone on a boat. You could do this by carefully monitoring their movements and sneakily making your way to their room to pick them off with a silenced pistol, by choking them out with piano wire, by blowing them up with a remote explosive, or even by just running-and-gunning your way through everyone on the boat until you get them – and that’s just some of the possibilities. Throughout the game you’ll end up visiting the likes of Paris, Morocco, Italy and Thailand as you find all kinds of creative ways to kill your target. You even get to dress up as a murderous clown, too… frightening.
This is how it works throughout each of the game’s episodes, with each kill you’re contracted to complete always having multiple approaches on offer. Each approach is actually clued in to the player with the various challenges that each level offers, though simply winging it on a mission with no inkling of what to do is perfectly fine too. Whatever you decide to do, having so many different options adds to the replayability of the game and will keep you coming back for more time and time again.
Not that the game really needs it – all of the previously released content including the bonus ‘Patient Zero’ campaign, the Escalation Contracts, the ‘Summer Bonus’ episode and all of the challenges and previously release contracts are included with HITMAN: Definitive Edition. Heck, you even get some bonus costumes based upon IO Interactive’s previous release catalogue (which only acts as a reminder that I really want a new Kane & Lynch game). There’s a whole lot on offer here that’ll last hours on end, proving the game isn’t kidding when it calls itself the ‘Definitive Edition’.
I was initially put off getting HITMAN when it first released because I didn’t want to wait to progress, regardless of whether or not IO Interactive were releasing plenty of additional content to play in between episodes. Having everything in one nice package makes it feel more like a full-fledged HITMAN release, and one that feels more purer and old-school than the we saw in Hitman Absolution. The fact that it just so happens to be incredibly well-designed, pretty to look at, and a damn lot of fun to play just makes it even better.
If you missed out on HITMAN the first time around or have just been waiting to get the best version of the game, you won’t go wrong with HITMAN: Definitive Edition. It’s left me incredibly excited to see where IO Interactive take the series next…
Developer: IO Interactive
Publisher: IO Interactive, Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: Out Now
Format(s): PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One