I was in the process of writing a full review of the current HITMAN game out right now which as you know, is split up into episodes. The first one out right now is the city of Paris and features a huge mansion and the surrounding grounds to explore. But while writing it, I thought of something interesting and decided to take it in a different direction. You see, HITMAN is the open world game that is very close to what my dreams of an open world game should be. It’s not quite the perfect open world game, but a lot of it is and it’s a game that others should look to mimic when creating their own open worlds. Let me explain.
This is the heart of an open world game, the ability to go anywhere you want. With many open world games these days, you can only go where the developers want you to go. Huge games like GTAV or even The Division only allow you to go into places that they want you to go into. That means many of those buildings you see on the streets you can’t enter and explore. In HITMAN however, you have free rein to roam the entire world. You could kind of see this in the prequel missions (which you played if you tried out the beta) but it’s becomes even more apparent when you play the Paris episode. This is a giant mansion where every room, floor, and surrounding area is accessible for exploration.
I recorded a little video that you can see below and in that short video, you can already see just how much you can explore in the game. It’s all open to you, you just need to figure out how to access all those places. There’s a hint in the video where you can get a disguise that seems to allow for free access to any area in the game. Anyways, if you do end up getting it, you’ll discover just how open and free roaming this game is. You’re able to go into every room in the mansion, every floor, and anywhere outside. I don’t think I’ve encountered any areas that were off limits and it’s just amazing to see how much of it can be explored. This has always been something I’ve wanted to see. A game that allows you to actually go anywhere.
A World Filled with Life
Another thing that really impressed me with this new HITMAN is just how alive the world is. Now I don’t know what kind of crazy magic they used in the game or who they had to sacrifice to get this working, but it seems like almost every NPC in the game is alive. They go about their own business whether you’re there or not and even have conversations with other NPC’s. Sometimes they’ll acknowledged you, sometimes they won’t. Take for instance when you first enter the Paris map. There is a news reporter who is reporting on the event. You can just stand there and watch her do her job and she goes on and on for I don’t know how long.
If you explore the area more, you’ll come across other guests who are talking to each other, interacting with each other, and just enjoying things like at any other real life event of this type. Each time you play the game, you’ll discover something new triggered by something you might have done or seen. There hasn’t really been an instance I’ve seen where there an NPC just does nothing. Even ones who are basically there as filler will in some way acknowledge you if you bump into them or get to close to them.
This is something that some other open world games struggle with where their inhabitants seem like lifeless robots and act as if you’re invisible. While I know that the NPC’s in HITMAN are just acting out a script determined by your actions, they are still more alive than any other NPC’s I’ve encountered in other games.
Kill or Don’t Kill Everyone
Now I don’t know how it really worked in many of the earlier HITMAN games, but in this latest one, you can pretty much interact with everyone. That includes innocent civilians, guards, cops, marks, etc. Most interactions are simple though and can include distraction, knocking them out, or even killing if you choose to do so. Once you do this, you are free to loot their clothing as a disguise as well as any items they might have been holding. NPC’s can then be left where they are or can be carried and hidden away. With that said, the game is only as violent as you make it out to be. If you’re a pacifist, you can knock every single person out without killing, except for probably the actual targets you have to eliminate. If you don’t care about casualties, you can go ahead and kill everyone. Again, that choice is there for you.
HITMAN is an incredibly deep and open game. This is one of the few games out there where you can actually go anywhere and do almost anything. I don’t think I’ve played another open world game where I could go into every room of a mansion or have so many ways to complete an objective. In fact, I don’t even know how many times I would have to keep playing it until I did and discovered everything possible in it.
With that said, the new HITMAN is incredibly fun to play. This is an open world you can almost completely immerse yourself in and everything that you do is your choice. This makes the new HITMAN an experience that you can play over and over again because each time you play, you’ll most likely discover something new. This is what I’ve always wanted in an open world game. The freedom to do anything.
Note that this “review” doesn’t really address some of the criticisms with the new HITMAN’s episodic nature. Many feel that this is just their way of releasing a game that is incomplete, piece by piece. That may be true but ultimately it’s up to you as the consumer to let them know whether or not you approve of it based on how you purchase or don’t purchase the game. You can still buy the game as a complete package, you just don’t get all of it until later this year when all the episodes are released. You can also purchase it piece by piece. You can even say screw it, and pick it up in early 2017 when a full retail disc will be available. Again, that’s entirely up to you.
Review code provided to us by the publisher/developer.
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