Hitman Episode One Review

Playing as an assassin is a dime a dozen these days; everyone wants to play as a hired killer with only his next target on his agenda. But let’s all be honest. Nobody is as bad ass or as graceful a killing machine as the original Assassin himself, Agent 47.

This Hitman – a reboot of sorts for the franchise – starts off at the beginning of Agent 47’s career where he first meets his long time handler Diana, and starts on his path as the number one gun for hire. This feels the right move for the next chapter in Hitman; with the franchise well established, and Agent 47 having plied his trade all over the globe, it only feels right to see where the root of his bloodbath of a career began.

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“Let’s all be honest – nobody is as bad ass or as graceful a killing machine as the original Assassin himself, Agent 47”

Hitman: Episode One

What’s interesting in this reboot is the episodic nature of release. With new content to be released each month over the coming months that headlong rush to tear through the game is slowed; instead, players will have time to get to grips with each map, learning the intricacies of each mission, discovering secrets, and honing their killing skills to a knife edge. It’s an intriguing approach assuming, that is, it’s a deliberate choice and not one forced by a lack of launch-ready content.

With full control of Agent 47 you have free reign, as usual, to carry out each hit – either loud and proud, or stealthy to slip in and take out your target with zero noise and no trace. Hitman is all about freedom of choice gives you the tools to kill with surgical efficiency. This newest outing really feels like it’s been refined and sculptured into the masterpiece we’ve been waiting for. This time there are more hints and tips to guide your path – conversations between NPC’s revealing new methods of death that are fun, terrifying and funny as hell to pull off. Challenges , completing assassinations in the specified manner, add a new level of difficulty and longevity – just as well when this three mission Episode One is all we have to play with until Episode Two lands next month.

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“It gives you the tools to kill with surgical efficiency”

We’re treated to something of an origin story – at least in terms of Agent 47’s relationship with his long-term handler, Diana Burnwood. As a long-term fan of Agent 47 and his work, having the opportunity to explore that relationship is exciting and it will be interesting to see how this grows and changes as new episodes are released.

Graphically Hitman is polished, smooth and runs without a glitch each blood-soaked step of the way. The detail on display through the Paris palisade location of Episode One is breath taking and although just one location will feature per episode, there’s no sense that the game suffers for it. The environment is alive, offering plenty of opportunity to don a disguise and blend in, sneak stealthily in the shadows, or simply murder anyone who gets in your way.  Once you have completed the three missions on offer here you’ll have the chance to pick up elusive contracts – hits on individuals who will only appear in the game once over a two-day period. Miss the opportunity and it’s gone for good. Again, what feels like a gimmick to excuse the episodic nature of the game actually feels embedded and real – presumably real hit people in the real world have to work to deadlines, too.

This rebooted Hitman has been dubbed as “A digital blockbuster experience” and from our experience so far we have to agree. We can’t wait to visit the Italian coastal town of Sapienza when Episode Two lands in April.

Hitman: The full experience is out now from Xbox Marketplace for £44.99 or if you want to try the first episode you can purchase Hitman: Intro pack for only £11.99

We will continue to update this review as we experience each new Episode as it is released. Accordingly, our review conclusions will change until the final episode has been released and we can take a view on Hitman as a whole. 

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