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Hitman Episode One Review: A return to form for the series

By Jos
Mar 15, 2016
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  1. The new Hitman combines familiar elements of past games in the series, but it packages them in a new way: it will be released episodically over the course of the year, which is a format we associate more with adventure games like Life is Strange and The Walking Dead.

    All three levels in the first episode, particularly the culminating Paris level, are glitzy sandboxes in the vein of Blood Money, featuring numerous ways to manipulate your targets into meeting a stylish demise. There are guns to fire, vials of poison to pour into drinks, fuseboxes to detonate, winches to release, and wrenches to throw. You rub shoulders with a glamorous crowd while tracking your fashionista-cum-spy targets, wandering through sprawling environments that feel both like believable real-world locations and carefully constructed video game levels. And when the time is right, you strike.

    Read the complete review.

     
  2. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,333   +267

    I normally would be quick to deride this as a cash grab to boost sales by splitting the game up, and I'm sure many still will, but considering how open ended the levels are and the massive amount of replayability that it surprisingly has, I'm interested to see what they'll do in the next installment.
     
  3. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,648   +521

    "Based on some comments, we tested this on PC and were able to access the story missions in offline mode, though not the contracts, so it appears a persistent internet connection is not required."

    I was playing the other day and steam lost connection resulting in my game being cut short, and I had no option to save, play offline, just forced back to the menu. Naturally I lost progress because the last autosave had been several minutes prior to being forced out of the game... After a couple tries it finally gave me the option to play offline, as it also reacquired connection to the servers.
     
    BSim500 likes this.
  4. BlueDrake

    BlueDrake TS Evangelist Posts: 350   +103

    I imagine this splitting up was done during the times, they seen it being a way of at least kinda hooking players a bit. Not to mention the console generation was wearing itself thin, as people were itching for something better to play on. So they were trying new methods as for income model, along with being able to kinda piecemeal things to consumers.

    Knowing that it's either a hit or miss with people, they at least get some cash out of gamers. It's a positive and negative in the same light, depending on how you really like to play things. I'm not so keen on the whole idea of getting the game in pieces, especially months apart to the point you lost interest. This is a testing of the whole business model I imagine, on a larger game to see how the public reacts.

    Along with being able to see the cash flow, and generally how much it's likely to bring people back. For each new episode it usually is either they return, or abandon the game completely after a period of time. How long players are kept around, what held interest, etc. I imagine something that has extra replay value, even in something smaller like this would hold up better than a one time run of other episodic games. Mainly looking at the Telltale games and similar, where you already get the gist of the story and less reason to play it again.

    Looking forward to how this holds up down the road, as the newer episodes are released. Hope they can get some useful data from this, because it's really got the community rather divided I imagine.
     
  5. UltraModernGuy

    UltraModernGuy TS Member Posts: 25   +16

    I'm in the boat of very much liking what they did to the series, but the episodic release is terrible. I'll just wait for the rest of the game to come out and play it all at once. I don't want to have to try to get back into the game every month just to see more brief content. I personally don't like playing games like that. Imagine if Dark Souls 3 released a new boss every month /shudder.
     
    Arturo likes this.
  6. Arturo

    Arturo TS Member Posts: 81   +26

    Nothing episodic to me either. Drop the whole thing if you want my money. This is a trick like that of the minitransactions in other games, so they can make more money. I dislike those cheats.
     
    BSim500 likes this.
  7. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Guru Posts: 198   +272

    This thing is getting hugely review bombed on both Steam (47% negative) & Metacritic (3/10 user) for the absurd online requirements. If there's so much as a slight 3-4 second glitch in connection (which includes server glitches at their end) many are getting booted out of the game without it saving (because saves are online only). Offline Mode isn't just "no challenges" but also you can't earn XP, no points/mission ratings, no access to unlocked weapons, gear, starting locations, extra costumes, etc. Pretty dumb for a "single player" game that brings back the worst memories of GFWL + Securom...

    I really don't like "episodic" format either, even in adventure games. That stuff only works in games where each episode is a different standalone story (eg, Sam & Max series). Not one game with levels split up and sold piecemeal to inflate the price via trying to delay a drop in price of the whole lot combined. Seriously, people review this game and cannot see the obvious "episodic pricing over time" = prices drop slower vs regular single piece games over the first 6-12 months?...
     

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