Hitman episode one starts a piece by piece success


It has been awhile since I’ve dreamed of strategies for a game that I played the night before.

“Hitman Episode 1: Paris” is a great start for the newly episodic entry to the “Hitman” franchise, but as good as it is, there are hiccups that may leave players unsatisfied and wanting more.

The game starts off with a small but nice summary of how Agent 47 was hired by his assassination agency, the International Contracts Agency (ICA). This is also the first time 47 meets his handler, setting up for a solid foundation for the future episodes to build on.

Although the training levels are re-used, they are some of the best tutorial levels to play and enjoy. The levels are designed as a simulation for 47 to test his skills. The fake scenarios during the tutorial help immerse the player in the simulation with its design.

Paris is the third level of the game and it looks drop dead gorgeous, though if laying this on a PC, players may need to tinker with the settings to get the most out of the graphics. The map design is superb- the best it has ever been. The fashion show captures what anyone would think a fashion show in Paris would look like, with glamorous celebrities, red carpets, and high detail security.

The back-to-the-roots sandbox like map also gives you plenty of options in ways to assassinate the target.

With the gameplay mechanics of “Hitman: Absolution,” this game is a treat to a perfectionist like myself. It took me hours just planning my attack, watching every move that the target made and looking for opportunities to snap his neck. Much like the old “Hitman” games, players get to pick their load out before heading out on a contract. Although players’ load out is bare-bones at the beginning, they get to unlock more by playing the game and completing challenges, so it gives them an incentive to replay the level.

The “Contracts mode” is back from “Absolution” as well, where players create their own custom levels on the same maps. They choose targets and how to kill them, challenging other players to beat the level they made and perhaps one up the creator. This adds another level of replay-ability to the game.

However, the game does have quite a bit of problems. There are still some wonky animation glitches when dragging a body, and guns disappearing when an armed guard is subdued. The A.I. on this game is pretty dense, to be blunt, but it is necessary for new players to learn their patterns and go for the kill. However, as a seasoned veteran of the “Hitman” franchise, having the option to turn up the difficulty would’ve been much appreciated.

There is also no sense of panic from the guards when my target “mysteriously” died in front of them if I opted for a “clean kill.” The lack of polished finish may take away from the player’s satisfaction and immersion.

Despite the problems, without a doubt in my mind, this game is one of the best entries in the “Hitman” franchise. The only thing that is hindering the game from being the best is its periodic release. But if this game was released in full, you better believe I could play this game through without a break. It is that good. This game is worth its price tag and some change. Do games, players get to pick their yourself a favor and buy it.