Hitman’s story misses the mark


Courtesy of Square Enix

Agent 47 goes in for the assassinate, taking advantage of the shadows instead of going guns blazing. Photo credit: Courtesy of Square Enix

The innovative episodic format of the new “Hitman” game has started to take it’s toll on the beloved franchise.

The main problem with making “Hitman” an episodic series is that it chops up two essential aspects of a video game; its gameplay and story. This could be great for a purely story based game, but previous “Hitman” entries had always relied so much on great gameplay paired with “so-so” story that the new format hurts it. This point has become apparent with the series’ fifth episode, where the gameplay has become repetitive and the story lacking.

Episode five of the self-named entry is set in Colorado, and is a bit of a disappointment. Developers didn’t take advantage of any type of weather on the level. The past episodes didn’t do anything special when it came to weather and one would think they would start flexing their muscles in a location that isn’t always perfectly sunny, but alas, nothing.

In contrast, the Japan episode seems to have what I was looking for, it just felt like it should’ve been here sooner.

Despite the lack of weather effects, the episode looks as good as the previous ones, which is to be expected. With the arrival of “Direct X12,” PC users can expect a smoother gameplay experience. However, AMD’s proprietary gameplay recorder “Plays.tv” had trouble capturing sessions when “Direct X12” is on. Surely there will be an update for this issue but for now, make sure you take note if you are using this capture software.

Gameplay hasn’t changed, but there are a few new and interesting kill opportunities, which is very welcoming, There are more targets and each of them has their own interesting background that you may take advantage of. The approach on taking them down is always based on patience.

Despite of the repetitive gameplay and graphics, the story is now a real problem not only just for this episode, but overall for the whole gaming experience. The player will find themselves looking back into previous episodes just to know what is going on, which isn’t that big of a deal. However, the story is severely lacking context which is essential for keeping fans invested and for getting new comers hooked. Perhaps the interactive team shouldn’t be too afraid to put more cut scenes in the game.

Overal, the gameplay is repetitive, but still excellent. However, the lack of story-telling elements may make it hard to keep the fan base interested. Great gameplay can be nothing without good story-telling to back it up.