HITMAN, another game hit by the Reboot bug, after what many consider a low point in its Career with Absolution HITMAN looks to go back to its roots with its newest release. Developed by IO Interactive and published under Square Enix, HITMAN switches from the full game release style to the more coveted style of Episodic releases with the first episode in March, second in April and so forth till the end of the year for 7 episodes in total. Everyone wants to be a TV show nowadays…
(This is for episode 6, for episode 5 go here)
Ending off season 1 we are given Episode 6, to take out Erich Soders who oversaw the training and initiation of Agent 47. After some information was let out we are led to believe that Erich was in contact with Providence and has been made a target of the ICA, along with Yuki Yamazaki who is also on the premises. Taking place in the cold mountains of Hokkaido, we are placed as another patient within the Medical Facility, where Erich is having a heart transplant and Yuki keeping track of his information.
Lacking any continuation of In-level information to wards Providence or the shadowy organisation, besides some clipboards here and there, we are merely presented with another cutscene after the contract is complete. While it tries to cut off loose-ends and bring a solid ending to Season 1, it fails in almost every department, even voice recording quality on the side of the main man in the cutscene. It just leaves more questions, acts like an edgy film scene and does nothing more than set itself up for another season.
Episode 6 is yet another breath of fresh air in the first season of Hitman, putting us in the robes of a patient, stripped of any equipment before our entrance. The complex itself is rather complex, filling its level with corridors, hidden doors and NPCs to both intrigue and give Agent 47 several approaches. The level itself is rather straightforward, like many others, if you follow the opportunities, I found this to be one of the easiest levels to complete, though that could be due to all the training in previous missions.
Rather than the level itself being the compelling part of this level, the fact you start with no items at all is the intriguing part of the difficulty. You have to search the level for throwable items, obtain new clothing as they act like the keycards in this setting. The only other way to enter a locked off part of the complex is the scale the outside or find a scrambler. The facility also has quite a good variety in style, from hot baths and snowmobiles to patient rooms and operating rooms.
Episode 6 seems to take from previous levels a bit too much with some of the assassination options, from poisoning food or entering locked off areas and swapping out items. While it does have some repeated actions it does have its unique ones, like altering a part of the environment to kill the target after you leave the level itself.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
Hokkaido brought something back to the franchise that it was seemingly missing in previous episodes, a sense that no matter what situation Agent 47 finds himself in, he can make it work. Starting with nothing, no keycards, guards everywhere and the futuristic style of the medical facility all added to the experience. Sadly the level itself was a bit too short and lacked some more of the puzzle or hidden aspects to it, which would have made the level itself feel more difficulty or interesting.
I have found quite a few bugs and glitches in the previous episodes, which were seemingly missing in this part, a welcome improvement. What I did notice besides bugs however was a lack of awareness of the NPCs and guardsmen, a straight up throwing session of items to take out a room of guards was made way too easy. The setup of the level allowed for distractions and containers to cleanly clear out rooms, a combination of Episode 5 and 6 would have felt much more challenging.
HITMAN episode 6 gets an 8/10, improving on previous mechanics as well as bringing a new sense of gameplay and difficulty to the game. The level itself feels too short to take advantage of the new style, while still including plenty of ways to go about completing it. Each room has a sense of individuality, with throwable items, background lore items and NPCs. The difficulty is an up and down journey, the lack of items is great but the position of characters and their lack of skill allows you to progress a bit too easily.