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Thread: Hitman (2016)

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland

    Hitman (2016)

    It was mentioned in the "NOW what are you playing?" thread, but I'm quite surprised there isn't at least some discussion of the new Hitman game. Certainly, it follows perhaps the greatest disappointment in the franchise, and it's released episodically, which tends to get some people riled, but I've been playing it for a week now and am greatly enjoying it. I'd played the first two Hitman games before, and I've checked out Blood Money repeatedly, but I always liked the idea of the game better than the actual execution (no pun intended). This Hitman, though, has grabbed me, and when I'm not playing it I find myself thinking about approaches, methods and escape routes.

    Having said that, I've mainly played the two tutorial missions so far, which are like Hitman miniatures: a hit on a master thief on a boat and one on a defector at a Cuban military base, both framed quite neatly and convincingly as in-universe training exercises. The first of the two is mainly there to familiarise the player with the game's mechanisms and controls; the second already offers various creative methods of infiltration and assassination. Also, Hitman cleverly uses challenges to prompt but not preempt the player's creativity (at least with the appropriate options reduced or turned off): what could you do with that slide projector? How to put that mockup fighter jet to good use?

    Just now I took my first stab (ha!) at the first 'proper' mission, a double assassination at a Paris fashion show. The mission is great at creating a miniature world in detail, and while my first run a) overwhelmed me and b) ended with me getting shot and killed, I'm already brimming with ideas on how to get close to victim A. The fact that there are hundreds of people around? That's a challenge, not an imposition. And the male model looking quite a bit like me? Well, with a bit of makeup added and the right outfit, I'm sure I can walk out in front of the crowd and no one knows any better. Though... can I actually kill someone while posing on a catwalk? That remains to be seen.

    Anyway, tl;dr: I can't say how this will play for Hitman afficionados, but from what I've heard they're enjoying it. The starter kit, which includes the two tutorial missions and Paris, is relatively cheap, and the episodic model actually makes sense for this one, as far as I'm concerned. I'd be surprised if this wasn't a game that a fair number of TTLG regulars would enjoy.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2005
    I keep hearing bad things about online dropping out and losing your progress towards a challenge. I may pick it up later.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2003
    Location: Southquarter
    Had no issues with the connection yet.

    I bought the first episode (tutorial + Paris) and played it for four or five hours. It was fun, a nice sandbox. The biggest downside were the clunky controls (keyboard and mouse), as in worse than the previous games. They really do stand in players way sometimes.

    Waited a long, long month and eagerly bought the second mission (Sapienza). Played it for an hour or two and then called it complete.

    I'm not going to buy the third or next episode anytime soon. Maybe when the whole game is complete. I guess this episodic system doesn't work for me, and it's not the cost, it's the fact I can't be arsed with this game for two-three hours and then wait a month for another location. While it worked fine with the Walking Dead games, with this one, for me it doesn't. I need the whole game and this is too... dilluted? Looking forward to a quality Hitman week by the end of the year.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I can't speak for KBAM controls, but the game pad controls are just fine and IMO muchbetter than the KBAM controls in Blood Money.

    I'm not usually one for sandbox experimentation, but already the tutorial levels made me want to try out different approaches, and the Escalation mode got me into trying to perfect an assassination according to specific parameters. If you don't get much out of trying out multiple different solutions, definitely wait until all the missions are out. As it is, I'm absolutely okay with this being episodic.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quick update: This morning before going to work I finished the second big mission, the one set in the coastal town Sapienza. The developers are brilliant at creating these detailed, self-contained worlds (this just popped into my head, but they'd be perfect at creating a game version of The Prisoner's Village), and it's easy to see why people liked this one better than the Paris episode, which was already very good: there is so much variety, with the village, the church, morgue and graveyard, the mansion, ruin and underground lab. In a way the game feels like Evil Bond, especially in this sunbaked locale.

    One thing I realise, though: I have to push myself a bit to get out of my comfort zone. There are lots of unique ways to get your targets, but I've found that in both episodes I used a similar approach, both times getting one target by putting rat poison in their drink, following them to the bathroom and drowning them in the toilet. Now that's perfectly okay, but in this respect the game reminds me of Thief: there is a general way of getting through each mission, but sometimes self-imposed restrictions can make things more fun. Hitman helps you in this by hinting at the various ways the targets can be taken out, in more or less detail (you can choose in the options whether to get the full information on the opportunities, just their labels, or nothing at all), and while exploring the levels you come across tons of objects and situations that suggest more creative approaches.

    While this does differ from Thief in relevant ways, I do think that the Hitman episodes might appeal to a lot of Thief fans. It's the large, interesting locations, the methodical approach that's required from the player, the fun ways in which things can go awry - and I'm sure you can even knock everyone out and drag them to a pantry, if you're good.

    Next up: first I think I'll replay Sapienza, trying to kill both (or all three, kinda) targets differently, and then I'll check out the third episode set in Marrakech.

  6. #6
    Administrator
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: above the clouds
    Are you paying for episodes as they turn up? I'm not sure about paying for promised content upfront. Is there a release schedule?

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    You can do either, though paying for the whole thing upfront gives you a bit of a discount. I don't think the upcoming episodes have concrete release dates. The starter pack gives you the two tutorial levels and the Paris mission; if you like replaying a mission, experimenting and perfecting your approach, I'd say it's pretty good value for money.

  8. #8
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    I think they said they're planning on releasing one mission each month for six months, following the initial release. If you buy the whole thing in one shot, it's $60. Otherwise, you can buy the starter pack for $15, and then each individual mission for $10 after that (bringing your total up to $75) or buy all of the follow up missions at one time for $50 (bringing your total to $65).

    I guess you can tell I've been pricing this out lately...

  9. #9
    Administrator
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: above the clouds
    In the uk that's 10 to start and 6.99 per episode. It's not bad considering the price for video rentals by comparison.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Do I need to play the first episode to understand the 2nd? I never got into Hitman, but was thinking of picking up the 2nd one just for the sandbox "just sink in and absorb the whole town while blending in"

    or should I just give Blood Money another chance?

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2014
    Location: Bangalore, India
    What do you mean by first episode? The first instalment of the series (Hitman: Codename 47)? Or the first episode of Hitman 2016?

    If it's the former: only play C47 if you can deal with how dated the gameplay is. The fun thing about Hitman is you don't have to play the games in order. C47 tells you who 47 is and where he comes from, and after that they all have basically completely disconnected stories. And the story is one of the least interesting parts of Hitman, so you don't even have to pay attention to it.

    If you mean the latter: Episode 1 contains prologue (tutorials) and the first location proper, and Episode 2 contains the second location. You can't get Episode 2 without Episode 1. And I'm not sure but I think you have to finish the first mission at least once to unlock the second.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I think you might enjoy the tutorial missions, Yakoob, for how they create a self-contained small world with its own systems and rules. That's the case for all the missions/episodes, but I find the two tutorials a neat masterclass in how to design such a small world. There are some decisions that are odd, but I can absolutely recommend the starter pack - also because it's then all the more impressive to see how the second episode (Sapinza) builds on this.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    @GK - yea I meant 2016 Episode 2.

    @Tririth - hmm thanks for the info. I don't so much care for Hitman, mainly just wanted to mess around and explote the big open world they built in the 2nd 2016 episode. But you make it sound like it'd be a good "learning game design" thing to play

  14. #14
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: Sulphur, whatever
    I enjoy reading people's thoughts about this, and the episodic format can certainly work with a series like Hitman. However, I'd still much rather play it when the entire set is done, and the final ratio of good:meh is a thing that's been worked out. Absolution was fun in stretches, but the biggest mistake they made was in trying to make it play out like a movie; I'm waiting to see if those missteps reoccur.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I would be very surprised if they were to repeat the mistakes of Absolution, since there hasn't been a trace of this as yet, and they've very much been praised for going back to the virtues of the series. In fact, I think the episodic release might end up giving them more time to get things right, whereas with a traditional release there's more pressure to get a game out by.a specific date, which in turn prompts creative shortcuts.

    Though none of that argues against you waiting until the whole thing is done, obviously.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2014
    Location: Bangalore, India
    So last night I was overcome by the sudden urge to play this and ... payment issues. Anyway, I'll get around to it. But first, anyone here try playing this on a GTX 960M? I've heard many things about the game's performance and optimisation, none of them too good, and I want to be sure it runs well.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Just finished the Marrakesh mission. It's a good level, but it feels more constricted than Sapienza, which is undoubtedly the best of the bunch. Perhaps I simply didn't find that many different assassination opportunities (though I've deactivated the function that spells them out for me; it just indicates that I've come across an opportunity but lets me figure out the rest), but it felt like there were more generic options and fewer specific ones.

    Still, dropping a moose statue on a dodgy Swede never gets old.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2014
    Location: Bangalore, India
    FINALLY got to pick this up. Let it download overnight and played a little bit of freeform training before stopping. Today I fully intend to get to Paris at least and pull off a few challenges too.

    Sadly the game seems to be very weirdly optimised. I get 30-35 fps in crowded areas and then easily 60 fps in small rooms. Is it my CPU? I've an i7 6700 (on an Asus laptop) ... Or is it just that a 960M + not-so-hot optimisation = weird framerates?

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I hope you'll enjoy it! Unfortunately I can't say much about the optimisation; it runs well on my system without major fiddling, but desktop systems' performance always tend to be different from what you get on most laptops.

    I'd suggest not to rush through the tutorial levels; especially the second one has lots of fun ways of offing the targets.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    In the meantime the entirety of Hitman S1 has come out. I stopped playing for a while after episode 3, but since I needed a break from the overwhelmingly gargantuan Witcher 3 I'm now playing the fourth episode set in Thailand. It's not as immediately striking as Sapienza or Marrakesh, but it still seems a cool environment for some silent assassination.

    Has anyone been holding out for the game to be complete(ish - I hear the story's very much set up along the lines of a multi-season TV series) and is now playing it or planning to get it? IMO it's well worth playing, especially if you like missions that offer a lot of replay value because they can be approached in many different ways.

    They should really release the two tutorial levels as demos, because they're a great introduction. I didn't get into any of the earlier games, but the tutorials convinced me that this is the Hitman I always imagined when reading a gushing article on Blood Money.

  21. #21
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: Sulphur, whatever
    That's good enough a rec for me. I was holding out to see whether they could pull off the episodic model - by all accounts, they have. It's a bit of a shame it doesn't run super smoothly on mid-range hardware like the 970, but that's the price of progress. I'll probably pick it up around one of the upcoming sales in Nov - Dec even though regional pricing renders it very affordable here, because holy shit I still have to get through DX: MD.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2014
    I definitely would love to demo a level to see if the rest is for me. My only experience with the series was Hitman 2 back in day and it was "ok." Probably would have picked up Blood Money had I not been playing Splinter Cell at the time.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: May 1999
    Location: on the socio path
    Hitman for me was one half sandbox, one half Jesper Kyd.

  24. #24
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: Sulphur, whatever
    That's one half right out the window since Absolution, then. Shame they didn't get him back, but after scoring four titles within the one franchise, I suppose he would've wanted a break.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2014
    What content will be excluded from the release version? Elusive targets and bonus episodes?

    Something about limited time content in a single player game kinda irks me.

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