Tuesday, 18 October 2016

First Impressions: Hitman

Another day, another series I've only just joined. Yes, Hitman, my first proper voyage into the series (which may explain my slightly differing opinions to series veterans) besides a quick go at Hitman: Absolution round a friends house, and it's been pretty good, to be honest. I've only played the prologue level so far but have really enjoyed the freedom to approach levels any way you want as well as the huge amount of features which make stealth games better than 'games with stealth in them' for example, moving bodies.
The setting of the prologue is a training facility complete with a fully simulated training ground - yacht and all. Kalvin Ritter is the target, an art thief of the highest pedigree and the task is to eliminate him in any way necessary. The bit I like about this level is the setting though as due to everything being simulated, the designers could afford to have some fun. For example, the sky is actually just sheeting (complete with some falling down) and the water is blocks of blue material which is a nice touch as they could've just said it was a computer simulation etc.

Not much story has been revealed quite yet in terms of where Agent 47 is concerned, but all the little conversations from the 100's of NPC's are really nice and make you feel like your in the world. The first playthrough of the level was pretty guided in terms of what to do but still pretty fun and unique. Not to give too much away but it involved 3 costume changes and a silenced pistol.

I was then given free reign to try and assassinate the reanimated corpse of Kalvin Ritter any way I like. Many, many deaths ensued. Some of my attempts included: dressing up as a guard, being found out and shot, dressing up as a yacht crewman, getting found out and shot, throwing a coin at a guard and getting caught, pouring rat poison into the wrong drink, trying to shoot my way through and dying, placing and detonating a bomb too early and... the list goes on.

Thankfully, Hitman isn't like real life and you can restart, which also has a nifty little feature of allowing me to, after many tries, figure out which drink Ritter drank from. And so came my final attempt: dressed as an engineer, went to deck 00 and, after grabbing the rat poison, changed into yacht crewman outfit. Ran up to the top floor and dropped the poison into the glass I knew my prey would drink from. I then stood at the bar and watched my prey outline his plans. Walked away just as he started to drink and then proceeded to follow the vomiting man to the toilets. Shutting the door as quietly as possible I quickly 'disposed' of Ritter and dumped his body in the closet. Running downstairs, I managed to find myself to the jet bike and to the escape. No-one saw and I had been successful. Now time to complete all the other challenges.

Talking about challenges, there was plenty to do and ranged from dispatching the target in a variety of ways to distracting a guard with a coin. It encourages replayability but is also forgiving - if you die but complete a challenge, the challenge stays completed. Which did mean, of course, that I ran, not very stealthily, to the target to dispatch him so as to complete a challenge and without any repercussions!

Lastly, I must mention the graphics which are good overall, although seem to be slightly unoptimized for PC, at least in terms of benchmarked specs. With my 750 TI graphics card, it said that I would have to go on lowest settings but I was able to run the game quite comfortably on medium-high (with the level of detail on ultra). What's annoying though is that because the game believes I won't be able to run high graphics it doesn't allow me to choose high textures or shadows which is a shame.

Conclusion: overall, though, I was pleased with my first experiences of Hitman and can't wait to play on to the next levels.

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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