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Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: IO Interactive
Release Date: March 11, 2016


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PS4 Review - 'Hitman: Definitive Edition'

by Fran Soto on Nov. 7, 2018 @ 2:30 a.m. PST

Hitman will see players perform contract hits on powerful, high-profile targets in exotic locations around the world.

Buy Hitman: Definitive Edition

The world's deadliest assassin sneaks his way into a new Hitman installment. Originally released in an episodic format, Hitman: Definitive Edition includes the complete collection from the 2017 release. This is a solid introduction to a new Hitman story and includes all challenges, contracts, missions, outfits and locations from Season One. New players and veteran fans will find the title appealing due to its great gameplay and visuals. With almost infinite possibilities for infiltration and covert operations, this title puts players' creativity at the forefront. The only limitations are your imagination.

Made for current-generation consoles, this Hitman title is the most graphically advanced one we've seen. Gorgeous scenery and locations from all over the world serve as the backdrop to our stealthy antics. Detailed character models and cut scenes create a sense of realism that contributes to player immersion. There's a plethora of different NPCs that give life to the world around us and create opportunities for infiltration. It's possible to subdue and disguise oneself as any NPC in the world. We're sometimes able to overhear parts of conversations that give us hints or opportunities to infiltrate. Maybe we need to take a waiter's uniform to sneak through a hotel, or we might steal a flower delivery man's outfit to bring a bouquet to our target. Taking someone else's clothes allows players to blend in and get close to our target for easier access. It's not all that easy, however, as some NPCs know the difference between their staff and our Agent 47. There is a constant element of danger throughout each level that puts pressure on the player to be as discreet as possible.

Adding to discretion are level layouts. There are multiple entrances and exits throughout each location, so players never have to follow the same path twice. Layouts create shortcuts and paths that weave into each other and add to player creativity. Hitman falters, however, in the way that some maps are plainly laid out. While the majority are very creative, a couple of maps seem very standard and lack the intricacy expected of the title. Despite these couple of lackluster areas, the rest of the game creates ample opportunity for players to sneak around using disguises and items found throughout the world.

Different locations also include various items and environmental interactions. Players have options to traverse the maps in surprising ways. Maybe I could scramble up a water pipe to my next destination, or side-step onto a ledge. Interacting with the various items in the environment adds to the almost infinite possibilities for carrying out missions. Assassinations could look like accidents if you want them to. Maybe faulty wiring sends a shock to our target. A chandelier could fall from the ceiling due to weak cables. There is always the straightforward "shoot-'em-in-the-head" route, but Hitman challenges us to think beyond that. With various challenges for each contract, we can make each level as simple or as complex as we'd like. Not only does this give various options for completing each level, but it also creates replayability. Completing challenges unlocks higher-level mastery for maps and creates new difficulties for each level. The game itself is not very long, but the multitude of options provides a lasting experience. The Definitive Edition also brings extra missions and gear to keep the fun going. The title never loses its essence, and it stays true to Hitman by being so over-the-top that it doesn't take itself too seriously.

The creative freedom allowed within the title brings a new level of gameplay to a Hitman title, but there are some limitations. The game requires an internet connection to register challenges. We can pit ourselves against other players around the world by accumulating the most points from completing challenges and being as stealthy as possible. A lack of internet connection means that none of this would be registered, even if the player has no desire to land on the world ranking board. Playing in offline mode means challenges are not available, and that cuts out a major component of the game. If one has internet issues, as in my experience, some parts of the game won't even save properly. Challenges create more incentive and loose guidelines for the possibilities within the game. The lack of an internet connection takes away the full experience and makes it less of a single-player game. Additionally, the game updates constantly with fan-made maps and challenges that can only be accessed through the internet. With so much content available in the game, it's slightly disappointing to be impeded by a lack of connectivity.

Even with so much additional content, Hitman falters in the story department. This new game attempts to serve as a fresh entry point for new players and veteran fans alike by creating a blank slate of a story. Our Agent 47 seems to have no recollection of his previous endeavors, and greater forces conspire to use him for their own gain, so the story isn't overtly new or creative. We're not given a clear picture of what's happening until the very end. While the main focus of the title is stealth and gameplay, it overlooks what a strong story can contribute to the overall title. While Agent 47 might be a stiff sociopath, he's still a compelling character deserving of an intriguing story. Despite this, players might be able to overlook the lack of story for the game's excellent content.

The Definitive Edition brings the most comprehensive version of the newest Hitman installment to current-generation consoles. Interested players who have yet to play the game won't need to wait for the episodic installments and can play the full title at once with additional content. New outfits, gear and levels bring even more content to the packed base game. Each assassination contract has numerous challenges to be fulfilled for replayability. These challenges create a more intricate experience for players who are seeking a higher difficulty level and creative gameplay.

Hitman puts player creativity at the forefront by making the gameplay open-ended. There are numerous ways to carry out assassinations, and players can be as discreet or forward as they want to be, which makes each playthrough unique. Additional challenges and constantly updated content add replay value to the title. However, players who lack an internet connection will miss out on this major content component, as challenges won't be registered offline. Fans seeking an immersive story factor may also be disappointed, as this Hitman title focuses more on the quality of gameplay than story execution.

Despite its flaws, Hitman: Definitive Edition is a solid installment in the Hitman franchise and serves as a quality introduction to a reboot of a classic title. The Definitive Edition is a great way for players to pass the time until Hitman 2 launches.

Score: 8.5/10

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