LTTP: Hitman (2016) [PC]

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I just realized I forgot to write this review. So it’s going to be a bit tricky having to dig back into the archives of the mind and fish out my thoughts on Hitman (2016). I had a positive experience with Hitman, but I think the episodic model would have forced me to engross myself with each level a bit more.

IO Interactive’s decision to launch the game in installments was met with controversy. I am not a big fan of the episodic model when comes to games; I waited for the entirety of StarCraft II, Life is Strange, The Walking Dead and others. In fact, the only episodic game I invested in early was the Final Fantasy VII Remake.

I essentially took a dip into each of the game’s seven levels, explored a bit, and then make my way to the finish line. I didn’t soak in these levels; I didn’t learn them or master them. I had no desire to figure out the inner workings of each one. I was content with eliminating the target in the way I wanted to and moving on. 

I don’t believe I was fully appreciating the work that went into each of those levels by playing through like that. I invested more time into that single level of Hitman: Sniper on iOS than I did with any of the levels of Hitman (2016). 

Hitman was a game of options. Options on how to play were present in every aspect of the game. The known Hitman qualities like costume changes, whipping a can of soup at someone to knock them out or just straight up sniping them with a high powered rifle were all here. The toolbox was wide and the sandbox was sizeable and intricate. To help navigate players through all of it, a hint system those who just want to see cool stuff happen a clear path to make that a reality. In order to lengthen my time with the game and force myself to explore the game’s levels a bit more, I chose not to rely on it. But once I had my fill, I got back to the beaten path. 

Options are great, but at the same time, I think the option of waiting for the entire game to drop was a mistake for me. I think I would have obsess over each and every level a bit more if I was following the episodic release. I still enjoyed playing through Hitman, but I didn’t love it or get to know it like those who committed to IO Interactive and followed them on their weird episodic Hitman game. Hitman 2 and the upcoming Hitman 3 fall back to traditional release models, which I think is preferable for most people. However, I cannot help thinking there’s something to drip feeding content.

I liked it

Ratings Guide

Game of the Year 2016 Day 1 of 3

If there’s one positive thing that 2016 should be remembered for, it’s the abundance of great games. There were so many games out there and so little time to play them all, so it’s time for me to give nods to games that I should have played in 2016. 

The Game I Wish I Bought & Played in 2016

Winner: Hitman

I’m a long time Hitman fan. I was hooked with Silent Assassin, honed by Contracts and impressed with, the last great entry to the series, Blood Money. I didn’t hear many kind words for Absolution and thus I thought the series’ may have lost its way. Needless to say, I was wrong and this year’s Hitman seemed to be the true successor to Blood Money that we’ve all been waiting for. It even won GiantBomb’s Game of the Year.

I didn’t agree with the episodic nature of the game. I tend to buy entire seasons after all the episodes are out and people can weigh in on its entirety. I should pick up Hitman now but with so many games left to play, I just don’t know when that will happen. This is especially true considering I own the runner-ups and have yet to play a second of two of them.

I started Pokemon Sun but it might as well be still sealed in its box because I just got my Litten. 

Runner-ups: The Witness, Final Fantasy XV, Pokemon Sun


Game of the Year 2015 Day 2 of 3

You can tell it’s a good year for games when I have more difficulty whittling down my list of surprises than my list of disappointments. I even had to cheat a bit and cut Black Ops III in half in order to give my list of disappointments three nominees.

Most Disappointing Game of 2015

Winner: Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture Box Art Logo

Dear Esther was one of my first forays into the “Walking simulator” genres. It was beautiful, fascinating and I felt encouraged to explore a space. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture seemed to following down the same path as Dear Esther but it became the deliberately slow movement speed and ugly performance issues ballooned to the point where I just didn’t care if I finished it or not.

The plodding movement speed ran against the exploratory nature of the game which is insane when that’s the only means of interaction.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III’s campaign was a significant step down from Black Ops II’s which was surprise considering Treyarch’s track record. However, I wasn’t as bummed out by it as others because I played it in a co-operative setting.

As for Xenoblade Chronicles 3D? It’s my fault for even buying this game. I knew it had MMORPG trappings but I felt compelled to buy a New Nintendo 3DS game after picking up the refreshed handheld earlier this year. The surrounding praise didn’t help but I should have known better. I’m more disappointed at myself than the game, really.

Runner ups: Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Campaign), Xenoblade Chronicles 3D

Most of Surprising Game of 2015

Winner: Rocket League

Rocket League Box Art Logo

Soccer with cars. I heard rumblings about Super Acrobatic Rocket Powered Cars being a fun game I didn’t bother pursuing it. Rocket League was given away through the PlayStation Plus Instant Game Collection and if it wasn’t for the slowish summer season and the fact that it was “free”, I may have missed out on this simple and incredibly deep game. It’s a game that comes closest to matching the spirt of soccer. I wasn’t controlling a player who manipulated the ball based on his dribbling ability, I used a car and exerted force to manipulate the ball; it was my skill (or lack thereof) that determined if I scored, how well I blocked, how accurate I passed or how fast I dribbled a ball. It was both frustrating and satisfying.

Hitman: Sniper looked like the myriad of other Silent Scope knockoffs on iOS but since it was Square Enix Montreal, I gave it a try and discovered a surprising amount of depth and challenge. I even made my way onto the top 100 or so.

I didn’t think Life is Strange was my kind of game but what did I know? It didn’t matter if it starred high school girls, a heartfelt story was great no matter what.

Runner ups: Hitman: Sniper, Life is Strange

LTTP: Hitman Sniper

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After playing Hitman: Sniper, Square Enix Montreal resides on my list of top tier development studios. I loved Hitman Go but I didn’t immediately dive into Hitman: Sniper because it looked like the lame Silent Scope knock offs that litter the Apple App Store. However, when I got the game for free (or very cheap, I don’t recall which), I was proven wrong. Hitman: Sniper was brilliant.

The game was not about sniping a target or two and then moving onto the next locale because there’s only one locale to play with. I was taken aback at first but as I was unlocking missions, weapons and abilities, I slowly realized that this was about climbing the leaderboards. The missions were there to teach me how to play the game and what was possible with just a sniper rifle.

I learned how to setup accidents and triggered explosions with well placed shots. I was trained in the importance of body disposals and luring unsuspecting guards away from the targets they were protecting.

Hitman: Sniper was a game of surprising depth and demonstrated to me that it’s possible to create a score challenge game like this on mobile. I’m not a fan of the Facebook integration but I love the idea of sharing replays. I learned from others to improve my own score without having to head over to Youtube. However, try as I might, I’m stuck in the low end of the top 100 at the time of writing. Still, they successfully infected me with the score hunting bug and that’s no easy feat.

I like it

Ratings Guide

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