Agent 47 is back in the sixth game of the franchise and is posted to change the way we play high profile triple A games. Hitman is the series first episodic title that offers a world in which you play in that is continually changing, expanding, and improving over time though episodic content that spans the globe.
If you didn’t get the chance to play Hitman, you are in luck. Hitman Steelbook Edition is a collection of the complete first season of Hitman, which includes all six episodes that have you traveling from Bangkok to Colorado to Paris and everywhere in-between. Get ready to take out powerful high-profile targets with an intense story in a world where economics and luxury collide with violence and power.
Travel the world
As mentioned above, the story in Hitman will have you visiting locations all over the world that include: Paris, Sapienza, Marrakesh, Bangkok, Colorado, and Hokkaido. Throughout the first season, Agent 47 demonstrates his exceptional aptitude as an assassin by fulfilling several assassination contracts for the International Contracts Agency.
One of my favourite contracts takes place in the first episode. Set in Paris, you must infiltrate the Sanguine Fall Fashion Show—the red carpet event of the year. The story is full of suspense and action that made it one of the most memorable in the game.
At first it’s not apparent, however you later learn that all the contracts Agent 47 has been hired for are related. Without giving to much away, we learn that these contracts have been coordinated to act as an attack on an organization called Providence. This is done so that it looks as if the International Contracts Agency is responsible while the true culprit lurks in the shadows.
If you have played previous games in the Hitman series, then the controls in Hitman will feel like second nature. The game starts out with a prologue tutorial, which teaches you the basics. However, if you are new to the series you will be delighted to know that the controls are spot on and easy to learn. I was amazed at the realistic reactions Agent 47 exhibited with just a simple press of a button or movement of the thumb stick.
As with other games in the series, your main premise is to take out targets per the contracts you accept. When approaching your target, you must be discreet and avoid bringing attention to the people in your surroundings. I found the best way to avoid getting the attention of guards was to disguise myself with the clothes of one of my fallen victims nearby.
One of the best things I love about Hitman Steelbook Edition is the amount of replay value that its gameplay encourages. Hitman’s maps are huge and never favour a single approach. In fact, there are more than a dozen different ways to take out your target. For example, in the first mission you are tasked with taking out two fashion designers, a man and his wife. There are multiple ways to take down these targets, either put poison in their drinks, dress up as a dummy and take them out, or plant an explosive in a nearby camera.
Hitman looks and plays superbly! With crisp and clean visuals, this is easily the best-looking game in the series. Each level is filled with detail such as the outside courtyard leading up to the doors of Palais de Walewska. Here you will find guards, guests, and news reporters that you can interact with and see fireworks fill the evening sky.
Both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions run at 1080p resolution and between 30-60 frames per second. You have the option to lock the frame rate to 30, but I suggest leaving the frame rate unlocked to enjoy the silky smooth animations.
PlayStation 4 Pro owners are in for a treat, Hitman Steelbook Edition contains higher-quality textures, more detailed lighting effects, and reduced aliasing. If you are playing on an Xbox One S, PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 4 Pro—you’ll enjoy vibrant colours with HDR support.
Take a look at the 360 degree video below to see just how awesome Hitman Steelbook Edition‘s environments are.
Additional gameplay modes
Hitman has plenty of additional gameplay modes to play after you have completed the main game. From Hitman: Absolution we see the return of Contracts Mode, which allows you to create and share a mission using any level and non-playable character (NPC) as the target. There is a tutorial that is included that shows you what you need to know to get up and running. This mode was by far my favourite and the variety of user created missions out there is virtually limitless.
Completely new to Hitman is the Escalation Mode, each contract contains five stages created by Io-Interactive, and become progressively harder as you advance. Escalation Mode is all about having fun with the game play mechanics of Hitman and then mixing them up. For example, you could be required to eliminate your target with a specific gun. Then, the next stage would require you to eliminate your target while dressed as a mechanic, and get rid of security footage camera within a certain amount of time.
Furthermore, another new mode in the game is Elusive Targets. This mode is filled with contracts containing custom-created characters appearing for a limited time. Elusive Targets offers the ultimate challenge, once your target escapes they are gone for good—there are no second chances.
Contents of the Steelbook Edition
Hitman Steelbook Edition comes with a plethora of goodies that are perfect for those who are Hitman fans. In addition to getting the entire first season on one disc, you get three bonus mission packs which includes the summer pack bonus missions—The Icon and A House Built on Sand. The third bonus is a brand new upcoming Landslide mission yet to be released at time of this review.
Furthermore, you get the original soundtrack, the making of Hitman documentary, the requiem blood money pack, and additional elusive targets after launch. If you are a PlayStation 4 owner, you’ll get six additional exclusive The Sarajevo Six missions.
Hitman Steelbook Edition is perfect if you missed out on Agent 47’s latest adventures. It contains the entire first season all on one disc with a few extra goodies thrown in. Each episode lasts about 3 hours depending on how you play, and the additional gameplay modes are extremely fun.
Overall, Hitman Steelbook Edition is a game that any Hitman fan should play. It contains beautiful and meaningful environments to interact with, bite-sized episodes that aren’t too long, and high replay value. If you are looking for an experience with nearly unlimited choices and an open environment, then you’ll love Hitman.
+ Extremely detailed and populated environment
+ High replay value
+ Exceptionally fun to play
+ Contracts Mode allows you to be creative and share with other Hitman community members
– Initial loading time of mission can take up to 60 seconds
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5