You if look back on our original Hitman Prologue and Episode 1 review, you will find a constant theme. This game has a huge wow factor that not many games pull off. Hitman, at least this time around – previous games in the franchise pale in comparison – has done a brilliant job of combining stealth, strategy, and assassination.
Fast forward after your last Paris job, and you will find yourself in a quiet, Italian coastal town with two scientists to eliminate. As the game has already demonstrated in the first episode release, how you do it is (almost) entirely up to you. It’s time to experiment.
If you’ve played Hitman games in the past, you know that the majority of them feel a lot like the Paris level from Episode 1. Compact areas (large, but compact) bustling with people, animals, and various obstacles, that make your ability to be stealthy so much more important. The tables seem to turn in Episode 2, however, as you are dropped in a fairly quiet coastal town. Your targets will be directly in front of you, but if your focus is solely on entering the research facility without exploring the town itself, you will miss a lot of great and interesting opportunities.
As you stroll down the streets of Sapienza you’ll realize something is vastly different here. Unlike Paris – where the majority of the level was deemed restricted area and it wouldn’t take long for you to cause a disturbance – this small city is really yours to explore free to intervention from unwelcoming parties. You can stroll past barber shops and retail stores, take a walk down the beach, and just enjoy the sites and sounds of a vacation destination.
However, you are never really disconnected from what is going on. Conversation in the shops might tip you off to a particular opportunity. You can learn, for example, that a private detective has a scheduled meeting with a client, or that a flower distribution van got into an accident. Is that detective related to the scientific research, or his meeting partner? Could you use the disguise of the truck driver to get into the facility somehow? It’s all about experimentation, and that is what makes this latest Hitman game so exciting.
Sapienza has lots to explore, but things feel a lot more like the Hitman we know when you finally infiltrate the research facility. Once inside, you are back to the narrow corridors and labyrinth of connecting rooms that will require ample amounts of strategy and stealth. And as per the norm, nothing is every “easy.” Eliminating the targets is only one piece of the puzzle, as you will also have to infiltrate the basement and stop the virus they are creating.
Hitman continues to excel with this latest release, offering snippets of game play on a monthly basis, a strategy that I personally applaud. While you have lots of options to work with within a given level, playing much of this game back-to-back would lessen the experience a bit. Having ample time between episodes and scenarios keeps things fresh and exciting.
We loved Episode 1 of Hitman and we believe Episode 2 picks up right where things left off. If you are looking for an excellent stealth and strategy title, Hitman is currently at the top of the list.
For more on Hitman and this current episode, stay tuned to Games Reviews!