We recently got access to the Hitman PC Beta and played through it. For Hitman fans who have been eagerly awiting the next installment in the Hitman series, here are our first impressions. We aren’t sure if this is the way the game will start in the full version but you begin with Agent 47 and his handler Diana making their way into some kind of training facility.
The very first mission takes place on a small cruise ship. This particular mission is almost completely guided with the game being very explicit about how you must go about executing your target. More than anything it is structured to give both fans and new comers alike a chance to get familiar with all of the game systems that make up a Hitman game.
Once you are done with this level you are dropped right back into the very same level. This time however you are completely free to choose your path to your objective. This level seemed a little on the smaller side but did offer a reasonable number of paths to complete your objective. I did die a few times before I finally eliminated my target and escaped.
The 2nd mission takes place in a different location. It’s something like a military base that is protecting your target. It was a slightly larger level than the first one and I was hoping to find more freedom in the way I approached my target. Unlike the previous level you are completely free to try your own approach to the assassination. One of the things I did encounter as soon as I began the mission was an ongoing conversation between two NPCs. The game at this time prompts you to hear the conversation so that you can learn some new information that might help with your objective. You get a new suggestion and directional marker at the end of the conversation. You are completely free to ignore the suggestion and try something different which is where I stumbled upon another conversation between a different set of NPCs. This time I got a different suggestion. I chose to ignore this one and try the first approach which had a rather funny payoff.
While the conversation is an interesting element of the game play there are misgivings of how they are going to be integrated into the natural flow of the game. As of now they seem to trigger at the exact moment when I reached designated spots.
For fans who weren’t too happy with Absolution because they felt it was a more on rails experience compared to the previous games we think the new game might return to it’s roots in terms off giving players greater flexibility in how they approach the assassinations. The new Hitman has definitely piqued my interest both with the game itself as well as the episodic release format. Look out for the full first episode when it hits in March.