Hitman – Beta Impressions

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The newest entry in the Hitman series sees Agent 47 returning to his roots in terms of both narrative and gameplay.

The opening, set on a snowy mountain base 20 years in the past, depicts the suave assassin’s first meeting with long-term informant Diana Burnwood.

Simulated training missions serve as 47’s initiation into the ICA and showcase expansive levels that hark back to old series entries like Contracts and Blood Money.

The first task is to take out an art dealer on board his yacht without alerting any of his party guests to your presence.

It’s all about choice – disguise yourself as a dock worker and boldly step aboard or use a lock pick on the nearby fence and slyly sneak your way on.

The yacht is filled with an impressive amount of guests and, more importantly, it’s brimming with delightfully creative ways to off your target.

Our first attempt is a rather vanilla assassination using several disguises to remain inconspicuous before following the target to his private room and sending him to the afterlife with a weighty ornament launched directly at his cranium.

The simulation then resets and we are encouraged to try out new ways to complete the objective and the fun really begins.

It provides a playground for all manner of assassination; a subtly poisoned drink, a cunning business associate disguise or a lifeboat loaded with explosives resulting in a deadly firework display for our unsuspecting victim.

However, an unstable framerate did cause stuttering issues and the AI of the NPC’s isn’t quite up to scratch.

Still, if these issues can be ironed out in time for release and the full game presents the same level of intuitive gameplay that relies on creativity, intuition and improvisation this could well be a true return to form for one of gaming’s most iconic killers.

Platform played – PS4

Publisher – Square Enix

Certificate – 18

Rating – 4/5

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