After my third or fourth death not far from where the first mission begins, it struck me that I had never played a true Hitman game (sorry, GO). Most of this was due to my original Nintendo allegiances, but also because I went through a phase around Metal Gear Solid 2 where I was exhausted by the idea of playing a stealth game. It also seemed like Hitman games were coming out every other week and getting worse by the sequel so jumping in later in the franchise never became a priority.
Honestly, I should have written the newest Hitman off before I played it. Its development sounded like a mess and switching to an episodic release format at the last minute did not give me or fans a lot of confidence in the final product. Regardless, the game stayed in my periphery and once a sale happened, I gave it a chance.
I love Hitman. Instead of being intimidated by stealth mechanics or playing in "yet another" open world, I adore the toys in this perfectly sized sandbox. I don't feel any pressure to execute the "perfect" hit as messing with the world is too much fun. That's the trick, though, playing around in each mission actual trains you for when you do want to take the hit more seriously. Not only that, but the multiple challenges available for each mission guide you to mess around in the world in ways you wouldn't come up with on your one.
Recently, I tagged in Cole to direct me through the training mission and he selected a few tricky challenges that we solved in unexpected/accidental ways:
As for the episodic structure, it allows me to focus on one mission at a time until I've gotten my fill. As a player, I would normally try to blow through every mission that I can to open up my options to replay everything later. The thing is I, personally, never get around to doing replays. I tend to move on after I have finished a game. Playing Hitman one episode at a time has allowed me to enjoy the ridiculousness and perfection that comes with replays.
Bite-sized Hitman is the Hitman game we never knew we wanted, and at this point new episodes are come out on a steady basis. Plus special timed events are being added to the game like Elusive Targets that give players one single chance to eliminate custom characters. It sounds like the developers are making the most of their episodic schedule, too, since each mission is fulfilling and technically sound.
There's more Hitman coming and so I'll be causing awkward social situations that lead to murder on a pretty regular basis this year.