Hitman is a disturbing game. Disturbingly entertaining to anyone who has some sort of emotional attachment to IO Interactive’s intricate series of murder simulators. After all, how many games are there that allow you to pursue a single target with the relentless nature of a corrupt president cleaning house, of any ministers who have a bad habit of showing too much integrity in parliament?
Hitman’s opening level, a debut episode for an entire season of homicidal missions, is a strong start that smacks of classic Hitman while keeping an idea or two from the underrated Hitman: Absolution in play. This time, it’s less about having to survive an assault from a cadre of killer nuns dressed in latex and more about knowing your target, environment and calculating the most efficient way to snuff a life, or at least the most entertaining method possibly. Something that Hitman pulls off effortlessly.
It’s a meaty example of what IO Interactive is capable of, a massive Parisian level hustling and bustling with lowlife make-up artists and annoying fashion designers, all book-ended by grisly fates for your marks. It’s the art of assassination, distilled into a product that feels fresh and nostalgic, and will finally give Blood Money fans a reason to shut up and focus on a different Hitman game for a change.
Want to poison your target with a quick syringe to the spine while they aren’t looking? Done. Drown a spymaster in a toilet filled with his own vomit and rat poison? That can be arranged. Drop a chandelier on top of your target and a bunch of fashion snobs who probably deserved to be crushed under a few tons of overpriced glass and haute couture? Yes, this is an option. Just one of many in fact.