The second episode of Hitman is upon us and this time Agent 47 is tasked with destroying 2 targets and a fatal virus that can cross the world undetected until it infects, and kills it’s pre-programmed DNA target.
In the quiet costal town of Sapienza, you begin overlooking the villa containing a secret underground bio-chemistry lab, that you’ll need to infiltrate to destroy the virus.
Your targets are Silvio Caruso, the bio-engineer behind the virus, and his lab head Francesca Di Santis.
The appeal of many Hitman games before, was the range of way’s you can approach a mission, and once again, Episode 2, doesn’t just have a variety of methods, the game is hoping you explore them, and take the time to carry out numerous ways of getting to your target.
Unlike the initial Paris mission, Sapienza is certainly a bigger beast, the level is more complex, and seem to have an even more impressive range of characters, disguises and ways to assassinate the targets.
I thoroughly enjoyed Paris, but Sapienza feels much more of a full mission, and you don’t need to go searching, because some of the possibilities at your disposal are quite easily recognised (even if they’re somewhat difficult to pull off effectively)
Take for instance Silvio Caruso…. He plays golf, has a therapist and places flowers on his mothers grave, each sound like an ideal way of getting him alone, but each takes some planning and execution, maybe it’s easier to poison his Spaghetti, but then that will only feel like an opportunity dependent on how you start, which route you take towards the villa and who you listen to.
Without a doubt there’s plenty of replayability and a true sense of reward when you do head back to try out a more complex assassination.
Graphically Sapienza is a beautiful setting, like something straight out of a bond film, and better still the level design feels far more accessible than Paris. The first mission was certainly open, but in comparison to Sapienza, Paris feels somewhat linear.
Once again IO have done a great job of presenting a feeling of atmosphere, sure there’s a few times it feels a little scripted, if you make a kill and hide, people will once again search the area, without looking in the single box beside a corpse even though all exits where covered.
It does give a feeling of simplicity when you can take down a number of crucial enemies one-by-one by carefully hiding between kills, and then striking as the guards search for you.
But maybe that’s the appeal of retreading old ground, avoiding the need to resort to hiding, when you can blend in, often right beside your target, until the perfect time arises to assassinate.
The sound is once again very impressive, voice acting is of a high standard, and there’s always chatter from those around you, some will present opportunities to discover something interesting, while others will just chat between themselves. It’s all part of creating the atmosphere of the town and villa and making it all the more believable .
It’s hard to pick fault with Episode 2, it builds on the groundwork from the Intro pack and more importantly the Paris mission, and it certainly seems like a better mission even if a little cliche.