The second, and final DLC map for Hitman 2 dropped yesterday – where 47 finds himself at a tropical resort for criminals who want to disappear. The map was highly anticipated by Hitman fans, myself included, so the real question is… how does it hold up? Like my previous Hitman post, this will be a “first impressions” as I’ve only played through the level in its entirety once.
Right off the bat, I was impressed with the briefing and opening sequence to the level, it seems like the expensive CGI cutscenes are still gone (for now) but it appears IO have played into what works best to takes its place – that being a combination of in-engine character models and a futuristic, almost James Bond-esque presentation style.
Once I was in the level, I found it intriguing how close they put one of the three targets to the starting zone. If you’d like, you can have a conversation with the target who then mentions your “file” that you used to enter the island (a cover story mentioned in the briefing). At this point, I was certain that this person knew about 47’s alias and was about to rumble him, but she just politely says to read the note in your room. I went into the wrong room and stole a briefcase and left. Not sure why to be honest. Anyway, soon after I grabbed the key to my hut and read the note, which I suspected was going to be a bomb before I saw it. It wasn’t. It said to go to a restaurant on another part of the island – so I started to make my way there.
My first playthrough of levels I have “mission stories” set to “minimal” so I’m not guided where to go, so I wandered around a bit and took in some of the ambience and atmosphere that IO Interactive put into the island. There was some incredible attention to detail, with little touches of character here and there, such as a bar with a party going on, and a spa. Eventually, I made met up with the target and she says she noticed you were listed as a retired thief in your file, and that she wants you to retrieve an item from the villa – I thought this was an incredibly nice touch. Incorporating some previously mentioned information into the actual level, and not only that, from a target? In your mind it sounds perfect; accept the “quest” from your target, so you can get close to them later and possibly open up a kill opportunity later. It’s definitely a different and compelling scenario that’s shaking things up for the better.
The rest I will not spoil, however the way the level was presented both in terms of design, and environmental clues were superb. I was expecting a downgrade due to the unfortunate lacking sales of Hitman 2, but I was wrong. It seems like money doesn’t buy talent. Talent makes talent. And this is a perfect example of that. The whole map has different interiors and exteriors, including villas, swimming pools, spas, huts, and an underground server room – all of which were brimming with opportunities for exploration and creative uses for the player. Personally, I had to reload a couple of times due to messing up, but I never felt like it was unfair, or I didn’t know where to go. An all-round well-made level and I look forward to playing more of it soon.
But what’s for the future of Hitman? I believe they’ll continue adding smaller content to Hitman 2 for now, before properly unveiling Hitman 3 which was already been confirmed to be in development. In my opinion, I’m hoping they fix some of the technical hitches on Hitman 2, such as DirectX 12 crashing, the ability to transfer unlocks from Hitman 2, and possibly co-op due to the ending of the DLC being heavily set-up for a Hitman 3 – and it makes sense. Being able to play whole levels with a friend infinitely increases replayability – If true, I cannot wait.
Despite all of the hitches behind the scenes, and disappointing sales, in my opinion, it’s never been a better time to be a Hitman fan. Pick this up if you get the chance.