‘A Stealthy Summer’
Have you ever wanted to dress up as fortuneteller and assassinate a target with a crystal ball? Or better yet, infiltrate a film set with the sole task of taking out a malicious and conceited hollywood actor/director? Well then I have something just for you. Without sounding too much like a salesperson, let me just say Hitman’s summer bonus episode is a blast, and a slight change-up from the repetition that was starting to plague it.
The Summer Bonus Episode may not feature any new locations, but what it does with the previous two locations-Sapienza and Marrakesh-is quite unique. The mission in Sapienza tasks you with taking-out a actor/director who comes across as a bit of a hot-head. In Marrakesh, your task involves taking out two targets before they make a billion dollar deal. While the bonus episode may use both locations, the map layout is more constrained. In Spaienza, everything except the square, clocktower, and a few surrounding shops are off limits. In Marrakesh, the market is the main focus, with the embassy and abandoned school excluded. Both of these missions are not part of the over-arching story, instead they act as an appetizer until the next full episode.
This delicious appetizer stands on its own offering the same replayabily as a full episode. Opportunities found throughout the core episodic structure are still present, along with new and interesting ways that keep offering different variety. One of my main complaints about the previous episodes was the repetitive nature of the challenges, with the Summer Bonus Episode I found myself utilizing different play-styles; which is how Hitman should be played. Both missions are set against the backdrop of night, leaving a peaceful, yet ambient change that seemed different from the daytime layout. It’s a small change, but an interesting one. Going forward I would be interested in seeing an option to have more in-depth customization when approaching a mission, similar to what Metal Gear Solid V did with deployment.
With a change in atmosphere and a few new objectives to accomplish, Hitman’s Summer Bonus Episode has just enough variety to please. Going forward, this looks to be an interesting plan if I-O Interactive chooses to offer more small-structured episodes.
*originally written on August 16, 2016