It should come as no surprise to anyone that this year’s Hitman is a legitimately great game. Despite debuting in March and releasing in episodic form, the game has continued to garner praise from everyone (myself included) throughout the year, which is no small feat. The final episode, “Hokkaido”, released on Halloween and, unsurprisingly, manages to wrap up this game in classic Agent 47 fashion.
As the name suggests, the final episode takes place on Japan’s second largest island and focuses on a lot of what’s already happened in the game’s story, though they don’t let the plot get in the way too much. In “Hokkaido”, your target has stolen a list of your fellow hitmen and is coincidentally also going under for some surgery. His lawyer acts as your secondary target and while there may be some backstory to the episode, everything else is par for the course when it comes to Hitman.
While it may seem odd to have someone who is literally incapacitated for a surgery procedure as a target, Hitman makes it work thanks in part to how well everything looks. The stark contrast between the snowy Japanese mountaintops and the inside of the hospital where the episode takes place make for a very interesting play through. Not only are the areas that you visit diverse and unique, but they also are complicated enough that you can spend some time just roaming around to try and get used to your surroundings.
For the past five episodes of Hitman, the game doesn’t always force you to disguise yourself if you want to claim a target. “Hokkaido” is different, as your target literally cannot move or run away as he’s stuck in surgery. This being the case, the only way to get to him is by using a disguise and in a hospital that is incredibly strict about having the correct ID, the game pushes you to be as stealthy as you’ve ever been. Players might think it’d be easier to incapacitate someone who can’t run, but with an increased security and lack of anywhere to hide, it makes for a surprisingly fun and challenging last mission.
What’s really incredible about this game is that it managed to revive a series that many had thought was thrown to the wayside, and it was done so in a way that most people didn’t think would be successful. It’s not a stretch to say that Hitman is a legitimate Game of the Year contender and the definitive Hitman game. Fans of the series would be doing themselves a disservice by not playing this game at least once. As an added bonus, Square-Enix still has plans to release more elusive targets and other minor missions into the game come next year, which is another reason for you to pick the game up now or wait until it’s bundled version releases in January.
This review of Hitman is based on a digital copy for the PS4 which was provided by Square-Enix.