2016’s Hitman reboot was well received in its new episodic format, offering large maps which served as murderous playgrounds for players to assume the role of Agent 47 in. Its sequel Hitman 2 is set for release this November, but in the meantime Warner Bros. invited PlayStation LifeStyle to their Burbank, California studio for a quick hands-on session with the upcoming stealth sandbox game. You can read all about what Agent 47 has been up to this past year in our Hitman 2 preview below.
It’s All Here
Hitman 2 is set to release as a complete package, featuring no episodic maps as with 2016’s release. While the game features several brand-new locations, during our hands-on time we were only shown one single-player map: Colombia. The Santa Fortuna village is home to a modest population, lush jungle foliage, and an extremely dangerous drug cartel. Naturally, Agent 47 has been hired to cull the area of some of the ringleaders in the area.
This map features three targets, and dozens (perhaps even hundreds) of non-target NPCs to mess around with, take out, or to simply watch. While many of these characters are unimportant, they all seem to have their own schedule, whether they’re sipping a cold one at a local bar, waking up from a bender consisting of one too many cold ones, or serving local patrons some nice cold ones. There are also locations outside of the bar if you intend on finishing your mission. There are lots of other locations, too; the Colombia map we played appeared to be at least as large as Hitman‘s maps, perhaps even larger.
Although most non-target characters can be ignored, often times they are useful in more ways than one. For starters, nearly all NPCs can be knocked out and stripped of their clothing, allowing Agent 47 to don a new costume. This is helpful if 47’s cover is blown, as now the enemies will be looking for someone fitting his description, a part of which will include what style of clothing he was last seen in.
Take Your Pick
As usual, almost any object in the area can be used to off someone, or to assist in dishing out the hurt. For instance, messing with a radio outside a shop will get the attention of the owner, who will leave his post to come outside and investigate. The time that he is outside the shop can potentially be used to grab key items, or perhaps to lure him away from customers’ eyes in order to knock him out (and thus acquire his outfit). You can, of course, simply go right at the owner and take him out, but any customers in the store will react to this action, and you’ll have little time to take them out before they run out and alert the authorities.
If a lot of this sounds like the last game, well, that’s because a lot of Hitman’s mechanics have not changed for this sequel. It seems that IO Interactive has used the mantra “don’t fix what ain’t broke.” In other words, since the reboot was successful, simply adding new, highly-detailed locations, with perhaps a few twists or secrets, should please the fans. It’s a good method to use in a genre that doesn’t see too much action these days.
Enjoy the Scenery
Hitman 2 boasts graphics that have been improved since 2016’s Hitman. The lush foliage of Colombia is dense and well-detailed, while outfits that Agent 47 wears react to the lighting believably. While this map didn’t feature large groups of civilians, other character models were decently detailed, and this level of detail stays visible for a good distance. While there are no hard technical details out yet, 4K is likely to be targeted, and things ran smoothly, perhaps even nearing 60 frames per second on certain consoles.
As most everyone who has played a Hitman game should know, an hour is not much time to spend with a game map as diverse as one in the Hitman series. So, while we barely saw even a third of the Colombia map, what we did see showed multiple opportunities to cause havoc, and let unique kill opportunities present themselves almost organically. Ultimately, it doesn’t feel like the successful formula of Hitman has been messed with much, and the locations provide the most drastic changes. This is a good sign of things to come, and fans of the series should eagerly await Hitman 2’s November 13th release date.