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Paris. Italy. Morocco. Over the course of several months, someone has been playing a game in the world of Agent 47. A puppet-master has been pulling strings, planting the seeds of an elaborate plot as 47 was manoeuvred towards eliminating obstacles and people for a shadow client whose connections run deeper than one would think.

And what a game it has been so far. The idea behind Hitman adopting a more episodic approach may have been a controversial idea at first, but IO Interactive have gone above and beyond with their reboot, crafting a new entry in the series that has made its mark as the definitive version of Hitman to date. And the season finale of Hitman is a quiet yet fitting cliffhanger towards the revived future of 47.

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The beauty of Hitman this year has been that every level on offer has had something to offer. A defining trait, that gave each mission a unique flavour. Paris had intrigue, Sapienza had a surprising amount of depth and Colorado felt like the purest version of Hitman to date. But Hokkaido? An exclusive mountain retreat hospital that happens to be a fierce blend of modern and classical ideas within its architecture has something else entirely: Poetic opportunities.

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By now, IO Interactive has mastered stage design in Hitman. Hokkaido is a more constricted level, one with winding turns and claustrophobic passages the deeper you dig into it. There’s a facade above the sterile and technological wonder on the mountain, with the stage itself proving to be a character on its own.

But scratch deeper below that surface, and you’ll find yourself eliminating a pair of targets with ruthless efficiency that complements their crimes and histories. It’s clever stuff, with episode 6 having some of my favourite opportunities in the franchise so far. Maybe you want to see just how deadly a yoga session can really be. Maybe you want to remind your mark that smoking does kill.

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Fiddle with the Kai matrix that runs the hospital and your unlucky target will soon discover that there’s a homicidal ghost in the machine, or you can take things a step further by roping in a doctor whose personal history crosses with his patient and results in a circle being closed. Agent 47 is the great pretender, an assassin who moves through multiple disguises in this small yet deep level that strips him of any of his usual tools and has 47 rely purely on a skill set built up over years of training.

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But it’s a fantastic reflection on the community who have been supporting Hitman since day one, as months of play finally pay off. Episode 6 is a quiet marvel, but an amazing chapter nonetheless. And as the sum of all its parts, IO Interactive have gone above and beyond with their episodic vision. 2016 has given birth to not only the best Hitman game ever made, but also one of the strongest contenders for the game of the year.

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And I can’t wait to see what the second season has in store for 47.

Hitman Episode 6: Hokkaido
Summary
A calm and restrictive level on first glance, episode six of Hitman is teeming with poetic kills, intricacy and intrigue as it sets up a subtle tease of things to come in future seasons for Agent 47.
8.5
Hitman Episode 6: Hokkaido was reviewed on PlayStation 4
81 / 100
  • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

    Second Season? So when can we buy the box set?

    • Season one collection kicks off late January next year. GET IT!

      • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

        No, I mean like the complete game….. My way of thinking is out of date it seems.

        • January 2019 at this rate 😀

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            XD

        • VampyreSquirrel

          Just before Star Citizen releases.

          • Original Heretic

            Star Citizen is going to be released?!?!

            Wait, wait, you’re kidding right? Oh you!

        • nganiki

          Well it’s like a serie in a way… So, did you ask yourself when the whole Game of Throne complete serie would be finished when they finished the whole season ? It just doesn’t really makes sense.

          Each season of Hitman will be a game on its own.

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            No I didn’t ask that of GOT, but I do ask it of games seeing how they get released in one piece like movies. With TV series I normally wait for the whole season to finish before watching, can’t stand the wait and I’m not sure I’m ready to buy a game in pieces yet

          • nganiki

            I am a Hitman player for many years now, and for me the big arching story is not what is important, the fun in hitman is in playing the game, understanding the targets and their loops, figuring out the puzzle that is finding the best ways to kill your targets without being noticed.
            The story is more like a… Pretext for the missions to be.
            Completely the opposite to a telltale game for example where the story is the game in a way.
            Absolution was completely story driven, and I did not enjoy it, like most Hitman players, I am actually happy that the story is more discrete and that they focus on making cool levels and missions. Considering this, knowing that the larger background story will still continue in the future is not bothering me at all. Every mission is in its own a small story that you need to discover yourself.

            Anyway, if you like the previous Hitman (Absolution excluded), and if you had fun doing the missions of those games, nothing should keep you from playing the game now (all the episodes are out, just a small bonus mission left), and you will have a good time.

          • Absolution’s story was pants, but it had still had some fantastic ideas in the gameplay department that carried over to this version of Hitman.

            I still kinda dig Absolution.

          • Milesh Bhana

            in that case you can already buy the “full game”. This was the last episode.

            Xbox live currently has the full season on special for R799.

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            Darryn mentioned season 2 is one the way, so I guess I’ll wait some more

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