[Editors Note: This is a guest review by Conor, who runs the website pathofthegamer.com – you should definitely check it out!]
The fourth episode of the Hitman season has launched – this time taking Agent 47 all the way to Bangkok. It harkens back to the beloved Paris mission that kicked everything off, but can it maintain those high standards?
This time around the targets are lead singer Jordan Cross and his family’s lawyer, Ken Morgan . Cross is a mainstream vegan rockstar who’s been pissing off the hotel’s staff with outrageous demands. As you skulk around the corridors and lobbies you’ll also overhear many guests complaining about the noise he’s creating. Morgan is there on a secret mission for Cross’s father and doesn’t want Cross to find out he’s there. To make things inconvenient for any would be assassins he’s constantly being tailed by a body guard.
As I mentioned in the opening the hotel in Bangkok reminds me of the Paris mission. It’s one building surrounded by a small outdoors area on all sides. The entire left wing has been cordoned off for Cross’s crew so they can record his new album. That makes things a little difficult when it comes to assassinating Cross. Unlike the lawyer he’s not tailed by a body guard, but he does move between two or three floors in the left wing and there’s a ton of guards and crew members who could spot you at any time.
Unlike the Paris map the majority of this one is actually open to explore without any disguise. It is a hotel after all. You can move through a few bars, the restaurant, reception, most of the right wing, and the surrounding grounds without anybody raising an eyebrow. There are a number of staff areas dotted throughout which you will need a disguise to enter. One thing that really changes up the game is the fact that the hotel uses swipe cards for most of its doors. That means your trusty lock pick (or crowbar if you’re classy) won’t be of much use to you here.
When it comes to assassinations you’ll find the usual array of creative ways to murder. One of my personal favourites when it comes to Cross is to dress up as a drummer. Cross’s own drummer has left the band and he had to fly in a famous indie drummer to take over. Luckily Cross has never met the drummer and he’s conveniently bald meaning his cloths are the perfect disguise for 47. Once you don the skinny jeans of this indie rocker you can walk right up to Cross who will want to see how well you play. After 47 lays down a wicked beat Cross asks to speak to him in private. Let’s just say that once alone Cross sadly fell off of the hotel’s roof.
I found the lawyer to be a little less interesting. There are, of course, creative ways to assassinate him. However, unless you trigger something that causes him to move elsewhere he’ll just stay walking around in a short loop. All you need to do is pick a dish in the restaurant, poison it, and leave the area. You can then go deal with Cross and the lawyer will eventually sample the dish you poisoned. There are multiple other ways to ‘dispose’ of the targets, but I won’t spoil them here.
There’s not much point in talking about graphics or gameplay here because they’re the same as in the other episodes – which is good. However, the dialog between NPCs is outright hilarious this time around. I reckon you could forget all about your targets and still have fun just walking around listening to people. They provide satirical commentaries on the hipster scene as well as on the rich upper classes who are oblivious to the struggles of others. When it comes to the upper classes you can hear the rich guests complaining about their luxuries while the staff complain about the lack of respect they get from the rich guests. Everything is handled tastefully and some of the material really is laugh out loud funny.
When I heard Agent 47 was going to a hotel I couldn’t help but be giddy. I felt that there’d be so much potential considering all the rooms available, yet in the end I can’t help feeling like something is missing. I can’t quite establish what it is, but in a way I feel that there’s no energy in the map. When I think of the Paris mission we were offered a claustrophobic, hand crafted, really well thought out map. The secret auction upstairs and the fashion show downstairs created a sense of urgency. The hotel on the other hand has no such feel. It might have been better if instead of having Cross record an album he was playing a small gig. That would have created a much bigger buzz around the hotel as fans crowd in to watch the show. However, I understand that the developers were trying to capture the lazy feel of a luxury resort and they did. That lazy atmosphere just isn’t quite as fun to be in as Paris’ energetic one..
The fourth episode of Hitman truly is a fantastic effort. I’d even say it’s leaps and bounds ahead of Marrakesh. There’s a large area to explore consisting of the centre hotel, the two wings, four floors, the basement, and surrounding grounds. The dialog is outright hilarious as it satirically, and tastefully, rips apart stereotypes. Unfortunately, the developers shot for the lazy feeling of a luxury resort’s atmosphere. They captured that perfectly, but it just isn’t as fun to be in as Paris’ bustling fashion show.
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