June 07, 2016

Hitman Episode 3 - Marrakesh - Review

Agent 47 has now touched down in Marrakesh and with that, has two new targets to content with, but now in the third act, is the new Hitman starting to wear down or is it only getting better.

The new targets that are on the list for Agent 47 are a corrupt and power hungry general and a well to do thief banker and while neither stands out like the past targets, they are both situated in harder locations than before, which makes thing very interesting indeed. The general for instances has over taken a school, which means that it is a mini army base, with soldiers doing the rounds and many chances to be spotted. Whereas on the other hand, the banker has taken refuge within a consulate, which has given him a little room to breathe and as people who are not meant to be there are considered invading sovereign soil, it also adds a wrinkle to the plans, as does the hundred or so people out the front calling for the bankers’ head.

My first target of choice was the general, my thinking was that if I took him out first, there might be less of a problem with soldiers, so I made my way towards school. Along the way, I had overheard a store keep and a shopper converse and it turns out the store owners father used to be the headmaster of the school that the army was using and that he happened to have the master key which opened any lock, so I snuck inside to try to borrow the key, but it proved to be quite a hassle, so before I was noticed, I made my way back out. It was here that I noticed the biggest problem with the chapter, but more on that later. I got close to the school, but the army had blocks in place, letting no one pass, which meant I had to find someone way else in, so I turned my attention back onto the embassy.

No long after I managed to gain access to the grounds, I was spotted by a soldier and after dealing with him, I took his uniform and was free to move about as I saw fit, which was great, so I made my way back out and went back towards the school. Once I had managed to gain access to the grounds, things became a lot more complicated. The soldiers kept to their patrols with, military precision, which meant that random windows of luck were not likely to happen. I had found myself in possession of some cool items like a remote explosive, amongst others, but more than that, I had discovered a cool opportunity. Sadly, my time exploring that option was cut short when the general approached, so I got out of his way, but realised, he kept going up and down the same set of stairs, so I planted my explosive in the path he would take and retreated to a safe distance and waited, however between my planting and waiting for my target, the mine was found by someone else and removed, so I had to switch things up.

After a few other attempts I was able to take down the general and then switched to the banker and while I would love to admit that it was harder, it was really easy, the banker followed a route, I picked a place and took him out, sadly though, as I was doing the deed, a guard walked in and spotted me. I made a quick exit, changed back into my military garb and walked out to the street and out of the level. How easy it was to take out the banker was actually quite a letdown, with the act of breaking into a consulate the same as invading another country, I expected security to be tighter, but in the end it proved that I over thought that and while sure I could have done more to avoid being spotted, I still got out of there without dying, so that is a win.

Sadly, the location of Marrakesh never clicked with me and there is a really big reason that it happened that way. I mean it had the amount of people that was found in Paris, but the open nature of Sapienza, but when every single person spoke in an American accent, it just killed it. Shop keepers, protesters and even members of the Moroccan military all had American voices, it broke the immersion to the point where I found myself not caring if I finished the chapter or not. Even the general, one of the targets did not have a thoroughly authentic Moroccan accent, when his profile states born and raised there, it became even more annoying. In the previous chapters you can be forgiven, thanks to a fashion show bringing people from around the world together and a location filled with tourists and private security, but here it is local people, local military and Swedish consulate workers, hearing anything but voices from those countries is odd.

The game still suffers from its exceptionally long load times still, which is becoming a frustrating part of the game, but worse is the games reliance on being online. When you boot into the game, it connects you to the hitman servers, which grant you some bonuses, but should you not care about that, you can play offline, for this chapter I wanted to stay online for it, sadly that failed. About 40 minutes into my session, I lost connection to the hitman servers and could not reconnect, which was bad, because when the only options are retry or return to menu, it made me realise I was losing all of my progress. After I restarted, I noted that, you no longer can complete any challenges or use extra equipment unless you are online, the strange part is however that my internet runs fine, which means the issue was on their end. So I was being denied access to features because the game could not connect to servers on the developer end, a pretty bad thing to happen I think

Hitman is still a fun game, learning someone’s routine, discovering the best way to gain access and then taking them out is still immensely satisfying, but with a location like Marrakesh and its citizens of Americans breaking that immersion with ease, the third chapter stumbles.

Thanks to Square Enix for supplying the game for review

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