For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a big fan of Hitman. The games are puzzles with dozens of variables – some you set yourself, like load-outs and entry points. Others are set by the level design – guard placement, hiding spaces.
With the announcement of Hitman 2 in November, developers IO interactive have released Hitman: Sniper Assassin – a downloadable tease featuring co-op gameplay for the first time in the franchise as a preorder bonus. Taking place through the lens of a high-powered rifle, you’d have thought any links to the gameplay of the main series would be tenuous at best.
And you’d be wrong.
Somehow, Sniper Assassin plays like a microcosm of your average Hitman level. You aren’t able to hide bodies, but you can snipe targets off of balconies and ledges to ensure those bodies aren’t discovered. You can’t disguise yourself to set traps, but you can shoot objects in the area.
As a short prelude to November’s sequel, Sniper Assassin channels the spirit of the franchise in that all your careful planning can be undone – especially in co-op. When all hell breaks loose, you’ll need to adapt and synchronise your shots.
This “anything can happen” style is particularly welcome because the game only features one mission, so deployability is key. Luckily for such a seemingly simple game, you’ll want to improve your score each time to get the coveted “Silent Assassin” ranking.
All in all, I recommend giving Sniper Assassin a go. As a short experience you won’t find yourself playing it for long, but if the full release of Hitman 2 is as addictive as this is, we’re in for a great time.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for the article. Give the nature and smaller size of this title it didn’t seem appropriate to review it.