Hokkaido is definitely one of the most interesting levels of Hitman: Season One. It wasn’t until Colorado that I actually figured out how to play Hitman properly – and what a better level to learn on – but Hokkaido honestly didn’t feel like a fitting end to the game.
Sure it was difficult: you’re completely unable to take anything into the mission with you except for the clothes on your back (right off the bat, at least), and almost every room requires a different outfit/RFID chip to get inside. It turns out that the decoder that I mentioned in my ‘first impressions’ isn’t actually in the level, but it’s your ICA decoder that you can bring in once you’ve unlocked a few drops throughout the hospital.
But that’s really where the difficulty of Hokkaido ends. It took me about two hours total to beat the mission on my first run, which is pretty damn good, if I do say so myself, but I must’ve died 18 times in Colorado before I got even close to the final target.
Each mission in Hitman: Season One was more difficult than the last. Paris saw two targets, Sapienza saw two plus a virus destruction… You get the point.
That’s what really disappointed me about Hokkaido. There were a lot of constraints placed on you that made the level difficult, sure, but once you figured out how to get around them, the difficulty swished away like a lantern floating on the wind.
Regardless, this level is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. One of the most beautiful in the game, I think. It’s full of all those little tiny details that make you stop your murderous rampage for a few seconds and appreciate all the work that went into creating this wonderful game.
Once I beat the level, I unlocked quite a few drop points, starting locations, and new outfits. One of which was the ninja costume that comes standard with a katana. I… Well… I tried, okay? I gave the ninja costume a shot. I gave it a couple shots, actually, but it’s nearly impossible to get around. I’m sure if I tried hard enough, I could kill the two targets, but that’ll be for one of my many late night playthroughs of this game.
Since this is the last episode in the series, I would like to take a little bit of time to talk about Hitman: Season One as a whole. First off, the simple fact of it’s new name: Hitman: Season One. It has been confirmed that the newest Hitman series will take place over multiple seasons consisting of, I’m assuming, six episodes each. And… I’ve got some feelings about this.
First off, this is a really cool concept. We now have the ability to take games and spread them out like this. You pay for the game and then download new content as it becomes available. This, you would think, would allow the developers more time to work out the kinks of each episode and give you a game that’s finished, but, of course, this is 2016, so there are still massive 4-16 GB updates once or twice after each level comes out. Which is fine. It’s… fine. But with a finite amount of hard drive space and almost 80 GB of that space now being taken up by just one season of Hitman, I’m having to consider buying a bigger hard drive. Which isn’t cool. Not at all. I already spent $399 on a PlayStation 4. I don’t want to go buy a brand new hard drive for $80.
It’s also cool because you can appreciate a level for what it is: play through it seven or eight times, beat all the escalation contracts, do some of the elusive targets, and then a new level comes out. You get the most for your money. I think that was an unintended consequence of the episodic nature of this game, but it worked out really, really well.
And as for the game as a whole: A+. No doubt. As I said in my first review, I had never played a Hitman game before and enjoyed it. It must’ve been Hitman II that I originally played on my PS2 and absolutely hated. I couldn’t stand the difficulty of it. It was too much work, not enough reward. But, now that I’m a more… distinguished gamer, I can’t get past how absolutely amazing this game is. The stealth and shooting mechanics are perfect, and the level design is brilliant. I can’t believe I passed up these games for this long, and I wish I would’ve been playing them from the beginning so I could have the attachment to 47 and Diana that some other players obviously do.
So will I be buying Season Two? I honestly don’t know. If they do what they did with Season One and come out with it on disc after all the episodes are released, then I’ll probably wait for that just for storage’s sake. But… Yeah. I probably will. I’ll end up getting a one or two TB hard drive, putting it in, taking the hours that it’s going to take to transfer over all my data and reload my games, and then downloading to my heart’s content.
Reed’s Review Corner
8 bullets out of 10
Beautiful level design.
Difficult mission parameters.
Interesting target takedowns.
No conclusion in story.
Mission parameters is where the difficulty ends.