Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hitman (2016) - Episode 18 - Intel Gathering

Welcome to Colorado, one of the most interesting missions in the game.

In hindsight, after taking this footage and playing Colorado many times afterward, the most striking thing about it is just how small the level actually is.

I talked a bit in this episode about how the episodic model can, in some unexpected ways, hamper the level design. Because new story missions have to be large enough to justify the month or so wait between episodes, and have enough content to tide players over until another episode is released, they tend to be fairly large.

But when I think back to some of my favorite missions in Blood Money, like the infamous birthday party level, the actual area of operations in them aren't very big. However, they are dense with opportunities and viable methods to both infiltrate the building and take out the target. This is also true on the tutorial missions for Hitman 2016.

Colorado is larger than those levels, but it also houses four separate targets and is much smaller than any of the other maps, that each take up different (but interwoven and overlapping) segments of the level. In this way, it's not impossible to think of this level as four smaller, compact Hitman levels combined.

It's not as good as Paris or Sapienza, but it's a well-designed level and the closest thing to those smaller, but denser maps I liked in older Hitman games that we're likely to get on the episodic production pipeline.

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