As someone who thoroughly enjoyed the most recent Hitman title, the announcement that Hitman 2 would be arriving later this year was certainly something that had me excited. To the surprise of many however, those wanting to get back into the shoes of the world’s deadliest assassin won’t have to wait until November 13th, as a pre-order of the upcoming game will give immediate access to the prologue adventure – Hitman 2: Sniper Assassin.
Hitman 2: Sniper Assassin is a short and sweet single mission experience – for now – that can be played either solo or in co-op with another player online. Rather than taking the typical Hitman approach however, you are, as the title suggests, only going to be sniping your targets from a distance, much like Hitman: Sniper Challenge, the successful promotional experience for Hitman: Absolution back in 2012.
The game comes with a familiar setup, with menus taking the same design style as that of the 2016 Hitman game. There’s only one mission for players to sink their teeth into at the moment with Sniper Assassin, however more are expected to arrive alongside Hitman 2 upon its release in November 2018, as well as one additional mission with each subsequent DLC pack that arrives.
The current mission though takes players to a large wedding venue at a sizeable hotel. There are three primary targets to eliminate, all of which are the remaining members of an infamous gang of professional heisters. Whilst they don’t usually meet at the same location, the wedding of the daughter of target Dorian Lang is a special and rare occasion.
So, the three targets are Dorian Lang, Doris Le, and Guillaume Maison. There’s nothing particularly special about any of them, besides their criminal history, however a target is a target and you have 15 minutes to eliminate them all, along with the optional bodyguards that accompany them.
As mentioned before, this can be done either alone as the legendary Agent 47, or in co-op with two new assassins, Knight and Stone. Neither are really up there with Agent 47, although Knight does have a Jaeger 7 Copper with body and wall piercing ammo, whilst Stone has the Sieger 300 Redeem with shockwave ammo. The introduction of co-op is certainly a welcome addition to the world of Hitman, especially in its rebooted fashion, and it makes the experience a little easier when things start going wrong. Generally though the experience is pretty much the same in either the solo or co-op forms.
Whilst you have 15 minutes to get the job done, it’s completely possible that you could have it all wrapped up within the opening few minutes of play – at least if you have a fairly accurate shot that is. The fun however comes when things go wrong, and your targets begin to flee, as it’s a big old mission failed should any escape. Fortunately, there are multiple ways and opportunities to get the job done, so despite the short nature of the mission there is at least some replay value involved.
For example, instead of going in for the kill at the first opportunity, you can use environmental hazards to either create a distraction or compile a deadly event to put off your target, such as shooting loudspeakers or statues, watching from afar as they fall on the unsuspecting victims below. Or you could shoot them and watch them fall over the edge of a cliff or into a pool to simulate an accidental death. The level of variation isn’t quite at the same level as the main Hitman experiences, but considering you’re sat in one place for the entire level, the options are still pretty decent.
If that’s not enough to quench your thirst for some more action from Agent 47, then maybe the challenges will be what you need. Again, much like the main game, Hitman 2: Sniper Assassin comes complete with a bunch of challenges that give off XP that can help raise you’re Mastery Level. They are well varied too with one asking you to kill all three targets with a single environmental shot, whilst another requires you to take down all the hawks flying within the area. Not all of them are overly ‘challenging’, but it’s nice to see some extra creativity brought into what is otherwise an overly short experience at present.
Hitman 2: Sniper Assassin is a great way to get players in the mood for some more action from Agent 47. With only one mission available though, there isn’t enough for it to provide all too much of a memorable experience, but with more missions on the way, and co-op available for the first time, things certainly look promising for the future of the series.