I ended up having a pretty busy weekend but I still managed to find some time to play a couple of hours (which is all I really needed) of the Hitman Beta that was free for PS Plus users last weekend. Before I get into my experience (which is mostly positive, surprisingly), I want to make a list of the things I disliked first.
After installing the beta onto my PS4, it took me about 20-30 minutes to finally get started and playing the game. I had this weird "connecting" issue and I was a little confused since I was playing a single player game. Other than that, the game had a couple of framerate hiccups, especially during the cutscenes. It seems as if the game tries to load while the cutscenes are going on but it doesn't happen as smoothly as you'd expect.
It's only exacerbated when the audio gets a little janky because the framerate drops. If that happened now, it would be like evvvvvvverry other word or ssssssssso had a couple of exxxxxxxxtttttra letters. This was also an issue when I was in the more populated areas of each level.
Anyway, let's get into what the beta was like:
The beta let me play a couple of levels. Both of them are obvious tutorial missions and they take place 20 years ago which is a year before the first Hitman game was released. It also seems like this game takes more time in telling a story instead of just going from mission to mission. We get to see what Agent 47 had to do/experienced before he was officially an Agent. Which is interesting in a good way.
The first mission has you infiltrate a yacht party and then kill a guy (that's usually how Hitman missions end). And even though the play-area was kind of smaller than I'm used to. It was interesting to see how many options there were in terms of completing an objective. Gameplay wise, it feels like the game might be a little easier for newer players. Mostly because there's this Instinct mode that allows you to see through walls, etc and certain things are highlighted that you can interact with, whether it be clothes or drinks you can poison.
The second mission in the Beta is a lot more open ended. It involves infiltrating an army base and then killing a guy (obvi) but the ways you can go about killing the guy seem endless. The play area in this level seemed a lot larger than the first one. But I ran through it as fast as I could just to see what the whole thing was about.
I eventually ended up messing up the ejector seat of a jet and launching my target off into space (which was fun and pretty difficult to set up and that was also a part of the fun). But even though I was pursuing one course of action, other ones continually pop up while you explore the mission. They come up as "opportunities" and if you choose to follow them, they'll give you different ideas as to how to complete your task.
The only issue I have with this is that it makes the game a little too easy. Instead of forcing you to explore the map, objective waypoints appear on the screen and tell you where everything is. But fortunately, those little features can be disabled so if you want, you can get a true Hitman experience if you turn those things off.
After going through the Beta once, I surprisingly wanted to buy the first episode of the game at the end of this week.
I know I've been against the idea of the participating in an episodic Hitman game but after playing the beta for a couple hours I felt like the experience that I had was the closest to playing Blood Money again. And as we all know, Blood Money was easily the best Hitman game in the series (I actually like Hitman 2 a lot more because it's a touch more difficult).
I'm still unsure about buying the first episode of the game this Friday. But if I do, I'll be sure to let you all know about it and if it's worth the purchase.