Games: Hitman: Definitive Edition is a box set of butchery that's ripe for bingeing
Hitman: Definitive Edition (Multi)
WHEN the beloved Hitman was rebooted in 2016, it was a return to form for slaphead assassin Agent 47 – still the best in the bumping-off business.
In the employ of a shady organisation that tattoos barcodes on its assassins' cueball noggins, players were soon stacking up the corpses like overworked morticians in a carnival of carnage that, like its lead, was impeccably suited and booted.
Kicking off in fine style, its Paris premier had a pair of victims to off as players blended in backstage at a fashion show. Just a few hours in and it was clear this was a phenomenal production with staggering levels of detail. Hitman's hook was always finding the most obscure, devious way to murder your mark and its reboot was loaded with myriad sub-plots across each of its locations, including (in ascending order of quality) Colorado, Marrakesh, Hokkaido, Bangkok, Paris and Sapienza.
But there was a catch. As the first AAA game to go down the episodic route, Hitman would be shovelled out in monthly chapters, testing the patience of fans who feared a fragmented experience they'd bore of long before the next morsel landed on their plate. As it turns out, Hitman's serial nature made it. With each mission a fully realised puzzle box of ways to get away with murder, multiple play-throughs were essential to see just how elaborate your mousetraps could be.
And when a single target could meet their maker in over 30 ways, armchair assassins weren't left short-changed.
47 can tackle the levels any way he chooses, each a fully realised open world that lets players meticulously plan their hit with all the precision of a Swiss watchmaker. Mind over murder, success requires a canny mix of eavesdropping, bravado and a fair bit of dress-up as players case joints, scoping out points of interest before moving in for the perfect kill. On top of the main event, Contracts Mode lets players challenge friends online while Escalation ramped up the murder trials, chucking new spanners into the works.
So what's definitive here? You'll get all of Season One's locations and the Game of the Year additions, including the Patient Zero campaign, summer bonus missions, the Blood Money skin pack and all featured contracts and challenge packs.
There are also three new outfits based on Freedom Fighters, Kane & Lynch and Mini Ninjas. In short, it's the kitchen-sink. Which is probably another murder weapon in the game.
For obsessive completists or those late to the Hitman party, the Definitive Edition is a box set of butchery ripe for bingeing while the studio ramps up production on Season Two, due for release later this year.