Get ready to check into the the hotel.
Oh, Hitman, what happened? From what was on track to be one of the greater Hitman episodes in the series, developers IO Interactive have taken a back step in this latest stealth adventure in Episode 4: Bangkok. Though this episode isn’t necessarily bad and won’t diminish the fun factor completely, there are a few key points the developers have overlooked when going forward in this episodic structure for the series.
One major abrupt change is that there’s less of a focus on the open sandbox that had made the other episodes so enticing. The absence of that really changes the dynamics of this entire episode, which isn’t exactly a bad thing, but it doesn’t make it great either. I enjoyed past episodes, such as Paris, that had some nice open areas to explore and find out just what was hiding around the bend. It made the world feel more alive and definitely more interesting. Yes, Bangkok is still open, but the problem is that most of the focus will be centered around a luxury hotel called Himmapan. This is where Agent 47 will be taking out a large portion of his murderous mayhem and this is where most of the story will take place.
Himmapan is truly a luxury and fun to explore, and you’d better love exploring it because that’s where you’ll be spending a great deal of time for the overall short experience of this episode. Luckily the hotel is a beautiful and well worth the initial discovery. Everything about Himmapan screams luxury, from the walls that are crawling with numerous details to the elegant fixtures around every bend, it made me kind of jealous that I wasn’t a businessman myself set up in a nice place such as this.
"Though this hotel is the only real place to explore within the game, it’s still interesting to walk down its halls, peer around every corner, and figure out the best locations for killing."
Within this hotel Agent 47 is assigned to kill Jordan Cross. Cross is the lead singer of a band who was accused of murdering his girlfriend while at the same time trying to cover up the whole incident. What makes this character more interesting than previous assignments would be the situations the characters find themselves in. Did Cross kill his girlfriend or not? It’s not expressly explained. Though Cross does have an edge that doesn’t make him look exactly innocent and pure, there are still questions there as to wonder if Cross really is guilty of the crimes he’s accused of. That puts a spin on the entire focus of the setting.
Though this hotel is the only real place to explore within the game, it’s still interesting to walk down its halls, peer around every corner, and figure out the best locations for killing, while at the same time exploring what Himmapan has to offer in its vistas. Once you’ve gotten used to the surroundings, it’s fun to go off the main story path and find out what you can discover throughout the hotel; conversations that no ears should hear, embarrassing conversations between people, and just fun moments for you to enjoy on this all-too-serious mission-style game.
"One of the drawbacks of this new episode are indeed its callbacks to previous episodes that are becoming rather stale and overly played out."
One of the drawbacks of this new episode are indeed its callbacks to previous episodes that are becoming rather stale and overly played out. From unreachable landscapes similar to the Paris episode to regurgitated kills, and similar AI that just doesn’t want to switch up the pace, the experience may become stale at times. Though the developers did in fact implemented a good feel of the people and their culture within this episode (as they had in the past), the focus around the hotel and forcing these people in one larger-than-life building could be bland and overwhelming at times.
Bangkok’s music is focused and just right for this type of stealth/action game. The music hits the right notes just at the perfect time. Overall, Hitman Episode 4: Bangkok is a fun, albeit little, addition to this episodic adventure. Though it does have its flaws such as the limited world to explore, it still carries the same tight gameplay from previous episodes. Bangkok feels like a side mission compared to previous episodes when it comes to scale, however there are some unique moment that are worth discovering.
This game was reviewed on the Xbox One.
Tight gameplay and interesting new twists to the narrative.
The hotel makes the game cramped. There isn't a whole not of "new" here.
Hitman Episode 4: Bangkok takes a few steps backwards compared to the previous episodes.