I’ve always wanted to go to Marrakesh, it looks lovely, so I was glad to do some virtual tourism with Hitman Episode 3: Marrakesh. I’ve previously reviewed the other games and concluded they are solid entries in the Hitman franchise. Episode 3 builds on what’s gone before and gives us another bunch of people to kill.
Once again the atmosphere is very well recreated here, the bright sun and shade feels really genuine. There are also a lot of npcs walking round the market making the crowd scenes feel alive. The Marrakesh you find yourself in is poised on the brink of revolution, with rioting protesters and covert special ops hanging round a disused school. Marrakesh is probably the best location from all the episodes seen so far.
The beauty of having an episodic game like this is that constant improvements can be made, and IO Interactive have been hard at work since the last episode. Since my last review we’ve had another elusive target, and had more from the PS4 exclusive contracts the Sarajevo Six. This conveyor belt of content is genuinely making Hitman the gift that keeps on giving, and fantastic value for money.
Now that we’ve had a couple of them it’s time to consider the elusive targets part of the game. These are special targets which only occur in the game for a specified period of real time, and once killed or spooked remain dead. This is basically Hitman distilled to its very best, the stakes are high with only one chance to take out your target. In these elusive targets you get none of the hand holding from the main game and instead have to work with a photograph of the mark and the small intro video. These contracts are difficult, but rewarding and form a brilliant aspect of the game, really making the game feel fresh and interesting. The only way to play the elusive targets is to buy the game now and jump on board, as once they have left the game world they aren’t coming back.
Mechanically nothing has changed from the earlier episodes, the Instincts vision mode is still present giving you a helping hand. The opportunities mechanic is also back, giving you guidance on how to take down the two marks, walking you through certain pre set scenarios. As before the ways you off your marks are brilliantly inventive adding a dash of dark humour to the game.
The game also carries the same problems from the other episodes. The enemy AI is sometimes a little off, or at least robotic. There are also many ways to fail a hit, and one simple mistake can undo all your hard work. However these issues have always been present in Hitman games and by now you sort of accept it for how the game world works.
Overall this keeps up the excellent work started with the earlier episodes. The environment of Marrakesh is classic Hitman and the disguises and methods of dispatching your hits are up there with the best in the series. The content available is now sufficient for me to heartily recommend this as a purchase, the teething problems from the first episode is now well past. The episodic nature of this game is giving it legs well beyond what you’d normally expect from a similar action game. With three expansive environments now on offer the entry price is now fully worth it. This game really is Hitman at its best.