How much do we trust google??
Sorry to say due to some tech issues I don’t have the show from last Tuesdays recording. I did put some of what we recorded mixed with a compare video from gametrailers.com. sorry for the poor quality.
I’ll get this out of the way now: it’s fucking marvellous. It really is the absolute perfect way to make the game social without compromising what makes the game great.
About two thirds of the way through the campaign I became very jaded with the story. There’s too much evading and not enough sandbox for my liking. I chained through the rest of it and while there were a couple of good levels towards the end I still felt a little let down.
For me a good Hitman game does two things: it makes you want to experiment in a level and you don’t need (or want) any idea of what the overarching story is.
Contracts mode completes this, to the nth degree. Every map in the game can be played any way you want with any person, except faceless crowd members, available to kill. No bullshit, no urgency.
For those who don’t know I’ll give a brief overview of how it works. When you create a contract you load a level and start. If you want you can choose your starting disguise and weapons, but aside from that it’s open. It’s then up to you to find a target and how you kill them is recorded so that other people can play through too.
Example, in one level (a huge penthouse full of guards) there is a woman you need to kill in the story. In a contract I made you start the level dressed as a Samurai and you must kill the same woman except you have to do it without changing disguise, without being spotted, by hiding the body. Oh, and just to make it fun: you have to do it with your bare hands too.
I’ve done others too: kill the girl who works in the donut shop who is surrounded by the police, kill the hippy with a knife, kill the girl in the gun shop.
What makes it fun as well is that you can create your own title and description. So all the classic Hitman target backstories you can think of are on display: child molester, drug addict, arms dealer, whore murderer, traitor, weapons of mass destruction creator-er. I played one called “Mr Chan’s Last Shift” where a poor chef in Chinatown must be sniped because he stole government secrets.
And that is the best part, is once you’ve recorded your contract you can stick it out there into the world and see if other people can beat it. In the mean time you try other people’s, learn the technique and they try to perfect it. Honestly there are few things more satisfying than playing someone else’s contract better than they did themselves.
And that’s it. It’s got all the mod-cons you expect from a social game, similar to autolog on Need for Speed, and how much you will enjoy it derives from how imaginative you can be, if you have friends to compete with and (unsurprisingly) if you actually like classic Hitman.
But that is what Contracts mode is: the best version of Hitman that exists. There’s no frills, no fluff, no cutscenes, no wasted air. Just go out, kill someone in any manner you like and then see how other people compare. It’s nearly perfect.