When a franchise is under a new wing -in this case, it’s the Hitman series now distributed under Warner Bros. – it’s time to start anew. What’s the best way to do that after telling everyone that it’s ditching the episodic model that obviously worked in favour of a single-player story that people are on the fence about? Why with a free arcade-style game that stays true to the Hitman style and tone to make people forget that bit of earlier news for even a moment.

Hitman Sniper Assassin came out for PS4, Xbox One, and PC a few weeks ago before E3 2018; I got around to playing this bad boy right after E3 2018 week. Even if you’re late to the party like yours truly, this sniper challenge is worth checking out if only to see how well you can rank up. You can thank IO Interactive for keeping the series’ ingenuity intact.

Shots Fired

The gist is you play as Agent 47 as you take down three main targets and 10 of their bodyguards during a wedding reception in an isolated mansion not unlike the one in those 80s action flicks. You are armed with a sniper rifle and your Hitman instincts where you can highlight your targets amidst the swarm of rich twats and socialites and also slow down time to get your swaying aim right. And you only have 15 minutes to pull this off.

It sounds easy enough if you’re just aiming to kill just the three marks, but the magic of Hitman Sniper Assassin is the scoring system where you are testing yourself to see how fast and how efficient you can kill all your targets. As soon as you kill your first target, the time bonus goes into effect and you can’t afford to slow down if you want the highest-possible multiplier.

You have to factor in the environment as well. You can shoot down speakers placed all over the top parts of the mansion to give your targets a permanent concussion or shoot their legs so that they fly off into the pool where their body can sink into the water, undetected. You can even go aggro and blow up the wedding cake to lure your targets to where you want them to go.

A Long Shot?

Long story short: it’s good to know that the Hitman logic and puzzle-solving is being put to full use here. With multiple ways to tackle this special scenario, this little pet project shows that perhaps developer IO Interactive might do good with the upcoming sequel reboot of sorts.

Is this free game worth putting a Hitman 2 pre-order for? Probably, though there is a chance that Warner Bros. might release the first level of the Sniper Assassin mode as a demo after Hitman 2 is out this 13 November. I stress on the word “might” since these are big conglomerates we’re dealing with, after all.

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