Square Enix’s new Hitman game follows an episodic release cycle, with a new episode arriving on digital stores on a monthy basis. IO Interactive’s intention is to put the game in the hands of players as early as possible in order to get crucial feedback. The first two episodes took place in Paris and Sapienza respectively.
Episode 3 of IO Interactive’s new Hitman game takes Agent 47 to Marrakesh. The new sandbox area is split up into three individual regions, which are connected to one another in rather unimaginative ways. Where the regions featured in the Paris and Sapienza maps from the last two episodes were more intricately woven together, Marrakesh feels less intuitive and appealing in this regard. Similarly, the new map isn’t quite as eventful as the areas from Agent 47’s previous episodic outings.
The three regions you’ll get to explore as part of the Marrakesh map include the Swedish consulate, an abandoned school, and a marketplace. Unlike in previous episodes, getting a hold of a disguise will become a bit of a challenge. The marketplace serves as your starting area, and given how densely populated it is, acquiring a particularly useful disguise is not only difficult but can also lead to some tense moments given the large number of soldiers patrolling the area.
Therefore, there’s little margin for error, and given the somewhat confined nature of the maze-like marketplace streets, you’ll almost always be in plain sight of one or multiple NPCs. It’s a welcome contrast from situations seen in previous episodes, as you’ll find yourself taking on more traditional stealth tactics until you reach a breakthrough with an appropriate disguise.
Episode 3 brings Agent 47 to Marrakesh on an assignment to take out a corrupt banker as well as the general who serves to protect him. As was the case with missions in previous episodes, you’ll have the opportunity to take up multiple approaches to tackle your objectives. There’s something immensely satisfying about thinking up an out-of-the-box approach to an objective and seeing the game actually let you pull it off. It’s during these moments where Hitman truly plays to its strengths, and it’s nice to see that Marrakesh doesn’t disappoint in this regard.
However, with the good comes the bad, and Episode 3 of IO Interactive’s Hitman continues to disappoint in the AI department. While NPCs generally do a decent job of following their usual routine, any deviation as a result of your involvement isn’t quite as reactive as it ought to be. You’ll often see situations where one NPC doesn’t notice you knocking out another and disguising yourself.
The other two regions of the Marrakesh map are more linear and close quarters in comparison, and the enemy AI tends to be more on-point here. On the whole, though, Marrakesh doesn’t stand out as a very interesting place to explore, nor does it offer a whole lot of avenues for exploration in the first place.
Additionally, it’s disappointing to see that issues found in the first two episodes have largely carried over to the Agent 47’s third outing. Thus far, it doesn’t really seem like developer IO Interactive has been able to live up to its intention of improving the game based on player feedback. Despite there being an XP system, the lack of any meaningful replay value has been a recurring issue with each of the episodes released so far, and it continues to remain unaddressed.
Hitman Episode 3 Review (PS4)
Hitman Episode 3 continues to offer interesting missions with multiple ways of tackling them, but also manages to retain its lingering issues. The third episode's increased challenge is welcome, though Marrakesh turns out to be a rather uneventful setting.