Last month Square Enix announced that the long-awaited fifth instalment in the stealthy Hitman series will be released in November 2012, but that’s a long way away. So to appease fans who have diligently waited so long, the publisher has released the downloadable mini-game, ‘Hitman: Sniper Challenge,’ as a pre-order incentive for Hitman: Absolution.
The challenge of the game is quite a simple and straightforward task for anybody who has played a Hitman game: Protagonist Agent 47 is tasked with eliminating a wealthy target, and as many of his bodyguards as possible, within a fifteen minute period.
As in all previous Hitman games, Agent 47 is presented with choice: He could go in hyper aggressive with guns blazing or he could opt to rather become the ‘Silent Assassin’ taking care of business and leaving things as if he were never there. The more challenging approach would be to go undetected as you’ll need to consider many different environmental factors when performing your kill, including sound, line of sight, obstacles and the time it takes for a bullet to travel.
I was seriously impressed with the physics engine in Hitman: Sniper Challenge – it really makes the game feel alive. I found it quite gratifying to take the extra bit of time to carefully lure my targets by shooting trees and lamp posts to get their attention, only to put a bullet right between their eyes as they came around the corner in a secluded area where the body wouldn’t be found.
The excellent physics engine of Hitman: Sniper Challenge is complemented by the game’s fantastic graphics. Through the lens of your sniper scope you’ll get a full appreciation of the amount of detail that has been put into the level design while shooting bottles off of the bar and spotting a rubber duck floating in the pool. In addition, each time you finish a challenge you get to view the exquisite CG cut-scenes already shown in the released trailers. The full game really does look beautiful.
It took me about three attempts to complete Agent 47’s assignment, but I was nowhere near completing the full challenge. To reach ‘Silent Assassin’ status requires quite a deal of effort, concentration and above all patience. Added to that goal, there are several mini challenges within the mission ranging from the obvious (consecutive headshots) to the obtuse (sending someone falling down an elevator) to the fun (destroying all the garden gnomes in the level).
Aiming to become the Silent Assassin, completing all the challenges or trying to top the leaderboards will not only ensure much replayability, but you can also unlock weapons and perks in the full game when it eventually arrives later this year.
I for one cannot wait to get my hands on those twin ballers in Hitman: Absolution when the game is released on November 20th.
Gain access to Hitman: Sniper Challenge by pre-ordering Hitman: Absolution now, and be sure to keep your eyes tuned to El33tonline for our extended (and extensive) coverage of the stealth action game leading up to release.