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Xbox One Game Review

Hitman (2016)
Episode 3 - Marrakesh


Format: Xbox One
Publisher: Square Enix Ltd
Developer: IO Interactive
RRP: £7.99
Click here to buy from Xbox
Age Restrictions: 18+
Release Date: 31 May 2016

Tracking two targets, the “Gilded Cage” mission challenges players to eliminate private banker Claus Strandberg, holed up inside the secure Swedish Consulate, and army General Reza Zaydan, protected by his elite squad of soldiers who have taken over an abandoned school. From the busy bazaars and bustling marketplace, to the angry mobs calling for justice outside the Swedish consulate, Marrakesh promises Hitman players the lure of voyeurism and the thrill of infiltration...

After the impressive second episode (Sapienza) I was eagerly anticipating what the developers had thrown together to entertain us with the third episode (Marrakesh). The opening premise looked promising. There's civil unrest with a riot about to break out and your mission is to, once again, take out two targets within the environment.

Review imageYou start off in a Marrakesh market, which is packed with interesting stalls and lots of people. Some of the stores you can wander inside (and even venture upstairs into the owner's private quarters). There's more bikes to tamper with and create oil leaks (although I have to admit I never really understood what the point of that was) as well as dodgy electrical wires that can kill any unsuspecting passers by if you tamper with them.

After a few minutes of wandering around it became pretty obvious that I was going to have to acquire a soldier's uniform in order to gain access to either of the targets. But, once you've found one the game's pretty much over. You'll pretty much be able to get anywhere you need to get. And for those areas you can't access, it's simply a case of knocking out a police man or security guard and disguising yourself as them.

I made my way inside the heavily guarded Swedish Consulate to take out corrupt private banker Claus Strandberg, only to find it was easy to get past the demonstrators and even easier to just walk straight into the building. Once I got up to the first floor I wandered into an office and knocked out a man in a chair, hoping to take his suit (you can't, for some reason) in a bid to move more freely around with the other men in suits. Another suited gent entered the room and, to stop him alerting the guards, I knobbled him... only to find that he was my first target. Great. That was a piece of cake. I was then quickly apprehended.

Review imageStarting again, knowing he was just wandering around the first floor. I found him and pushed him off a balcony to his death - which meant no one was looking for me as this was seen as a tragic accident.

So then the next thing was to make my way back through the market to the other side of the map, get past the soldiers (wearing a different uniform so you'll have to acquire on of those to allow you to freely move around. Then when I got in that building the target was again just strolling around with no supervision (he's supposed to be protected by armed guards). I quickly killed him, but then I panicked and forget the way I came in (I wasn't expecting to bump into him so quickly) so I just bumbled around heading in what I thought was roughly the direction I'd come in, knocking out the few guards in my way. Once the body was discovered I thought my number was up, but no... quickly running into the market effectively stops anyone from following you and I'd finished the game in no time.

Now, as with the previous episodes (which you'll need to own to play this part) there is a lot of replay value, although I'd argue not as much as the previous episodes. In addition the map appears to be a lot smaller than the previous levels. And, it could be my imagination, but it felt like the game had been rushed to production. This was the first episode where I noticed several bugs. Firstly, there's the bad programming of the targets - who just seem to gravitate towards you with no one to protect them.

Review imageIn one instance I knocked out a guard and the next thing I knew I was transported above the building, floating in thin air. This meant I had to reboot. On another occasion a soldier in the market was for some unknown reason stood five foot in the air on top of a wicker basket. The AI of the soldiers is also incredibly poor. On one occasion I was spotted dragging an unconscious naked body around and the soldiers chased me inside a building. They didn't enter and soon lost interest.

And finally, towards the end of the game the vocals of the soldiers was muted to a whisper and changing the sound settings made no difference. Thankfully I could turn on subtitles.

This would have been a much better chapter if it hadn't been quite so simple and not so buggy.


Darren Rea

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