Putting the “Bang” in Bangkok
Leaving the busy fashion show of Paris and the sprawling cities of Marrakesh and Sapienza behind him, Agent 47 decides to check in to the Himmapan luxury hotel. Unfortunately, that means two other guests will be checking out…permanently.
After one lackluster main episode and an okay bonus episode, the fourth episode of Hitman finally lives up to the first and second episodes. Once again, the mission features two targets: One is the lead of an indie rock band and the other is his lawyer. Despite the familiarity of the setup, Episode 4 manages to be my second favorite mission, with my favorite still being Episode 2.
The setting of the episode feels smaller scale compared to the other two but in a slightly different way than the Summer Bonus Episode. Whereas that episode did have small spaces, they also had a small amount of variety when taking out the target. In Episode 4, the hotel is smaller than any of the other maps, but it feels as packed to the brim with content as the first two episodes. Episode 3 featured a large map, but a lot of it was purely window dressing. The one downside to the smaller location is that I explored a vast majority of the map on my first playthrough, which diminished the sense of discovery on subsequent runs.
As I said though, the amount of variety within the map is fantastic. After half a dozen runs, I can still think of a few new ways to approach the mission. As with other reviews, I prefer to keep details about the specific ways to a minimum. This mission surprised me several times with how things can play out. Episode 3 made me worried that maybe IO Interactive had run out of tricks, but this episode proved that they have plenty of creative ideas.
The design of the hotel is also outstanding. The main lobby of the hotel is filled with beautiful plants, and the outside features a stunning view of Bangkok. Some of the interior of the hotel is a little repetitive, which makes sense as most hotels in real life have little variety in design. Even so, half of the hotel is being taken up by the rock band’s crew who have “decorated” the place with equipment and garbage. Even though it’s a slight change it does prevent hallways from being too similar.
I ran into a few annoying bugs that I found to pull me out of the experience. Detailing some of these is going to require me to spoil some of the episode, so skip the next two paragraphs in order to avoid that if that will be a problem.
First off, there is a way to lure one of the targets (and dozens of other people) into the lobby and then flood it with gas that will knock everyone out. The problem I ran into is that one of the bodyguards would go into alert from seeing a body, which would prevent him from being knocked out. I tried this tactic multiple times and this happened every single time. Eventually, I just quickly ran over and knocked him out with a hammer before he could wake anyone up.
The second might not actually be a bug but more of a bad scripting decision. A letter for one of the targets can be left at the check-in desk. He eventually wanders over, asks if he has any messages, reads the letter, and then heads to a specified location. However, in order for him to come and check, you have to wait near the desk. I left the letter, headed for the location I knew he would eventually end up at, and waited for him to show up. Once I figured out I had to wait I headed back to the area. The conversation finally triggered, but while it was going I entered the hotel restaurant (accessed by walking through an archway that is in full view of the check-in desk) and watched as the conversation stopped midway. I guess I walked out of some imaginary boundary I had to be in and screwed up that chance.
There’s also a very frequent audio hitch that is not present anywhere else in the game. It is minor, but happens enough that it should be addressed.
The Verdict: 8.3 out of 10
Even though Episode 4 has some minor bugs and features a smaller setting, it is one of the best episodes to come out of Hitman. The amount of creative ways to accomplish the main objective packed into one of the smallest maps in the game is very impressive. Bangkok may be an even better mission for players who wait for the full experience before playing. If every map were laid out like Sapienza, the game would get repetitive very fast, so the unique setting of Episode 4 stands out among the episodes so far.
For more information about what the score means, check out our official review scale.
Riley Berry is an Associate Writer for MONG who is the loudest silent assassin ever. You can follow him on Twitter.