You’ll never take my freedom!
Hitman is back again with a new level and four targets to take out. Is this just unnecessarily upping the ante?
This latest Hitman’s overall story has seemed a little bit inconsequential at best, and downright confusing at worst. But with ‘Freedom Fighters’ IO finally start to bring things together, neatly tying in the other hits and bringing things closer to home.
There’s an almost breathless level of pace and climax to both the level and action that gives your actions a little more consequence than normal, which I really liked. And whilst I won’t spoil it, the explosive ending sets the game up perfectly for the forthcoming end to the first season of content.
Colorado also changes up the gameplay by making effectively the entire level enemy territory. This makes it immediately more challenging when casing out the level. Various areas then have further levels of security applied – so getting your first disguise won’t be sufficient for anyone other than a complete master of stealth to complete the mission successfully.
You’ll quickly find the basic grunts unable to access the explosives, elite training areas or the farmhouse, which is reserved for the elite troops. It adds an extra layer of challenge, especially with the four disparate targets, but with the overall military theme, it can be difficult to tell what disguise works where; trespassing is incredibly unforgiving and you can quite easily end up dead by accident. It feels much more like the Hitman games of old, which is equally a good or bad thing depending on how you feel about the original trilogy of games.
The objectives and opportunities are more limited in number, but still manage to add a sense of humour to the otherwise somewhat darker, military overtures as you crush a target with a pneumatic rod, throw one into a slurry pit or blow one up by ‘accidentally’ messing up the nitro-glycerine mix.
Colorado is a pretty compact level, and both the size and nature of the map make it far less suited for the sweeping vistas other levels have provided. But moving to a country area, swathed with farming equipment and rickety barns makes for a very different visual style to the grand elegance of many of the previous levels.
Colorado proves to be an interesting, darker mission for 47 as he delves deeper into the shadowy world behind some of his previous hits. It’s a tough and unforgiving level, but one that balances in the humour nicely, as well as finally bringing the story together.
The compact nature of the level potentially makes it less interesting for the ongoing content, so if you’re only picking up occasional episodes then I think IO have made better, but as an overall package, Colorado is one of the best releases yet.