Hitman: Sniper Assassin review for Xbox One, PS4, PC

Platform: Xbox One
Also On: PC, PS4
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Developer: IO Interactive
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: No

Strange as it may sound, 2016?s Hitman helped me get through a difficult time in life last year. Consequently, a) it will forever be one of my all-time favourite games, and b) when Warner Bros. Interactive announced late last week that Hitman 2 would be out by the end of the year, it instantly rocketed to ?Most Anticipated Game? status for me.

At the same time as they announced Hitman 2, Warner Bros. also released Hitman: Sniper Assassin as a teaser/pre-order enticement for the upcoming game. And, for the most part, it does a pretty good job of keeping my excitement levels high.

I mean, it would be hard for the game (mini-game?) not to succeed, seeing as it?s a 15-minute taste of things to come, which seems like the kind of thing IO Interactive would be able to churn out in their collective sleep. Nonetheless, it fills this role admirably, giving you three distinct targets, a small-ish location with all kinds of environmental hazards and hiding places, and plenty of bodyguards and innocent passersby with annoying tendencies to investigate and raise the alarm when, say, random bullets go whizzing by their heads or they stumble across a dead body.

That said, it?s clearly not the full Hitman experience. You?re just playing as a sniper, meaning you don?t get to interact with the world the same way you would in a normal Hitman game. There?s no knocking people out and stealing their clothes, nor do you really get to experience all the little quirks that these worlds usually have to offer. Plus, it?s not exactly a set-up that lends itself to brute-forcing your way through a level (by which I mean killing everyone indiscriminately, running away, and hiding until the heat level goes down and it?s safe for you to steal someone else?s clothes) — which, I have to admit, is usually my go-to playing style.

Still, it?s undeniably a lot of fun. It?s impossible to say based on these fifteen minutes whether Hitman 2 will be as good as its predecessor, but Hitman: Sniper Assassin at least makes it quite clear that it?ll be worth watching to find.

Warner Bros. Interactive provided us with a Hitman: Sniper Assassin Xbox One code for review purposes.

Grade: A