Hitman Episode 5: Colorado – Review

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Posted September 30, 2016 by John Newby in Video Games

Developed By: IO-Interactive

Published By: Square Enix

Platforms: PS4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, PC

Release Date: September 27th, 2016

 

Season one of Hitman is sadly coming to an end, but IO-Interactive is nowhere near finished with Agent 47. There are plenty of targets to eliminate, more outfits to try on, and even more areas to explore thanks to the latest episode, Colorado. Episode five is by far the most difficult level of the season with even more targets and objectives, but it’s also jam-packed with story beats and nostalgia. The end result is a level both frustrating and fascinating no matter how many times you play.

Colorado is, unsurprisingly, set in the state of Colorado. Agent 47 has tracked a mysterious hacker to a farm-turned-militia training ground only to find not one, but four different baddies marked for death by ICA. The leader of the militia, Sean Rose, is a former terrorist with OCD and plans of disrupting America through murders and kidnappings. He is joined by Maya Parvati, one crazy soldier that trains the strike teams, and Penelope Graves, a former Interpol agent with a flair for audio/visual. FInally, Rose also employs a former Mossad interrogator named Ezra Berg. This psycho is fan of both using drugs for interrogations and rocking a Michael Myers mask.

All four characters are difficult to dispose of in their own right, but placing them on a hostile farm is downright brutal at times. Each target roams freely around the complex with bodyguards, and there are dozens of violent soldiers strewn around. You can’t get within an inch of this place without guards trying to arrest and ultimately shoot you.

The farm has a cool old house

The farm has a cool old house

Luckily, IO made up for the added difficulty by adding even more outfits, trinkets to mess with, and challenges to complete. The Militia alone has almost a half dozen outfits to wear, one of which allows you unrestricted access to every part of the facility. And you need this access because Colorado is chock-full of items. There are musical monkey toys, apricots, shovels, and more prescription medication than a tour bus.

With all the added items, I find it a little strange–and refreshing–that IO only included six opportunities for taking out the four targets. These opportunities are all very entertaining, but they get old on multiple playthroughs. The watch trick can only make you laugh so many times before you begin pining for something else. At first I was frustrated by this formulaic change, but it ended up being a blessing in disguise. There are 70 challenges to complete and focusing on them instead of the opportunities makes it seem like IO is taking off the training wheels. Agent 47 is supposed to go crazy and try out every single option he can find. Hay bales, Adam Jensen’s arm, and exploding lawn mowers make up a minute portion of the available options. It’s up to you to find the rest.

Ezra Berg Loves Lawn Mowers

Ezra Berg Loves Lawn Mowers

Seriously, Colorado is your oyster…of death.

Despite the difficulty of Colorado, this episode is one of my favorites, partially for the freedom but mostly for the fan service. IO has thrown references to Mini Ninjas and other random properties in the past, but they pale in comparison to the sheer amount lurking in Colorado. Simply walking around the farm takes you past soldiers discussing previous assassinations, other versions of key events, and even Donald Trump. Mission Impossible also serves as an inspiration for part of the mission.

Who likes 3D printers?

Who likes 3D printers?

Seasoned Hitman players in particular will get excited by references to all of the old games, especially when these moments tie into the current story. I can’t even express how excited I was to see the opera singer from Blood Money reappear. Hell, IO even incorporated an outfit and assassination method from Absolution, only it works way better now.

That's a cool looking scarecrow...

That’s a cool looking scarecrow…

Hitman is by far one of the best games of the year, and each episode is better than the last (yes, I know that I sound like a broken record). Colorado builds on the momentum of Club 27 but adds so much more with the outfits and fanservice. Plus, the story is nearing resolution, which makes this episode so much more fascinating. It should be said that Colorado isn’t worth playing if you are behind on the story, but everyone else needs to pick this episode up right now.

 


About the Author

John Newby

A random dude obsessed with coffee, blue heelers, and most nerdy things. Big fan of Star Wars, Borderlands, Arrow/Flash, and a whole lotta video games. The Saboteur is underrated, and Silverado is the best movie ever made.