Hitman: Holiday Hoarders – Review

0
Posted December 15, 2016 by John Newby in Video Games

Developed By: IO-Interactive

Published By: Square Enix

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Release Date: December 13th, 2016

I have two questions for you: Do you like Home Alone, and do you like assassinating people during the holidays? If you answered yes to both of those questions, then you should be very excited. IO-Interactive has released a free bonus level in honor of the holidays and to encourage players to donate to cancer research, and this Christmas light-covered affair perfectly combines those two concepts but adds a surprising amount of difficulty. Simply put, “Holiday Hoarders” is festive, violent, and utterly fascinating.

Set during a fashion show in Paris, “Holiday Hoarders” tasks you with infiltrating the same building from the “Showstopper” mission, only with a slight twist. Everything is covered in lights, tinsel, and fake snow. Oh, and there are dozens of presents strewn about that contain everything from bricks to shotguns. Instead of taking out Viktor Novikov and Dalia Margolis, 47 is hunting a pair of cat burglars named Harry and Marv. Sure, their last names aren’t the same as those in Home Alone, and Marv is more svelte than Joe Pesci. Slight differences aside, these burglars are clear representations of the movie characters. Harry is always running around, dancing, and making weird gestures. All while smoking a cigar. He’s the goofball of the duo. Marv, on the other hand, prefers to wander around slowly whilst looking for things to steal.

The funny thing is that Harry and Marv are truly unlike any other past targets. They are truly oblivious to the fact that an assassin is chasing them down, so it’s really easy to walk up and simply punch them in the face with a coconut or a golf club. There were multiple moments during my three playthroughs where 47 was just hanging out in a bathroom or on a balcony with Harry or Marv, and they didn’t care. Although Harry did applaud 47 for irritating a waiter.

Harry likes Christmas trees.

Ironically enough, their actions actually simultaneously help and hinder your ability to perfectly complete the assassinations. Both burglars wander around alone throughout the mission, providing ample opportunity for 47. Sometimes Harry will just hang out in dark rooms waiting for someone to kill him, but you don’t want to take advantage of those easy shots. There are some very difficult challenges that relate to taking out the duo, and these require patience and more than a little planning. Be prepared to sprint around the level in a pseudo-race with the burglars. Thankfully, completing all five challenges will reward you with a sweet Santa 47 outfit. Totally worth the headache.

Hi Marv. Have you been naughty?

And speaking of Santa, good luck tracking him down. When IO released the trailer for “Holiday Hoarders”, they made a point to show off 47 roaming around as Santa Claus in what appeared to be a nod to Blood Money. What they didn’t reveal is that Santa is extremely hard to track down at times. You can’t simply sit around and watch him for a while. He will go off to God-knows-where, and you will spend roughly an hour tracking him down by the sound of bells and his voice. It’s a little frustrating at times, especially when you are constantly running past Harry and Marv.

You’d better watch out…

Chasing Santa down may be difficult, but at least it gives you the opportunity to explore the fantastic setting. Paris was always one of the best Hitman levels based on the multiple floors and big crowds, and that was before IO added in fake snow and festive lights. There is an entirely different feel as every nook and cranny is filled with a tree, a present, or some other form of holiday accoutrement. Even the Mini Ninjas catering trucks have been redone in honor of the holiday season.

Starbucks has red cups, Mini NInjas has red trucks.

Little details make the experience memorable, and IO-Interactive is the master of throwing in unique items that you wouldn’t even consider. Seriously, “Holiday Hoarders” includes the battle axe from Marrakesh, the golf club from Sapienza, and who knows what else. There are so many secrets hidden in this level, that it will take a while to find them all.

Festive indeed. Image courtesy of IO-Interactive.

Once again, IO-Interactive has created the perfect gift for Hitman fans. “Holiday Hoarders” is chock full of holiday cheer, goofy outfits, and references to past missions, and the level is more entertaining to explore with the hidden trees and presents. Granted, the challenges are difficult to complete, and Santa is a tough one to track down. In the end, those issues don’t matter because you can throw a holiday-bedazzled axe at a burglar from Home Alone. Christmas doesn’t get better than that. Well, unless John McClain shows up with the dad from Family Matters


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.