If you’ve made it this far, chances are, you know what to expect coming into “Club 27”. Our cueball killer is on the prowl again, this time taking somewhat of a diversion as he visits the idyllic Himmapan resort in Bangkok, Thailand. It’s far from being the crown jewel in this triumphant reboot, yet manages to pack in loads of fun things to see and do.
If there’s one thing Io Interactive has nailed with each episode, it’s immersing players in these vast, richly detailed locales. As ever, you’ll start out by probing the perimeter, stopping occasionally to soak in the fantastic views before getting down to business. Aesthetically, the Himmapan is simply gorgeous, basking in the evening sun and a marinade of Thai motifs.
Approaching any stage in Hitman is like peeling back the layers of an onion. Connected by a myriad of stairways and corridors, every hotel room visible from the outside has an interior, complete with points of interest.
After scouring every nook and cranny, your attention will inevitably be drawn to the game’s newest pair of targets. It appears that someone wants Jordan Cross dead, as well as his seemingly untouchable lawyer. Son to media mogul, Thomas Cross, Jordan’s brought his bandmates along for the latest in a series of exorbitant recording sessions. It doesn’t take long, from the mission brief and murmuring of hotel guests, to figure out he’s a bad egg.
Whether scrambled, fried, or turned into a human omelette, there’s a wealth of ways to dispatch of Cross and his pesky lawyer. Of course, by following the game’s highlighted opportunities, you’ll get to act out some of the more cinematic variations of his death and, while some prefer to execute their own deadly designs, these prescribed kills never fail to entertain.
No matter how you go about offing the targets, there are constants that carry over from previous episodes. Nothing about the core gameplay has changed here as you wrestle with guard patrols, juggle disguises and attempt to acquire the necessary tools needed. It goes without saying that the same frustrations will also bubble to the surface. NPCs have a knack of spotting 47 at the worst of times and there are bound to be one or two key items hidden deep within a level.
It can be annoying at times but, then again, this also works in the game’s favour. Hitman invites players to replay and explore each missions over and over, long after the bodies hit the floor. In that respect, each episode feels like its own learning experience. At first you’re bound to fumble and falter before seamlessly waltzing from kill to kill in later playthroughs.
Club 27 manages to be a better episode than Hitman’s previous outing, but struggles to match the first-time thrills of Paris and its fabulous Sapienza follow-up. Once again, Io has gone above and beyond in trying to immerse players, cramming in a shed load of dialogue and myriad other details to bring this corner of the world to life. Anyone holding a season pass will find themselves anything but disappointed, but at the same time, shouldn’t expect 47’s Bangkok excursion to steer the game in a bold new direction.