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The star of the show is Sapienza itself though. It’s a beautiful maze of possibilities, flowing toward the sea with vantage and access points sprinkled throughout. Wherever and whenever you create a disturbance, the ripples spread, causing all of the systems that make the game tick to trigger, and creating thrills and farce as they combine.
Several hours and a dozen or so mastery ranks later, there’s still so much to do in Sapienza. The more accomplished I become as an assassin, the more options I’m given to experiment with, unlocking new weapons, costumes, and starting locations. When you factor in IO’s ongoing series of live events and community challenges, Hitman’s replay value grows exponentially and will continue to do so when we touch down in Marrakesh later this year.
Hitman’s second episode adds another sprawling environment in which to enjoy doing bad murders, and sports gameplay options that demonstrate the game's mechanics are on the right track. But although Hitman will likely become a solid addition to its parent series eventually, it’s hard to recommend it at this stage.
Still, IO’s confident direction with this new Hitman is fantastic. As a sleepy dose of Mediterranean murder, Sapienza is inventive and complex, and delivers a level of replayability that should finally shush naysayers of its newfound episodic structure.
Sapienza is an impressive addition to the Hitman reboot's library. It's incredibly well designed, packed full of content and absolutely gorgeous. You'll be hard pressed to find a better Hitman level.
World of Tomorrow is the best slice of Hitman for a decade. Sapienza holds so many deliciously dark secrets within its Mediterranean walls, and it’s worth exploring every single one of them.
In some ways it's a shame that Sapienza wasn't Hitman's first mission. With its excellent world-building, well-worked atmosphere, and beautiful setting, the sleepy coastal town is one of the best Hitman missions in recent memory, and it's quality – and quantity – of content should convince most to quit waiting and spaghett(i) this title already. Trust us, you don't want to look pasta this one.
Even better than the terrific first episode, the Sapienza mission might be a series high point. While there are still some technical issues, and the lengthy load times hamper things in a game where reloading to give things another shot is such a big part of it, the overall experience has been incredible so far. I can't wait to see what comes next.
Hitman's second mission in Sapienza is a great example of fantastic gameplay, with plenty of replayability and one of the most stunning environments I've ever seen.
Agent 47 is a cipher for how you want to play the game; he exists to unlock its secrets while also letting you establish your own style—within the game's parameters—and it's great to see how that evolves in this second episode.
This fault only prevents Hitman Episode Two from achieving near-perfection, it is still an exceptional example of the series at its very best. IO's strong start is becoming a hot streak, and all eyes will be on the third episode, set to be released in May.
IO Interactive doesn't disappoint with this second installment of the Hitman reboot, which features a big, beautiful, and dense level full of possibilities—one you'll revisit again and again to for the sake of creative murder.
Building on practically every single area of the Paris level, Sapienza is simply breathtaking. A living, breathing seaside town, it’s a beautifully crafted arena for precision strikes from whatever weapon you decide to use. A neat secondary objective to bring in a fresh gameplay element, and the sheer variety of methods to dispatch your two targets is simply mind boggling. A delightfully twisted sense of humour ties the whole package together, with some of the approaches to assassination proving to be genuine laugh out loud moments, Sapienza is a fantastic follow up to Paris, and I can’t wait to see what happens next month.
This second chapter is even more enjoyable than the first one. The map is bigger and way more interesting to explore, and some refinements to the IA clearly improves the gameplay. The number of contracts created by the community is still impressive.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Hitman Episode 2: Sapienza is a fantastic follow-up to the promising first episode; huge, bursting with deadly promise, and begging for many, many playthroughs. The lack of much meaningful local voice acting is a disappointing miss, however, and that might really start undermining Hitman’s jetsetting international atmosphere in later levels if it’s not addressed.
A great mission in a beautiful location with a variety of opportunities and an increasing difficulty, Hitman 2016’s second mission is just what you would want in a Hitman game. Put aside some of the graphic glitches and framerate drops and you got yourself a fun experience.
Review in Arabic | Read full review
So far so good. Episode 2 is a nice contrast to the Paris mission and shows more of what this 2016 iteration of Hitman has up it's sleeve. They are off to a good start. Let's hope they can keep the momentum going in Episode 3.
Sapienza skillfully combines the elements at what makes an enjoyable Hitman level. Its lower difficulty, while making it more accessible for those new to the series, might slightly bore weathered Veterans.
IO Interactive continues to impress with Hitman Episode 2, and it might honestly be my favorite Hitman experience to date, in any of the games. You can literally get lost for hours, wandering around the coastal town and just seeing what all there is to do and interact with. They have continued to build a living, breathing world, full of NPC’s that live their own lives. It’s amazing how many different areas there are that are fully explorable, and you can find ways to complete the mission that don’t even involve any of the Opportunities, or are so far out there that hardly anyone probably thought to try it. I actually almost pulled off a run taking both targets out in less than ten minutes without being spotted, but slipped up right at the end and was killed. It’s those types of moments that will keep people coming back to this installment of Hitman over and over again, because each consecutive playthrough has the potential to be so radically different.
With a solid gameplay framework already in place, Hitman just needed the destination to match. Sapienza may be a glamorous port city that photographers slap on postcards, but its boutiques, apartments, and inhabitants also tolerate hours of murderous fun (and guns) in the sun.
Hitman’s second episode leaves me far more optimistic for the game than its first episode did. A large, sprawling level ripe with exploration opportunities, Sapienza is a far better destination than Paris. That being said, technical issues still hinder the game from being something better.
If Hitman's Paris mission was an indication that thoughtful, complex level design was not dead, Sapienza appears to be the full expression of it. It doesn't guarantee that the upcoming episodes will be as good but it does wonders to elevate a game that was under criticism for its staggered release. This alone warrants checking Hitman: Episode 2 - Sapienza out.
Hitman Episode 2 adds a new locale, weapons, outfits and items to the game. It is technically sound with no frame drops or stutters and the online issues seemed to be fixed, no disconnects here. If you enjoyed the first episode you are going to like the second.
47's second holiday jaunt proves to be a murder-playground even larger (and with even sillier possibilities) than Paris. This Italian job is another dynamic, and darkly comic, Hitman mission.
The main place Hitman continues to struggle is on a technical level. On the PlayStation 4 I'd need two hands to count the crashes I've experienced all week (plus one freeze necessitating a hard reset) and while the long load times aren't as much of a problem this time given the extra slack I found the lax coastal town to offer, it still does put a ding in a game that otherwise encourages you to try new things at the risk of failure. On the whole, though, Sapienza feels more robust than Paris, with even more gag costumes and slapstick deathtraps, leaving me even more confident in IO's move toward this new model, even if the American voice actors' pronunciation of "Falcone" physically pains me every time.
Episode Two is better than the first, both because its featured level is a more varied, interesting location, and because it eases the uncertainty of the episodic release and sets a precedent for excellence going forward. The quality of future episodes isn’t a guarantee, but Square and Io Interactive have now delivered excellent releases back to back, and their staggered release has let their best elements shine in a way that might not have otherwise. Hitman is an increasingly appealing package.
Hitman Episode 2: Sapienza is a great addition to the game. It features an expansive town to explore, is genuinely challenging, and has a lot of unique kill opportunities and secrets to discover. It is a wonderful playground for Hitman fans.
Taking a step back and looking at the entire experience of Sapienza and Episode 2, this location is absolutely brilliant and beautiful. From the level design to the amount of depth found in each section of Sapienza, Hitman has yet another fine episode, even despite its once again thin narrative.
For the time being, Hitman: Episode 2 - Sapienza is probably one of the best experiences the Hitman franchise has yet to offer. The beautiful Italian seaside town is gargantuan, and offers plenty of ways to have fun (in other words: assassinate). Some of the flaws, like the insufficient plot bits and connection issues, persist, and yet it feels as if Hitman is generally on the right path.
The location and scenario for has made for a good challenge and some intense moments in this second installment, in addition to the fact that a bigger plot is also starting to unfold.
Even without massively crowded areas, the sheer scale of Sapienza is well worth the entry price for Agent 47's second episodic outing. It is a welcome improvement over the first episode, although still far from greatness we expect from Hitman games.
Overall I think Hitman: Episode 2 continues to fuel the nostalgia trip of Blood Money with its wonderful variety of locations. Episode 2 pushes IO Interactive's creative boundaries a bit further and spaces out all of the games' action (the complete opposite to the Parisian prelude which hit our screens back in March). Sadly the narrative is non-existent and the animations are still shoddy when compared to other A-grade titles - however, those aren't huge criticisms for a game of this nature. I think Hitman is best enjoyed in one full go later on in the year when the retail version is released. It's proving to be a fun, yet brief adventure. I look forward to seeing what direction the series is taken in for episode 3.
The mediocre AI and animations return, as does the need to repeat the same old spy tricks, but they take a backseat this time around as Sapienza and its colorful denizens take center stage.
Hitman's second episode continues the good work that started in the first installment. The concerns we raised last time with regard to the AI have mostly been addressed, and possibly over-compensated for, which greatly increases the difficulty of the mission overall, and makes obtaining a Silent Assassin rating almost a forlorn dream, at least without a serious investment of time spent in learning the layout and the patterns of the targets. Of course, this has always been the case with Hitman games, but the jump in difficulty from Paris is quite a large one. The level design is great, with lots of possible approaches to choose from, but somehow it seems to lack focus, being more of an open-world approach to a mission than before. Overall, we can recommend a second dive into Agent 47's murky world.
Developer IO Interactive set out to work on Hitman over a periodic release model in an effort to benefit from crucial feedback from players. However, it seems that the issues from Episode 1 continue to persist in the game’s second episode. That said, Sapienza presents a more interesting and robust sandbox open world experience compared to the Episode 1’s Paris area.
As it stands, Sapienza is a step down from the original release. There's far less story in this second helping to really keep you engaged for the coming episodes. Hopefully, IO will keep delivering the same top-notch gameplay and level design, but add a little more story to the experience to make them truly feel like episodes, because at this point they just feel like levels.