Hitman - Episode 2: Sapienza Reviews
Huge, open and beautiful. Sapienza offers up a different sort of challenge to Paris, and is a promising sign for Hitman's future.
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.
An excellent second episode, with the larger and more diverse map allowing for some truly inspired hits.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A superb second instalment, and one which shows off Hitman's greatest strengths.
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.
Another great achievement in living world level design, and the new Elusive Target mode is a welcome addition, but criticisms from the first episode hold
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.
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.
Episode 2 is excellent, exactly as Hitman should be. Plenty to see, plenty to do and a wide variety of fun to be had.
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.
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.
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.
Hitman Episode 2: Sapienza showcases all of what Hitman can be.