Hitman Episode 4: Bangkok Review
On the fourth of six journeys, Agent 47 heads to Thailand as the latest episode in Hitman’s 2016 season takes us to Bangkok, in a mission dubbed ‘Club 27’, to hunt down a rock star and his associate. Unfortunately, the underwhelming display in Episode 3’s Marrakesh location continue here as the positives and brilliance of Episode 2’s Sapienza environment are more glaring and apparent with each passing location. Bangkok’s hotel is far too similar to the Paris scene in Episode 1 and the sandbox it offers isn’t as varied or interesting. Although, while it seems the season has hit a rough patch, many positives, particularly in its storytelling, can be gleaned from the short stay in Bangkok. That, paired with Sapienza’s enthralling sandbox, can make for a great conclusion in the final two episodes taking place in the US and Japan respectively.
Agent 47 is dropped at the entrance of a nifty hotel overlooked by gorgeous buildings in the backdrop of Thailand’s capital. What I noticed immediately was a step up in visuals, even though the lighting is sometimes a bit too intense, as I passed by luscious vegetation and serene architecture while planning out my hit. The hotel here chooses to offer space vertically rather than in sheer scope, as it sports multiple floors and a plethora of disguises Agent 47 can steal. Interestingly, I did notice a much more organic feel to the disguises and what could be done with them. In past episodes, getting a janitor’s outfit might be miles away from any janitorial jobs Agent 47 could interact with so as to blend in with his environment or one could walk into a professional settings with a mop at his hand. Here in Bangkok, there seemed to be a logical structure in where you could go say as a hotel staff member. You might not be able to just walk upstairs and instead would have to mosey your way through the maze of areas the hotel staff are allowed to tread in before climbing up a pipe in the garden and reaching your upstairs objective. What really surprised me is the lack of engaging opportunities present in Bangkok. While Marrakesh failed in a lot of aspects, it still provided interesting opportunities like all the episodes so far have. Bangkok’s opportunities just aren’t interesting and the thrill of the kill when executing said opportunities is lost.
“Bangkok’s opportunities just aren’t interesting and the thrill of the kill when executing said opportunities is lost.”
Interestingly enough, this episode’s hit objective seems a bit more personal and bitter than others as Agent 47 to take down the rock star involved in the death of his lover. Past episodes have seen more ambitious and meaningful villains to take down, whereas this one felt meaningless. Having said all that, it was still just as satisfying to put a bullet in his skull. And to be fair, you learn a lot more about what is going on in the final scene which helps explain the nature behind the hit in a brilliant way. The brief final scene, present in all episodes, connects the happenings in Bangkok to what will surely be explored in Episode 5 that will take place in the US. This is the kind of mystery, intrigue, and organic storytelling missing in a lot of the other scenes in previous episodes. And without giving anything away, it seems like the narrative will come to an explosive head in what remains.
But that is not the only place Bangkok’s impressive storytelling is present. The various NPC dialogue that can be heard as you pass by a group made for some interesting tidbits in this episode. Crossing paths with Class’ band members revealed the significance behind the naming of the episode as they discussed the Club 27 convergence wherein celebrities who die young abnormally tend to die at the age of 27. It was also referenced in the intro scene to the episode right before you take control as 47 where Diana Burnwood slyly points out it’s “the age when rock stars die.” It made for an interesting mystery and a fun mood to the episode to the point where it psyched me out and had me thinking that there might not be a hit in this chapter, instead turning into a big cliff-hanger going into the fifth episode.
Bangkok’s Club 27 mission has its share of ups and downs. Overall, it fits somewhere in the middle of everything that has come out of Hitman’s 2016 season. In-depth and smart storytelling has solved one big issue I’ve had with the game. That said, for the second episode running the sandbox has not been up to standard. There is fun to be had in Episode 4, but in the end it wasn’t a memorable gameplay experience.
***A PS4 code was provided by the publisher***
- Smart storytelling
- Beautiful environment
- Poor sandbox
- Boring opportunities