Platforms PC, PS4, XBO
Developer IO Interactive
Publisher Square Enix
Release Date May – October, 2016

Hitman marks a major return to form for one of gaming’s premiere stealth experiences. It ditches the linear narrative of previous games and instead offers players a series of sandboxes and assassination targets, placing an emphasis on replayability and creativity in the ways you take them out. And then it let’s you go one step further, offering you the keys to the game and create your own scenarios for others to attempt to best.

Even the game’s episodic release schedule played into Hitman’s core strengths. Every month IO Interactive offered players a new sandbox, delivering a brand new level for players to explore, learn and master. Each level is huge, offering a ridiculous variety of approaches. No game in 2016 offered players more freedom to pursue their objectives than Hitman.

Hitman is a game that trusts its players, rewarding them for patient and thorough exploration of its vast environments with truly spectacular moments. It lets you tease out opportunities that truly make you inhabit the character of Agent 47 and offers a level of replayability that no game in 2016 was able to match. There’s always something new to find whenever you jump back into one of the game’s levels.

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It helps that the gameplay is spot on. Guiding Agent 47 through the game is incredibly fluid, with slick and intuitive controls pairing perfectly with the slow-paced gameplay. Hitman’s greatest triumph is its sliding difficulty scale – allowing franchise veterans or anyone looking for a challenge to take the game on in its purest form, but still being open to those less adept or less patient with the option to turn on hints and opportunities for a more guided, accessible experience.

And once you’ve had your fill of exploration and experimentation there are contracts – user created content that allows players to mark their own targets within each level, setting up a system of rules of their own devising and challenging players to complete entirely new challenges. And then there are the elusive targets, who appear in brief windows and allow you one attempt to take them out. Hitman is an incredibly robust package, filled with more depth than any other game managed throughout 2016.

Watch Gary play the first episode of Hitman here.

The List So Far:

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2) ??????
3) ??????
4) Hitman
5) Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
6) The Last Guardian
7) Stardew Valley
8) Oxenfree
9) Doom
10) Aragami
11) Quantum Break
12) Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
13) Watch Dogs 2
14) The Flame in the Flood
15) Forza Horizon 3
16) The Banner Saga 2
17) Planet Coaster
18) Gears of War 4
19) Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
20) Batman: The Telltale Series

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