It’s been exactly six long years. That’s how long I’ve been waiting to get behind the controls of the original assassin; the bald man in the black suit and red tie. It’s hard to believe that Hitman: Blood Money was released an entire eighteen months before the first Assassin’s Creed in 2007, and that we’ve since had more than half a dozen sequels between consoles and handhelds, yet we’ve been hard pressed for IO Interactive to even make mention of Agent 47’s inevitable return. This all changed last May with the debut of the Hitman: Absolution teaser trailer.
To say that I was excited to see one of my favorite anti-heroes returning to glory on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC would be one hell of an understatement, so let’s not even pretend that I wasn’t upset that the game was delayed well past its original release date of this past May 15th. Fret not though dear readers, as I’ve got good news for you; we have a means to don the iconic suit and tie as we wait for Absolution’s release this upcoming November 20th.
Enter Hitman: Sniper Challenge.
Believe it or not, this is a legitimately fun and addictive way to pass the time as we wait for our true sequel. The concept of this downloadable game is that the player has fifteen minutes to assassinate Richard Strong Jr. and all of his bodyguards on top of his Chicago high rise via sniper rifle. As you chain together kills and manage to hide bodies in pools of water or drop them off ledges you earn points. Skillful kills like headshots on moving targets and finding obscure hidden items on Strong Jr.’s rooftop add to your overall score. Now you may be asking yourself “Adam, what do these points do?” Well, outside of simply giving the gamer that irresistible urge for “just one more try” to beat their last score, the points unlock upgrades to 47’s rifle. Upgrades range from larger clips to a higher fire rate. The points have a real world value as well, seeing as how IO Interactive will be flying the two highest scoring players to their studio in Denmark to meet with the Absolution development team.
Long story short, Sniper Challenge is a game I find myself having to recommend on the simple premise that it speaks directly to an old school gamer’s sensibilities with it’s simple to play, but difficult to master gameplay. Its’ addictive nature will have the average player coming back for more on a regular basis to beat their high score and compete with their friends for world dominance. Being a FREE promotional download for pre-ordering Hitman: Absolution doesn’t hurt either.
RATING: 8 out of 10