Hitman episode 4 takes us to the city of Bangkok, Thailand where an indie rock band is recording inside a beautiful upscale resort hotel. Jordan Cross is the frontman of The Class, a hugely popular rock band, who reportedly killed a young actress by way of pushing her off the roof of his New York City penthouse. Tragically, he’s gotten off the hook due to his large bank account and some help from “corporate fixer” Ken Morgan. Clearly someone wasn’t happy about this injustice, so they hired Agent 47 to take out both Morgan and Cross.
This premise is a change of pace for what we have previously seen in Hitman. These targets are apparently beyond the reach of court system justice, though they are not criminals in the most common sense of the word. Cross is a privileged person who has the ability to use his wealth to avoid responsibility for his heinous crime. When the justice system fails, Agent 47 can step in and get the job done.
The resort is set on a beautiful canal, surrounded by sprawling courtyards and docks. Hotels are classic settings for Hitman, though this feels similar to what we’ve already seen in Paris and Sapienza. Each take place primarily in huge bourgeois buildings with multiple levels and branching rooms. By no means is the level design poorly executed in Bangkok, but it isn’t anything radically different. A lot of the same mechanics and approaches are utilized in this episode such as bypassing security, using a disguise to lure people into isolated rooms, and going undercover as a waiter or bartender.
The previous episode in Marrakesh felt wide as an ocean, but deep as a puddle, and Hitman episode 4 feels like it is lacking some key details as well. The premise and setting is more interesting, but apart from the first floor, it feels somewhat empty. Every floor of the hotel consists of a couple of security guards with a few NPCs hanging out. However, outside of the band members and their staff, it doesn’t feel like anyone is actually doing anything.
The exception to this is the first floor, which consists of a very lifelike lobby filled with people. As a set piece, it’s one of the best in the game, with beautiful architecture and vines covering the walls. Even the outside lounge area is heavily populated with NPCs who seem like they are having a nice relaxing afternoon. Even though they are set pieces in themselves, it’s a nice touch to the atmosphere.
Maybe it’s Hitman’s episodic release structure, but assassination variety is starting to wear thin. More often than not, if I don’t utilize one of the preset Opportunities, then I’m limited to strangling, shooting, or drowning my target in the toilet bowl. Multiple playthroughs are still encouraged to play out each different kind of assassination.
Opportunities are vital to Hitman and there are some interesting scenarios to play out in Hitman episode 4. Mr. Morgan has spotted a Tuk Tuk (a three-wheeled taxi commonly seen in Bangkok) that might look good on his golf course. He offers the driver an absurd amount of money, but unfortunately the engine is not currently running. Agent 47 can fix the engine, while simultaneously rigging it to explode using a nearby gas barrel to cause a leak. You can guess what happens after the driver allows Morgan to “do the honors” and start the engine.
Another sequence in Hitman episode 4, Agent 47 impersonates Cross’s recently replaced drummer in what is one of the wackiest Hitman scenes yet. Seeing the professional assassin in a flowery sleeveless shirt rocking out on the drums is awesome and goofy at the same time. It’s hard to believe, but Cross is so impressed with his drumming that he asks him to be his permanent collaborator in a private roof top meeting. Of course, I never got to see what the future might hold for Agent 47 and Cross because I pushed him off the roof shortly thereafter. It always feels satisfying.
These two targets definitely feel like something new for Hitman episode 4 and it’s great to see Agent 47 in a different culture scene. Hanging out with the band mates and technicians is fun and entertaining, especially when you impersonate the recording engineer and rig Cross’s microphone to explode. Eliminating the lawyer, Morgan, feels a bit more like a classic Hitman contract, since it’s essentially another “guy in a suit’. However, you’ll want to kill him ASAP after you listen to the way he talks to people. It’s always a nice bonus to feel justified and want to kill your target, rather than just doing it because you were hired to do so.
As with the Marrakesh mission, the voice acting is a huge problem here. The terrible lines from NPCs simply do not fit with the atmosphere and premise. I guess everybody in Thailand speaks with a hotheaded British or American accent? The voice acting is atrocious and inexcusable. Even the Thai hotel staff speak this way, which breaks the immersion and is obnoxiously inaccurate.