Welcome back, 47. Last time we spoke, it was the end of May and we were amid the chaos of a civilian uprising in Marrakesh, with dust and Military Coups all over the place. A far cry from the other luxurious locales such as Paris and Sapienza. But dread not, because where your next mission takes place you'll find yourself in a very luxurious location indeed. The Himmapan luxury hotel and resort, situated on the Chao Phraya River just outside of Bangkok, is waiting for you.
But we aren't here to admire the beautiful river or be pampered by all the luxurious amenities. You've got a job to do and people to kill. Your first assassination target is Jordan Cross, the lead singer of renown indie-rock band The Class. He is suspected to be responsible for the death of a promising young actress, Hannah Highmoore, who fell from his high story penthouse loft in New York. Thanks to his fathers' influence, billionaire media mogul Thomas Cross, the case has been dismissed as an accident. Your second target is Ken Morgan, a corporate fixer and attorney to the cross family, who has been deemed a key agent for the cover up that acquitted Jordan Cross from any charges of murder.
From the get go the mission feels like an homage to the mission "Traditions of the Trade," a mission in Hitman: Codename 47 that was later remastered in Hitman: Contracts. A grand hotel with luxurious amenities and lots of distractions to lose yourself in. But the iconic Opportunities feature makes a return, meaning you'll often find yourself effortlessly picking up clues on possible avenues to complete your task. As I've said before in another review, it takes away from the charm of discovering everything yourself but does streamline the process of progressing through a level.
I do admit that the immersion strikes me. When you enter the Hotel, you'll sign in and be escorted to your room. Later on during exploration, you'll find a written order that states no staff is allowed to enter there unless specifically asked to. Something you can actually do by using the phone to call for room service. Doing so will have you randomly pick a reason for someone to come. I've had 47 give reasons ranging from the toilet malfunctioning to the mini-bar needing a refill. Maybe now I can live out my fantasy as an insufferable rich millennial that pesters room service!
As stated before, exploring goes highly rewarded as Opportunities will invariably pop up every now and then to guide you on your way towards success. The freedom of approach proves true once again, in particular when I found out I could moonlight as a replacement drummer for Jordan's band and prove myself an actual drumming virtuoso, which in turn earned me a private audience with the aforementioned. Ironically, this in turn allowed me to toss him over a ledge and enact some karmic justice.
While Jordan was hiding in a closed-off staff-only section of the Hotel, Ken Morgan on the other hand can be freely found roaming the outside premises with a bodyguard. Two things seem to be raising this man's blood pressure. He's expecting a suspicious letter that's apparently taking horribly long to arrive, and his luxurious suite seems to be in a severe state of uncleanliness. At least he managed to convince a staff member to sell him their Tuk-Tuk vehicle as a kind of souvenir. You guessed right, all three are the main advertised Opportunities presented to you to assassinate Ken stylishly. That said, it is possible to complete all three and choose to only assassinate your target as he retreats to his suite under your escort. Once inside, you're tasked to go through the suite with him and clean any remaining stains. As a sign of appreciation, he eventually shows you his back while leaning over a balcony. I'm two for two on making people fly today.
After escaping, I was rewarded with another piece of the story. Finally the plot is going somewhere, as the ICA (your employer) suspects they are being used for a grander plot; something they find displeasing, as the ICA prefers to be a neutral party and wishes to not be dragged into political games. Kind of a weird concept in the world of high profile assassinations.
A small bone I have to pick are the Elusive Targets the game has been promoting as an impressive feature for quite a while. To recap, a special mission is made available for only 48 real hours where a unique target has to be taken down before the time is over. A very exciting feature, but at the same time a bit of a waste of resources to create content that will only be available for a very limited time. Not to mention that anyone who wasn't available to play the game during this small window will inadvertently miss out on something that has proven to be quite unique. And you can call this content unique when you get famous actor Gary Busey to be one of your targets. My hope is that at the end of the final season it'll be decided to make all the Elusive Targets available again as a sort of cherry on top of a (then) complete product. But if my Google searches are to be believed, there might not be any hope for that either.
In the end, Bangkok proves to be a worthwhile episode to the game. Being given freedom to roam around in a luxurious hotel was certainly up my alley, as I have a tendency to operate from a central location whenever possible in the Hitman games. It didn't feel as wide and vast a location as Sapienza or Marrakesh, removing the feel of a playground with that of a more densely packed toy store where everything seemed to be within reach or not far off. I found it deeper of an area to explore than Marrakesh but not as satisfying as Sapienza was.
This episode was reviewed on PC using a Steam key provided by the developer.
Bangkok embraces its more densely packed Hotel level design with some clever depth, but ultimately doesn't stand out more than its predecessors.