IO Interactive really spent some time with Hitman Episode 2 – Sapienza. This mission almost seems as if it would have been a better introduction to the world of Hitman than the Paris mission, if only because the amount of freedom and exploration present in Sapienza dwarfs the Paris fashion gala.
Title: Hitman Episode 2 – Sapienza
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: IO Interactive
Available On: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Reviewed On: PlayStation 4
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Copy Supplied by Publisher
This mission takes Agent 47 to the coastal town of Sapienza, Italy. You’ll be exploring in and around the Caruso family manor, and the whole setting is beautifully imagined in Hitman. The areas surrounding the manor, whether it’s the back alley’s with the various shops you can choose to go in to (via breaking in), the beach-front areas that are fully explorable, the actual manor itself which is a maze of hallways and hidden secrets, or the underground facility which looks and feels completely different from the rest of the mission… the space you have to explore is massive. But it all feels different, and exploring around the town actually feels rewarding. Something I didn’t feel the Paris mission, despite it being a great mission as well, truly captured.
Your first target is Silvio Caruso, part of the Caruso family lineage and the owner of the Caruso manor. He’s a stem cell researcher that works for the Ether Corporation, taking point on a project that is a DNA-specific virus that can infect anyone in the world invisibly and remain hidden until it comes into contact with the right string of DNA. It’s highly contagious and aggressive, and in fact, your mission also tasks you with destroying this virus as well as taking out the targets. Ether installed a state-of-the-art research facility deep underground at the Caruso estate, and it is here that Silvio works day and night, perfecting this virus.
Your other target in Sapienza is Francesca De Santis, a research scientist and the current lab head on the virus project. While it might appear that she and Caruso are working together, she’s actually undercover for Ether, making sure that Caruso does not screw up or become unglued. If he does, well, she’s been ordered to deal with him herself. She also does not trust him at all, and this can easily play into your advantage if you choose to partake in that Opportunity that opens up while exploring around the estate.
The other Opportunities that are present in Hitman Episode 2 are a lot more varied than the ones present in Paris, which again offer so much choice when it comes to how you want to take out the targets and complete the mission. You can find a crashed flower delivery van and take on the disguise of one of the workers, and deliver flowers to Caruso to put on his mother’s grave since it’s the anniversary of her death. You can take on the form of a worker at the Caruso estate, not really caring about the job at all, but his sister is right there being nervous that she got him the job. Agent 47 can even pretend to be a psychiatrist that was hired to evaluate Silvio Caruso, and go through the whole motion of the meeting if you want. There’s even a romantic Opportunity involving Francesca if you can find it.
IO Interactive continues to impress with Hitman Episode 2, and it might honestly be my favorite Hitman experience to date, in any of the games. You can literally get lost for hours, wandering around the coastal town and just seeing what all there is to do and interact with. They have continued to build a living, breathing world, full of NPC’s that live their own lives. It’s amazing how many different areas there are that are fully explorable, and you can find ways to complete the mission that don’t even involve any of the Opportunities, or are so far out there that hardly anyone probably thought to try it. I actually almost pulled off a run taking both targets out in less than ten minutes without being spotted, but slipped up right at the end and was killed.
It’s those types of moments that will keep people coming back to this installment of Hitman over and over again, because each consecutive playthrough has the potential to be so radically different.