Following up Agent 47’s very James Bond like caper in a sleepy coastal Italian town in Hitman Episode 2: Sapienza, things now move over to Morocco for the next assignment. Hitman Episode 3: Marrakesh plops you down into a city on the verge of exploding, as riots fill the streets and the smell of coup d’etat hangs in the air. Your targets this time include a Swedish banker who swindled the Moroccan people and is holed up in the embassy and a general who is using the unrest in hopes of starting a coup. The scene seems set for Agent 47 to engage in some delightful mayhem, as we’re told time is of the essence to eliminate our marks before things explode.
Sadly, this tension filled scenario never quite pays off. Hitman Episode 3 does give us a nicely rendered environment with the large marketplace that sits as the episode’s centerpiece, but both the embassy and the school where the targets have holed up feel both bland and linear. While Sapienza seemed to offer us plenty of unique opportunities to eliminate our targets, Marrakesh seems to offer less in the way of variety, with only a couple feeling a bit different and fun. There are a couple of interesting paths to your objectives, but some of these are marred by poor design and the fact that enemies have this almost supernatural ability to sniff you out. Actions get spotted even when behind cover, and your disguises seem to be seen through far too easily. Patience as always is key, but I found myself racking up more bodies in this outing than in the previous two, just to remove the seemingly extra amount of eyes that could spot you, no matter what disguise you were in.
Voice acting really became a noticeable liability in Episode 3. It didn’t bother me as much with the American and British accents in Paris and Sapienza, but it bothered me far more as I made my way through the marketplace in Marrakesh and it didn’t feel or sound like an exotic locale at all. One protester sounded more like he was on loan from Berkley instead of being a local, and the general speaks with a British accent even though we hear he has been trained at West Point in the US. Part of the lure of this episodic outing of Hitman was to be visiting these locales around the world, but when they all sound alike we might as well just be visiting countries in Epcot at Disney World. The immersion gets lost when the sounds don’t match the sights, and this time out it was even more noticeable where it marred the overall experience.
Both the school and the embassy felt like missed opportunities to arrange something clever, instead giving you a more linear approach which was reduced to playing hide and seek from all those who could see through your disguise. Once you eliminated your mark it was then avoid or outrun enemies to the exit. That’s standard for the series, though this time it seemed to lack the tension and thrill normally provided by making a good getaway. The embassy in particular seemed way too calm for a building being besieged by protesters, with people calmly going about their business. Only the soldiers and the extra security guards give any hint that anything is amiss at the embassy. Again, things just felt more linear and lacking in imagination. The final cut scene proved to be quite interesting, peeling away another layer of a conspiracy. It’s also a neat touch that your exploits have been noticed, adding a bit of suspense to the overarching story line and making me curious as to where things are headed.
Overall, Hitman Episode 3: Marrakesh is solid but feels uninspired, taking a step back from the more enjoyable episode that preceded it. The linear approaches to the targets feel lacking, and for a city on the verge of a coup there is little noticeable tension. Add the immersion breaking voice acting and Episode 3 proves to be a low point in Agent 47’s adventures this time out. The final cut scene at least does raise enough interest to have me looking forward to the next mission. Hopefully that will be a step back in the right direction.
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