Hitman: Sniper Challenge is a Gamestop exclusive pre-order bonus for the upcoming Hitman: Absolution. It’s a single mission in which you, Agent 47, must eliminate a man named Richard Strong, the CEO of a high profile weapons manufacturer. As this is a sniper challenge, you’ll spend the entirety of the mission perched on a rooftop, looking down over a fancy party – high-powered rifle in hand. Though it is only a single, 15 minute mission, in classic Hitman style you have multiple ways to complete it, lending some replayability to the proceedings.
If you are so inclined, you can take out your primary target in full view of everyone at the party, including the many bodyguards whom you must also dispatch. Naturally, this will cause a panic, sending partygoers scattering and bodyguards diving for cover. Provided you’re able to eliminate the bodyguards before they evacuate, this is a perfectly viable means to go about completing the mission – there simply isn’t a lot of tact involved in this approach.
If you want to achieve a better score, you’ll need to exercise a little more patience and restraint. Your primary target, as well as his bodyguards, spend their time walking around, mingling with guests, etc., and often end up by themselves somewhere. If you pick your moments carefully, you can eliminate them all, one by one, without anyone else being any the wiser. Waiting for someone to be near a ledge, for example, ensures that they’ll drop off when you kill them, thereby concealing the body and granting you a bonus multiplier.
The mission also has a number of optional challenges for you to complete, such as killing pigeons, eliminating all targets with headshots, and finishing the mission quickly. There are also a number of equipment upgrades you can earn by accumulating larger amounts of cash over multiple playthroughs. Completionists will find that there is actually a decent amount of content here, and even if you’re not concerned with completing the challenges, the mission is still fun to replay.
Still, I can’t help but wonder if this was the best way to go about distributing Hitman: Sniper Challenge. Retailer specific pre-order bonuses are a thing that have always rubbed me the wrong way, and it seems silly to limit the game’s availability in that manner. I would rather it have cost $5 or less and been available to everyone, as many people, myself included, would rather not be suckered into pre-orders from Gamestop. Even so, Hitman: Sniper Challenge is a fun little timewaster, and I recommend it in spite of my reservations about Gamestop.
+ Fun to play
+ Multiple ways to go about completing the mission
+ Challenges and unlocks provide extra replayability
- It’s only a single mission
- Availability is limited to those who pre-order Hitman: Absolution at Gamestop
Provides a fun, but limited taste of things to come.
Hitman: Sniper Challenge will be released on May 15th, 2012 for Xbox 360 and PS3, and August 20th, 2012 for PC. Review is based on the Xbox 360 version.