As a Christmas gift, my brother got me Hitman 2016 game of the year edition. I didn't play it around launch (mainly because I wasn't sure about the episodic nature of it) but started last night and I am way more impressed with it than I thought I would be. For starters, visually the game is very good looking and runs much, much better than I was expecting. Maybe it's because I looked at Digital Foundry videos of old footage, but it seemed like the game would try to run at 30fps and struggle to do so, so when starting it and seeing that it has an unlocked frame rate option and runs sufficiently I was happy about that. The game also just looks great aside from frame rate (I heard it was recently updated for the goty edition). I think the main issues with its looks is that the characters are not that great looking and I think the animations in spots could be better.
The sound design is also really good. I don't know if that's better than I expected, but I'm just happy it sounds good too. The music is a little better I think; fitting what you're doing. The structure is also great. It seems a lot easier to execute what you're trying to do than previous Hitman games. I like that many of the things you can do are laid out for you with the challenges and it's just up to you to explore and find out where and how to do it, and yet that's not all. It feels like a smoother, higher quality experience. I took out the first target on the Paris mission but stopped because I got tired last night before going after the second. So with that said, I don't know how the story goes, but I can say that I liked how it started.
It was cool to see it begin in 1999 where 47 started to train as an assassin, and then it jumps ahead after Absolution's timeline. I don't need a great story to go with it, but so far I'm content with the way it's presented. I was hoping the game wouldn't just be about the fun of finding ways to execute your goals, while everything else takes a backseat. It is more than that, with impressive stages to explore and on top of that, the thing I 'didn't just want' is also more exciting than I thought it would be. The first time I threw a fire extinguisher at a guys face was hilarious. I was afraid that the only thing to latch onto was the myriad of ways to assassinate dudes, but I'm finding it all a lot more entertaining and well-designed. Honestly, I am kind of glad I waited this long to play it though.