The success of the Hitman franchise is a huge signifier for the gaming world as to what exactly fans want from their games. The series follows Agent 47, the eponymous assassin, and incorporates strategy, first-person shooting, and stealth gameplay. Players are rewarded for the ingenuity used in accomplishing the hit – and the thought process required for the game could be argued to be the reason for the franchise’s success. This begs the question: do gamers want to have to think more about what they’re playing?
Is playing Hitman good for your brain?
Hitman is most well-known for the console games featuring Agent 47, which span from 2000’s cross-platform release of Hitman: Codename 47 to the five sequels, trilogy re-release, and two mobile games. The pulling factor of Hitman is the cross-platform approach to gameplay, which utilises the brainpower benefits of each platform.
The Hitman franchise takes a cross-platform approach to its gameplay. As well as console gaming, Hitman is developed as a mobile game. This helps attract a different audience, and focus the gameplay on something more kinetic than the lengthy hit missions that require more slow-burn stealth. These include the 2014 Hitman: Go mobile game that featured a heavy dose of puzzle-solving gameplay, to the 2016 Hitman: Sniper release, which saw players adopt the first-person shooting sniping aspects of the character. Both games required players to use their brainpower, as well as their traditional gaming reactions.
Hitman doesn’t just stop at mobile and console gaming when it comes to interacting with what fans want. Furthering the brainpower necessary to play are the Hitman-themed online slots at William Hill, which feature Hitman content wrapped in gameplay that requires some part skill. By having more control over how the game turns out – by using their own strategic thinking – enables players to stay more engaged, which furthers their affinity for the franchise.
Most recently, Agent 47 starred in a 6-part episodic gameplay structure that saw him taking out hits across the world. To further engage with fans, they could choose which one of Gary Cole or Gary Busey would be featured as a hit in one of the episodes. Gary Busey won – or lost – and his voice and likeness were donated to the game. The interactive aspect of allowing fans to decide elements of their game further shows them that developers are beginning to listen properly to fans in order to give them what they really want.
The episodic structure of the gameplay further added to the idea that fans were being listened to. The smaller chunks of more considered gameplay, plus the gratification of another installation on the horizon helped retain players more so than a long arduous campaign on a single console disc.
Hitman is a key example of a game that listens to fans –and with the second series of the episodic jet-setting assassin series being released in 2018, fans can expect that the franchise will give them exactly what they want in terms of gameplay, even before they realise what exactly that is.