HITMAN™

I not only payed money for a game it was a single player online only episodic game. I broke every rule for this one, just like a movie hitman. the episodic shit actually works for the game though because the levels are meant to be replayed, (acknowledged in the game by two guards having a conversation about the multiverse theory) instead of you just running through the entire campaign and telling yourself you’ll have to retry that one level again and never doing it. each level has “challenges” which are basically like achievements. there’s different kinds, ones for assassinating targets certain ways, getting certain disguises, etc. completing them gives you points that go towards you “mastery” of that level. you don’t have to 100% a level to get the highest mastery level. but what mastery does is unlock items and disguises and starting locations and hiding spots for you to use in the planning screen for each level. the items you unlock also carry over to the next level, you don’t just start from zero equipment wise each one.

the planning screen


staring a level as a waiter

There’s also opportunities. These are a little more scripted than people might like but what can you do. You overhear conversations or find some items or something and the game kind of guides you with prompts (that you can disable, or just tell the game to immediately start guiding you through one at anytime, almost like a tutorial you can switch on anytime to get a feel for the level) through the opportunity, they usually lead to getting you alone with one of the targets. Things like disguise yourself as one of the models in the fashion show level, or as a private detective or whatever. These are more about the game giving you ideas on how to set up situations and offering ways to pull the targets off their routes.

There’s escalation contracts, you get a target and then there’s like five rounds and each one adds different limitations, like a time limit, or hide all bodies in 30 seconds, or certain doorways are wired with explosives and you just have to get around them or disable them somewhere in the level. they’re pretty good about teaching you to get through levels more efficiently. Usually by the 4th round I end up doing some completely different approach than what I tried til then.

And there’s elusive contracts. these are the big deal. the show up on a time limit, you can only play them once. if you die or mess up that’s it, the contract is gone forever. what happened to that one kid who wanted every game to delete his save, this is for him. the target is some unique npc and they don’t show up in your special hitman vision so you have to find them. these are nerve wracking as hell, they’re great. I should maybe do a twitch stream thing for the next one but I don’t really know how to do that and the game doesn’t run all that great on my videocard.

“this white man shows great murder potential”

The tutorial is a ICA training facility that’s literally a dressed up set filled with actors to test you. That was pretty good. This hitman game is definitely going for a spy movie type deal. and aesthetically it’s a lot more clean and sterile than compared to absolution, or contracts horror atmosphere.

these games are about 47 managing the chaos around him to achieve his objectives, here he does so by taking to the runway.

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47 invented taking enemy disguises at the ica thanks to his asexuality, any discomfort from declothing another person would never occur to him.

You might be able to try using OBS to just record a session and share that, if that helps any. That’s what I’ve done with Monster Hunter, since no one needed to hear how angry I got at a Rathalos.

yeah this is good. I never really got into any of the earlier games in this series (back when it was compared against MGS in the aughts) but it’s actually a bit of a palette cleanser after uncharted 4 and the sandboxiness feels about as organic as it can. as you’ve noted, I think they’re being very smart by only giving you one level at a time (and not just because a $40 game with four levels is way more attractive to me at this point than a $60 game with six levels).

I love Hitman. It is my favorite game of this generation. It keeps creating challenges. I can’t stop playing it.

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I like that guy. How did I miss that?

I can’t help but read this in the voice of the guy who loves the Powerglove in The Wizard

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challenge everything

Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.

I played this yesterday for the first time (first time I’ve touched the series as a whole). I was quite surprised when I heard this game is pretty much entirely about comedic fucking-around with intentionally bad AIs. (This article makes a good case for it: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2016-05-12-hitman-and-the-joy-of-playing-it-wrong ). It seems that this has been the case for a while now, but the marketing around the game never communicated it to me before. The Very Serious Assassination Simulator brand has probably harmed this series – it has more in common with Goat Simulator than anything else really.

I love that these are just extremely expensive, government-funded LARPing/Modern Ghost Houses. Everyone there is pretending to be fooled by your crappy disguises and pretending to have their necks snapped (??).

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I’ve never got much out of “look how silly I can make the game look” antics. For me it’s more satisfying to just try and go along with whatever a game is selling itself to be, if it doesn’t make that too difficult. and with these that’s only as difficult as how bad you are at the game.

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I go both ways. I’m in the same position as broco in that I was never really interested in what [I thought] this game was selling itself as until now. w/r/t silliness, I hate when I’m trying to play a game vaguely immersively and it turns stupid on me – my memory here is of standing over a stunned guy in MGS2 waiting for him to wake up so I can punch combo him into submission and restart his stun timer – but I love when a game offers me a certain number of sandbox tools within an ostensibly linear scenario, so that it’s still functionally asking me to solve it but it’s pushing me hard toward being creative for creativity’s sake.

this genre is vastly improved by better technology and better engines that allow the various tertiary design elements to feel better, too. I’m generally not much of a lore or emergent storytelling guy except in very select circumstances (I thought journey’s multiplayer was really neat once I realized what was going on, and I love how trivially CK2 accomplishes this), but the ambient dialog of these games having halfway decent writing and acting makes a huge difference. I never got into any of the PS2 grand theft auto titles when they were huge because of how cheap they felt (though some of the motorbike chases got close to being actually well-designed), but the PS3 games (with supposedly worse writing and direction) were way more appealing to me, and hitman is another reminder that I have no problem at all with sandbox games when they have actual level design.

also, play just cause 3. I’ve been plugging that one for months now!

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some early concept stuff from what became absolution from a phone app thing io put out. some interesting stuff in it. there was another idea where you were after a group of people who killed a girl when they were teenagers then grew up into different lives. everybody who wants to change up their stealth games seems to go with homelessness and revenge. they talk about not wanting to just make hitman forever. lol, oops. your fault for making a financially successful game that you can basically just remake forever in different environments and taking advantage of technological advances along the way, I guess.

I liked the scene with the homeless guy that made it into absolution, 47 goes down an alley and tosses some change in a homeless guys cup but it’s a drinking cup, not a change cup. 47 just robotically going through the motions of passing as a person. I still like that one a lot. As much of a compromised hitman game it might have been and whether that was from publisher or technological imposed limitations or whatever, they still made the game fit the character I think.

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io seems to like alternating between making stylized dark atmospheric games with clean sunny sterilized looking games


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Yeah, I’m really enjoying the incidental dialogue too. It’s amazing how much a half-decent script improves the taste level of a game, even if that’s nominally not an important thing in the genre.

My favorite is how guards blocking entrances take a very different tone based on your disguise:

  • Rich guest: strained attempt at politeness and formality
  • Wage worker: contempt
  • Guard from different security firm: ‘I know it’s kind of dumb but the rules are the rules’

Mechanically, the result is the same, but this adds so much narrative flavor as well as a kind of anthropological undercurrent.

Also, dressing as the male fashion star is already hilarious, but what really makes it a fantastic setup is the details of how people react to you. When you give a brief word of praise to your stylist for his makeup job, he suddenly sounds so delighted, like that just there was the summit of his entire career. On the other hand, when you visit the top floor with that same makeup on, the guests there (who are only there for spy business and give zero shits about the fashion show) actually insult you.

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