*updates are presented in the third post of this thread*
The Official Hitman: Absolution Thread!
Hitman: Absolution is a stealth game being developed by IO Interactive and published by Square Enix. It is the fifth installment in the Hitman series, and will run on IO Interactive's proprietary Glacier 2 game engine. The game is currently stated for a November 20, 2012 release.
I realize that a lot of people are not familiar with the Hitman series. Therefore, I've detailed the first section of this thread just for you. The upcoming section titled "What is Hitman" is a detaied and extensive overview of the Hitman series for those new to the series. If you alreay know about The Hitman Series and/or don't care about it, then skip down to the "Hitman: Absolution" section. (CTR+F can be useful). Since it's quite a long read, I've broken it up into several parts to allow you to read only a section a time. Enjoy!
What is Hitman?
Agent 47 wants to give you a present.
Hitman is first and foremost a stealth game. Unless you plan to kill every single person without discrimination, then some usage of stealth will be required. Unlike most stealth games, Hitman doesn’t force you to hide in the shadows or stay out of people’s line of sight. Hitman is about hiding in plain Sight.
Disguises are one of the key features in the Hitman series. They allow you to stride through areas that would otherwise be prohibited. Disguises also allow you to carry disguise-specific weapons without raising suspicion. Disguises are sometimes found in secret areas of the map such as private bedrooms or locker rooms, for the player to discover through experimenting with the map. Oftentimes, however, the only way to obtain the appropriate disguise is by snatching one off of an unsuspecting bystander. The only way to get these disguises without being spotted is by sedating or knocking them out. You don’t want to kill these people because killing innocents subtracts your bonus.
This tactic can be a bit dangerous because, after a certain amount of time, the person will awake nude and confused; and authorities will be alerted of a suspicious bald man in whichever disguise you’ve stolen. Therefore, it’s very important that unconscious bodies be hidden, because if they are discovered, then the NCP will regain consciousness immediately.
For the maximum amount of points, you have to complete the level with your original suit. If at any point during the level you exchanged someone else’s clothing with your own, you will have to go back to retrieve your suit. If you complete the level and your suit is still within the level, then you will lose bonus points.
Again, Hitman is always about player choice. You do not have to use disguise if you don’t want to. If you think you have the skills, you can sneak in the shadows, staying out of the enemy’s sight, all while wearing Agent 47’s original suit. This style of playing will make levels much more difficult, seemingly impossible in some cases. It does, however, remove the hassle of traveling across the level to retrieve your suit. But again, you could not use stealth at all and plow through every man that gets in your way. The choice is entirely up to you.
Methods of Assassination
Looks like 47 is taking out the trash.
As you can see, Hitman gives you the option of playing like a silent assassin or like a psychopathic cereal killer. The game also gives you the freedom of killing the enemy in any way imaginable. Aside from a few story-specific assassinations, there is no ‘right’ to assassinate any of the targets.
The death of your enemy is up to the player’s imagination. You can snipe your target in the head from several hundred meters away. Or if you like to make things personal, you can meet him in his bedroom and personally show him what it’s like to take a shotgun to the face. Perhaps you’re a nefarious cook; you could steal the chef’s uniform and treat your target to a ‘special’ ingredient. And somehow, someway, in Hitman: Absolution, you can kill your target with a plunger. The choice is yours.
As a fairly experienced Hitman player, I often complete levels using only the fiber wire for kills, and perhaps a sedative for disguises. The fiber wire is one of the more difficult methods to kill an opponent; some might say it’s impossible (though Hitman: Absolution looks to make using the fiber wire much more accessible). You have to manage to get yourself in the perfect position behind the target without him ever knowing you were there. The beauty of the fiber wire is its silence and its convenience. It’s almost invisible to enemies and it can get through metal detectors without raising an alarm.
For maximum points, you need to kill the target in a way that deceives authorities into thinking the target was not intentionally killed. You must make it appear like your target was killed by accident.
Anything is dangerous in the hands of 47....anything!
In Blood Money, there was a rather comical example of making your kill look like an accident. In one of the missions, the target pauses under a conveniently hanging piano; an ‘accident’ waiting to happen. Another situation which I thought was clever was in a mission where you’re trying to kill an opera singer. During the opera, a different actor uses a fake gun and pretends to shoot the singer- the target. Every five minutes the actors take a break . The cool thing is you could find the actor that pretends to shoot the gun, and follow him to his changing area. And when the actor leaves for a bathroom break, you sneak into his changing room and switch his fake gun with an actual, loaded gun. Therefore, during the opera, the actor, oblivious to the loaded gun in his hand, would fire his weapon, killing our target
This was just one of the many ways I could have killed him. I could have sniped him, I could have snuck into the attic and bombed chandelier above, I could have followed him into his room and beat him to death, or I could have done something completely different. Here are some more examples of unique ‘accidents’ in the Hitman series:
· Using remote mines to explode on an object (usually heavy and suspended) object,
· Pushing someone over a railing, making it appear that they fell over.
· Causing stage pyrotechnics to explode and set the target on fire.
· Crushing a man's neck using weights during his morning workout.
· Rigging a grill to set a victim on fire.
· Disguising 47 as a doctor and sabotaging a surgical operation,
You can never run out of ways to kill in Hitman
One of the many large, open levels in Blood Money (X360)
If it hasn’t been made obvious already, the gameplay in Hitman is not linear. The same goes for the levels. Hitman feels more like a sandbox game than most open world games. Every level contains several major paths divided into underlying paths, secret entrances, etc. There will often be risk-reward scenarios where a room or area has something very valuable (like a disguise, keycard, etc), but is dangerous to enter. Each level feels like a separate, functioning world composed of smaller, sophisticated ingredients.
Certain areas of the levels have totally different vibes than others. One may be free for everyone. One may be only open to janitors, henchmen, cops, etc. Some may by prohibited to everyone except the target
Each level requires extensive time to master. You must discover the perfect timing, disguise, distractions, etc. to get through each appropriate area in the most professional manner possible. You may find one way of completing a task, but then discover a much better way later on. And oftentimes, access into one area on the map may require traveling to some obscure area on the other side of the map. You may need a certain disguise, or item to enter the area.
I guess 47 felt like 'clowning around' today.
Here’s an example of the options that the levels in Hitman can offer:
In one of the Hitman levels, the target was at home enjoying his birthday. He was apparently an important man since his front door was guarded by henchmen. It was not going to be as easy as simply walking into his house and shooting him in his head. I had to devise a plan. After several minutes of deliberating and a few failures, I found the three possible access points to enter his home:
1. Through the front door. The front door was guarded by two men outside and several more men inside. I knew I wouldn’t be able to stride through there. I had several options for entering through this door. Since the target was having a birthday, his friends sent him foods and snacks. The food was sent in the house by a worker, who would carry the food from his truck into the house. I could have lured the worker in a secluded area, stolen his uniform, and poisoned the food. Or if I was feeling violent, I could have planted explosives inside of his cake. And just as he looked at his food…Boom! But I wanted to make the kill look like an accident, so explosions weren’t an option.
2. Through the left door on the house. I tried this route a few times and after a constant death, I become annoyed of the guard who patrolled the room right behind this door. He isn’t difficult to kill but he’s extremely annoying when you’re trying to complete the level without killing any non-target characters. After so many failures, I decided to go through the right door.
3. Through the right door of the house. I chose to go though the right door. Directly in front of this door lay the target’s guard dog. If I tried to go inside of the door, the dog would bark and try to attack me. Even though I could kill the dog easily, he would still attract unwanted attention. I didn’t want to kill the dog so I had to figure out some way to sedate him. After a few hours of exploring the level, I found a few items that could help me accomplish my goals As I was exploring the yard next-door, I discovered a tranquilizer sniper inside of a tree-house next door. The view of the tree-house gave me a perfect vantage point to tranquilize the dog. Unfortunately, the gun had no darts. So, after even my exploring, I happen to find some darts in another house on the other side of the map. I have had to break inside of another person’s house to get them.
As I was in the person’s house getting the darts, I discovered I sausage behind a dumpster. At that moment, I got a genius idea. I decided to inject the sausage with my sedatives and throw the sausage at the dog. I thought the sausage idea was a lot cooler than the sniper idea. So, I laced the sausage, and I throw it at the dog. Sure enough, the dog ate it and after a few seconds, he passed out and I was free to roam into the side of the house. All of this planning and discovering was just to infiltrate the house. This was only the tip of the iceberg on the level. I still had to find, isolate, and kill the target all while making it look like an accident, and escape alive.
I traveled all across the map looking for darts, sausages, etc. all for only one particular method to enter the house. I could have even turned off the electricity which would have distracted the guards and given me a chance in, or used a disguise, poisoned his cake, etc. The possibilities truly are endless in Hitman.
Perfecting a Level
A Perfect Rating
It’s not easy to the perfect rating. Mastering each level requires the following
1. Kill only the target(s)
2. Leave no stray bullets
3. Do not finish the mission without your suit
4. Do not finish the mission with any witnesses
5. Do not leave any bodies
Th fifth rule in particular can set up for some head-scratching scenarios. Many times, when you’ve just killed the target, it’s kind of hard to get rid of his body (unless you’ve made it an accident, in which case you won’t have to). In some levels, there will be conveniently placed containers near the target. But in other times, there are no containers nearby. And you may have to figure out how to sneak the body to the other side of the level (needless to say, this is not easy), or find a place to dispose of him.
So for you completionist, there’s a lot of replay-ability. Most people don’t get the perfect rating on a level on their first try. They may play the same level multiple times before even developing a plan that would allow them to obtain the perfect level. Some may just skip to the next level and come back later after they feel that they’re skilled enough. You may replay the same level over and over constantly achieving the highest score possible and it’ll never feel repetitive. The scoring system should prove a nice feature for those of you that love competing with friends.