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#4589901 - 01/22/22 08:04 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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Sharing a few reviews of Hitman 3. These were mostly written a year ago when the game was released. After waiting it out for a year, I'm catching up on my reading to fortify my decision, which could be to buy it now or wait.

Who am I kidding?

PC Gamer

IGN

Gamespot

Eurogamer

These are glowing reviews across the board. I think we need to separate the publisher/price/release stuff from the game itself. If you're able to do that I really can't recommend this trilogy enough, if you like the Hitman mojo, or enjoy stealth games, or simply want a game that is slick, polished and excellently designed. Of course I have yet to play 3, but I can see it's just more of what was so good about the 2016 Hitman reboot and Hitman 2. Some graphical improvements, some gameplay twists and a few new gadgets.

The draw is simply more of I/Os incredible level-building. Just having new maps to discover, new targets to snuff out in new ways, after having run through the previous ones repeatedly to gain map mastery.

As mentioned, all three games install under the same banner, all the missions playable from the same game. Any improvements from the later games retroactively apply to the earlier ones, and you can go back and play those early missions using any of the new tools and gadgets introduced later. It's a neat setup. It's easy for me to spend your money, but I can only recommend buying the whole works if you don't own them already. There is a lot of great gaming in this one. I don't like third-person games, but there are a few I make exceptions for because they are so good. Hitman is one.

When I buy it I'll post first impressions if anyone might be interested.



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#4589994 - 01/24/22 02:02 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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My fortified decision was to buy it, so I did. The last two games I like so much, this was an easy decision. The reviews simply confirmed the fact Hitman 3 is more of the same. Since I own the 2016 and 2018 titles, I bought the Standard version of Hitman 3.

One of the things I like most about this "World of Assassination Trilogy" is how all three games are combined as one. I had read that I could carry over progress from the earlier games. So all the item unlocks, map mastery, XP levels and so on would transfer to the new game. The process though is not so simple, and you need a IO account to do it. It look longer than I expected, I had much trouble restoring my password for example, but eventually I got it done. So now every level in the series is there in the UI, all my weapons, items and other lethal, and less-than, are available in the prep. A new player to Hitman (3) would need to wait to unlock these, but returning players can have their previous progress pay off with expanded capability from the off.

With everything installed and carried over, I hopped in to the game. I ran through the prologue training scenario twice to re-acclimate to the controls and mechanics, then tackled the first mission in Hitman 3, Dubai. There's a story arc in the game/series, but it's rather convoluted, and I pay cursory attention to try and understand my presumed motives. But generally it's forgettable, and hard to follow, for me.

The first mission opens in rather spectacular fashion. A parachute insertion to the world's tallest building. Inside are two targets to take out, there's a massive soiree of the world's elite going on, and 47 must work out a way to kill the highly secure and well guarded marks. Standard Hitman stuff. Story Missions return. these are solutions the game suggests, which you pick up by eavesdropping on conversations. You might hear the target likes a certain drink, and if you opt in, the game leads you to the drink recipe and some poison. Or maybe you hear the target is expecting a guard shift, and then you can find the replacement guard, and assume his identity to get close to your target. Or you can just wing it.

The game looks fantastic, even better than before. The location levels are dense, excellently designed and gorgeous. It runs smoothly, and in limited time, seemingly stable. This studio knows what they have in this IP, and how to pull it off. It's slick, polished and stuffed with content. Aside from the campaign there are additional modes like revolving timed events and a sniper assassination mode among others.

One of the things about Hitman that took me by surprise a couple years ago when I was playing is how central replays are to the experience. Replaying levels in most games isn't uncommon. After all, you might want to try a different plan, or simply do a better job of it. But in this game, the map mastery mechanic makes replaying nearly essential. The idea is that by replaying it over and over, you gain proficiency and new unlocks. These unlocks are weapons and items, like a remote explosive or a lethal rubber duck. Along with this you unlock new starting points, and stash locations. These open up new possibilities and tactical plans, so that even though you're replaying the level, the parameters have all changed. I like it, as the experience and options you gain make you better and better at it. A new level might take an hour and a half the first time, but later you might complete the mission in ten minutes. It's a neat gimmick that encourages retries and makes the already extensive content feel even deeper.


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#4590158 - 01/26/22 01:55 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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I've done everything through the China map. I play on Professional. In the earlier games I tended to stick on a map for a few runs before moving on, but this time I've only done Dubai more than once. I wanted to get a feel for each map and see which was my favorite to then focus on it and max out mastery. I think it may end up being one I haven't done, the next one, Argentina. In Hitman (2016) it was Paris. In Hitman 2 (2018) it was Whittleton Creek. But I really like many of the levels. Most are awesome, but one or two I wasn't so keen on.

In Hitman 3, IOI continues to show they are really good at level and world building. Dartmoor is a bit of an outlier, the sort of level that I think players will love the first time through, especially if following the initial story mission. But it might be the weakest one in the trilogy for replays. Berlin was such a cool twist, really enjoyed that one. I cased the entire joint, identifying every target, before beginning my deadly dance starting with the sniper and methodically taking them out one by one, using a different kill method for each one. I don't want to spoil it for others, but there were a couple neat touches in this one that makes it stand out.

Since installing Hitman 3 I also revisited a couple earlier levels. I finished Hokkaido yesterday. I guess I had failed to do so previously, the only level from the first two titles I hadn't finished. I did Bangkok again, that's another good one. Maldives and Sapienza. Played a few sniper assassinations, a couple escalations. Lots of content in this trilogy.


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#4590207 - 01/27/22 12:17 AM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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Since I see your having fun, I though I would hijack this thread! biggrin

Seriously, just In case you were not aware of what´s Incoming this spring...



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#4590241 - 01/27/22 01:38 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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I think a thread has to be actually going somewhere to be hijacked, and well....

That looks great Red, thanks for the heads up. I was not aware of this, but any additional twists, modes and content is welcome. Hopefully it is fun to play the freelancer mode.

And yes, I'm having a good time with it. That's a given really, considering how much I like this type of game play, and how good Hitman is at it. I've completed every level save the final full level and the short epilogue. I've been mixing in the new levels and replaying older levels. There's not much to knock Hitman 3 on, but one weaker spot is there are only three mission stories for each of the new levels. The earlier titles have minimum five and up to nineteen, I think, per level. Mission stories are not crucial, but they are often fun and interesting. They are valuable contributors to map mastery, which I'm finding is slower to advance than before.

I like games like this that are in many ways just big sandboxes. You have an objective(s), a map and a starting state (location, disguise if any, weapons and items) and then it's entirely up to you on how to complete that objective. There are so many possibilities, and I try to play in such a way that I use a different plan, route and kill method each time. I really like kills that happen when I am far away. For these you have to observe. I might notice he stops at the bar for some sushi, so add some lethal poison and gone. Later he kicks off the mortal coil while I'm somewhere else or heading through the exit. Or maybe he likes to lean against a railing while talking on his phone. Find a wrench, loosen the railing when heads are turned, and slip away. Ten minutes later he falls to his death. That sort of thing never gets old.

Each level is a,puzzle to be solved. But here, there are endless solutions. Good stuff.


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#4590289 - 01/27/22 06:09 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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Not all publishers get it right. And I commented above about the messy release. Well, credit to IO Interactive, they are at least admitting it and even offering a trinket or two to make up for it. How nice. If I am reading this right, as a trilogy owner, I get Seven Deadly Sins for free. Nice.


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#4590301 - 01/27/22 08:49 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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There are big reductions on the earlier Hitman games in the Steam sale right now.

#4590304 - 01/27/22 09:01 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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Good spot Troop! Yeah, the Hitman 1 and 2 bundle is US$25. That's half what I paid for the same a few years ago. These can then be combined with Hitman 3, if desired, and benefit from the graphics and gameplay improvements.

Or, a frugal player might get that bundle, play it, then pick up 3 when it inevitably goes in sale in a couple months and combine them then.

Of course if someone buys it all before Feb 19th, they get the free upgrades mentioned two posts back.

So right now, on Steam, you can get the trilogy for $85. That might be steep for some, but there is plenty of content to justify the price point.

For those on the fence, the Steam page lets you play the first level from Hitman 2, Hawke's Bay, for free. That's a great way to test the waters and see if you dig the Hitman vibe. Hawke's Bay is a great little mission, set at a remote beach house at night. It's a prefect primer scenario that isn't complicated, but has plenty of scope for assassination.


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#4590353 - 01/28/22 01:13 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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Well, I took the plunge and got Hitman 2 Gold Edition... that's everything from the 2 series... 150gb, phew!
That will keep me going for ages... shed loads of stuff to do!
Busy at the moment creeping around Hawkes Bay, found all the intel and bits and bob's... now going for the hit on the target!

#4590356 - 01/28/22 01:32 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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Hey cool man. I hope you like to discuss this stuff. If not no worries, but I'd like to discuss the finer points if you have any questions or comments about the missions and gameplay. Hawke's Bay is a good level. One tip, if I may, is to suggest that you complete the Final Test in the ICA Facility if you haven't done so as this unlocks a lockpick, if I recall correctly.

Good luck on your hit and exfil. How do you like it so far?

Turns out I don't have the trilogy, I guess. I got the Deluxe upgrade, as promised, which I don't care about. But not SDS. I bought Hitman 2 a few years ago, and what was called the Legacy pack, which added the Hitman 1 content. So I guess they don't see me as owning Hitman 1?

I'm having a good time with the new one, and some of the old content too. Last night I played Dubai several times. One of the only things I can knock H3 on is the lack of mission stories. The other titles had minimum five per level, and I think Sapienza has nineteen? But no level in H3 has more than three. These aren't crucial, but I do enjoy them, and maybe just as importantly they are contributors to map mastery. And as a result I'm finding it harder in Hitman 3 to advance it. Only XP contributes to mastery, not mission score, so you need to hit mission stories and challenges to raise mastery. With so few mission stories on offer, and since you can only claim each one once, mastery levels above 10 are harder to come by for me. Maybe they'll add some down the line?

So I ran Dubai about four times, trying to hit new challenges, and to experiment around the level. One of the ones I did was Impactful Art. After exfil I wondered how fast that could have gone were I to cut out all of the wasted motion. Just do exactly what I just did, but max efficiency, hit my marks, no wasted effort or time. So I did and got out in 12:22, silent assassin on professional.

But since I basically repeated everything I got squat for XP, and barely nudged the mastery bar at all. So this means you have to pick through each challenge, do a fiber wire, a drowning and so on down the line. I get it yeah, but there was more latitude here in the other two games since you could gain much more mastery through mission stories. Three just isn't enough, even if the ones that are in are good ones in the main.


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#4590362 - 01/28/22 02:24 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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Wait, check that. I think you need to do all the mission stories at the ICA facility to get the lockpick. That just coincided with me finishing the Final Test and I drew an inaccurate conclusion smile

Check that check that, as you can also get it from mastery level 2 in Miami

Here's a list of the unlocks. I'll leave it as a link in case someone doesn't want it spoiled

https://attackofthefanboy.com/guides/hitman-2-how-to-unlock-all-weapons-and-equipment/

Last edited by DBond; 01/28/22 02:53 PM.

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#4590416 - 01/28/22 08:45 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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By the way, it cost me £18.64 for the Gold Edition, which is pretty good, considering if it wasn't in the sale it would have cost £74.99!!! Blimey...
Not had chance to get really into it yet as I had to go back to work, but I'll have a real good session at it tomorrow... but enjoying learning the ropes.
Only one peeve at the moment and that's the controls setup... I'm going to have to change things as I don't find them intuitive the way the game default setup has them.

#4590418 - 01/28/22 09:22 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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I misunderstood what the Gold Edition was, assuming it was Hitman 1 + 2 combined. Instead, it's a complete Hitman 2, right?, with no levels from the first game. That's fine, H2 is great on its own, and if you end up liking it I would think you can still blend the first and third games in. Sale runs through February 3 I think.

This should be what you want if you decide to add Hitman 1 (2016) content for another tenner

https://store.steampowered.com/app/960831/HITMAN__GOTY_Legacy_Pack/

Miami, Whittleton Creek and Mumbai are all among my favorite levels in the trilogy. Miami takes the top spot in many best-levels lists.A classic level with so many possibilities, all around an auto race happening during the mission. I can't remember now if I played Miami or Paris first, probably Paris. But Miami has it all as a Hitman level. Florida Man!



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#4590450 - 01/29/22 03:01 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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Last night I decided to give Miami another go, having just said good stuff about it in this thread. Mastery carries over to Hitman 3, but even with all the time I've sunk in to the trilogy, I've only maxed mastery on a few maps. Miami was not done yet so I gave it another look, to try and come up with some cool and fast solutions. In the world of Hitman, there's a certain playstyle considered the most difficult or challenging, called Silent Assassin Suit Only (SASO). To get Silent Assassin you must kill your targets without being seen and without the body being found. Suit Only means you can not change disguise. Disguises are one of the most central and powerful mechanics in the game, and to complete these missions while ignoring them ramps the difficulty in a big way.

However some maps are naturally more conducive to such an approach. Some, I find it nearly impossible, if not actually so. In Miami though I came up with a good one. This stuff requires map knowledge, so you have to play it a few times before these types of opportunities become evident. I've talked in this thread of how central replaying maps is to the experience, and this is one way that it pays off. This plan worked out so well that my score was number 40 globally among many thousands. So I decided to fire up Hitman 2, and try it again. And this is the result


Ghosted in five minutes. Silent Assassin, Sniper Assassin and Suit Only on Master difficulty. Few things compare to the calm, cool exit after a fast and flawless mission like this. So satisfying.


Attached Files FinishLine Wut.jpg

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#4590451 - 01/29/22 03:45 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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Well done mate... cracking stuff!
Me, I've got the Legacy pack now. I've completed the ICA Training Facility and done the Final Test so I'm ready to move onto the first mission on Hitman 1.
My aim will be to complete Hitman 1 and 2 (god, there is a ton of content in there) and hopefully Hitman 3 will be in a sale later on down the line and I'll continue with that in the future.
I'm loving what I've seen and done so far... the story line has hooked me, the games look great and with all the content I'l be at it for quite some time biggrin
I like the diverse way I can kill the targets.
I've killed them with explosives, silenced pistol, wire noose, pushed off the balcony, but failed with poison, (the wrong bloke drank it, lol)...
I do enjoy exploring. Looking for anything you can pick up that can aid in the kill, or subdue some hapless bod wandering about and you want to use his uniform or clothes.
Distraction techniques, picking up heavy objects or hammers or a heavy wrench and throwing them at someones head (but not fatally) is quite satisfying as well... I'll get stuck into it again at some stage tonight!

#4590454 - 01/29/22 04:26 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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Thanks, yeah, sometimes the plan works haha.

Good move to get the legacy pack. That's the same route I took and yes, there is a lot of content, especially if you end up liking the non-campaign stuff, like escalations and contracts. Your plan to play through those games first is just what I would have recommended, and I'm sure H3 will be on sale inside of two months on Steam.

Your other comments are spot on, with all the options. Setting up accidents is one of my favorite ways. Or working out ways to get multiple targets to meet and taking them out together. It's such a multi-faceted sandbox. And as you play and gain mastery, you gain more tools, weapons, starting and stash locations to open up new avenues and options to try it again. Did you get the lockpick as a reward from the ICA training? It's a neat set up, and I think fans of games like Thief, Deus Ex, Dishonored and Splinter Cell would like this trilogy.

I said so earlier in the thread, but I like how limited your inventory is, the opportunity cost of choosing this over that to bring along with you. Of course the maps are littered with stuff, so you can expand what you're carrying as you move through it. But planning is compelling. I like agonizing over these decisions, and the regret I feel when I'm 15 minutes in and realize I made a mistake bringing coins instead of a proximity mine or whatever. Then, there are levels like Berlin and Hokkaido, where you start with nothing at all and must improvise and use all your skills.

I usually take a SIlverballer or Shortballer pistol, lockpick and key card hacker on a first run. Mobility is often the limiting factor early in levels, and this loadout lets you move more freely without requiring you to find keys and keycards. The pistol disables cameras. And you can usually find tossable distractions so even though I used to never start without my trusty coins, lately I've been just counting on finding some. A couple times this has left me stuck though. This sort of thing, making these loadout choices and seeing how it plays out, is all part of what appeals to me about this game. I also used to carry a garrote, but you can always choke out/snap neck. So now I only tend to carry these when I want Piano Man for the challenge XP. Or for that mission I talked about above in Miami, it was a briefcase and smuggled sniper rifle. So many options smile

I'd be interested in hearing how you get on, and talking about any of the missions as you move through them. I changed the thread title to encompass the lot of them.


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#4590458 - 01/29/22 05:36 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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Yes, love the amount of options available... one mistake I made on Hawkes bay though was to go loud and take out guards that sussed I was there.
The target legged it to a 4x4 well away from the house and was well guarded. I decided to infiltrate through the sand dunes, avoiding the guards unless one was not going to move but was alone from time to time.
I'd subdue him and drag him into the sand grass and eventually get close enough to do the kill.
I threw a frag grenade, killed the target and bodyguards and avoided the inevitable mad security search and quietly avoided them to get to the extraction point.
I felt happy until I checked my stats and found all of my XP was wiped out because I'd taken on and killed the security... !!!

#4590469 - 01/29/22 07:31 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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There's more than one way to get the job done

But I can't say I've tossed a grenade lol. I try to ghost everything, and kill only the targets. Many pacifications, but kill just the mission targets. Unseen and silent, although the found bodies depends on the kill method. If you drop a chandelier on 'em they're likely to be found haha.If there's a level where going loud could work, Hawke's Bay is it I reckon.

I thought non-target kills only affected mission score, not XP? Maybe that's what you mean. I can only recall one non-target kill for me, a personal body guard walking with a target in Berlin. I used a remote C4 explosive and timed it wrong and took out the bodyguard too. This sometimes happens with explosives, and I might just reload and find a way to remove the collateral victim and then try it again so only the target gets the good news.

One of the best ways to strip a target of a bodyguard who accompanies him on his loop is to drop a weapon along their path (and makes sure only they see it). When they come across it the guard will pick it up and then attempt to take it to sort an evidence box. You can either take him out right here when you break their routine, or just let him go, although this means he'll return once he drops off the weapon. If you take out any guards you'll surely have a few weapons to use for this. I had to do this once in the SASO Miami mission above, but dropped my Silverballer (sniff sniff, sorry to see it go) since it was done fast and no guards taken out.

But of course you don't lose it permanently. Except perhaps.....

In Freelancer. Check out the video Red posted. In this mode, which I know little about, it appears items are finite. So if you drop your Silverballer to distract a hapless guard, you could lose it for good. I'm looking forward to it. I hope it delivers. This could be a reason to bite the bullet and get H3 before a sale. But I'd wait to see what the reaction to it is.


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#4590506 - 01/30/22 03:23 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
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I completed the final full mission from H3, Mendoza. Agent 47 must infiltrate a retirement party at an Argentinian vineyard and snuff out two targets. There are many ways to kill a target in this game of course, but one of the most fun is to trick a NPC in to doing it for you. There aren't too many ways this can be done in the series, but there's one in Mendoza.

A little clarification over what I mean by "unseen" in Hitman

Unseen is not meant in the normal way, because you're seen by hundreds. Unseen here means out of 'uniform' and caught by a NPC or camera. Certain outfits are allowed in specific areas, and others are not. If you're seen wearing one that's not, you're busted. But you can waltz right past a security guard if you're wearing the same uniform, exchanging pleasantries as you pass. Lookin' good man!

For those who haven't played you'd think, well, just get a uniform and it's a breeze. It does make it much easier to move around that space. But there are Enforcers sprinkled throughout the level, NPCs who aren't fooled by your disguise. Let's say they know everyone in the security detail and it's not you. You must still avoid, evade or eliminate these NPCs regardless of what you're wearing. Higher difficulties add more enforcers, and maybe cameras too. Enforcers are identified by a dot over them. I tend to play on Professional, because I enjoy the mission stories, they help with raising map mastery, and there is no story mission help on Master. But once I'm done with those, I switch to Master. Having played through the level that many times, it's a good time to bump it up and put it all to a stiffer test. Master allows a single save point so it's a different vibe, more tense, especially the deeper you get, knowing it's all hanging out there.

So with Mendoza done I've now completed every level in the trilogy, aside from the short, linear epilogue. But all of the proper main set levels are done, at least once. Hitman 3 is a proper and fitting end to the trilogy. Some fantastic levels, a few new additions to the series (keypads, camera, micro taser) and good mission stories. My only knock is how few stories there are, but in all other respects H3 hits the right notes, aside from the epilogue, which I have yet to play, but which I already know I think is a poor way to end the trilogy. Matter of fact I'm not even going to include it when I consider the body of levels in the series. Think of it more like a farewell vignette, not a Hitman level.


No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!
#4590554 - 01/31/22 01:52 PM Re: HITMAN 2, et al [Re: DBond]  
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 13,099
DBond Offline
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DBond  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 13,099
NooJoyzee
We got socked in by a blizzard this weekend here on the east coast, so what's a guy to do? Play Hitman of course. So yeah, I played a lot, and focused on Dubai now that I've completed every level. Berlin gets the praise in H3, but actually I think Dubai is my favorite level. Opulence, arrogance and hubris stacked vertically. It has many of the things that I liked about the Paris level. It also has some very cool kills and escapes. For example you can find or bring an exploding golf ball. One target is moving about the penthouse dictating his memoir and has demanded quiet. If you then raise a ruckus, by turning on radios, vacuum cleaners and the like it makes him so mad he finally needs to relax, and goes to hit golf balls off the top of the tallest building in the world. But if you slip in a ball that goes boom....

Or another one is to sabotage emergency escape parachutes then trigger the evacuation alarm and the targets jump to their deaths. These are just a couple of many ways to complete the mission.

I mentioned it before that H3 has just three mission stories per level. I'd like to see more, but what it has done is force me to be a more well-rounded assassin if I want to max out map mastery. I've now done so in Dubai.This forces you to do a much broader set of kill types, to chase the challenges (like cause a target to slip on a banana of all things!) and to attempt the classics (Silent Assassin, Suit Only, Sniper Assassin). Throw in an escalation or two for good measure. I did all of that to finally reach mastery level 20. Things like kill both targets with a single sniper bullet. It takes some runs to learn the map and have these sorts of opportunities become evident, and also how to actually accomplish them. That XP is needed to hit max mastery, and it forces you to seek out these challenges. So while I would like to see more mission stories in each level, there's no doubt that having so few is causing me to be a more-well rounded assassin.

Troop, I decided to try Hawke's Bay again since there's an achievement in H2 for completing it on Master difficulty (but not in H3). Because I have max mastery there (only need level 5) I started in the office and all went well until they came home. I had forgotten the guards teleport on to the roof, and well, it all went to hell! Haha, I need a better plan.


No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!
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