View Full Version : Ways forwards for Hitman 5; Feedback please...

Agent 0047
30th Jan 2007, 12:17
I realize that some threads along these lines may already exist, like a "Hitman 5 wish-list" and what not. But I'm actually really curious to see some feedback from fellow posters on a few of my ideas, so I've started my own. Any moderators out there, feel free to merge or move this post as you see fit.

Anyway, before I continue with my post, let me just preface my comments by saying that the Hitman video games are (and always have been) extremely well developed titles, and Agent 47 is probably one of the most story-driven characters in video gaming to date. But, in a bid to make sure the next installment pushes the envelope even more, I'm going to be extremely nit-picky and critical of the some of the things that strike me as being wrong, and that need to be changed.

Conversation is very hollow within the game, it needs to be deeper and less linear. Most people you can interact with have a handful of hollow responses; and you as a gamer never have any input in how the talking develops. What if you could walk up to your mark and speak to him? What if one of the paths through the conversation lead to the mark being provoked and drawing his weapon; alerting the attention of the police nearby and landing him full of bullet holes at the hands of the police, who have just unknowingly completed your job for you? This is just one example of how conversation could be an extremely relevant and enjoyable side to the game; because right now, 47 can't talk with very many people at all.

Agent 47 is very restricted in terms of what he can interact with in the environment. While that may not be a huge playing-point, it robs the gamer of a sense of immersion if Agent 47 can't sit in a chair, bet at the roulette table, order a drink from a bartender, pick up and read a newspaper to conceal his face, lay on a bed, push a trolley, open a car door, and do a host of other things that allow him to blend into the crowd.

The disguise system is getting a little bit ridiculous. Take the "Till Death Do Us Part" contract from the most recent game, Hitman: Blood Money. 47 can adorn the priest's outfit and magically prance around the majority of the compound unabated. Now that is rather silly when you think that the priest was an elderly man who is seen by the majority of party guests and guards in the home before you get a chance to take him out safely. If your disguised as a construction worker on a renovation site full of construction workers, you should be able to get away with that. Likewise, if you're wearing a mask at a fancy-dress party, that's fine too. But in more recent Hitman games its far to easy to take on disguises that belong to people that are a little to "unique", and still get away with it. I realize the disguise mechanism is one of the stereotypical features of the series, but don't be afraid to lessen its importance, because a new way to deceive would be welcome.

Guards and police are a little too holster-happy. Its very unrealistic to have policemen unleash a barrage of gunfire towards you, because they caught you removing your bellboy outfit and putting your suit back on. They should draw their weapons, call for back-up and try to get 47 to comply. Granted, 47 doesn't seem like the man to drop his gun and put his hands above his head, but still it all adds to the overall feel of the environment. Also, why does an un-holstered weapon cause people to start shooting at you, even if your a police officer? Again, its just a little too extreme. I'm not suggesting that a police officer wielding a gun around shouldn't arouse suspicion, but there needs to be something in-between.

The thing that bothers me most about current Hitman games is that there is no ground-work involved in a hit. 47 just shows up and improvises his way through an impenetrable area. I had the idea that maybe missions should be a little bit "longer", but I don't necessarily mean they should take longer to complete. I'll explain:

Think back to the hit that took place at the Thermal Bath hotel in Budapest. It was featured in the original Hitman, and also in Hitman: Contracts. What if there was a calendar mechanism in place, which allows you as a gamer to have more control over the style and tempo of the hit. Think of the options you could have.

1 - How about showing up two days prior to the time the main target (Fuchs) is due to arrive in Budapest? You could check in to the very room he has reserved, plant a bomb and hidden camera in the bathroom, and drive by the establishment two days latter to use your detonator and fry him without even needing to set foot in the hotel again.

2 - You could show up on the day the Fuchs is set to check out, and camping out in an adjacent building with your W2000 in hand, waiting to pop him while he is leaving to climb into his car.

3 - You could show up the day Fuchs is set to show up at the hotel and plant a bomb to take out his car as it pulls up to the curb.

There are countless examples, and I think thats the next logical step for the series. Rather then having multiple ways to go through a contract which takes place at a specific time. You have multiple times, to try multiple ways, to go through a contract that takes place whenever you want.

You could have time time specific events. Having the ability to show up at the scene a day before your mark is set to arrive could mean you can case out the joint, acquire a relevant disguise and set up the foundations of your hit with less security on site (but the draw-back is your loitering around more and if alarms are raised, you can't just hit and run... because the person your trying to hit isn't even there yet). It seems more realistic to me, because people that get paid hundreds-of-thousands of dollars to kill don't just rock up and improvise, they improvise if they have to, and establish an elaborate plan of attack as their primary means of assassinating.

Its time for a non-linear story. The last two Hitman games have been set in the past, as you slowly work your way to the present day to discover the twist. That gave us all great opportunities to learn about 47, but now I think most of us want to have a hand in his future. The overall series is probably going to draw to an end fairly soon, and I think when it does the gamers should have the finally say in what path 47 decides to take. In fact, the easiest way to incorporate a time-specific calendar mechanism (see point #5) would be to have 47 in charge of his own fate, choosing whatever contracts he wants, and attending to them at whichever date/time he thinks will provided the best opportunity.

Point #7:
There is room for some new contract-types as well. 47 is known as a killer but you could just as easily stick a camera in his hands and have him contracted to dig up leverage on someone in a high place, doing something exceedingly low at a naughty strip joint. What about contracts aimed at framing someone of theft or murder? 47 could sneak into someone's hotel room in the dead of night and carefully put a gun in their bare hand to place their fingerprints on it, then use it on a hit and leave it at the crime scene. Entire contracts don't necessarily have to revolve around things like this, but one or two objectives of this nature would go a long way to keeping things fresh.

Point #8:
There is nothing too engaging to do after the game has been completed. Granted, you can reply missions multiple times in order to figure out all the potential ways your hits could be carried out, but its all-to-familiar in my opinion. I think a random mission generator would be great; even if there were only two or so maps to play with, because its something slightly different every time.

Point #9:
Contracts play out a little too circularly. Its all well-and-good for guards to stroll back-and-forth along the same route, but why are the marks so predictable? A small "free-will" style engine would be a nice addition. Each target could be programmed with five or six "goals" and use a function similar to the 'choice' function in the python programming language to determine what to do. It breaks up the routine a little bit and may even go a long way towards keeping the games fresh and challenging after completion.

Well that's about all I had to say. Now that a new generation of gaming consoles and technologies has emerged, I really think some of the things I have mentioned are extremely plausible. Thus far, the creative team behind the Hitman series has always been able to impress, and I'm sure the next edition will be no exception, but the climate for game building has improved dramatically in recent times, so take it for all its worth and really wow us!

14th Jul 2008, 07:26
you made good points, but think about true crime new york city where you can drive cars, select your mission and place weapons in your trunk (back of your car). They should do that and they should make something that you can buy yours suits (white or detective suits), and you can buy weapons and ammo. That should help :)

16th Jul 2008, 13:45
I agree with most of what you say, and i espescially agree with the fact that there should be more interaction with the enviroment. In fact I would like to see more ways to make your hit look like an accident. Also the disguises should be put into the game in a different fashion than they are now.

20th Jul 2008, 13:05
you can buy yours suits (white or detective suits), and you can buy weapons and ammo. That should help :)

The hitman suit is all most a trade mark, it would be like giving 47 a nice new hair cut as well.

you can drive cars
I'm going to pretend I didnt even read that its such a bad suggestion :(

22nd Jul 2008, 06:42
I agree with crazyhorse about the cars. If you want to drive cars buy gta.