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Thread: When things go wrong: fighting back, escaping or containing threats

  1. #1

    When things go wrong: fighting back, escaping or containing threats

    Hello everyone, I am Dev Chand, and I want to say hi to all Hitman fans here!

    I think this topic would be interesting, so I'm making this thread.

    So there's been a lot of discussion on how to improve the disguise system, how levels should be structured, what kind of assassination opportunities should be placed, but I want to talk about when things go wrong.

    Stealth games, in general, focus on hiding from your enemies, gathering information about them without being noticed, and then taking them out in as subtle a manner as possible. Hitman, while focusing more on social stealth, is still based around these principles. You wear a disguise and then pretend to be a different individual in that environment, so in a way you're "hiding" from your enemies since you aren't revealing your actual motives or role in the environment. Next, you obviously observe guard routes, stuff that can be picked up, vantage points, the target/targets' security and such. Then of course you try to assassinate the target/targets as cleanly as possible.

    But as in any game, it's natural for players to fail a few times. The problem in stealth games, and particularly in Hitman, is that once you have failed in a small manner( i.e. you have let someone see you, or see you doing something wrong), it becomes harder and harder to get back to sneaking, which generally ends up landing the player into combat situations.

    Often in combat situations, stealth games don't play well. The characters often aim in a clunky manner, don't have enough ammunition, and/or the combat mechanics are generally shallow.

    Now, I understand that stealth games aren't built for combat, and so the combat parts often suffer. But, there definitely can be a way to make it less frustrating to quickly escape combat, or contain the damage to stealth.

    I know that most Hitman players here normally reload everytime they get spotted by someone. But this often feels very tedious to me, especially when there are some patrol routes which can't be predicted well.

    So, how would you want Hitman 6 to handle the combat and the reduction of damage to cover?

    Personally, I'd like the A.I to not behave in a hivemind manner. If one guard sees you and opens fire, and he was quite some distance away from the location you infiltrate, it shouldn't cause a major altercation. The other guards shouldn't shoot at you, only they would say, maybe send someone to check the location of the shooting.

    If you run into a guard while he/she is patrolling and you have no disguise in a restricted area, the guard should not immediately shoot you, but should escort you out instead(no warning system like in Blood Money, which was pointless deep in a restricted area). If the guard is in a highly restricted area, then maybe he/she could arrest you, and take you to a cell. You should be able to retaliate anywhere convenient for you.


    If your disguise is blown, guards shouldn't necessarily shoot you, depending on the type of disguise you are wearing. If for instance you wore the disguise of a sweeper and it got blown, guards would merely laugh at you and not allow you to enter locations a sweeper could enter. Blowing the disguise of say, a soldier or a policeman would be much more dangerous.

    Also, suspicious movement, like ascending roofs, shouldn't immediately trigger a firefight. Instead, guards should call you down, and then ask questions. Trying to run away from them should make them send other people to catch you for questioning.

    Any more thoughts?

  2. #2
    I think you're mostly right.

    But matter when guards should shoot to 47, immediately after suspect or with linger, should mainly depends on mission and environment (if it's military base or common town festival, if guards are paranoid defending important witness, or possibility to hit is completely unexpected).

    I think designing one type of AI for whole game and varied missions would be IOI's gaffe.

  3. #3
    I agree. This is a very good point, and hopefully one they will address.
    I'd like it be more like Blood Money, where the guard or waiter would be like "Sorry sir. Restricted area", walk up and stand next to you until you left. Not have a mechanic run screaming to the cops because you stepped in their shop unarmed at that. Just way over the top and not at all what you'de see in real life.
    Same with the St.Petersburg guardsin Hitman2SA.. Instead of blasting away with an AK for getting spotted down the hall, why not question you first and escort you to a holding cell? That could bring a whole new twist to the mission.

    I would also like the disguise system fixed. It was totally useless in missions like Rosewood. But make it a challenge to get it. Make sure you have to lure a guy somewhere render him unconscious take his clothes and hide his body good, so nobody stumbles on him. Or have it stashed in a locker in a guarded room, guy in the shower, whatever.. But once you get it, you're good to go. And please bring back the penalty for for the suit costs.
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  4. #4
    This is the reason I brought up the significance of blood. I think Hitman 6 should have a modern combat system (cover, rolls, aiming fidelity, point shooting to an extent, etc.). I think it's ultimately up to player how the game goes down, most of us simply reload once we're busted, and I don't think a sophisticated combat system will do anything to diminish that. If the player wants stealth, he won't let something like auto aim interfere with that. However, maybe there could be a system that brings balance. Making blood splatter very realistic (blood on the wall, pools of blood and leaking) and making the NPC's sensitive to it; discovering a hidden body because of the blood, would force the player to use his gun sparingly while making the game realistic. You won't be limited to the fiber wire, you can still shoot people in certain situations, as long as the blood is never spotted; the enemy could be standing over a cliff or walking through a remote corridor or just shooting someone as you're about to exit the level. I brought up the possibility of 47 cleaning up blood with a mop. You don't have to, but the option could be there in certain situations if you want to change the pace. Plus, having a good combat system will make those moments you usually see at the end of a Hitman game more satisfying. Imagine how much funner the mission Requiem from Blood Money would've been had 47 been more flexible, hiding behind cover, shoot dodging, etc. Once again, It's totally up to the player how the mission goes down, so an advanced combat system shouldn't break the game, especially if you're rewarded for stealth.

    As for the AI, I don't think IO is clueless. I assume there are a lot of things they brain storm but, because of technical difficulties, there ideas don't come to fruition. I don't know anything about developing a game engine. I think the AI should pay a lot of attention to detail, rather than having a generic AI system that is across the board. Blood Money got a lot of flak for having a lenient disguise system. I think this is what they were trying to correct with Absolution. Instead of every NPC becoming suspicious if you're wearing a disguise, what about just 2 out of 5. The head scratch that 47 does in Absolution, I think it was supposed to simulate 47 making small talk with people in order to blend in. I don't think the system was completely broken, it was more the level design, the linear system which made Instinct the go to solution. I appreciate that the devs strived for realism, I hope they don't go back to Blood Money's style, I like a challenge.

    One last thing, as for suspicious people, there should be varying degrees. On the one hand there's the scary samaritan who goes running for help, other NPC's should just look at you and then go back to minding their business like in real life, but it will count as a witness strike on the evidence sheet after completing the mission. Evidence and noise should penalize the player, either through weapon upgrades and such, to drive the player in the right direction.

    I think there should be various AI systems put in place with linked NPC's, so you get a variety of reactions, instead of just one system across the board.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by kennj4 View Post
    I would also like the disguise system fixed. It was totally useless in missions like Rosewood. But make it a challenge to get it.
    Btw i never understand why 47 doesn't wear stocking on face in this one. Though guard from which he takes disguise has it. Instead of it 47 covers his face with hand

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by S3R6i0 View Post
    One last thing, as for suspicious people, there should be varying degrees. On the one hand there's the scary samaritan who goes running for help, other NPC's should just look at you and then go back to minding their business like in real life, but it will count as a witness strike on the evidence sheet after completing the mission. Evidence and noise should penalize the player, either through weapon upgrades and such, to drive the player in the right direction.
    I'm not so sure about that. I made these suggestions so that players would be encouraged to try out several approaches, as long as they don't do something violent or stupid. They can count as witnesses if there is evidence something bad happened in that area, or if you are spotted in the area by a security camera and don't destroy the footage or alter it.

    Also, I think the scoring system should do. The statistics can stay, but they should not discourage different playstyles unlike the older statistics, like they should indicate if you can kill everyone stealthily, are good at sniping, good at distracting people etc.

    Agree with the rest of it though, especially the whole suspicion system.

  7. #7
    There is a much easier way to settle this issue that the other games never really fixed.

    AI memory. What I mean by that is; if 47 is spotted by only one guard and no alarm or communication in any way is made... putting a bullet through the head of that same guard should retain your "silent assassin" status.
    If you think about it, is it really realistic that your cover is blown just because you where seen before that guard dies silently?
    This is (in my opinion) the dumbest part of silent assassin criteria. It's not realistic. It's masochist.
    What if the player WANTS to be spotted by a guard simply to lure him away for a kill? In all of the Hitman games, such a simple thing has never been possible because of unrealistic rules... trying to be realistic.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo91186 View Post
    There is a much easier way to settle this issue that the other games never really fixed.

    AI memory. What I mean by that is; if 47 is spotted by only one guard and no alarm or communication in any way is made... putting a bullet through the head of that same guard should retain your "silent assassin" status.
    If you think about it, is it really realistic that your cover is blown just because you where seen before that guard dies silently?
    This is (in my opinion) the dumbest part of silent assassin criteria. It's not realistic. It's masochist.
    What if the player WANTS to be spotted by a guard simply to lure him away for a kill? In all of the Hitman games, such a simple thing has never been possible because of unrealistic rules... trying to be realistic.
    The reason it's like that is because of collateral damage. In the context of the game you're not supposed to bring any added attention to your mission, more bodies, more attention, etc. I agree with you, I don't like playing that way either. I'll kill as many people as I need. The Silent Assassin rating is more of a challege than anything else.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Dev_Chand View Post
    Personally, I'd like the A.I to not behave in a hivemind manner. If one guard sees you and opens fire, and he was quite some distance away from the location you infiltrate, it shouldn't cause a major altercation.
    This was implemented in Absolution which is one of the few things I liked about the game. You could "contain" a situation (there was even an achievement for it on Xbox).

    If you run into a guard while he/she is patrolling and you have no disguise in a restricted area, the guard should not immediately shoot you, but should escort you out instead
    This was done in Splinter Cell: Double Agent (on Xbox 360). Once caught in a restricted area in your home base, the person who spotted you would escort you out.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by S3R6i0 View Post
    I'll kill as many people as I need. The Silent Assassin rating is more of a challege than anything else.
    That is the point of the very game though, and IO should capitalize on the option to use your brain and do whatever necessary to not only hit your target but do so in the most efficient and silent way possible.
    It's Hitman 6 for crying out loud. We should be able to kill as many people as we need!



    I challenge IO to give the player the ability to mold and shape the environment completely. That was the idea behind Silent Assassin and it was made 12 years ago. The fans want to see what IO is made of.

  11. #11
    Yeah. I like the killing part. But I think of the Silent Assassin rating as an achievement, and not the way the game should actually be played. Whenever I play Hitman, I play through it once my way, and then a second time I try to get Silent Assassin. But this time there should at least be a reward for getting SA, not like in Blood Money.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo91186 View Post
    What if the player WANTS to be spotted by a guard simply to lure him away for a kill? In all of the Hitman games, such a simple thing has never been possible because of unrealistic rules... trying to be realistic.
    It's not case of being realistic or not, but being silent assassin. You can't get spotted because you must be "like a shadow" thing, that's all. You can lure guard by throwing stuffs or leaving gun on floor (what was very tricky in Blood Money, too bad they abandoned it in Abso), and that's why it should be for.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo91186 View Post
    It's Hitman 6 for crying out loud. We should be able to kill as many people as we need!
    You don't need to kill anyone but your target. That's why syringes and anaesthetics are for.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by kewlak View Post
    It's not case of being realistic or not, but being silent assassin.
    Wrong subject. I was talking about being able to manipulate guards more. Letting yourself be spotted obviously no longer makes you unseen.

    Quote Originally Posted by kewlak View Post
    You don't need to kill anyone but your target. That's why syringes and anaesthetics are for.
    Point missed. I have done this countless times AND have gotten the silent assassin. You can be a crazy goon and be unseen and unheard. It takes patience, and also I think it's hilarious.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo91186 View Post
    I was talking about being able to manipulate guards more
    I think you can manipulate guards in other ways, than letting being seen. Such tricks are useless, when you can do others, more low-profile tactics. I agree with you that there's no practical damage if you kill one guard who has seen you, with no other guards alarmed. But in my opinion you can't be called silent assassin even then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo91186 View Post
    Point missed. I have done this countless times AND have gotten the silent assassin. You can be a crazy goon and be unseen and unheard. It takes patience, and also I think it's hilarious.
    That's overstatement. In Blood Money you couldn't kill ANYONE but your target (don't count accidents, cause we don't talk about it now).

  15. #15
    (Please note what follows is entirely my personal opinion.)

    You guys. You're getting it all wrong.

    The game rating is just another sneaky little way of telling the player how he plays. Absolution's linear scoring system was easily one of the worst things in the whole game, because it pigeonholed players into thinking there was a wrong way to do something. This is Hitman. You go with the flow, you adapt to the situation. You don't restart the last checkpoint because you forgot to hide that body - you go, "Well, too bad," and keep going, trying to escape or take out the target or whatever. The term 'rating' itself is misleading, because the game doesn't tell you you're a failure if you like to blow up stuff and use an unsupressed sniper instead of a supressed one. It tells you, "Your way of doing it gets the job done, no buts," and goes on to sum up, in one word, your playstyle. It's not a grade. It's a description of how you did that level.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by gkkiller View Post
    (Please note what follows is entirely my personal opinion.)

    You guys. You're getting it all wrong.

    The game rating is just another sneaky little way of telling the player how he plays. Absolution's linear scoring system was easily one of the worst things in the whole game, because it pigeonholed players into thinking there was a wrong way to do something. This is Hitman. You go with the flow, you adapt to the situation. You don't restart the last checkpoint because you forgot to hide that body - you go, "Well, too bad," and keep going, trying to escape or take out the target or whatever. The term 'rating' itself is misleading, because the game doesn't tell you you're a failure if you like to blow up stuff and use an unsupressed sniper instead of a supressed one. It tells you, "Your way of doing it gets the job done, no buts," and goes on to sum up, in one word, your playstyle. It's not a grade. It's a description of how you did that level.
    Boom.

  17. #17
    I always hated how guards started immediately shooting if you enter a restricted area. It seems like the most un-natural response that anyone in their circumstance would do, unless you're in some insanely militarized area. Even the option to surrender (in Absolution) should be reserved only for those areas. In most locations I'd think a guard simply escorting you out would be better.
    There's a bullet for everyone.. And a time.. And a place..

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Itsrob View Post
    I always hated how guards started immediately shooting if you enter a restricted area. It seems like the most un-natural response that anyone in their circumstance would do, unless you're in some insanely militarized area. Even the option to surrender (in Absolution) should be reserved only for those areas. In most locations I'd think a guard simply escorting you out would be better.
    A tier system for restricted areas perhaps?
    First tier: if you're caught in first tier restricted areas, guards will escort you out. (Being caught a second time could result in a mission failure/lowered rating.) E.g. trespassing in a backstage area at a concert.
    Second tier: if you're caught, guards will warn you to get out and brandish weapons - you can also fake surrender. Take too long and they'll start shooting. E.g. entering a room where something big is going on.
    Third tier: guards have 'shoot on sight' orders, and if you're caught, you will immediately get into a firefight. Very rare. E.g. nuclear facilities, war zones, etc.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by gkkiller View Post
    A tier system for restricted areas perhaps?
    First tier: if you're caught in first tier restricted areas, guards will escort you out. (Being caught a second time could result in a mission failure/lowered rating.) E.g. trespassing in a backstage area at a concert.
    Second tier: if you're caught, guards will warn you to get out and brandish weapons - you can also fake surrender. Take too long and they'll start shooting. E.g. entering a room where something big is going on.
    Third tier: guards have 'shoot on sight' orders, and if you're caught, you will immediately get into a firefight. Very rare. E.g. nuclear facilities, war zones, etc.
    Yeah, exactly. It just seems out of place for guards to threaten you with weapons in "tier one" areas. Like, as if trespassing in a VIP area at a casino would warrant cops to start shooting you.
    There's a bullet for everyone.. And a time.. And a place..

  20. #20
    Yes, silent assassin is just a play style just like everyone says. Many players still will go through a mission multiple times just to see what they can get away with.
    That's the main attraction to Hitman right? Being able to toy with the environment and see how the game responds.

    Quote Originally Posted by kewlak View Post
    That's overstatement. In Blood Money you couldn't kill ANYONE but your target (don't count accidents, cause we don't talk about it now).
    And, no, I wasn't overstating about the silent assassin being possible in the older titles while killing EVERYONE.

    Remember the airport mission in H2? Perfect example, every guard dead and walked away with the *Ninja* title. That was given specifically for total silence and max aggression.
    I'm I the only player that wants to see that in H6?

  21. #21
    The special ratings that could be achieved in BM were fun, like Russian Hare in A New Life. Could make for more replayability. As long as its not made a challenge like in Absolution, because its can be extremely difficult to achieve.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo91186 View Post
    Remember the airport mission in H2? Perfect example, every guard dead and walked away with the *Ninja* title. That was given specifically for total silence and max aggression
    Airport mission? No, i don't
    Never mind. We told about silent assassin rating, no ninja.

  23. #23
    Yeah H2 didn't have the silent assassin rating technically, but you couldn't get the ninja title if you raised an alarm at all. Visa versa, you couldn't get the title either by letting most of the guards live.
    My favorite mission: A New Life. - BM

    The most hilarious and inventive mission in the whole series IMO. You could wipe out every guard and get your objectives while creating chaos and walk out the front door with a silly grin on your face dressed in a clown suit.

    These are the kind of missions IO should take note of when making H6.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo91186 View Post
    Yeah H2 didn't have the silent assassin rating technically, but you couldn't get the ninja title if you raised an alarm at all.
    I'm pretty sure that H2 did have the silent assassin rating.

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