F is for Fake

Welcome to a new feature in which we talk through our playthroughs and pathways, the steps we always take, and those we inherently avoid. The current planned series is based on 2016’s HITMAN, and you can expect to see some videos to accompany it.

Let’s start with our Game of the Year 2016: HITMAN, a game that evolved month by month due to both its episodic rollout and — most relevant to this article — its Elusive Targets.

If you don’t know what an Elusive Target is, it’s a time-sensitive mission which shuffles sections of existing maps, sometimes adding new quirks not found in the base game. Often the elusive targets let a player break the — sometimes personally enforced — monotony that can come with routine.

Each target has their own brief, which gives some hints to where they might be on the map. Are they standing around a certain area? What are they wearing? Did the brief say anything about a fascination with orange marmalade? Often this causes a wrinkle, because your target has been obscured or is dissimilar to other NPCS.

Which is why, in the embedded video, I spend time sneaking around the top floor looking for a man, apparently on the top floor, who has a distinctive apron and beard. He doesn’t appear, until I’m about to search the first floor and he walks right past me.

I sneak back into the restricted area without being spotted — apparently the man staring at the door doesn’t see this, or just assumes that the man sneaking around has some kind of VIP badge.

47 gets ready to silently assassinate the target. It will look like a heart attack; he’s got the needle ready and gets into sneaking stance. He gets behind the target. At this point I’m expecting it to go off perfectly — nobody knows I’m here.

What follows is one of my most common gripes with this game. I have a terrible habit of slightly messing up the alignment of player and target, which can mean my planned input becomes a different command.

The prompt comes up to inject with poison, but due to both my movement and the AI, the game decides I can’t inject him, It reverts to ‘subdue’, the sound of which immediately notifies the guard,.

Somehow I manage to flee whilst being hunted, whilst walking past many armed guards. I drop my useless needle as a slight distraction and manage to leave without being shot — something I wasn’t expecting.

47 got a bit cocky that day.

Hitman is currently available on Xbox One, PS4, and on PC.

PATHWAYS is an ongoing series about the way we make our journeys through the worlds of games. You can read the rest of the series here.

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