The Apeiron Sadness

Pathways 004 featured Image

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 continue with our Game of the Year 2016: HITMAN, a game that evolved month by month due to both its episodic rollout of content and updates.

HITMAN does many things. I often wonder if it’s even possible to utilise every single mechanic in the game whilst still managing a Silent Assassin run. Every map has a blind spot or two, and every wearable uniform should be a fitting disguise for a couple of murders. I’m not even going to attempt such a thing, but it’s led me down a path of attempting each target solely with explosives.

The Apeiron Sadness, then, was exactly the kind of dumb challenge I was after, due to my fascination with in-game lobbing and explosive mechanics. The simplicity on display within the challenge was almost taunting me to do an on-site procurement run and it bugs me that the first time I completed this there was a non-target kill.

I didn’t exactly attempt to speedrun the objective — what I was really after was cutting off some of the fat between the fireworks.

And boy, does this game have fireworks

There are systems in place for character reactions to dropped objects, which are escalated based on a combination of NPC occupation and severity of the dropped item. As such, the existence of explosive rubber ducks and phones lets you run some interesting paths. I once stood on the roof of the Sapienza church for upwards of four minutes, waiting for a bodyguard to cross over with a target — it was a glorious explosion, but that’s not what I’m here to highlight.

I would fail this mission if the targets weren’t executed via explosions, which opened up some technicalities, as fire extinguishers count as explosions. As you will see in the embedded video/playlist below, how I got to the explosion was often the key.

Run 1: This is the first completion. I manage to succeed in my plan, but accidentally ruin a bystander’s life. I solidify some ideas and pathways, but it takes me a while and multiple attempts to come to the conclusion that maybe the problem isn’t RNG but the sloppiness of the explosions. It’s time for a rethink

Run 2: I have this idea — it’s an idea I know should work, because I’ve pulled it off before. I should be able to snipe an explosive canister which will allow me to isolate the target in the explosion, via bullet impact.

It turns out luring the target is the easy part — the hard part is lining the shot up and making sure it explodes in their path. Even with the huge, glaring error in this run, I manage to pull off what I was after.

Run 3: While I don’t actually pull the whole thing off, I nail the sniper explosion. There is hope.

Run 4: I connect the dots from runs two and three and manage to pull off each target undetected. I then proceed to walk into the wrong NPC and ruin what is, in my opinion, an almost perfect run. I just wish I could nail that fire extinguisher timing.

Run 5: I take a day or two to think about the misfires of the previous run. A discussion reminds me that there are non-garish plastic explosives, which can be attached onto surfaces but raise alarms due to them visibly being bombs.

As always, a plan fails to execute and I have to reconsider how to lure the final target without accidentally murdering his buddy. It works and looks slightly cinematic in the end.

I contemplate pushing the man off the pier.

On that closing note, I’d like to say I’m likely to upload future runs of this escalation to the YouTube channel. As such, if you enjoyed these five videos, there might be more just like this.

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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