Before you watch this episode, you should watch the first minute or so of this music video: Something Good by Utah Saints. You can turn the music down if it’s not your thing. The important bit is to see the outfit that the main dancer is wearing. That outfit? Yeah. Agent 47 wears that in this episode, and the whole time I couldn’t escape the notion that he was going to start doing the Running Man dance, and the rest of Chinatown was going to join in.
I think we need to make something clear before we go any further with this game. There are two lines of discussion that we’re exploring right now:
- Man, the mechanics of this game are really silly if you think about them too much.
- The story of this game is horrendous.
I realize this isn’t always obvious during the show, but I don’t think #1 is a great sin. The Hitman games have always been a little videogame-y and required you to accept some odd abstractions. I think it’s fun to point them out, but the fact that disguises are kind of silly isn’t a terrible thingAs long as they work from a gameplay standpoint. Which I’m not sure they do in this game.. But #2 is a real problem in Absolution, and we plan to savage Absolution for its egregious failings in this department.
But we haven’t hit the bad parts of the story yet. So we’re sort of biding our time and poking fun at #1 until it all falls apart.
But while we’re waiting, let’s back up and discuss the scene from last episode where you supposedly assassinate Diana in the shower. It doesn’t look like it makes any sense: You kill your friend, and then betray the agency?
Plot twist: It turns out you didn’t kill her. At the end of the game, we discover that Agent 47 helped her fake her death. While that does explain the odd betrayal above, the story actually makes even less sense once you know that.
If the two of you planned this ahead of time, does that mean Diana wanted you to walk in on her in the shower? Was falling naked through a wall of glass part of the plan? Did you actually shoot her? When the two of you spoke, what was that conversation for? If the two of you were already conspiring, then there was no in-world reason for her to talk you into saving the girl. (Which presumably you were already going to do.) It was a play-acted conversation solely for the purpose of fooling the audience.
And even in that context, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Did you actually shoot her, but in a non-lethal way? Or did you fake-shoot her? Either way, it’s silly. The hard part of faking your death isn’t getting somebody to pretend to shoot you, it’s in coming up with a dead body that people will think is yours. If this assassination was staged for the benefit of the agency, then why did you obviously betray the agency during the performance? Is Diana so heartless that she hired a bunch of goons specifically for you to murder?
Diana’s note to The Girl is a bit nonsensical, too. The note is written to the effect of, “The 47 guy is going to kill me and then he’ll rescue you from the agency.” So they’re not only pretending that 47 was going to assassinate his friend and then betray the agency, but they’re pretending that Diana predicted as much beforehand? And then did nothing to avoid it?
The game isn’t ruined. (At least, not yet.) This stuff is just sloppy. This scene comes off as a bit dumb on the first pass, and it’s not until the big reveal at the end that we realize 47 and Diana basically conspired to do a bunch of nonsensical shit for the express purpose of faking out the audience. But next week we’re going to get to the part of the game where the writer gave up and handed the crayon to a three-year-old. I’m looking forward to it.
In the meantime: Those crowds really are amazing.
 As long as they work from a gameplay standpoint. Which I’m not sure they do in this game.
id Software Coding Style
When the source code for Doom 3 was released, we got a look at some of the style conventions used by the developers. Here I analyze this style and explain what it all means.
Silent Hill 2 Plot Analysis
A long-form analysis on one of the greatest horror games ever made.
Even allegedly smart people can make life-changing blunders that seem very, very obvious in retrospect.
A programming project where I set out to make a gigantic and complex world from simple data.
What did web browsers look like 20 years ago, and what kind of crazy features did they have?