Hitman Absolution EP3: Where Did He Come From? Where Did He Go?

By Shamus
on Mar 14, 2015
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

So among the male characters who get voicing and screentime we have…

  1. Blake Dexter, the fat gross (in mannerisms) Texan.
  2. Benjamin Travis, the fat brutishAnd completely wrong personality for his job. leader in the the agency.
  3. “Limp Dick” Lenny, who has a bunch of stuff wrong with him.
  4. Birdie, who is always covered is bird shit.
  5. Sanchez, who clearly has some kind of glandular problem.
  6. I guess the sheriff (Clive Skurky) is basically a normal looking guy? I don’t remember him having anything wrong with him, anyway.
  7. The aging gun store owner, who evidently had throat cancer or something, and now has to speak through the microphone.

Basically the only whole, able-bodied, healthy, normal-looking guy in the whole game is 47 himself. In contrast, among the female characters we have…

  1. Diana, a long-standing character in the series. Here we meet her in person for the first time. While she’s nakedNote that the main menu runs her introduction on a loop, with the camera giving salacious angles. in the shower.
  2. “The Girl” (Victoria) who is in a schoolgirl outfit for no reason.
  3. Layla Stockton, the personal assistant of Blake. Who is a sexy lady.
  4. Jade Nguyen, the personal assistant of Benjamin Travis. Also a sexy lady.
  5. Mrs. Cooper, the sheriff’s dominatrix. She’s usually strutting around in revealing bondage gear.
  6. The “hot” (young and revealingly dressed) daughter of the gun store owner.
  7. You might rush to point out that the game has a non-sexy nun. Fair enough. But I’ll counter with the SEVEN sexy assassin ladies who dress in nun-themed latex.

I don’t have anything against fanservice. I don’t even condemn fanservice for its own sake. Lowbrow entertainment has a right to exist, after all. But in this game it’s so clumsy, obvious, lazy, and heavy-handed. They mix fanservice with brutal, bloody murder over and over again. The dominatrix theme gets repeated again and again. The “ladies are sexy and men are gross” approach to character design isn’t just used to set up contrast between a couple of characters, it’s used everywhere.

In a smarter story, we might give the writers some credit and assume they’re trying to say something with all of this. But this story is so aggressively stupid that I can’t imagine the writers are clever enough to integrate themes into their character designs. This is shallow and stupid and the fanservice is embarrassingly forced. The character designs come off like someone with some oddly specific (and possibly disturbing) tastes just wanted to make something for their own gratification, and they didn’t care if it was appropriate for the genre or the franchise.

Like Rutskarn said, there’s a difference between having 47 stumble over dirty secrets in the hidden parts of a level, and just randomly sprinkling titillating subject matter all over the place.

Also, I’d really love if the folks who argue about gender politics could just take a deep breath and maybe not do that. I don’t care what side you’re on. We’re talking about the stupid framing in this videogame, and I am not opening the floodgates for everyone to air their political grievances wrt:gender at this time. Be cool. This game has enough things to be outraged about. Let’s not go looking for more. I will be moderating the comments with an eye towards preventing flame wars.

Next week we will show what I mean when I say the story is “aggressively stupid”. The next cutscene in the game is a spectacular example of what happens when videogame developers try to make movies and mistakenly assume that making a movie isn’t any more difficult than watching one.

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Footnotes:

[1] And completely wrong personality for his job.

[2] Note that the main menu runs her introduction on a loop, with the camera giving salacious angles.



202020209There are now 89 comments. Almost a hundred!

From the Archives:

  1. keldoclock says:

    They could have made that whole gender situation into something significant by just making it 47’s twisted views on gender. He’s certainly had a weird enough life to have some kind of psychological complex going on, but why attempt character growth when you could have a perfectly good blankfaced murdermans?

    • Tom Francis, the creator of Gunpoint (already name-checked in this season) has a pet theory that in Hitman: Blood Money, at least, the numerous sexy and sex-obsessed characters are designed to serve exactly that purpose. (That whole blog post from 2006 is basically a love letter to the themes and mechanics of Blood Money, which helps explain his harsh review of Hitman: Absolution.)

      • Jacob Albano says:

        Was planning to post this link in the comments and I’m glad it’s so far up. It feels like the designers thought “Hey, Blood Money had a lot of sexy people and perverts in it, let’s turn it up to 11”, without understanding that the point was never to titillate the player.

        Unrelated, but it drives me up the wall when people refer to 47 as “The Hitman”. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think anybody ever called him that in any of the previous games.

        • Bitterpark says:

          I think Hitman is a pretty cool guy

        • Calling 47 “Hitman” bothers me too—”His first name is Agent!”—but I don’t mind when in-game characters do so in Absolution. It’s actually the some of the better world-building in this installment: people with operational knowledge of the Agency refer to him properly, while people in the larger underworld speak only of the legendary Hitman, or the Agency sending “a Hitman” to deal with significant problems.

          (Of course, the notion of a legendary Hitman does undercut the whole “Silent Assassin” thing that’s a key element in the series mythology—both Contracts and Blood Money make 47’s desire to remain completely unknown explicit—but that’s just par for the course with Absolution.)

          • guy says:

            I don’t mind the idea of there being legends about “A Hitman”. People keep dying suspiciously after becoming problematic, so it stands to reason that people would believe there was some elite assassin killing them, even if there’s nothing that can actually connect the death to 47 or even prove it was murder at all. Though what would really sell that story-wise would be people attributing completely unrelated deaths to “The Hitman”, because no one actually knows anything and they’re just guessing.

          • Jokerman says:

            Well the reporter in Blood money does refer to him early on as the “Bald Killer clone” before saying he is just a myth. So he does seem quite well known regardless.

          • newdarkcloud says:

            The manual for both Codename 47 and Silent Assassin referring to Agent 47 as “the Hitman.” So it is not unprecedented.

        • Artur CalDazar says:

          I like to call him that because it sounds so absurd. Like how the player is controlling Doom Guy in Doom.

      • Ivan says:

        (From the review) “…But despite all of that, it isn’t a terrible game, and it doesn’t deserve a terrible score.”

        See I disagree with this line of reasoning. If they want to call the game a Hitman game then it should be judged as a Hitman game. I would be much more willing to accept this game on it’s merits if it were asking me to do so, but by attaching the Hitman name to it, it is saying “Remember that legacy? You can expect more of that from me.” and then it doesn’t deliver on it.

        The only exception I’ll make to this rule is spinoffs. Sonic Spinball will obviously not be giving you the same gameplay that you would usually expect from Sonic, same goes with Poke’mon Snap and the hundreds of other Poke’mon spinoffs and even the switch up from Warcraft to WoW (though Blizzard likes to argue that it’s a sequal so I guess this is an exception to the exception).

        • Ivan says:

          I derped, i didn’t quote enough to make sense of what I said. Here is the quote I was responding to.

          “These are the reasons it’s a terrible Hitman game, and it’s worth saying that in the strongest possible terms, because Hitman is an important and brilliant series of games. But despite all of that, it isn’t a terrible game, and it doesn’t deserve a terrible score.”

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Um,if the review acknowledges that its a terrible hitman game,whats the problem?Why cant a sequel be judged both as a sequel and on its own merits at the same time?

          • Ivan says:

            The problem is that the game can be given only one review score. By compromising and saying that the game is a poor Hitman game and then not scoring it on those merits you’re allowing marketing to keep dredging up old series for the sole purpose of slapping their name on the box. It’s like complaining about everything that Absolution is doing wrong with the franchise and then going out and buying it on launch day. No-one making these games cares at all what people say about them, they only care about their bottom line, and a review that thrashes it for not being Hitman but then scores it as if those games never existed is exactly what this kind of industry wants.

            • It’s not like Francis let the game off easily; his score is one of the lowest recorded on Metacritic for the PC version, and it’s the lowest score across all three platforms from a major site. He explicitly tells readers that “currently, though, Absolution is not worth buying. […] I’d wait for a preposterous Steam sale.”

              I’m actually sympathetic to the balance Francis strikes in the review, between consumer advocacy and critique. Particularly given that a significant percentage of his likely readership won’t have intimate knowledge of a franchise whose most recent entry was already six years old. For readers who just want to know if they should buy this new AAA game, he gives an unambiguous answer. He also provides detailed reasons (mechanical and narrative) for his score, while placing it in the historical context of the franchise and stealth games generally. This approach is significantly more useful to a general gaming audience than a purist, NMA-style “this isn’t really Fallout” take, while still warning off Hitman fans who (unlike me) weren’t dumb enough to pre-order the damned thing.

            • Jeff says:

              This was pretty much exactly the issue with Fallout 3 and Dungeon Siege 3. It’s taking the name of a series and chopping off large chunks of the series’ characteristics.

      • This is the essential failure of the game(which as MANY critical failures) in my opinion. Everything in Blood Money, Contracts and even Silent Assassin made you assess and try and think like an assassin. That was the clear intent and the games were built with that in mind. It made you think like 47, put you inside his head. It was more than a murder simulator, it was more like a sociopath simulator. Every NPC was an obstacle, something in the way of or key to one of 47’s goals. It made you put yourself into that mindset and explore a darker side of your own critical mind.

        Absolution stripped the series of all of this but left in the deformities. You were no longer seeing the world through 47’s point of view, because you weren’t thinking like 47 like you were in Blood Money. Blood Money made you feel like a cold blooded, super assassin. Absolution is just a walk from point A to point B with a gallery of freaks on display for your amusement.

    • Alexander The 1st says:

      So basically Varric’s exaggerations in Dragon Age 2’s “Hearing the story teller tell his recollection of an event” style, but with Agent 47 and dominatrixing everything?

  2. Shamus, sine the Hitman series is srt of Catholic themed, could the dominatrix stuff and fat guys etc. refer to the seven deadly sins?`
    What seven deadly sins are actually referred to in in game?

  3. @Rutskarn
    Yeah I love that too, the fact that in Blood Money the world/media see the events a certain way but the player (47) knows that it did not go down that way.

    Does Absolution sort of do that as well? (aren’t the events/actions of 47 referenced throughout the game?)

    But yeah, I liked that about Blood Money and the post credits gameplay was just brilliant it’s hard to surprise people these days (since all twists have basically been done now) but that one was “new” IMO at the time.

  4. The best alien has to bee the Alien in Spaceballs.
    Also, is that the Restaurant at the End of The Universe? (it certainly gives off the vibe, although more like a “Cafe” or “Diner” though).

  5. Fawkes says:

    The next cutscene. The whole next mission really (Especially the last part, with all the crowd) just hurt me. I broke trying to finish it yesterday. (Suit Only/Infiltrator on Professional) I’ll save any rant for the proper episode though. Just I got what Chris was saying about the linear feel. The hotel was linear enough, but the next few parts are just beyond silly, and I’d be okay with all of it if it wasn’t for the cutscene and the, as Shamus put it, aggressive stupidity it sets up and the missions following it follow along with.

    I really only wanted to post to note, that at least when I played the game, the Generator wasn’t needed. You can just walk up to the elevator and hit the call button. I’m not even sure what the deal is with the whole setup. “Oh we’re having issues with our elevator, except not really.” and “Oh you can’t go up the elevator!” the guards pull. It’s an eight-floor hotel. There are no stairs (apparently, because this goes back to Shamus’ complaints on bad level design with other games) this hotel makes no sense. So this guy is paying enough to make it worth not letting customers get to any of their rooms? From floor 2+?

    So who are those people on Floor 7? People who were up there when he arrived and can’t get down anymore? The hotel was also where the ‘Trespassing’ aspect of the game finally broke my disbelief. It was bad enough in Chinatown, where there are areas off-limits that aren’t marked. But they made some sense. I got spotted in the hotel because I walked past an open door. Not into it, just near enough to it and someone saw me brush by a door and suddenly I was in trouble.

    On the first floor, there is a note that says “Private” or “Do not enter” and it’s small enough that to get close enough to read it, you’re trespassing. Just baffling.

    • Gruhunchously says:

      Yeah, I just went ahead and watched the next cutscene (I haven’t played the game)…it’s bad. But I’ll let Shamus have at it when the time comes round.

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      Reminds me in the one that Skarn was streaming live (don’t remember which one it was, I think Silent Assassin?) there was this level with a spa or something where you could don a bathrobe and enter through the front door, the catch being there was a metal detector. Now, imagine you’re a guard there, this is a fancy place for rich folk, one of the guys triggers a metal detector, what do you do? Politely ask him to walk through it again? Ask if he has any metal items on him? Shoot to kill?

  6. Gnoll_Queen says:

    Ok the fact that 47 uses a lighter in the air vents is really bugging me. He could have a tiny flash light instead i think? Also none of those vents are dark enough to need a light in them? At least to me? It just kind of bugs me.

    Edit: Also to rutskarn’s comment about how things ripping off old schlock have a lot of the pointless shitty parts in them. God yes. I hate that so much. Pointless as they don’t add to the experience as say bad 60’s Godzilla special effects would be to a 60’s monster movie reference.

    To add to this because of specific things that where mentioned in this video and also because of a few things in my life currently: Can people stop making the only disabled people in stories evil. Also stop having people talk about recently disabled people as if they where now dead.

  7. Neko says:

    47’s Cowboy Disguise was perfect, I’m amazed the guards cottoned on to it.

  8. Could they have been going for an “evil is ugly” theme and wound up making a roster of villains that would fit in on a re-imagining of Dick Tracy by Quentin Tarantino?

  9. I’ve actually just reinstalled Absolution because of this season of Spoiler Warning, but this mission was where I stopped playing the first time.

    I botched the stealth approach to the hotel elevator, and wound up in a running gun battle that resulted in the death of every human being on the ground floor. I hid all the bodies, entered the elevator…and received the “Inconspicuous” achievement. (“You remained undetected throughout a checkpoint.”) That was when I uninstalled the game.

    • Alexander The 1st says:

      Perhaps that was a sarcastic achievement?

      • That was my first thought too; I actually laughed. But the actual text is just “You remained undetected throughout a checkpoint” and there are legitimate ways to earn it, so I think it was either a flat-out bug, sloppy programming, or possibly a symptom of the tiny levels.

        • Sleeping Dragon says:

          I am uncertain about the exact mechanics but my guess would be it either refers to specifically the checkpoint, where you weren’t detected… or it’s doing the “no witnesses” thing.

          • Having refreshed my memory by playing roughly half the game last night (!), my guess is that, since checkpoints are disabled during firefights, I only triggered them afterwards, while looking for bins to hide the bodies. Technically, then, I wasn’t discovered between checkpoints, because I’d already murdered everyone.

            If this theory is correct, it doesn’t exactly improve my opinion of this game’s tiny, hermetically sealed levels (or of checkpoint-only saves in general, but there’s no need to re-start that particular holy war…).

  10. WILL says:

    Oh there’s no gender politics here. It’s just a story filled to the brim with idiotic, dirty, low-brow characters. It’s not even offensive, it’s just pure shit.

    • It’d be interesting to see if the characters were designed by different artists and what direction they received.

      What’s kind of sad is that these character models (i.e. not Adonis-types) are ones I’d love to have in RPGs for various reasons, like comic relief (I’ve wanted to model someone on my body type and give them Superman-type powers) or for role-playing (having an actual old body type for my wise old magic-user), and we only get them in a game like this.

    • Zak McKracken says:

      I think, though, that if someone refuses to think too much about coherence but decides to have ugly guys with sexy ladies (consciously or not), that does say something about them, and possibly about what they think of their audience.

  11. DeadlyDark says:

    Nothing to say particularly interesting about this part. Only that, I think developers are themselves fetishists, and I am kinda Ok with this (if that’s your thing, devs, Ok, let’s roll with it). I don’t remember anything fetishists in first two games, but since Contracts… May be some new designer or artists is responsible for that shift in style.

    Did anyone played Death to Spies games? The closest thing to Hitman games. First game was a bit stiff, but the second (Moment of Truth) is actually pretty good one. Not as good as Blood Money, but still good. It is sad, that both IndeGoGo and Kickstarter campaigns for the third game failed. And yes, damn you 1C for refusing funding developers, so they had to find money themselves. Now I’m sad…

    P.S. But to be honest, that was the level I stopped on my first playthrough. I was on 4th difficulty setting, so detection was hard. After patch that toned down things a bit, I resumed my play.

    • Jokerman says:

      Yea… you didn’t see much of this stuff in the early games… than Contracts releases and the very first mission is that weird “Meat King Party” showing right away how the tone had shift.

  12. Aspeon says:

    The text adventure Spider and Web does some interesting stuff along the lines you discuss in this video, with events being described after the fact by an unreliable narrator. Any more detail would be spoilers.

  13. I dunno man. It’s pretty obvious – leastways to me – that they’re leaning their aesthetics on the trash ‘n pulp of exploitation movies and the whole BDSM fetishizing was a big part of that kinda filmmaking like Chris alludes to. Thing is, the ‘light hearted tone’ is something that’s appreciated now…in hindsight. It’s not even light hearted, it’s just a fond appreciation for the inherent sillyness/audicity/etc. that low budget fare employed in order to compensate…well, for low budgets, but during their actual heyday that shit was being played absolutely straight.

    Again, it seems obvious to me that the guys who made this game thought the basic concepts behind the Hitman series – ‘leet’ assassin robotman created by ‘leet’ assassin organization – lent itself well to grindhouse and decided to forgo parody in favor of creating an honest reflection of that style…warts ‘n all. In which case…well, I’ll quote Lindsay Ellis:

    “I don’t hate it. I can’t. I cannot hate it, because it cannot fail, because it does not try.”

  14. Phrozenflame500 says:

    Regarding the point gross men/pretty woman:

    Hitman always had a thing about making your targets be generally dirty, scummy or otherwise “worth killing” to allow for more black humour and less uncomfortable morale ambiguity. Either your target is a gangster redneck or a fat decadent druglord or an alcoholic white supremacist etc. This isn’t wrong in and of itself, plenty of pulp fiction and low-brow entertainment do similar things.

    The thing is, previous entries (and by previous entries I mean Blood Money) actually made at least an effort in applying this to women. They are physically unappealing horny drunk women or rival female assassins or a mentally-unstable couple in chicken suits. It isn’t always perfect, there’s a still some awkward women as background decoration but it makes an attempt.

    Absolution, in keeping with the theme of un-subtlety and heavy-handedness, discards most of this for the easy stereotype of “sexy but stupid” where almost all the female characters are shallow agency-less pretty girls who are subordinate to the whims of ugly male masters. It isn’t necessarily bad to have a few of these characters, but having almost all women being universally this type of stereotype raises a bunch of uncomfortable tropes like “pretty woman bad, pretty man good” (slut-shaming) or that there are no women who has any sort of social power over a man.

    Considering the series’ earlier history I’m sure that the writers were trying to emulate this earlier style and weren’t being malicious, but ultimately I must agree with Ruts that they probably didn’t put much thought into it.

    Unrelated: dammit Josh I wanted a Wolfenstein series :'(

    • newdarkcloud says:

      I think the point that Rutskarn makes about that being more in-the-dark in previous games is of merit though.

      In Blood Money, many of the dark secrets people had were things you had to discover through playing the levels. And though most contracts had some way to make you hate the villains in the contract description, they didn’t look hideous in the game.

      Here, it’s just TOO heavy-handed.

    • Tom says:

      It’s been a while, but I’m pretty sure Silent Assassin didn’t really do that at all.

  15. Merkel says:

    I know Rutskarn was joking, but here is the slow/melancholy version of Cotton Eyed Joe.

  16. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I get why the rest of you dont read the prompts that appear on the screen,but why isnt Josh reading them?The “Turn ON the generator first” prompt was HUGE,and he just ignored it.

  17. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I dont think this hitman is sexist.They arent trying to say anything smart with it,I agree,but they are using the grindhouse aesthetic.Its probably because the designers for the game and the characters thought that that particular aesthetic is cool.While at the same time missing what (good) grindhouse is actually saying.So they are basically just aping something that looks awesome to them,without ever knowing why it was awesome in the first place.They arent malicious,or like you guys keep saying “with problems”,they are just talentless.

    • Gruhunchously says:

      I agree with this – the treatment of the female characters is just another facet of the generally poor quality of writing.

      It’s not like the male characters have that much more depth or thought put behind them, they’re just drawn from a different pool of stock character types. The difference is, of course, that traditional male stock characters are generally offered more agency and complexity than traditional female stock characters.

      • straymute says:

        To expand on this a bit, you later find out they aren’t even intentionally doing Texan stereotypes and these people are actually supposed to be from South Dakota. The game really is just that poorly written.

    • Viktor says:

      I’d say the intent likely wasn’t sexist, the result was. As you said, it was probably just incompetent writing, but the end result is a game with some really unfortunate gender stereotypes in play.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        But those run both ways.Like Shamoose says,all the men are stereotyped as well.For it to be sexist,it should stereotype one gender but not the other one.

        • Viktor says:

          Well, men have the exception in 47, but beyond that, I’d say its sexist against men /and/ women. That doesn’t make it right, just means that everyone has a reason to be insulted by it.

  18. I’ll have my windows open sometimes when it’s raining (combo of forgetting I opened them earlier and liking the smell of rain), and I’d guess that the staff just hasn’t gotten around to closing them. Or maybe it’s a visual callback to old films having the lace curtains blowing dramatically which doesn’t work with closed windows. Given the feel of this hotel, I’m thinking it’s the film thing.

    Also, Cotton-Eyed Joe will be in my head all day. Damn you all!

  19. Henson says:

    I think this tweet pretty much sums the episode up.

  20. Vect says:

    Supposedly, Sanchez was Dexter’s attempt at creating a super-soldier like 47 but ended up with Omega Danny Trejo.

    And from what I can understand of the game, it seems to be going for a pulpy Tarantino-style tone and absolutely failing at it, partially because the games never really had that type of tone.

  21. John says:

    Here’s another noob question: is Agent 47 supposed to have some kind of assassin superpowers or something? I’ve never played the series and it’s hard to tell from what I’ve seen and heard so far. Was he, say, genetically engineered to be a superior murder-man or just physically and psychologically conditioned from a young age? (That’s what “the doctors” were doing with “the girl”, right?) The way Josh plays, he does seem to have a remarkable resistance to bullets.

    By the way, does the girl have a name, a serial number (Agent 23.5, say), or any designator other than “the girl?” Because if she doesn’t, I’m just going to assume that her last name is MacGuffin.

  22. Bropocalypse says:

    You know, I’m not really convinced that the Hitman series, even in its better installments, necessarily has any kind of allegory or message with its catholic/sexual themes. It might just be a theme for its own sake. You can argue about whether it’s kosher to use this theme in particular, but I’m glad it’s doing something. It would be great if it added up to a greater idea, but it’s kind of nice that it at least has something to spruce up the living room, so to speak.

  23. Artur CalDazar says:

    I like Rutskarns point about the game not having any subtlety with the dirty secret stuff. Even beyond the material being unpleasant and one note it robs the player of a sense of discovery. Part of the fun in stealth is overhearing conversations between guards, discovering hidden things that are not even the aim. When those things are out in the open then there is no hunt or reward.

    Oh yes the next cutscene, such a mess awaits you.

  24. RCN says:

    Watching these episodes, I got flashbacks to the point I started getting a bit of a squick feeling about MovieBob and led me to regard his opinions with a grain of salt.

    It was his review of Piranhas 3D. He showered that movie with praise, saying it properly represents the exploitation genre and adding a lot of insight into it. I was… skeptic.

    I watched the movie. That movie is HORRIBLY exploitative of women with gross, horrible men watching. It isn’t subtle about it. It outright goes “Here’s some boobs! And now she’s being eaten alive! WHAT A RUSH!”, to “Here’s some boobs! On a woman that’s been eaten from the waist down but is still alive, but we’ll zoom at the boobs!” to “here’s a women in a bikini. WOOPS! A tension cable cut and opened her bikini to show us her boobs! Also, cut her in half at the length of the upper torso, but don’t worry, it passed EXACTLY between her boobs so they weren’t damaged!”.

    By each passing minute watching that movie, I really started to despise MovieBob for his praise of it… that movie made me really mad at the writers, director and everyone involved…

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Havent watched piranha,so I cant comment on it specifically.

      But I can comment on the difference between good grindhouse and bad grindhouse.Both use gore and fanservice in droves,both tell ridiculous stories,but they differ in that good grindhouse is self aware.You can see it in constant winks to the camera,injokes,references to obscure stuff they are aping,etc.Basically,sharknado movies.Bad grindhouse has none of that,so basically this game.

      • RCN says:

        I don’t care how much you wink at the camera, showing women whose sole purpose to be in the movie is give gratuitous and explicit fan-service WHILE being horribly murdered with realistic gore is something that irks me on a profound level.

  25. Will It Work says:

    Really interesting discussion here on this one for me. I think the Hitman I most enjoyed was Contracts, even though it had the weakest story. But I did like Absolution.

    The message I got from all this was “Agent 47 lives in a vile disgusting world.” There are very few innocents, which is the value of someone like Victoria. Everyone else around him is steeped in sin, and just being around him causes death to others.

    I’m no longer sure that was the intended message, but that’s what I got.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      The entire point of Silent Assassin is to hammer home the fact that 47 can’t go legit and have friends/loved ones. Every time he tries, they get killed or put in danger in order to lure him back into the business.

      In that sense, staying in the business and severing ties with the normal world is his bizarre way of protecting people who might be close otherwise.

      • Tom says:

        Hmm, I got the point of Silent Assassin that “you can never have a normal life,” but I never thought about the implication that 47 might have stopped trying to do that to protect those who might otherwise get too close to him, rather than simply recognising that it’s a futile waste of time and effort and giving up. And I LOVELOVELOVE that storytelling trope too; of the cursed person, marked by fate, followed by a dark cloud, and if you’re foolhardy enough to set foot into their world after realising what their deal is then you will suffer a strange, unpleasant and probably early fate too* – most especially when they actually work it into the gameplay, like the player companion in VTM:Bloodlines or the player’s party in Planescape:Torment. I know I’m late to the party here, but I just had to say thanks for that thought, it adds another dimension to the character.

        *Which is one more reason I loathe the likes of Twilight and FSOG – they take this trope and defecate upon it from a great height by having the protagonist just dive headlong into the darkness and everything works out fine.

  26. Vermander says:

    My question is why is 47 still wearing a suit most of the time (other than tradition)? He seems to spend a good portion of this game outdoors and most of the places he visits have a seedy, run down look to them. It’s not practical clothing for climb/crawling around, and it’s not effective for blending in when everyone else is wearing jeans, trucker hats and checkered shirts with the sleeves cut off.

    Everyone else in the game has this sleezy, grimy 70’s exploitation movie look to them, but 47 still has his “late 90s John Woo knockoff” thing going on.

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<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>