Hitman Absolution EP4: Ranting and Raving

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Mar 18, 2015

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 222 comments

This is it. This is why I agreed to cover this game. This very cutscene. Buckle up.

Link (YouTube)

Thanks to Chris and Josh for letting Rutskarn and I monopolize the show. I know how frustrating that is. Thanks for playing along. Next episode we return to our regular format. This was a special occasion.

We skipped a lot of my gripes because the whole thing was dragging on too long. And I thought of some new ones while re-watching the episode just now. This really is a disastrously incompetent cutscene.

Think about how stuff like this is produced. The writer writes it. Then the voice actors – with guidance from the director – perform it. Then the mo-cap actors do their part. Then some artists take all those assets and create the cutscene, which involves watching it many, many times over. This thing is pure torture to watch, and I can’t get through it once without shouting outraged questions at my screen. How did the team get all that done without correcting any of the glaring problems here?

I find it hard to believe that so many people let the scene slip by without noticing any of these issues. Instead, I imagine this cutscene is the result of a writer in a position of power where nobody was allowed to question his bullshit. And that makes me mad.

This is bad. It’s not bad in a fun way. It’s not bad in a campy way. It’s not bad in a playfully subversive way. This is just horrendously sophomoric trash that’s been undeservedly elevated to the status of AAA movie-game.

It’s been a while since I gave one of these out, but you clowns earned it:

Shame on you IO Interactive.

For fun: Try to spot all the errors Rutskarn and I missed.


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222 thoughts on “Hitman Absolution EP4: Ranting and Raving

  1. Jacob Albano says:

    If any game ever deserved the goldun riter award, it was this game. Good lord how angry did I get when I saw this cutscene the first time.

    If it weren’t enough for the characters to be entirely repulsive, or for it to be 100% implausible that a buffoon like Dexter be some sort of crime boss, the part that really gets me is that they straight up murder this poor maid to frame 47 — and then LIGHT THE WHOLE HOTEL ON FIRE. I particularly like how the cops all know about the woman you presumably killed even though they can’t get into the room and it’s also ON FIRE.

    The writers for this game were on a special type of crack when they made this game, that’s all I can say.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Damn you for ninjaing me in seconds!Now I dont have primus postum because of you!

    2. Fawkes says:

      “I particularly like how the cops all know about the woman you presumably killed even though they can't get into the room and it's also ON FIRE.”

      Thank you, yes. This bothered me. The cutscene was stupid enough, it was, but the moment you get out of the hotel, the room *explodes* (To block you from going back in, but I imagine that’s not good for cops entering either.) Yet the cops in the Copter/on the ground with megaphones are yelling at you that they ‘Want to talk about the woman in the room’. How? How did they know there was anyone in that room. Even if we take it for granted that the explosion was localized to the window 47 left out of, how did the other cops break down the barrier, see the body, call it in, all in enough time for that to make sense?

      And I would have been willing to let it slide, if the cops did not then proceed to be in every level and mission after this to the point I’ve played and always alert for you. It gets tiring to not be able to walk around. How many bald men must the cops have arrested during this night/week/however long this game takes place?

      1. Hydralysk says:

        To make matters worse there’s the incredibly stupid fact that Agent 47 is being framed for murder. This is my first Hitman game, so I ended up botching the Chinatown mission so hard that I ended up having to kill a truckload of cops in the middle of a crowded street in broad daylight. But no, it’s the one half-seen dead maid that the cops start an instant manhunt for.

        I could maybe forgive that if the Agency had a hand in it, but as we see later they still have no idea where Agent 47 is at this point.

        1. newdarkcloud says:

          That’s what got me when I first saw this scene, more than anything else. There’s absolutely no point in framing 47 for murder. You literally just have to call the cops to bring him in.

          It’s like trying to nail Garrett from Thief by framing him for stealing something. Everyone already knows that’s his shtick.

          1. Henson says:

            Actually, I disagree. If the agency has not blown 47’s identity to the cops, getting him arrested for murder is a much more complicated process for Dexter. The cops don’t know that 47 has killed anyone (assuming you didn’t botch the previous missions, and given this game’s system, that’s a big assumption, I’ll admit), so it’s all up to Dexter’s word that 47 is a murderer, or has committed attempted murder. He’ll have to stick around for questioning, for a trial…he doesn’t have the time for this, and getting the attention of the Chicago police could be dangerous, since he doesn’t have them on his payroll.

            It’s much easier just to frame 47 with a dead body. Call the cops, let them see the evidence, and Dexter can blow town, knowing that 47 is taken care of. It’s a fine plan, so long as he doesn’t make a major mistake….or two…

            1. Asimech says:

              All he would’ve needed was to get 47 arrested for breaking and entering. If the buffoon can identify 47 as a professional assassin within seconds it shouldn’t be too hard for the police to figure out while 47 is in custody. While it could be argued that the police wouldn’t be able to get anything to stick to him before having to let him go, it’s hard to believe that the police wouldn’t realise that 47 was being framed and look for whoever called the cops or who else had been in the room.

              Dexter just calling the cops about a breaking and entering would be a lot less convoluted for him and far less likely to get him in the police’s radar. The only thing it lacks is B movie writing.

              Edit: Also from a storytelling point of view it’s a bad idea to have a plot point where a character who is famously known to the audience as a murderer to be framed as a murderer. It’s very likely going to kick the majority of the audience out of the experience before it’s going to start making sense to them, if it ever will start making sense to them. Willing suspension of disbelief shouldn’t be broken without an exceptionally good reason, even if the events that would break it made sense in-universe.

              1. Purple Library Guy says:

                On a cynical side-note which probably shouldn’t be applied to any but pretty dark stories, the modern real-life cops wouldn’t care if he was being framed. In fact, if they found out the guy they’d fingered probably didn’t do it, they’d frame him themselves. They got snitches on call and it’s easier than figuring out who really did do it.

                1. Jeff says:

                  That’s bullshit. 47 is white.

        2. Fawkes says:

          I could buy, on some level, that the ‘Canon’ way to beat a level is Silent Assassin. (Or ‘Shadow’, since five levels in there’s only been like one mission you could actually get Silent Assassin as a rating. FIVE LEVELS, not just the ‘parts’ like how the hotel had the upstairs and downstairs separated. There’s been only one mission, Chinatown, where you can kill someone and get the evidence needed for Silent Assassin. That I can remember.)

          Which makes me wonder, why make a game that offers you multiple ways to approach things, from silent to kill them all, have such a linear story. It just makes the story that much worse for it. The contrast between ‘This is what you did with 47, this is what 47 actually did for story purposes.’ It takes away all agency as a player, the game sessions are basically just puzzles you have to solve to get to the next cutscene, unrelated to the cutscene or the story itself.

          All to say, yes, it’s silly to frame him for a murder of a single maid and have it become this full-blown manhunt with copters and a city-wide days long search for 47. And it’s silly on many layers that I imagine they could spend the next ten episodes just dissecting the stupidity if they didn’t apparently make a list to limit themselves.

    3. Tizzy says:

      I wonder how I would have reacted if I’d seen this scene first without any buildup to it. I think would have expected it to make sense eventually. would have been sorely disappointed, it looks like.

      Not sure how they managed to mess things up this badly. It’s dumb AND absurdly complicated.

    4. el_b says:

      as stupid as that whole scene was, i couldnt take my eyes off sanchez. look at his face at 3.50, someone took the tf2 heavy and pasted danny trejos face on him!

    5. Jabrwock says:

      I’m going to feel dirty for even defending a part of this scene, but here goes.

      While the dresser blocks the door, the cops do manage to see you through the small space. It’s possible they saw the maid’s body on the floor.

      HOWEVER, that doesn’t explain how the helicopter pilot and the guys on the roof knew about it, because right after spotting the body, the whole floor explodes, so I think reporting a body would be at the bottom of the list in terms of priority.

      “Hey guys, I just want to report that there was a body in that room. Oh and ERMEHFERKINGGERDIMONFIRE!!!!!!”

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I dont know whats your problem with this scene Shamoose.It looks perfectly ok to me.Yup,a brilliant piece of work.

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    A point about fingerprints:For some reason,47 doesnt wear gloves in the cutscene.I guess its so that the “frameup” would make sense.But immediately as you get control back,your disappearing gloves are back on your hands.Sooo,47 took off his gloves when he entered the room,and then put them back on when he regained consciousness?

    1. Jokerman says:

      He doesn’t actually regain the gloves… but this is the point i was gonna make, where the hell are his gloves… he always wears gloves. All they had to do was show them being removed… off camera, then cut to them being thrown in a corner or something.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Youre right,gloves are part of the disguises,because 47,this legend,this ghost that no one was ever able to catch,for some inexplicable reason,decided NOT TO WEAR GLOVES for this mission.And he decided to do so,even though he had them in the previous two missions,because…they were in the washing machine and he couldnt wait for them to dry,I guess.Seriously 47,what the fuck?

        1. Jokerman says:

          Yea, When you are having to change fundamental parts of the look and character just to make this cutscene, then you have a pretty big warning sign that this cutscene was always a bad idea.

  4. Thomas says:

    Huh that really was a bad cutscene. And not in a fun stupid way, it wasn’t The Room of cutscenes. It was the 47 Ronin of cutscenes. Just purely incompetent in a way that everyone wants to forget about.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So 47 decides to remove his barcode,and replace it with….A BIGASS BANDAGE.Not just that,but he doesnt even remove the whole barcode,and is immediately recognized as “A ghost,a legendary hitman”(which is stupid on its own).

    1. krellen says:

      I shave my head, and sometimes cut myself doing so in about the same spot as 47’s barcode. I must be a legendary hitman too.

      1. Trix2000 says:

        Clearly that means we must frame you for murder and then set the room on fire.

        1. Grudgeal says:


    2. Alex says:

      “…and is immediately recognized as “A ghost,a legendary hitman”(which is stupid on its own).”

      That could make sense in a different context, if you took “ghost” to mean “untouchable” and not “invisible”. The kind of guy everyone “knows” is an assassin, but the cops have nothing but hearsay to link him to the murders, and the last time someone tried to take him out of the picture he called the police himself to report he’d just killed six home invaders in self defense.

  6. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I think this song sums up nicely why dexter is acting like that in this cutscene.

    1. Epopisces says:

      . . .this video has opened up new music frontiers to me.

    2. Purple Library Guy says:

      Aaahhhh ummmm wibbidawibbida . . .

  7. Otters34 says:

    “Then some artists talk all those assets”

    I’m still baffled by that cutscene, so…uh…yeah, I got nothing but that nitpick.

  8. A few more notes about this scene:

    “¢ Dexter is played by Keith Carradine who played Special Agent Frank Lundy on the TV show “Dexter.” Oh, such a clever reference!

    “¢ Tell me Sanchez isn’t a caricature of Danny Trejo.

    Beyond that, I’m really interested in Dexter’s dialog. It’s loaded with nonsensical phrases that could almost be part of a more interesting character, but…

    What it makes me wonder is if that was ad-libbed, scripted, or a combination of the two. Perhaps it was part of some idea that got cut? This almost sounds like something written by a committee that when it came time to edit, discovered that nobody editing it thought they had the power to do so. Ergo, they took all of the brainstorming ideas that had made it this far and kind of mashed it together into… this.

    Edit: Also, it really grates when a script decides to use F-bombs as punctuation, even for villains.

    1. Jokerman says:

      Wow, didn’t notice that was Carradine, he is a really good actor… i wonder what his reaction was to being given such shit.

      1. That’s the thing. The word-salad he was putting out sounded like he was quoting other movies I haven’t seen. I mean, they sounded character-driven enough to come out of a villain, but not the same one, all at once, and for little reason.

        I’m almost thinking his performance is a sewn-together mish-mash from several scripts that were in play when they recorded his lines.

        As for Mr Carradine, I’m sure he was fine with the paycheck, but he probably had little to no context for what he was saying, so he might not have known how bad the scene was going to be even after he recorded it.

        1. Tizzy says:

          I guess if you’re a professional actor rather than a professional *voice* actor, then doing video game is the new kind of slumming on par with doing bizarre foreign ads: you spend a comparatively short time earning a disproportionate amount of money for something that you think is shit, but doing it cannot hurt your real career.

      2. newdarkcloud says:

        Well, they also had Vivica A Fox play the leader of the latex nuns.

        This whole game is filled with really famous actors reading Absolute garbage.

      3. Daemian Lucifer says:

        i wonder what his reaction was to being given such shit.

        Eeh,its a living.

  9. Bropocalypse says:

    Did you guys cover how virtually nothing was established in that scene? I forgot through the fog of stupidity.
    Dexter’s a crazy jerk, I guess. But so what? How does that affect the story? Does it make him sloppy? Is it satisfying for a game that is, ostensibly, about being a genius at subversion, to have a villain who can’t think straight?
    It almost goes without saying that this scene exists for the sole reason to force the player into a high-stakes escape sequence. But as Rutskarn demonstrated, it’s INCREDIBLY easy to invent a better way to do this. Here, let me give it a shot:
    Let Agent 47 be captured, but by Dexter himself to demonstrate him as a threat, he can do the villainous gloat thing, etc. Call the cops, have his goons hold 47 at gunpoint, 47 can escape and catch up with Dexter to get a clue where he’s going. You have your high-speed escape and you can still have some cops in there if you really want them that badly.
    None of this would be “Hitman,” but it’s still better.
    Here, let me try another one:
    Dexter is holed up in a safe room since he thinks the agency is after him. 47 can coax him out by, say, tripping the fire alarm. Sadly, the only functional fire alarm is on the other side of the building. While Dexter is evacuated, you can try to evade his goons who Dexter sent back to make sure the alarm wasn’t false, since the safe room already implies he’s paranoid. You can evade them, and the fact that there’s no fire will cause Dexter to leave the area in a cutscene where we get some information via 47 eavesdropping from nearby. That’s better still, and it’s even more “Hitman.” It’s virtually the same as the castle mission from the second game, but that’d be far less grievous than what we got.

    Wow, this is easy.

    I think it’s pretty obvious: They just didn’t care. This is First-Draft Theater.

    1. Ivan says:

      Honestly, I’m not sure you can even say that Dexter is crazy after that. He is written so inconsistently that besides being a jerk he doesn’t seem to have any character traits at all. Calling him crazy imply that there is some long-term plan for the character but I just get the impression that the writers were just throwing everything they had at the wall in hopes that something would stick.

      1. Trix2000 says:

        Yeah, I had a lot of thoughts (mostly negative) when it came to watching Dexter in that scene, and honestly crazy was not one of them.

        Messed up and a big jerk, maybe. Not all that intelligent, maybe. But actually crazy? He just didn’t seem to have that manic quality. The only “crazy” I could attribute to him would be whatever made him decide killing the maid and setting the room on fire was a good idea, but with the way things played out that stood out more as a failure on the part of the writers rather than indications of sanity (or lack thereof).

  10. AJax says:

    Am I sensing another Fallout 3 season?! Yes I am. Buckle up everybody, we’re in for a ride.

    On a more positive note, the town level later in the game is actually pretty good.

    1. Jokerman says:

      Another positive note, this game will only take at most like 1/5 of the time to finish.

      1. Nimas says:

        Huh, you guys seem to be implying that this a bad thing…

  11. MrGuy says:

    You know, I really liked that scene in the library from the moment I started playing it. When it was in Arkham Asylum. </DavidSpade>

  12. Artur CalDazar says:

    its amazing how that scene doesn’t even properly establish waht is about to happen.
    The cops flood the building, rather than the fire department, and storm across buildings several blocks around the hotel for good measure to catch what they think is a bald dude who killed one person. If I recall correctly they don’t know your a Hitman never mind the Hitman, so this level of force isn’t in keeping with their usual responses to murder in this setting.

    1. Bropocalypse says:

      Meanwhile, across town, the fire department has been called in to hose down a guy who refused to clean up after his dog in the public park.

    2. silver Harloe says:

      They sent 500 uniforms and a helicopter to backup the detectives who are investigating the *reported* murder of a single woman. Before they’ve established there is even a body. I imagine it went like this:

      “Hey, I think this guy tried to kill me. He killed my maid and my bodyguard knocked him out. Then a fire started for no apparent reason.”

      “Right, okay.” The detective hangs up the phone and to his sergeant and says, “bring me everyone.”

      “What do you mean everyone?”


      “Did we just change to a different movie?”

  13. slipshod says:

    Having never played the game, I couldn’t get past my utter confusion regarding who the heck are these people to appreciate the gross incompetence of the cutscene.

    I feel a bit cheated. And a bit like I just watched something right after getting a concussion.

    1. newdarkcloud says:

      It’s okay. Aside from 47, every character in this scene is new to Absolution and first introduced in this cutscene.

      Even Hitman fans were wondering who the hell these people were.

      1. Felblood says:

        Yeah, dude.

        You didn’t miss anything.

        This scene just happens apropos of nothing, and then vanishes into the night, biding it’s time until it can kill again.

    2. Wolf says:

      I feel you pain.
      I was expecting the most egregious example of bad cutscenery and instead spent the entire time profoundly uninterested and a bit put of by the horrible face of Dexter. The entire game was so poorly established that I could not even muster bile at this apparent lowpoint of it.

  14. Ron says:

    I’d like to imagine that if I lived in the Absolution universe, if there was a fire in my home, the police would burst in firing indiscriminately at anyone moving.

    Kidding aside though, shouldn’t that cop who tries to get in when 47 wakes up be a fireman. The level would have made a lot more sense if the building was burning down, and 47 had to get out without drawing attention to himself, as this is ostensibly a stealth game where you play as a master assassin who isn’t completely incompetent.

    If the level had been built around that, there could have been a timed mission where you had to avoid the fireman and also the fire as an environmental hazard. Then, as 47 exits the building, he avoids the cops that might be gathered outside and around the building.

  15. Phantos says:

    “A sweet slice”???

    Like… like of pizza? WHAT?

    1. Bitterpark says:

      Of meat, I assume. Cause he likes meat. Cause he’s Texan. And/or cause he’s fat.

      That’s the best I got.

      1. He’s not from Texas. Supposedly he is from South Dakota. I’m from South Dakota. I can assure you, no one from South Dakota acts like that or talks in that accent. When the game gets to “South Dakota,” it looks nothing like the real South Dakota, which is green, filled with corn fields and either flat or has rolling hills. “South Dakota” in the game looks more like the popular conception of Texas. This bugs the hell out of me.

        1. Syal says:

          I like the idea that the developers assumed South Dakota was in the deep South because it has “South” in the name.

          1. newdarkcloud says:

            I wish I could believe you’re joking, but they HONESTLY seem to think this is the case.

        2. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Soooo….what was the reason for it to be south dakota and not texas?

          1. IFS says:

            Clearly they felt Texas would have been too stereotypical.

              1. Gruhunchously says:

                But remember, he don’t ordinarily yee-hah.

    2. swenson says:

      Or… cake, maybe? In some sort of weird compare-dead-attractive-women-to-food way.

      I feel like we should start a drinking game for the weird attractive woman + violence juxtaposition things, but it’d kill us all.

    3. Andy says:

      Ass. The unspoken portion is “… of ass.”

      “Slice of ass” is equivalent to “piece of ass.”

      Which puts it squarely in the game’s “creepy sexualization” vibe.

      1. Syal says:

        I figured it was “…of pie”, since people actually slice those. But yeah, it’s “look how hot the dead chick is.”

        1. Hitch says:

          Yeah. I got a “creepy sexualization” vibe off of that line. I was kind of surprised Shamus and Rutskarn didn’t mention it. But it did make me feel pretty uncomfortable and I was wishing I could come up with any other explanation for why he said that. But no, that was just slimy.

          1. Supahewok says:

            Um. I’ve never played the game, but I don’t understand how everyone’s coming up with different ideas for what he meant. I thought it was pretty obvious he was referring to “slicing” her throat…

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Well yes,thats what he did literally.But the phrase was still spoken in an ambiguous fashion,referring both to what he actually did,and to something similar that can be sliced,like a cake,golf,or whatever he was comparing the deed to.

            2. It’s not exactly a common idiom, but it’s absolutely an intentionally misogynistic double entendre. Dexter is the kind of guy who would make that pun, and think it was clever. Unfortunately, it also doesn’t really work, because the writers also seem to have thought it was clever.

              Hitman: Absolution‘s cutscenes are a classic case of cargo cult filmmaking, in which no one involved actually understands what makes the grindhouse style work. In particular, they miss that it is a style, and not a genre. The “good” class of grindhouse/exploitation flicks relied on selling the sizzle, but always at least tried to serve up some steak (even if not a particularly choice cut). Absolution is all sizzle, no steak.

              1. Supahewok says:

                I’ve never come across that phrase used in that way before, so I’ll take your word for it.

                I see what you mean about them getting grindhouse wrong. Like how the only cuss word Dexter & friends is capable of saying is “fuck.” Fuck this, fuck that, fuck fuck fuck. Using the word fuck like its punctuation in order to have vulgarity is… incredibly immature writing, and I’m not even talking about from a moral stance. There is more to writing good, authentic vulgarity than spewing “fuck” at every opportunity.

  16. Henson says:

    You know, I gave some of the cutscene’s problems a pass my first time through, because the game gives me almost no context of what’s going on. For example, choking out the bodyguard is stupid, but not if you don’t know what 47’s mission is. (Birdie gave him the hotel number. That’s it. Is he supposed to be getting information from Dexter himself? From a file in the room? What’s the plan?) The game continually dumps me into these situations, I’m so lost about what’s going on, so I just brush off a bunch of glaring issues, hoping it’ll all make sense later on. (This is the theme of this whole story, by the way: whether or not the Victoria plotline is worth it seems entirely dependent on the answers that will no doubt be given at the very end (I assume)).

    I do disagree on one point, though: the cutscene does not revolve around 47. The ‘camera’ stays on Dexter for so long (and so close) because the point of the cutscene is to establish Dexter as a character, specifically as nasty and gross and amoral; as the guy you’re supposed to hate. And given the very effective facial animations in this game…well, I guess job well done.

    The fire is pretty stupid, though. In so many ways. Perhaps the designers were so focused on establishing Dexter’s personality that they didn’t bother to think about the logic of the scene?

    1. The entire point of having stories and plot in video games is to give context to what the player is doing and what their goals are. Why are you moving Mario to the right through the level? To rescue the princess. If a video game’s plot gives no context to what the player is doing in the level, then it has FAILED AT ITS MOST BASIC FUNCTION!

      These AAA games keep chasing Hollywood style story telling, but they’re all horrifically written. Great writing in video games is a fantastic thing, but passable writing that gives context to what the player is doing in the game world would be preferable if that great writing fails to give context. Here, we have horrible writing that gives zero context. It’s insane.

      What truly is insane though is this: Hitman doesn’t even need much context! You’re an assassin! Here is your target! Kill them! Blood Money understood this. That’s why they shoved the plot of the game into the background. It didn’t matter because the player already had context.

      I hate Absolution.

      1. Henson says:

        Oh I definitely agree that not giving context is a major flaw, but it’s a flaw that wasn’t so apparent during the cutscene itself. Only later would it become clear that a)the context I was waiting for would not be given, and b)’not giving context’ would be a recurring theme.

        1. Probably why I didn’t start to really hate the game until well into my second run through it. This game is like an onion of bad. Every time you peel back a layer, there is another, more rotten one underneath.

        2. Ivan says:

          Having seen this cutsceen for the first time, this is my impression as well. I’m just really confused but I expect that context will be given later. Because of this I’m much more forgiving of all but the stupidest parts like attacking the bodyguard and being captured. But I guess you’re saying that I shouldn’t hold my breath.

      2. Ivellius says:

        I wish Riot Games (developer for League of Legends, for those who don’t know) still understood this. Several months ago they said they were removing the entire plot of the game, which revolved around the major characters fighting in a magical area to non-lethally resolve conflicts–the titular League of Legends, in fact. (Sure, remove the thing that’s the name of your game and the central thing in your original universe!)

        And sadly, they still haven’t updated any of the character stories that mention the League, so all they did was just say “The League doesn’t exist” and just not mentioning it when it comes to new characters.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      the point of the cutscene is to establish Dexter as a character, specifically as nasty and gross and amoral

      And stupid.Dont forget stupid,because thats what he radiates most of all.

    3. Supahewok says:

      “The fire is pretty stupid, though. In so many ways. Perhaps the designers were so focused on establishing Dexter's personality that they didn't bother to think about the logic of the scene?”

      No, I think the devs just took a page out of Uncharted’s book: they wrote the cutscenes around the events the designers wanted to have. Designers want 47 to escape from a burning building by climbing up the side? Gotta write in a way that the building gets set on fire, no matter how stupid it is.

  17. Matt Downie says:

    “You might as well sign the confession; it’s an open and shut case. You were found, unconscious, in a burning room, with a dead body and a knife with someone else’s fingerprints on it. You must have thought it was the perfect crime, but you made one tiny mistake: calling the police on yourself.”

    1. To be fair, this is perfectly believable when it comes to the Chicago Police.

  18. Isaac says:

    I don’t think Dexter ever called the cops. He knew that the smoke from the fire would attract the attention of someone. That’s why he also left the door open. Somebody opens the door, sees the fire and an unconscious 47 next to a maid’s dead body and decides to call the police.

    1. Nimas says:

      Then how is the hotel on fire and you’re not dead given how long you’d have to be unconscious for?

      1. Isaac says:

        *Shrug* Idk. 47 is supposed to be a genetically engineered super-assassin so maybe thats why he didn’t die of asphyxiation? As for the entire hotel being on fire, I have no clue!

        1. Felblood says:

          –and yet you have still thought through 50% more of this stuff than the actual writers.

  19. guy says:

    What’s really weird about the cutscene is that as of about halfway through I thought Dexter was pursing a plan that made some degree of sense, where he made it look like a murder-suicide, and then he seemed to switch to another plan that made a degree of sense where he went with a good old firey coverup. Both of which in theory would leave 47 dead and hopefully keep the police from getting too curious about Dexter. Granted, I’d seriously advise against trying that in your room on the top floor of a hotel you’ve filled with hired security, but they make vastly more sense than what he actually did.

    1. Tizzy says:

      That’s another thing, btw: I guess it could be that a super-rich super-evil guy who has been camping in a hotel with his whole retinue could set fire to his room and leave it without needing to recover *anything* at all before going.

      It *is* possible, but what kind of lame-ass villain does that make? No plans for world domination? No hoards of weird precious items? No exotic weapon stockpile? OK… fine… But, seriously… What’s he doing there? Why does he need that hotel room in the first place?

      1. guy says:

        Well, I would assume all the really important stuff is at his actual house. The expandability of his outfits and such depends on where he is on the scale from “pretty rich” to “can afford a space station”

        1. Tizzy says:

          ‘m definitely NOT talking about his wardrobe. But if he doesn’t pack any super-secret sauce or blueprints of world domination, he is a lame villain. That’s all.

          1. Hitch says:

            Maybe he’s a really well-prepared lame villain who has back-ups of everything. He could lose everything in the hotel because redundant copies were stored at other safe locations. Admittedly, this doesn’t quite fit with the image of “Yee-haw it’s Christmas.” But anything is possible.

            1. Tizzy says:

              Maybe i don’t have the same notion of fun as everyone else.

              Overprepared hero = Batman = cool

              Overprepared villain = no *good* example comes to mind = lame

  20. ehlijen says:

    I expected the guy on the floor to be a decoy and the real 47 to pull of his sanchez mask, having taped all the hopefully incriminating nonsense dexter’d been blabbering.

    I think that would have made slightly more sense than this mess…

    1. Bropocalypse says:

      He wouldn’t be wearing a Sanchez mask, he’d be wearing his giant outfit like a kid wearing daddy’s clothes. And Dexter wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

  21. shiroax says:

    Did the video randomly break at 6:30 for anybody else?

    Also: Sorry if this has been answered elsewhere, but what other games were in the running and who vetoed what?

    1. Tizzy says:

      Latest Wolfenstein was vetoed by Josh. It was mentioned in a video last week. Not sure what else.

      1. Humanoid says:

        Revenge for the veto on The Witcher 2 of course, which I assume would be informally on the list given the times Josh has mentioned it. Would have been just in time for the sequel too.

  22. Isaac says:

    Also Dexter looks like a Bizzarro-Hank Schrader.

    1. Galad says:

      Only if Hank were gross and made no sense.

      So just barely

  23. Warclam says:

    Here’s one I was surprised not to hear, though it’s a small nitpick so you probably just skipped it: what was in that bottle? It looks like a wine bottle to me, but this guy seems to think it’ll help his FOOLPROOF fire plan. Wine isn’t flammable. It’s mostly water. So here he is dousing his victims in the stuff before trying to burn them. Hey genius, there’s no upside! If he thinks it’ll help them burn, he’s wrong. If he knows it won’t, and wants to leave them intact for longer at the centre of the room… well who cares, the room is on FIRE. That wine will be steam in minutes, and then it’s not doing anything for anybody.

    1. Bropocalypse says:

      I assumed it was whiskey, the thing that all pseudo-Texans drink.

    2. I think you mean “100 Proof” plan.

      Which is odd, given how often mundane alcohol is portrayed as flammable in TV, movies, and games, yet the closest TV Trope I can find is Booze Flamethrower.

      1. MrGuy says:

        In fact, this is how the term “proof” was originally defined. Sailors would soak black gunpowder (which is, of course, highly flammable) in rum. If the gunpowder burned, the rum had been “proofed” that it hadn’t been watered down on the way to the docks. The alcohol concentration required for gunpowder to burn is about 57% by volume.

        In other words, spirits with less than 57% alcohol are sufficiently NON flammable that you can soak explosives in them as a flame retardant. The evaporating alcohol vapor WILL burn, even with somewhat less concentrated spirits, but if you want a fire, you need to be well into the “distilled spirits” range at a minimum.

    3. Majromax says:

      > what was in that bottle?

      It’s … vodka.

      You can barely make out the label at the 5:16 mark in the video, at higher resolutions. The exact brand is too fuzzy for me to guess at, but the red lettering at the bottom clearly says “VODKA.”

      1. Warclam says:

        Look at that, so it is. To me the label reads “Double Eagle”, which is a liquor importer (though they don’t appear to actually have their own bottles).

        It won’t go up like lighter fluid (vodka is generally 80 proof), but once the room heats up the fumes will add a little extra zip to the fire. Still not an accelerant though, what is that match landing on to set the entire building on fire?

        1. Chris says:

          “Double Eagle”

          That’s it, I’m naming my liquor importer “2 Eagles 1 Proof”

      2. Josh says:

        Wait, so the not-Texan not-Cowboy from fantasy South Dakotaland is drinking… vodka.

        1. Grudgeal says:

          And that’s about the *most* sensible thing in this whole cutscene.

        2. Bropocalypse says:

          I wonder if he’d regain his quasi-western cred by drinking vodka made from Idaho potatoes.

    4. krellen says:

      This was going to be my complaint. Most people don’t drink flammable alcohol straight, and the fact that he offered a drink to his assistant proves that it’s not just crazy-man alcohol.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Most people don't drink flammable alcohol straight

        Thats because most people have no taste.

        1. StashAugustine says:

          You’re Eastern European, aren’t you? :v

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Vat gave me avay,comrade?

  24. MrGuy says:

    Is it OK to complain about the little “observed dialogue” before the cutscene too? Because, gosh that was stupid. Apparently, 47 enters the vent (we’ll ignore how nobody hears him do this) just in time to hear the bad guy explain his entire plan in two sentences. This is apparently the first time his assistant has heard any of the plan (despite the plan being sufficiently long-running that Diana had enough notice to concoct an elaborate plan involving fake her own death to prevent it).

    “OK, here’s the evil plan. There’s this girl, and she was in a lab, and she’s very valuable, and we’re going to kidnap her and then we’re going to get the money, and then we will be the very best evil plotters ever!”

    1. Tizzy says:

      10 bucks that why she is even valuable will not even make sense down the line. Or even be explained.

      Also, I’ve had enough of man-sized vents that never make any noise when a 250-lbs linebacker crawls through them.

      1. Viktor says:

        Vents don’t bug me. Yes, they do not work like that, but they’re a staple of the genre. It’s like the bright-white first aid kit that fixes multiple bulletholes when you step on it. It’s not realistic, but it helps the mechanics and everyone playing the game knows instantly what to do when they see one. I’d prefer to save my rage for all the truly stupid things that make no sense.

        1. Well, seen the Mythbuster episode where they test stealthy movie break’in tropes?

          I love the 0:50 mark when Jamie is starting to climb, the initial reaction of everyone.

          Also note that 47 changed back to his 47s suit inside that vent. :P

    2. newdarkcloud says:

      They do actually explain why Victoria (the girl/MacGuffin) is so valuable later on.

      Turns out that she was the Agency’s attempt to make a perfect assassin in the vein of Agent 47, but it was only a partial success. She is linked to the pendant she wears around her neck which, depending on which scene we are talking about, will either kill her or turn her into a normal girl if taken sufficient far away from her (or just taken off her neck in some cases).

      Unfortunately, I don’t think Dexter has any particular plans with Victoria. At least, none that I can remember. He mostly just does it because it seems like the bad guy thing to do I guess.

      1. Tizzy says:

        Ugh! This does not sound like an improvement on the “no explanation given” version.

  25. Gruhunchously says:

    To be absolutely fair to the cutscene, the stupidity of Dexter’s plan doesn’t go entirely unremarked upon. The secretary does point out that setting the room on fire is a really bad idea. If you squint hard enough, it almost looks like a bit of self awareness on the part of the writers, as it implies that Dexter is no stranger to this kind of over the top, sledgehammer solutions to problems in his daily life.

    1. One issue regardless though, if 47 was knocked out for as long as he was, then the impact damage he took would have caused a nasty concussion and possibly broken bones, he would have burned or been caught by the cops.

      Was the game’s cutscene and designs passed between different teams? That would explain mistakes like missing the knife, laying wrong side up etc.

      1. newdarkcloud says:

        I am willing to accept the brain damage conceit as just something that all fiction does. Knocking someone out in any book, TV show, movie, or game never has any long-term effects, so sure let’s go with it.

  26. Isaac says:

    This video really shows how flawed the disguise system is in this game. During Shamskarn rant you can see how Josh tries to avoid detection while disguised as a cop. Instead of acting as inconspicuous as possible (i.e. walking around) he decides to crouch-walk everywhere, duck behind drawers and move from cover to cover. The crazy thing is, playing like this makes 47 less suspicious as opposed to just walking around like all the other cops.

    1. Asimech says:

      I especially loved the part where 47 popped out of hiding, covered a part of his face with a hand, walked a few steps, and then popped back into hiding. Right next to two officers and in a way that it would be hard not to notice that he’s explicitly popping out of cover and into cover and not e.g. kneeling down to check something.

      And it looked like he was hiding the opposite side of his face than where the other cops where, which just makes it all the funnier even if in reality he was holding the cap lower.

  27. Bitterpark says:

    I don’t know how this game was developed, but I very much doubt anyone could change anything by the time this scene reached animation or voice acting stage. Besides, whatever team does cutscenes (probably bit-by-bit and out of order) is likely to just assume it all makes sense in context.

    Also, I bet those “three people paid to do this” weren’t even communicating with eachother.

    1. Tizzy says:

      If you’re right, your last point would be the most compelling reason why we should be furious. In this day and age, there is really no reason not to communicate with your coworkers. Especially when working on a multi-million dollar project.

      1. Maybe their storyboard burned up after a guy spilled vodka on it and dropped his cigarette?

        Oops, sorry, I forgot, Mythbusters kinda busted that one, then again alcohol has more fumes than gasoline.

        1. Syal says:

          That’s exactly what happened, but the devs had to go through like four packs to get it to work.

          1. Tizzy says:

            i’m sure they went through a LOT of vodka to produce this script…

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Them having to communicate isnt essential.What is essential is having someone in charge to check if what the teams are working on fits together.Sadly,as can be seen in a bunch of movies,tv shows,video games and comic books,those people that should supervise everything are often either non existent or bad at their jobs.

    2. Jacob Albano says:

      This is, in my mind, the number one reason why the shift towards unified mocap/VO/facial animation is a dangerous. It’s incredibly expensive to iterate on and if your first take needs to be changed, tough luck. You’re stuck with it.

      See also: Thi4f’s cobbled-together ending.

  28. If we need to say anything nice about this episode, I have to say I like the vents. Apart from crawling through them having the usual problems (“Thor, the god of thunder, is in our ventilation system” and so on), it did make one contribution to the trope: The cigarette butts and other trash. I’d forgotten that sometimes vents are used to get rid of small, unwanted items, and having that addition made vent-crawling seem like something you might want to avoid.

    Not that it makes up for anything else. It’s another graphical addition to a game franchise that needs improvement just about everywhere except in the graphics department.

  29. shiroax says:

    I’m going to knock off a MASSIVE item from your complaint list here: The knife didn’t actually disappear, it was equipped at the start.

    1. Majromax says:

      > The knife didn't actually disappear, it was equipped at the start.

      It’s still missing from the “waking up in the fire room” part of the cutscene, at the 6-minute mark in the video.

  30. Syal says:

    “Was ‘a sweet slice’ a golf reference?”

    If only it was. No, I’m pretty sure it’s a creepy sexual comment about the dead maid.

    Also, bad news about the Superman disguise; Lois Lane recognizes him in Superman 2 by holding up a newspaper picture of Superman next to Clark Kent. And then she tests it by shooting him with a handgun.

    What I’m saying is you should watch Superman 2.

    1. “then she tests it by shooting him” a very stupid thing to do, what if she was wrong, she would have killed a mortal Clark Kent. Now the audience knew she guessed right, but “in universe” she could have been wrong. Lookalikes do exists after all.

      1. Syal says:

        It’s addressed in the movie, but I left it out because it’s funnier.

        Of course, she also throws herself out of a building to test it.

        You should really watch Superman 2.

  31. swenson says:

    So… did they have, like, a bingo card of offensive stereotypes they were trying to fill up, or something? Because they filled up the entire card in this scene alone. Almost impressive.

    1. Thomas says:

      That’s the incredible thing about this cutscene is, I thought Shamus and Rutskarn were going to go off on that terrible ‘asian maid’ bit, or on the ridiculous stereotyped texan (who apparently isn’t Texan?) or on Sanchez.

      But no, this three minute cutscene is so bad that people can complain about it for 20 minutes and not even get to the fact that it’s kinda racist.

      1. guy says:

        I’m pretty sure that’s a Hispanic maid. The accents are quite different.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Theres no “kinda” in there.It is racist.

        But,again,its due to incompetence,not maliciousness.They stereotyped the texansouth dakotan guy,because all yanks are the same.They stereotyped sanches,because all mexicans are Danny Trejo.They did this because they wanted to make a grindhouse movie,without knowing what makes a good grindhouse feeling.

        1. newdarkcloud says:

          I remember when IO Interactive was first advertising this game. At the time, they released a trailer of 47 going up against 9 or so latex nuns in a hotel. Even at the time, there was a huge backlash against the scene, which should’ve been an eye-opener for them, but they persisted.

          What I believe to be the case is simply that the developers aren’t really aware of how far we’ve come. Blood Money came out 9 years ago. Back then, that kind of trailer would have been seen as “cool” and “awesome”, because that’s just how games were marketed back then. Now, it’s just kinda hard to watch.

  32. Some_Jackass says:

    There needs to be a goldun riter page where all the “winners” are collected in one place for us all to mock.

    1. Syal says:

      Make them all a Humble Bundle!

      1. They were. That’s how I got my copy.

        I paid about 7 bucks to get Startopia. As punishment, I was made to take Hitman Absolution, Thi4f, and the Kane & Lynch collection, among others.

        1. Humanoid says:

          Squeenix’s catalogue is so shallow now that I’ve somehow acquired multiple copies of titles such as Thiaf, Murdered and Tomb Raider, none of which I intend to ever redeem, let alone play.

          1. newdarkcloud says:

            The new Tomb Raider was a very good game. Murdered:Soul Suspect isn’t stellar, but it has merits.

            Thi4f is garbage.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Well there is the tag which shows all the pages that have them,which means all the “winners”.

      But I think now we have enough to have a competition to see which is the goldunest.

  33. Jokerman says:

    Overall this level looks like it would be pretty good…. in another game. Linear stealth-action game, it’s not hitman though.

    1. Thomas says:

      Even then, the pacing on the fire escape sequence felt kind of absurd. I almost thought the video had skipped at some of the transitions.

    2. GiantRaven says:

      Yeah, the abandoned building -> train station section is easily the best part of the game. If there had been more of that and it wasn’t part of the Hitman franchise, I could see this being pretty well received.

  34. Jokerman says:

    47 is meant to have some kind of super human strength… it’s really weird that such a well trained assassin with that strength wouldn’t be able to choke that big dude, it does not take long to put someone to sleep when you cut off the blood to there brain…. in fact, i would give a 180ish lb normal guy a good chance at pulling that off.

    1. newdarkcloud says:

      He’s not superhuman. He’s only as strong as a normal human being could physically be, like an Olympic athlete.

      Still, the point stands.

      1. Actually 47 per the lore, wasn’t he like vat grown pretty much? He wasn’t just trained as a olympic level athlete but he had a body genetically bred to “be” a “perfect” human.

        Now that being said, the game takes place long after the first games so 47 is free of the shackles of the past to some extent so he might have let his training lapse some.

        But if Leia can choke Jabba with a bulky chain then I’m sure 47 could have choked out that guy.
        But the big brute 47 choked is needed for a later boss fight anyway so…

        1. Tizzy says:

          Ugh! The spoiler-y thing does NOT sound good. i never played this series, but from what i’ve seen, this doesn’t really sound in keeping with the spirit of the thing… Plus, these things are outright evil.

          1. newdarkcloud says:

            There are two ways to go about it. One way leads to a very stupid sequence of events. The other is more plausible.

            I hope Josh shows the stupid one, because it pisses me off.

            1. Dev Chand says:

              Oh I know what you’re talking about. As a bonus, that route involves lots of QTEs. Like, a lot.

              1. The disguise thing? Oh god, yeah, how stupid. Mumbles isn’t here but I’m sure she pre-emptively demanded that Josh do that one just for giggles. :P

                Not sure if Shamus will survive the amount of popped bloodvessels in his bran though.

            2. Jokerman says:

              I am a bit of an mma fan… that part made me want to kill myself… or whoever thought of that idea.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Well one needs a brain in order for blood to be cut from it.As a dumb bodyguard,having a brain would be a disadvantage.

    3. Jakale says:

      This is the bit that gets me when games do it. They want the protagonist incapacitated for villain speech, but they do it in such an lazy way.

      47 sneaks up on an unaware, seated person and starts strangling them. Jump cut to outside the room, roar, 47 is thrown through a door, back first, lands on floor knocked out for ages. Dexter and the woman were not alerted until that moment. That means Sanchez got the strangling wire off, turned 47 around, got around the desk they were behind, and super pushed him out the door without any sound of a struggle til that roar.
      And absolutely none of it was shown.
      They had a room’s worth of space to show all that and they did zip. Sanchez doesn’t feel like a threat so strong he could do all that, he feels like a cheat. It’s like in Fallout 3 when a flash grenade knocks you down and paralyzes you. It’s this frustrating “and now, for a a context-less reason you are powerless” thing that bad writing keeps doing and you spend the cutscene resenting that you were forced here against normal gameplay rules.

      Keeping with games that have been on the show, Half Life 2 incapacitates you for Breen’s gloating at the end, but you know exactly why and how. You got in a full body hanging casket thing of your own accord, were discovered, and got sent up. You know exactly why you can’t move, can’t shoot, everything. It may have been a dumb thing to do in hindsight, but it worked the first time and the Citadel’s layout is so alien, where else were you gonna go?

      1. guy says:

        I figured Sanchez just grabbed 47’s hands and flung him overhead and across the room.

        It occurs to me that I may have been watching too many action anime series lately.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          But how could either of the two actions knock out this genetically enhanced super hitman?

        2. Jakale says:

          I’d buy that if 47 came through the door upside down and maybe bent over, but he came through straight backed and upright, like he was blown back by an explosion.

    4. Irregular says:

      Well, the explanation for Sanchez managing to survive that is really silly.

      Sanchez got enhanced by SCIENCE. While 47 is a scratch-built genetic experiment, Sanchez started off as a normal person. But back in the 80s, when Sanchez was still a kid, he got chemically enhanced by Dexter’s corporation. Then as he grew up, he became a mountain of muscle because of that random supersoldier experiment.

      Not implausible considering the setting, but still really silly.

  35. Decius says:

    Wouldn’t it make several times as much sense to slit 47’s throat and frame the maid for it?

    1. Bitterpark says:

      Switch their outfits. The police will NEVER find out the truth!

    2. Gruhunchously says:

      Better yet, couldn’t he have just slit 47’s throat and dumped his body in an ally on the other side of town? Then there would be precious little to lead the police back to him once they discovered it.

      Instead, he set his OWN hotel room on fire with 47 still inside. Even if 47 and the maid were burnt beyond recognition, thus making his framing attempt completely pointless, the police would still want to investigate him in connection to the arson of his room. That would bring him the exact kind of attention he said he wanted to avoid by not killing 47.

    3. Artur CalDazar says:

      I think the framing of him has something to do with them assuming he is still connected to the agency. My first thought would be to throw them off or avoid making a major enemy of them, but he is about to kidnap another one of their assets to ransom so that can’t be it if its agency related at all.

      How does he know about Veronica ayway?

      1. Isn’t the cowboy dude a weapons dealer, to him Victoria is a weapon to be bought/sold I guess?

        1. newdarkcloud says:

          That still doesn’t explain how he even knows that Victoria is special, and why he’s targeting her over some other random girl who isn’t protected by a legendary assassin.

          I mean, she is special, but I doubt the Agency is particularly forthcoming about that kind of stuff.

      2. Syal says:

        I was assuming it was supposed to be covering up murders Dexter had already committed, or was planning on committing, by blaming them on 47, but… then he killed a random person and burned everything.

    4. Jokerman says:

      Or just burn his body…. if you are gonna set the place on fire anyway. Just pour the alcohol on 47… instead of just all around him.

    5. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Kill 47 and then frame 47 for it.A perfect crime.

  36. Neko says:

    Oh man, my bodyguard’s just aprehended a guy in a suit! With a bandage on his head! This must be that legendary hitman that no-one knows any details about!

    This is my lucky day!

    1. He’d have pissed his pants a decade ago when a underground lab had a dozen of these assassins then. :P

  37. WILL says:

    I would suggest not doing a full season if episode 4 is the highlight… I know you like to finish games but it’s not always worth it.

  38. Ledel says:

    So is Sanchez supposed to be the foil to Agent 47 in this game? It feels like that’s what the “riters” were setting up in this scene. Sleek, silent, hired assassin 47 getting thrown through a door by big, rough-looking, silent, hired muscle Sanchez. Yet its lost in the stupidity of the rest of the cut-scene and Sanchez is almost completely forgotten. All it makes me think is “Ok, next time I see Sanchez in my way, just put 2 in the back of his head instead of trying to choke him out.” Not, “Oh man, my training and skills aren’t working on this guy, I’ll have to think of a clever way to get rid of him.”

    Something good that seems to come from the fire, though, is the change in the atmosphere of the hotel. When 47 enters the hotel, it is nice, pristine, but after encountering Dexter the hotel is falling apart around him. The juxtaposition of this seems a good metaphor for 47’s life falling apart. His love is dead, his “child” is being targeting by the organization he once worked for, and he doesn’t have the resources he once had access to.

  39. newdarkcloud says:

    I think this game’s would’ve been better if it was just about 47’s attempt to raise money for his new venture, by taking assassination contracts.

    He could be trying to make a new work-out video called Hitman: Ab Solution.

    1. Ledel says:

      I thought he was trying to become a radio DJ. He would be the “Top 47 Hits” man.

    2. James Porter says:

      That… sounds awesome actually. Then you could have tons of missions like the previous games, all building up your resources for tougher missions. And that could be the big theme of the game, despite you leaving the Agency, you do exactly the same thing, because thats all you can do.

    3. Purple Library Guy says:

      Someone has to salute the horrificness of that pun. My hat is off to you, sir.
      (No, really, I took my hat off)

  40. Gruhunchously says:

    You know what this means, right. Someone-one of you enterprising fan artists-must produce a picture of Blake Dexter wearing nothing but a bolo tie. Then you must email it to one or more members of the Spoiler Warning cast, preferably Rutskarn.

    This is how it must be.

  41. newdarkcloud says:

    The biggest reason people hate this game isn’t just how god-forsakenly stupid the story is (and he just proven that it is), but that classic Hitman gameplay was sacrificed for a more linear, cover-based stealth approach in SERVICE to this shitty story.

    This does not feel at all like a Hitman game except for a few specific instances. Regardless of which Hitman game you consider your favorite, Absolution wants to take that gameplay and shit all over it.

    1. crossbrainedfool says:

      It seems so odd to me. One of the previous entries in the series was done mostly without context (or with very little context). This is a series where plot is best left as a cryptic, confusing jigsaw puzzle. Step one when the writer brings you your first story script is to tell him two times to long (regardless of it’s actual length). Who made this decision? Why didn’t everyone else shout him down?

  42. General Karthos says:

    I think the most glaring error is that you bothered to watch this at all. I want to claw my own eyes out. I’m not a professional writer; I’m a hobbyist…. But on my WORST DAY, I could do better.

    EDIT: Oh, and pop my own ear drums.

  43. By the way, no one “yee-haws” in South Dakota. We’re not a “yee-haw” people. We’re a “tell your grandkids a horrible story about something horrific that happened to one of their distant relatives for entertainment” kind of people.

    1. Trix2000 says:

      Well, he did say he didn’t usually yee-haw. That counts, right?

      ….Right? :(

    2. Henson says:

      Maybe he’s from Texas, but only works in South Dakota? That could be true, right?

      ….Right? :(

      1. Kylroy says:

        Former Texas oil worker who moved to South Dakota to assist in new fields there? Sure, that could happen. Of course, that means I have now done more to develop Sanchez than the game’s writers have…

  44. Neil D says:

    OK, it isn’t about this cutscene in particular, but every time I see the back of 47’s head it drives me up the wall that he managed to completely botch the cutting off of his bar code. This isn’t a 2D bar code where the whole thing has to be readable; as long as you have an unbroken line from left-to-right, it can be decoded.

    It’s actually a little hard to tell at this point in the game because the bandage obscures the top and bottom of the bar code, but later on as the bandage gets smaller you can see that he just scraped out the middle section, which is completely pointless.

    1. Tizzy says:

      Getting it covered up or lasered away was too sensible, guess…

      1. newdarkcloud says:

        I’ll forgive the designers for that one issue by saying that he’s on the run from the Agency, and thus can’t go to a professional to do the job for fear of leaving a trail behind.

        But still, it doesn’t really explain how badly 47 botched the job himself. It’s still quite visibly a bar code on the back of his head. Even if you can’t read it, it’s a unique identifier since it’s quite an uncommon tattoo design.

  45. I love how at the 15 minute mark Josh is like crawling through walls stuff as if thinking “oh god, make it stop”, and then there is the silence from Chris (is he even alive at this point or out cold drooling in his chair?)
    Meanwhile Shamus and Rutskarn are like mousescrolling down their 5 screens long notepad list of bullletpoints.

    Sorry, that’s just the image that came to my head at about the 15 min mark as Josh just crawled through a hole in the wall (just moments before staring at a hole in the floor).
    And Josh’s playstyle just gets more and more agressive in the Library as the episode goes on hehe.

    On a more serious note.
    Shamus, Rutskarn, Josh, Chris, what did you think of the library “level” ?
    It was originally a set piece for one of the early E3 presentations wasn’t it?

    1. Shamus says:

      Your picture of the events is pretty much 100% accuate. The document in question was a Google doc titled, “The Codex of Horrendous Bullshit.”

      The library was something I skipped because there was just too much.

      Why is the library all messed up? It hasn’t burned down? So who knocked over all the selves and threw books all over the place? Why are the cops searching here? They’re already covering the entire library, meaning they got here and began searching for you long before you arrived. And yet they didn’t hear you crash through that window.

      And then the game gives you the ability to kill some cops with a falling chandelier. Ok, that’s SORT OF Hitman-ish, except NONE OF THESE GUYS ARE TARGETS. It’s like they think they’re working on Manhunt and not Hitman.

      1. Artur CalDazar says:

        That must be for the Contracts system. I suppose the designers were hoping players would do their job for them in that level. That sounds overly harsh but when this space exists as something that doesn’t really fit into a Hitman game without the players making it happen on their own then thats a failing of design for the core of the game.

        1. Or they shoehorned the E3 demo into there.

          The trainstation though was also in the E3 demo I think, and that is actually pretty cool.

          Is that it? Absolution is just a bunch of showpiece levels strung together with a thin thread?

          Bloodmoney on the other hand pulled that off.

          1. Jokerman says:

            A really easy well to just string some unconnected levels together is to have, a story of a Hitman… making hits. You really have no work to do with thsi concept… just think of a great level and put it in the game.

            Trying to fit a Hitman game around a crappy story is possibly the root of all the problems with this game gameplay-wise.

            1. newdarkcloud says:

              I mean, that was basically the entire premise of Blood Money, so apparently people are totally okay with that.

              1. swenson says:

                I just started playing Blood Money this week, inspired by Spoiler Warning, and thus far… yeah, I am 100% okay with “go kill this guy.” “OK.” In the context of the game, I don’t need to know why I’m killing them. I couldn’t care less. I’m a hitman, I take jobs to go kill people, it’s irrelevant WHY I’m killing them.

                1. newdarkcloud says:

                  Exactly. You’re killing the guy because somebody else had a big enough reason to hire you to kill him. You don’t need to know who that person is or why, you just have a job to do.

                  At the same time, Blood Money dodges the moral ambiguity by explaining how awful the people you kill are. It’s very rare for a contract to give you a person who hasn’t committed major crime like drug trafficking or something.

                  1. In a perfect world the next Hitman game will take the best of Blood Money and the best of Absolution (some cool mechanics and accidents/hits and stuff you can do, crowd stuff and some areas too) and blend it perfectly together.

                    But my fear is it’ll be more Absolution stuff in the next game.

                    1. IO Interactive has posted a damage-control open letter, and has since teased locations larger than anything in Absolution, so if they fail to actually learn their lesson next time they’ll deserve all the backlash they get.

      2. Galad says:

        Love the Google doc name! And I imagine it’d be hard to care about stealthing this part of the game as Josh, while Shamskarn are enumerating flaws about it in the background.

        On another note, the game has a ‘Very Positive’ rating on Steam, with positive reviews being about 10x the negative ones – even if there are negative reviews on the first page which are rather telling. This seriously makes me reconsider using steam reviews as a source of info about whether to purchase a game.

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          I am absolutely finding a way to use “The Codex of Horrendous Bullshit” in my next RP somehow.

          As for reviews, oh heavens no. It’s not at the level of Youtube comments but I never really believed in this kind of aggregate, crowdsourced review score, though with Steam at least the person writing has to own the game. What I do, however, when I’m researching the game a bit more in-depth is check the few negatives from the top to see what they are complaining about and if there are any common threads between them.

          1. Alex says:

            “What I do, however, when I'm researching the game a bit more in-depth is check the few negatives from the top to see what they are complaining about and if there are any common threads between them.”

            I would also recommend doing this. If I’m sufficiently interested in a game to go looking for reviews, I probably already know what the positive reviews are going to say. It is the negative reviews that are most likely to teach me something new about a potential purchase.

          2. Hitch says:

            I like that idea. A grimoire of rather impressive sounding spells all of which either backfire or have really undesirable side effects. See how many the players try to cast before closing the book and never touching it again.

            1. crossbrainedfool says:

              Or you go meta : go find the spells from third party supplements of various games (none of which are systemically similar to what you’re actually playing) specifically selecting for the worst/most ambiguous effect text. That’s what’s in the book.

      3. Fawkes says:

        Why are there so many cops? How do they have enough to spare to send 20 or so to the library? Where is this library, you crashed in through a window, from the top of a eight floor building. You then leave and go up from the second floor of the library, come out on another roof, of another tall building. Taller than eight stories? Why was that door leading to the side of a wall and a drop? Okay wait, let’s go back. Related to your last point. Why can you drop that final chandelier that Josh shot the chain of? It goes straight down. To the ‘not actually ground level judging by the next set piece’. It kills cops who were apparently down there. Those cops cannot see you, or get up to you, or *do* anything. Why is that there? The other chandeliers were at least usable to thin out people looking for you. The last one is just cruel.

        You can keep going with questions until the sun comes up with that whole level. But I think Artur is right, it was designed, as are most levels, for the Contract system.

  46. Nick Powell says:

    Why are the police charging into a burning building? Where is the fire department? It would probably take fewer policemen to surround the entire area.

    1. Hitch says:

      They heard that there may be a guy who might have killed a maid somewhere in the building. That’s worth risking the lives of dozens of cops, right?

      1. Alexander The 1st says:

        See, you say that, presumably as a joke, but I kind of read the scene as Dexter essentially swatting Agent 47, presumably via a hotel payphone or something.

        At least, this is how I justified the ridiculous overkill response with the helicopter and such.

  47. MichaelGC says:

    Dexter already thinks the Agency is after him and he already kidnapped a superkiller. What additional attention is he afraid of?

    Well, you know, it’s like when you’ve got a 4-star wanted level and that’s ok: that’s manageable; but you don’t wanna get a 5-star or a 6-star…

  48. Imma play the more fun game of Devil’s Advocate.

    From what I can gather of what happened, Dex was attempting to use 47 as a way to get the Agency off his back by framing him for the murder of the maid and using the alcohol to make it look like 47 was drunk. This would discredit the reputation of 47 as a professional killer and by proxy the agency. When he says he’d love nothing more than to kill him, it’s pretty obvious he simply means directly, which wouldn’t solve his problem. Framing one of the agency’s own as a drunken incompetent would go a long way towards giving him leverage over them. This is all assuming he’s ignorant of 47’s betrayal of course.

    That said: That alcohol was poured directly onto him in that cutscene. How does he not look like…this?

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Because he has super hitman powers to protect him from the fire.

  49. Neko says:

    Okay, I have a theory:-

    Apparently there are three writers on this project. Instead of directly collaborating, they decided to make a fun game out of it – you know that thing where you draw or write on a piece of paper, then fold it up so only the last bit is showing, then pass it around the room? That’s what they’re doing.

    Someone was handed “Hitman wakes up in a burning hotel room with a dead maid”, and filled in things from there. They had to guess at what the circumstances might be, and got a few of the details wrong. I’m not even sure the whole set-up was scripted ahead of time either, maybe the third writer had to end their scene with the above situation.

  50. Looking at http://hitman.wikia.com/wiki/Hitman:_Absolution

    As far as the missions go, I think my favs are…
    2. The King of Chinatown (the crowd stuff was awesome, all the alternate ways was awesome)

    9. Shaving Lenny (alternate ways to take out people, funny responses, and pretty much all of downtown Hope was fun too)

    10. End of the Road (kind of the epilogue to mission 9, alternate ways to finish this one too Let him reach the car then make the car explode with your gun/rifle was my fav.

    15. Skurky’s Law (Sitting in court disguised as a judge is just hilarious, the topside court area is pretty fun to poke around, it’s a shame about the basement part though, very boring)

    16. One of a Kind (I kind of like this, there’s some interesting backstory stuff here that is implied though not explained nor really explored, is this one of several guys around the world that 47 get supplies/re-supplies from?)

    18. Blackwater Park (The upper floor penthouse is cool, a few ways to deal with guards there is a huge skeleton in the ceiling you can have fun with if you apply gravity, and alternate ways to deal with the target, confront her in the panic room (most fun), or take her out early using poison, or push her off the balcony as well I think.)

    Missions worth mentioning…
    4. Run For Your Life (train station part is cool)

    5. Hunter and Hunted (parts of it, vixen club and some of the humor/mood there, China town new year stuff is cool)

    7. Welcome to Hope (the mood of the bar)

    11. Death Factory (has one assassination that is pretty neat that I recall, the guy in the test chamber that you can take out the glass floor beneath so he falls to his death, oh and at the start of this you can pull a guy out a window, are a few cool things you can do to wreck havoc in the R&D area as well)

    13. Fight Night (dropping the lightrig on the target is pretty satisfying the rest is very meh though)

    19. Countdown (we get to see how badass Victoria can be if I recall correctly)

    Most missions or mission sub-areas have at least one fun thing to do though, like 14. Attack of the Saints which has a shed in a wheat field you can rig a electrocution trap in, but are pretty boring otherwise.

    The really weird thing with a lot of the game maps/gameplay in Absolution is that it feels like it’s a Splinter Cell game, or a Soldier of Fortune game instead.

    Hitman: Absolution seems to not know what it really is.
    Is “disjointed” the right word to describe it by? (eyes Rutskarn)

  51. Joseph P. Tallylicker says:

    So no diecast this week?

      1. Hitch says:

        I’m disappointed in no Diecast this week because it’d be a perfect time to re-visit the six-month(?) train wreck that was SimCity 2013.

  52. SpaceSjut says:

    After reading the discription of this episode on yt, I really want that list of the top ten dumbest scenes.

  53. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Well,this dexter is still (marginally) less stupid than the bearded lumberjack dexter.

  54. RTBones says:

    The only reason I can come up with for Dexter to be, well, how he is in this cutscene is that the writers needed a Meatbag of Plot Contrivance to deliver an escape sequence for 47. The vodka is simply a stand-in accelerant, as Mrs. O’Leary’s cow was already booked for another appearance. Interviewed after the game, the cow said the vodka in question had delivered just the right backdraft to ensure 47 had to run, making it all worthwhile.

    1. Henson says:

      Okay, I totally want this to be a Zelda item now.

      “You found the Meatbag of Plot Contrivance! On the Select Item Subscreen, set it to ←, ↓, or →.”

  55. zfactor says:

    Just wanted to point this out:

    I messed up the hotel mission the first time I played it, but grabbed a shotgun from one of the guards and tried to salvage the situation (read: gunned down literally everyone). I found it rather satisfying, but that is beside the point. When I walked up to the door Dexter was behind, I got the “blah, blah, too obvious, need more subtle entry” message (I forgot the exact text).

    So murdering the entire level with loud, messy guns means you have to sneak into the last room and get caught, because the target in the room is not scripted to hear you…

    Just why. There was so much potential here…

  56. WWWebb says:

    Finally got around to watching this … all valid points up there, but the one that struck me first was:

    why is the bad guy (Dexter) attracting the cops to his hideout? I get that it was a hotel, but wasn’t he up there doing illegal things? What if the fire department puts out the fire and finds piles of evidence against Dexter? Why call in the entire fire department and police when all you need to call is that one corrupt detective?

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