This game is a master class in why developers need to stop pretending to be moviemakers. The moment when 47 is approaching the elevator is a great example of a dev mindlessly aping the language of cinema without understanding why or how those techniques originally worked.
In a movie, this is a source of tension and dramatic irony. We (the audience) know the elevator is a threat. The character in the story doesn’t. The suspense comes from our anxiety over whether they will figure it out in time. The scene specifically requires that the audience and the protagonist have differing knowledge. Outside of a railroading cutscene, this is not possible in a videogame because the audience controls the protagonist.
Either you realize the danger and avoid it easily with no suspense, or you don’t realize the danger and get an abrupt game over. Either way, this situation can’t work here the way it works in a movie.
Also note the hilarious stupidity of these mooks randomly shotgunning the girl they were sent to kidnap. No thought was given to how characters would act in this situation or what anyone’s goals are. The game shifts gracelessly from being a dumb movie to running on Doom-level videogame logic. Of course the bad guys shoot 47! What else would they do? Point their guns at this seemingly harmless priest and demand he surrender their target?
And then the writers try to have an emotional climax where a character we don’t care about kills a character we don’t know anything about as the resolution to a rivalry that they never bothered to establish.
Also, while the level technically ends with you killing Wade, it still doesn’t count as a proper Hitman level. The area where you kill Wade is tiny, you have very few options, and no matter what you do to him he dies in a cutscene. And then you stand there like a doofus while Lenny makes off with the girl. Speaking of which…
- Where did Lenny get a HAND GRENADE? Even if we accept that Wade’s gang has them and they would bring them to a job like this, how did Lenny get one?
- Is Lenny really smart enough to think to use a grenade in this way? (No.) Is he brave enough? (Also no.)
- Why can’t Agent 47 use point shooting and drop Lenny? Is the grenade unpinned? If so, how does Lenny resolve that situation once he gets outside? He’s propping up a girl in one arm and holding an unpinned grenade with the other and he needs to put the girl in the car and drive away quickly.
- Victoria is still a sack of plot device with no will of her own. A few minutes ago she was too weak to walk. Now she’s exactly strong enough to walk but too weak to do ANYTHING ELSE. That is a very specific level of helpless.
- Are we supposed to believe that simpleton Lenny managed to do a cross-country drive with a girl in her pajamas? I guess he gave her bathroom breaks and he never had to sleep and money wasn’t a problem and she never called out for help and nobody asked him any difficult questions about the girl he was dragging around?
- Even allowing for all of that, how on Earth did Lenny get away from 47? The Hitman took Wade’s car and began driving right away. He should have overtaken Lenny about three minutes later. Did Lenny also have the presence of mind and navigational skill to take all the secondary roads from here to SD?
My goodness. I love to hate this game.
Quakecon 2011 Keynote Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.
Dear Hollywood: Do a Mash Reboot
Since we're rebooting everything, MASH will probably come up eventually. Here are some casting suggestions.
The plot of this game isn't just dumb, it's actively hostile to the player. This game hates you and thinks you are stupid.
A programming project where I set out to make a gigantic and complex world from simple data.
The Best of 2015
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2015.