Hitman Absolution EP9: Bald Shootlots

By Shamus Posted Saturday Mar 28, 2015

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 94 comments

Link (YouTube)

I made fun of the game for having a gunstore willing to put firearms on display when they have these massive suppressors attached. That was a silly thing to comment on. There are so many egregiously wrong things with this story that we really don’t have time to waste on tiny trivialities like that.

But it does sort of make me wonder about the use of suppressors. I’ve used firearms a couple of times in my life, and boy howdy are they loud. Even with proper ear protection. Movies don’t do them justice. If movie shootouts were at all realistic, everyone would stand around after the fight doing this.

So I wonder why more people don’t use suppressors on the firing range. I’m well aware that in the real world they don’t magically make a handgun sound like a blowdart, but even shaving off a few decibels would help a lot. Maybe it’s the expense. Maybe it’s the legality. Maybe it would interfere with the ballistics too much. Maybe it’s just not practical. I honestly have no idea.

Anyway, I’m totally fine with suppressors being 100% legal, easily available, and supernaturally effective in the Hitman universe. This is absolutely the type of compromise my brain is willing to make. On the other hand, having “The Agency” be a massive paramilitary force with thousands of soldiers, massive funding, no accountability, with a control room that looks like NASA? Not so much.

So the bossman demands 47’s head on a platter. Jade responds that maybe they should look for the girl. Boss replies that that’s not needed, because 47 will “know where she is.” But… didn’t you just gave the order to kill him?

Did the writer have some kind of short-term memory damage?

Why is the town of Hope stuck in the 50’s? 50’s cars. 50’s music. 50’s haircuts. Letter jackets for all the gang members. They’ve even got a huge barbershop that would have been too big for a town this size even when places like this were in their heyday. In another game I’d assume this was a stylistic choice, but here I’m going to assume it’s for the same reason that nothing makes sense: The writers really didn’t know or care.


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94 thoughts on “Hitman Absolution EP9: Bald Shootlots

  1. Sorites says:

    Re: Suppressors on the range

    It’s largely the expense. Suppressing anything bigger than a handgun costs a ton of money just for the gear, plus the special paperwork. And each suppressor is only compatible with certain calibers, for obvious reasons, so multiply that by the number of things you shoot.

    It’s generally more affordable, in a Terry Pratchett rich-man’s-boots kind of a way, to buy some really good ear pro and start shopping for an MP3 player with volume settings that go up to 11.

    1. shiroax says:

      I like your thinking. “Let’s not get hearing damage from guns. Let’s get hearing damage from blasting music.” :D

      1. Volfram says:

        OK, let’s put it like this.

        Typical cost for a really nice set of ear protectors: $150

        Typical cost for a really nice MP3 player(which you actually don’t really need if you’ve been using the ear protectors like you should): $150

        Typical cost for the tax stamp for a single noise suppressor: $450200(updated from below). And that’s before the cost of the suppressor itself. Oh, and on top of the various cross-firearm incompatibilities, they straight-up do not work with some guns.

        Yeah, most of us would like to be able to use silencers and flash suppressors more often(for the sake of our ears and vision, when shooting in low-light conditions), but the powers that be have gone to great lengths to make them difficult to legally own.

        [edit]Additional addendum, the prices for the ear protection and MP3 player listed above are estimated upper end. A $5 pack of earplugs and $30 MP3 player are more than sufficient for the task at hand.

        1. Syal says:

          And especially at a firing range, you want to protect yourself from the noise of other people’s guns, which a suppressor can’t do (…unless you aim it at the other people).

          1. Zaxares says:

            And furthermore, suppressors lose their effectiveness after only a few uses and need to be replaced. They’re REALLY not something you want to be using if you’re on a budget.

            1. MichaelG says:

              So is this an accurate movie treatment?


            2. Peter H. Coffin says:

              Good ones don’t. Good ones are good for 15,000 rounds or more because that’s what they have to be for DoD consideration. And once you’ve gone that far, you want to sell as many as possible.

  2. General Karthos says:

    Suppressors also damage the accuracy and power of the gun. Damaging the power, I can completely understand, but I’ve never understood why a suppressor decreases accuracy, but my gun nut “friend” swears they do.

    1. Nixitur says:

      I’m guessing it’s just yet another part of the gun that can wiggle around, making your shot slightly less accurate?
      I dunno, I’ve never used a gun.

    2. BeardedDork says:

      My educated guess is that the rifling if present won’t match up precisely with that in the barrel. I’ve done a lot of shooting but I’ve never used a suppressor.

    3. Aitch says:

      For something like a screw-on suppressor for a 9mm handgun, you’re extending the barrel which typically increases muzzle velocities and kinetic joules. Even with the gas being slowly leeched off on the silencing bit, you’re still working with the original barrel plus however many inches of suppressor added on. I can’t imagine that reducing power or accuracy, unless it’s a real rigged up type of deal. But if it’s flimsy enough to effect the accuracy I’d be more worried about it being flimsy enough to blow off into shrapnel on the next trigger pull.

      I think the lower “power” comes from the use of Subsonic rounds. They’ll pack the cartridge with just enough powder to get it moving barely below the threshold of breaking the sound barrier – eliminating the bullet’s very noisy sonic boom crack as it pierces the air’s viscosity boundary. Still lethal, but much lower speeds, more drop at longer ranges, reduced penetration on a hit, etc.

      Also barrel rifling twist ratios are standardized, so you could get a suppressor in your particular firearm’s twist rate, but it would still be way off for a subsonic round unless the ratio was set specifically for the round’s grain weight and average speeds. I could imagine that throwing off the accuracy for sure. A twist made to deliver a 115 grain bullet at 1850 feet per second isn’t going to perform the same for a 145 grain bullet being sent at 900 fps.

      Something I’m not sure of would be how the gas-blowback systems would be effected by a round that’s driving significantly less pressure. I’m fairly certain the bullet’s already exited the barrel on something like a handgun, but I’d have to see something like a rifle in action to be confident the bolt wasn’t starting to cycle back and throw off the point of aim before the bullet had time to exit.

      1. NOTE: this likely won’t apply at all to pistols.
        When you fire a rifle with a long barrel, the barrel will actually flex slightly (more like vibrate, but whatever.) Adding a weight to the end of the barrel will change its harmonic properties and can effect the accuracy of your shots. This is the reason that a rifle like the Mosin-Nagant, with its relatively thin barrel, will sometimes shoot better with the bayonet attached (because the armory sighted it in like that.)

        Side note: I don’t know about most gun stores, but I have actually seen a pistol with a suppressor once in a display case. It does seem rather uncommon.

      2. Zak McKracken says:

        wouldn’t most rifles have a long enough barrel to match the expanded powder volume (minus a bit)?
        If adding a silencer would increase bullet speed, then so would making the barrel longer, which begs the question why the barrel isn’t longer in the first place.

        Never seen one, but if this is what a suppressor looks like in cross-section, then the silencer is not solid but allows the air behind the bullet to diffuse into some side channels (makes sense acoustically), which would further reduce the pressure behind the bullet. So while passing through the suppressor, there will be little to no acceleration any more. And if the bullet interacts in any way with the suppressor (at least aerodynamically, it likely does so), then its trajectory will be affected, too. At the least, a gun with suppressor will shoot differently than without, if not less accurate.

        That said: I’m happy that where I live, people don’t run about with silenced guns. Nor many guns at all, not even the police.

        1. McNutcase says:

          It depends a lot on the rifle and the cartridge. For instance, the rifle the Soviet Union was issuing during WWII was a bolt-action carbine, cut down from what was considered a long rifle by 1891 standards, and with the standard loading, the WWII-era version with a much shorter barrel produced a full-on fireball of muzzle blast. In general, designers will try to match powder burn with barrel length, but they’ll almost always err on the side of too short a barrel because the “loss” of velocity from overburn is preferable to the consequences of under-loading. If there’s not enough powder, you might not get the bullet out of the barrel reliably, which causes Very Bad Things to happen with follow-up shots (internet search for “squib load” will detail said Very Bad Things).

      3. General Karthos says:

        Actually normal, newtonian physics would tend to dictate that the longer barrel slows down the bullet. Since the suppressor itself doesn’t add any additional powder to the bullet (unless you’re using some kind of magical one), the friction of the bullet on the suppressor as it moves the extra distance would slow it down more than it would without the suppressor.

        Also, a subsonic bullet is still extremely loud. The sound a gun makes is not from the bullet breaking the sound barrier, but actually from the fact that you are setting off an explosion just a few feet from your face which propels the bullet forward. Yes, if it’s a supersonic bullet, you’ll get a crack from it breaking the sound barrier, but it’s akin to the crack a whip makes as its tip breaks the sound barrier. The much, much louder boom comes from the explosion that you’re setting off to fire your bullet.

        Shamus is right that your suppressor won’t muffle all the sound, but it’ll take some of it off. Not nearly as much as the movies would suggest.

        1. Phill says:

          The longer barrel translates to more energy lost to friction true, but that’s not the most important factor. The longer barrel also gives a greater length over which the projectile is accelerated by the expanding gasses behind it.

          When the gun is fired, the powder is transformed into a large volume of gas which is highly compressed and very hot, which then expands (that’s what an explosion is…), pushing the projectile along the barrel. The gas cools and the pressure lowers as it expands, but it will continue accelerating the projectile as long as the gas pressure is greater than the atmospheric pressure opposing the projectile (ignoring factors such as frictional losses of the projectile in the barrel and compression of the atmopsheric gas in front of the projectile).

          So the optimal barrel length to get a maximum speed projectile is long enough so that the projectile leaves the barrel when the pressures are close to equal. If the barrel is shorter than this, then a supressor extending the barrel length may increase the projectile speed.

          Muzzle velocity isn’t the only factor in barrel length of course. Weight, cost, usuability also might factor in – no-one is going to want to use a rifle with a 4 meter barrel in most circumstances, even if that might be the optimal length (I’ve made that number up). Handguns obviously have much, much shorter barrels for reasons of usuability in more confined spaces and easier storage.

          (Incidentally, it turns out that to the first, hand waving approximation, the effective barrel length is proportional to the caliber of the gun. You often see tank guns for instance written as 57L40 meaning 57mm caliber and a length of 40 x 57 mm – because that tells you more about the performance of the gun than saying a 2.28m barrel).

        2. Sam P says:

          Here’s a neat video comparing the sound of subsonic vs. supersonic ammunition with a suppressor. It’s amazing how quiet .22LR can be.

    4. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Maybe because the shifted center of mass of the gun affects recoil?Never used one,so I cant say.

      1. Deadfast says:

        Yes, the recoil will be affected but in a positive way. You will not get as much muzzle climb due to the barrel being weighted down. On the other hand the tradeoff is pretty obvious – someone’s gotta hold the heavier gun on target, namely you.

        1. silver Harloe says:

          Ultimately Shamus’ original question comes to this:

          1) ear protection and cheap and effective

          2) gun ranges, being indoors and built to prevent bullets escaping the walls, are probably amplifying all the noise, and even if everyone were using suppressors, you probably want the ear protection, anyway.

          3) adding a suppressor changes the gun *somehow* – no matter which of the ideas in the thread above do or do not apply, it’s clear that the gun gets a slightly different behavior — which means if you’re at the gun range, training yourself to use the gun most effectively, you should be training with the gun kitted out the way it would be in the field. The last thing you want is to train on a heavier gun and then when it counts find your muscle memory pushes a little too hard because it’s used to a big weight on the end of the barrel. You should train with a suppressor if you’ll use on in the field. You should train without a suppressor if you won’t use one in the field. Either way, it doesn’t matter for your ears because you’re wearing ear protection

          The reason marines aren’t all deaf is because (a) they also use ear protection, though usually not the big head-phone looking kind, (b) they are usually shooting outdoors which doesn’t magnify the sound, (c) there’s probably more shooting going on in a range, where shooting is continuous and daily; than in the battlefield, which is closer to days of tension punctuated by 20 minute bursts of pants-decorating terror.

          1. Syal says:

            I don’t buy the idea that marines aren’t all deaf.

  3. McNutcase says:

    Meanwhile, in England, if you can go through the paperwork to get a gun in the first place (lots of hoops to jump through) then fitting a suppressor is completely unrestricted, and using one is considered simple politeness.

    1. Matt Downie says:

      “Mr McNutcase, you are charged with three counts of murder in the first degree, misuse of a deadly firearm, and, most egregious of all, failure to use a suppressor in a quiet neighborhood at a time when decent people were trying to get some sleep. How do you plead?”

  4. shiroax says:

    Re about 16:30: So the whole cast agrees that Rutskarn should be assassinated?

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      By Chris.And then Chris should disguise as Rutskarn.

  5. Jonathan says:

    It’s the legality. Back in 1934, when the NFA (National Firearms Act) was passed, it was (so the rumor goes) expanded partly as a jobs program for government agents who might otherwise lose their jobs due to the end of Prohibition.

    In addition to regulating full auto weapons, short barreled shotguns & rifles, as well as suppressors, were put on the NFA list. Purchasing one requires a $200 “tax stamp” (so, legally, it’s a tax, not a “X is straight illegal”), a background check/paperwork process that takes up to 90 days, and signoff from a Chief Law Enforcement officer with jurisdiction (City Chief of Police, Sheriff, or State AG). Using a Trust (a legal entity) to own an NFA item bypasses the CLEO signoff and makes inheritance easier, but involves paying a lawyer to help set it up.

    Meanwhile, in Germany, it’s considered common courtesy to use a suppressor when hunting, so you don’t annoy everyone in a three-mile-or-so radius and scare all the game animals away. This goes double for hunting at night, especially for fast-reproducing, highly-destructive vermin like coyotes & feral hogs, which are both nocturnal.

    At this point, the only thing standing in the way of legalization is:
    1) Bureaucratic inertia
    2) Hoplophobic politicians
    3) The media depictions of suppressors as assassin’s tools
    With those three combined, our chances of catching up with the rest of the world in this area are asymptotically approaching zero.

    1. Nick Pitino says:

      …Germany has coyotes?…

      Anyway getting back to the opening sentence of the post, around here gun shops that specialize in NFA items absolutely do have guns on the wall with suppressors on them and suppressors in the glass cabinet-counter.

  6. Tizzy says:

    I agree with Ruts: the less the Agency is depicted the better the whole conceit flies. But I am especially baffled by that boss-dude. He doesn’t look like a boss, to begin with. More like a mid-level FBI bureaucrat semi-antagonist in a buddy cop movie. Why make him look like that? I really don’t get it.

    1. newdarkcloud says:

      Because he isn’t the head of the Agency.

      The whole twist at the end of the game is that 47 and Diana were secretly working with the real Agency in order to flush out Travis, because he had delusions of taking over the entire organization.

  7. Nixitur says:

    Is it just me or does the framerate just completely die in quite a few parts of this video?
    I even downloaded the video just to make sure that it wasn’t Flash being Flash and even outside of the firefights, it sometimes seems to pause or go down to about 10 fps.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Yup,its screwy.Probably Glitch walked in while Josh was recording stuff.

    2. Josh says:

      This is a problem caused by my CPU being overloaded by all of the tasks it’s attempting to perform at once (playing the game, recording, and streaming simultaneously). This should be fixed by the next episode, as I literally just upgraded to a shiny new supercomputer two days ago.

      1. Aitch says:

        All the wonderful glitches that old beast gave the lot of us, I almost wish we could forensically dissect the hardware to try and trace the causes. Or at least keep it in the corner of a tech museum where QA testers could huddle around and tell ghost stories.

        Though I get the feeling it’s one of those unteachable inexplicable skills – honed after years of slogging through lazy developer’s creations and getting a sense which spot needs the slightest bit of pressure to send the whole castle flying apart at the seams. That, and whiskey. And explosion physics.

        Either way, glad to hear about the upgrade. You sure as hell deserve recording on a respectable machine with all the entertainment created through the years. If you ever feel like posting the parts and specs I’m sure more than a few people are interested.

        Looking forward to seeing the new and improved renderings. Thanks again for the show, and good luck with the new rig.

      2. Kdansky says:

        A very doable solution for that is to get a splitter and a recording card on a second PC, and do all the streaming and audio on it.

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Shoot the dog!No dognesses!

  9. Daemian Lucifer says:


    And he did not only use the sniper rifle,he used the scope as well.

  10. Exasperation says:

    The town of Hope is stuck in the 50s because the writers are so distanced from the real world that TV signals from the 60s have yet to reach them.

    1. Benjamin Hilton says:

      In all fairness Biker gangs actually do wear matching jackets like that. I can only assume no one has ever told them they look stupid because they are afraid of the fallout.

      1. Pat says:

        “matching jackets”
        “afraid of the fallout”

        Tunnel Snakes rule!

    2. Zak McKracken says:

      Naa, they were just going for more diverse settings.

      The Ninja and the pirate levels didn’t make it into the final version, though.

      1. shiroax says:

        Damn. The pirate level would have been awesome.

      2. Ledel says:

        There was a ninja level. You just couldn’t see it.

  11. Henson says:

    Ho boy, did I ever get perturbed by the forced assassinations in these later levels. For these particular missions, the game tries to shoehorn in some nonsense about ‘you can’t capture Lenny while his gang still lives’, which is absurd since Lenny isn’t being followed by his gang 24/7, and why would his gang be special in this regard anyway? Any of the couple dozen cops or civilians sees 47 dragging Lenny unconscious body around, and the jig is up.

    And it just keeps going. You have to murder Dexter’s scientists, even though doing so doesn’t help you save Victoria. You have to murder Leila, when it seems so much easier to just avoid her. And worst of all, you have to murder Jade, despite her very clear objections to Travis’ rogue operations within the Agency. It’s like the designers built this game with a completely different IP in mind, transposed it to the Hitman universe, and then realized they needed to put in assassinations.

    1. This had to be intended to be Kane and Lynch 3 originally, at least in the early planning stages. It’s the only thing that makes sense to me. All of these assassinations are obviously last minute additions when someone realized that 47 has to assassinate somebody. All of these “assassinations” just pop up out of nowhere and have zero point to them whatsoever. They make no sense.

      1. Henson says:

        As reasonable as that notion is, I very much doubt a Kane and Lynch game would have such a heavy emphasis on stealth. Of course, I’ve yet to actually play one…

      2. Thomas says:

        Set Piece/Level Design -> Story Design -> Mission Design.

        “We’re going to have a level with fire in it! It’ll be amazing!”

        “Um so we’ll have this Texan bad guy who spots you and the burns the building down?”

        “And then you kill his… gardener? in this level.”
        I suspect previous games were:
        Set Piece/Level Design -> Mission Design -> Story Design.

        “We’re going to make a mansion level!”

        “He’s the owner of the mansion. You can feed him to a crocodile”

        “He’s a Hitman. He takes out hits on people.”

        And then aftewards they throw in some fluff to make an overarching story. Once you stop having Agent 47 actually be a Hitman it becomes a lot harder to invent reasons to be killing people in a wide variety of themed levels.

    2. newdarkcloud says:

      I believe the game tries to justify this by making them “personal” contracts that 47 gives himself.

      Of course, that has it’s own problems…

      1. Henson says:

        If so, that kinda goes against the whole ‘absolution’ angle, doesn’t it? 47’s no longer a professional doing a favor for a friend, he’s a man seeking blood. And not even from people who have wronged him, but from people who work for the guys who have wronged him.

        Or maybe they’re trying to frame it as ‘these are nasty people, so you might as well kill them on the way.’ 47’s got to keep in practice, after all.

        …but wait, they’re not all nasty people, are they? Jade’s fine, that one gang member seems okay…what was our goal again?

  12. Zak McKracken says:

    “massive funding, no accountability” … am I the only person who had to read “NASA” twice to make sure there are two “A”s?

    1. Groboclown says:

      No, you’re not the only one.

      I also questioned the room looking like NASA. Maybe KSC, as I haven’t been there (so close with my badge and everything!), but JSC looks nothing like that. Well, the giant digital back-projection screens (3 vs 1). And rows of desks each with their own computer. But where are the excessive labels for everything?

  13. Re: Lilly’s Face.

    I think the problem is that her cheekbones are WAY too big in proportion to her jawline, for starters. Then she seems to have a bit of an overbite. Oddly enough, the overbite is only noticeable if her mouth is open, making me wonder if her rendered lips move back/stretch too far when her model is speaking?

    It just adds too many angles and corners to her face (especially at her chin) to make her even come close to resembling a teenager. The mask of eyeshadow and mascara don’t help, either.

    1. Ledel says:

      The designers had never seen a woman before and were going off of a Barbie doll one of them found online. They had to do some guesswork.

      1. silver Harloe says:

        The art director also didn’t take his eyes off her boobs, and so never thought to direct the artists to work on her face.

  14. The Defenestrator says:

    Josh was so close to eliminating all of the targets without a massive firefight, but he just couldn’t stick the Landon.

    1. Ivan says:

      He did glock a nice time for the level though, that was impressive.

  15. Phil says:

    Ok, Lenny presumably went with Wade to Chicago. Even if they didn’t take the same car… wouldn’t Lenny recognize Wade’s car as 47 was driving it right past him in that cutscene?
    I mean, in a world that makes sense, not in this game’s world, obviously.

    1. Ledel says:

      To be fair, they already established Lenny as not being the brightest or most competent gun for hire. Heck, his buddies are sitting outside talking about selling this “golden child” girl to someone other than the big powerful mobster who hired them for “6 figures.” None of them seem like the most intelligent gang members.

  16. sv_blond says:

    >Letter jackets for all the gang members.

    I think you mean “leather jackets”.

    1. Trix2000 says:

      I believe he was referring to these.

      1. sv_blond says:

        Dammit! I googled first, but when I skimmed the results I didn’t see anything about jackets. Thanks for informing me, I’ll be less lazy in my future pedantry.

  17. Fawkes says:

    This has been an ongoing problem about this game and their addiction to cutscenes and lack of storytelling ability. The lack of knowing what you’re doing or why. The biggest sudden feeling of confusion was the bar, where you had to interrogate a bartender, and the cutscene did nothing to indicate that. You have to Hit F1 and see the little briefingesque screen they have where 47 gives his voiceover and it tells you what you’re doing at any given time.

    Hope however had the weirdest. This is the information you get during that level about one of your kills.


    Read that last line. “A background check suggests a sadistic streak and a tendency to break under pressure.”

    A background check? By who? When? 47 is on the run, with no or at least limited resources. Is this 47’s profile on each of these targets or is this some meta profile meant for you the player that 47 has no knowledge of? The game doesn’t seem to care to explain it, but it just further cements the idea that whomever wrote the stories never talked with the person who wrote the blurbs who never talked with the person who made the levels.

    1. Tizzy says:

      Reading the item you linked, it’s funny to see how the devs jumped on the worldbuilding kind of writing (Gavin survived leukemia as a child, a piece of exposition delivered through a newspaper article).

      First things first: write a story that makes some damn sense and has recognizable themes before attempting any kind of fancy writing.

      1. Zak McKracken says:

        I’d guess that the person doing the fancy writing was not the person who designed the mission. And I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that any piece of information that went from one of these people to the other would have to travel via a few proxies, if the two were even aware of each other…

        1. Tizzy says:

          You are correct, of course. Also, it occurred to me that these little world-building touches can be written pretty much at any time, whereas I imagine that the framework of the story has to be finalized pretty early on in the process.

  18. Kris says:

    I finally got it -> This is a Postal Game!
    The absurd situations you get into that make no logical sense. The horrible sadistic main characters, the creepy fetish style in which the female npcs are portrayed, the missions designed to become mass shootouts at the slightest provocation, the overall feel and tone all remind me of a Postal game. Except where Postal did all that to be provocative and was completely self-aware of its own insanity, this game plays it completely straight and really wants you to take it seriously.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Maybe postal 3.Postal 2 was actually funny in its absurdity,and was also fun to play.

  19. somniorum says:

    Aah, this was almost so perfect, if only Josh hadn’t gotten killed at the gun range…

    Like, if it were made into a movie, you’d just start with the shop owner saying “You don’t look like a thief, but how about this – I’ll give you these guns if you can beat such-and-such in a shooting contest.”

    Then the scene immediately skips forward to Agent 47 taking his guns out of the case WITH CORPSES STREWN EVERYWHERE.

    Then the scene goes on to whoever that lady in the Agency was saying “Sir, we’ve found him!”

    1. lucky7 says:

      It WASN’T a theft, though. You have to give him that.

  20. Majromax says:

    I think the worst problem with the storytelling is that the tone of the game is completely at odds with the theme of the game.

    The theme’s right there in the title: absolution. Between that and the religious iconography, we’re clearly meant to draw a comparison between 47’s journey and the ritual of confession. But what are the steps in that ritual?

    1) Recognition of one’s sins. This is what gets the penitent into the booth in the first place, and it involves a process of self-examination.
    2) Recounting those sins, with genuine remorse
    3) Absolution, the game’s namesake. Religiously, this comes from the deity via the priest as proxy.
    4) Resolution to change, often with some act of penance.

    Obviously, this ritual would need adaptation (or only symbolic presence) in a Hitman game where the point is to shoot the appropriate people, but it could still be a very powerful arc. Perhaps this could catalyze the transition of 47 from a pure contract killer to a templar of some sort?

    But alas, this framework is not at all present in the game itself. We only approach remorse, but this is for the single supposed-killing of Diana and not for everything else that 47 has done that would be not-a-good-thing. Even that singular focus of remorse is taken away by the end game reveal that Diana’s still alive.

    Does 47 change over the course of the game? No. He starts out by killing Diana’s goons, and thus far he kills goons in different suits throughout. His motives are more personal regarding the girl, but there’s still no self-reflection. The game actively deters the player’s reflection through such cardboard-cutout, stupid-evil-disgusting villains. (The game also does not reinforce this mechanically: ostensibly good cops are still “non-target kills” that are net-zeros on score with a hidden body.)

    Who receives 47’s confession? Again, there’s nobody to fill that role. The girl is unconscious, absent, or kidnapped for the game thus far. Birdie is uninterested and semi-hostile. Diana could have filled that role, but that would have required on-screen collaboration rather than the game’s player-fake-out.

    When built up, this confession/absolution/resolution process can be a powerful and transformative emotional arc, with possibilities to show that progression. Instead, this game squanders the possibilities and goes for… assassin nuns? It uses the iconography without the meaning.

    1. Shamus says:

      This is a really good analysis.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Nice.So lets try and build an absolution arc for a hitman game that would still end up with you hitting mans.

      First,you actually have to kill diana.Because in order for 47 to continue hitting mans,killing cannot be his sin.Betraying a friend has to be the trigger,and there really arent many 47 could call friends.

      Second,the agency needs to send him to kill the girl,not diana.Then,while snooping around for her,47 finds out she is a female version of him.Then,once he bests her in hand to hand,because he has way more experience,he recognizes what he is doing and finally feels remorse.

      Then he gets the girl to a safe house,she still hates him for killing diana,but now he hates himself as well.He goes for the agency(again,because that kind of was the plot of the first game,if I remember correctly).

      Now this is the most important part:No birdie,and no fat texan stereotype.Ever.Also no idiotic bandages and half removal of the barcode,that is just stupid.

      Now the girl takes the role of diana and gives you contracts from the safe house which are for key agency people.Sprinkle some banter,I hate you for killing my surrogate mother,stuff like that.

      Once you go through most of them,you slip up on the last one,he finds the location of the safe house,keeps you alive(because thats what villains do),you escape,and get back to find out its all gone to shit.Fight some mooks(dressed as sexy nuns,if you really have to cram them in the game for some reason),kill the final agency guy(or,if you are doing the sexy nuns thing,their mother superior) and carry the wounded girl away.

      She is terminally wounded though,so you only get to talk with her briefly,and ask forgiveness for killing diana and making her life a short living hell.With her last breath,she forgives you,absolving you from your sins.Credits.

      Cliche to the max,definitely,but at least it revolves around actual absolution.Also it still involves having contracts to hit mans,and not…whatever you are doing in this game.

      1. Syal says:

        Nah, just add a level where you’re assassinating an unblemished calf, ram and goat. Boom, absolution.

      2. Majromax says:

        If we’re to really go with the confession analogy, we need to re-identify a few of the characters:

        *) Victoria is our obvious Christ analogue. She would be the one ultimately granting absolution at the emotional climax of the dramatic arc.
        *) Diana would be our priest: she acts an intercessory agent (heyoo!) between the fallen 47 and the innocent/divine Victoria

        Diana would be alive but at a distance from 47. She would offer guidance (and mission objectives) and be in regular contact, but she wouldn’t be in a position to enforce 47’s good conduct.

        With this pinned down, what’s the sin? I like the idea above of 47 recognizing his complicity in hurting Victoria, perpetuating the same harms that turned him from a normal kid into an Agent. His resolution and redemption would then focus more about that than about manshooting in specific, preserving the nature of the game.

        What of the villains?

        Birdie could be turned into a Judas-type figure, both to provide a mid-game betrayal and to provide an obvious counterpoint of what it looks like to see the same things as 47 but not to seek redemption in the end.

        Of the rest, the game needs to focus on one to use as a Lucifer-type adversary: compelling and powerful, but thoroughly corrupted. Something or someone eager to have 47 back on their side.

    3. I think you missed the actual reason Absoluton was chosen. You start out developing a Hitman game, and drink a bottle of Absolut whenever you add a scene that doesn’t make any sense in said game.

  21. James says:

    I don’t get it this level could be fixed. Ok off the top of my head. The owner has the silverballers but has them in a safe rdy for another buyer. 47 arrives latter after the store closes to get the combination off the man or something. He gets in and uhoh the buying is like an illegal arms guy who uses the man and this store as a front to sell guns illegally to the mod or local gangs or whatever not that imoportant, just enough to give a reason who any mooks he brings are on high alert. Now you also have reasonable choices, maybe find the guys journal with a combination in it, or wait for the guns to be passed on before stealing them back or something. I know its not perfect but I’m trying to make this work in the context of the “story”.

  22. Artur CalDazar says:

    Many of the details for these missions escape me, partly because these all feel like filler, but also I breezed through them. A bit like Shamus I thought “my target is right there, why not?” I mean it’s hardly the most subtle kill but it is more subtle than anything 47 does in a cutscene.

    So I hardly saw everything in this level, which is a shame it has plenty going on in it.

  23. Some_Jackass says:

    “It’s time to send in the Saints” would have been a great opportunity to insert Saints Row into this and recover this game.

  24. Ranneko says:

    This is kind of off topic, but has bothered me for a while and I suspect stems from older infrastructure. You embed the flash version of the YouTube player, I really like the speed controls and other features of the HTML5 player, so basically always have to click through to YouTube from your site.

    Could you look into changing to the newer style embeds that will load the HTML5 player for those set to use it?

    1. Shamus says:

      Can some other people comment on this? I remember some people saying that using the older flash player fixed some sort of problem, but I can’t remember what it was.

      Right now all YouTube embeds use the same shortcode, so changing one means changing ALL.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        From what I understand,youd have to look how wordpress implements html5 before it would work.Or,youd have to find a way to make the embedded video compatible with all the browsers manually.

      2. MikhailBorg says:

        I can report that in Safari on a Mac OS X system, I’m being offered the HTML5 version both at YouTube and here at the blog.

  25. Jacob Albano says:

    “Bullseye! Cat’s eye! Any eye!”
    “Man knows his way around a gun. Not around a woman, but a gun.”


    1. Otters34 says:

      That’s the best game to play with any work of fiction. Just seeing something badly done or really, really poorly considered and remembering “somebody’s job was to make that as good as possible”. It works with just about every medium.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        And then you remember that most people simply half ass their jobs,either deliberately or due to incompetence,and everything makes sense.

    2. Dev Chand says:

      I kind of like the first retort, it’s like one of these awkward lines that sound so out of place you laugh at it. Second and third one aren’t so good though, not only so they not make any sense, they also are extended to the point that they lose their crispiness and just feel like bad jokes. Though I did laugh at the third line a little.

  26. Wide And Nerdy says:

    Bald Shootlots
    Smooth Suitskin
    Scalp McBarcode
    Dome Borehead
    Gun Scowlface
    Tux Avery
    Adam Jensen . . . oh wait

  27. I wonder how this game would “feel” if you replaced 47 with Max Payne (the old, i.e young Max).

    “Max: I couldn’t believe it worked, I had put my mustache on upside down in the car, this fool was oblivious. They certainly hire their thugs from the bottom of the the barrel. This was easy, maybe too easy. I’d better keep me eyes open.”

  28. “Did the writer have some kind of short-term memory damage?”

    Pure speculation as always but… Maybe there was a major change during development.

    Like the game mechanics, scenery, levels, sound, etc. was done by one team/group of devs, then for some reason this bunch of game pieces was handed to somebody else who tried to put it together and who added (or tried to) add a story across it all.

    Was the core of the game outsourced maybe to China or India or Korea or Singapore or someplace? They did a great job on their stuff, then whomever it was back at IO Interactive doing 47’s pieced it together?

    I know a lot of texture work in AAA games get outsources to asia, and they do some pretty awesome work most of the time.

  29. At about 9.30 Rutskarn starts building the plot for the sci-fi movie “Lasersharks”, if yo though Sharknado was bad wait til you see this one.
    The job is halfway done a theme song exist already.

  30. INH5 says:

    Apparently the reason that SWAT and military commando teams use hand signals is precisely because if a firefight starts they will all be effectively deaf. All the more so because they can’t wear ear protection without risking missing something important like an enemy sneaking up on them. Though I’ve also heard that the massive dose of adrenaline one invariably receives in such a situation helps them ignore the usual discomfort of hearing loud noises, so it is a little different from a firing range context.

    Re: the town of Hope. Small towns and rural areas often are a few decades behind big cities in a lot of ways. For a perfect illustration of this, watch Napoleon Dynamite, which was made and set in 2004 but was filmed in a small town in Idaho and in many scenes looks like a period piece for the 1980s or maybe even the late 70s. But even taking that into account, I don’t think even an isolated town in a first world country being 60 years behind the times (I assume this game was set around the time it was made) is plausible in any realistic context.

    Especially with the cars, which if they really were made in the 1950s would have fallen apart a long time ago unless they had been very expensively maintained. And anyone who could afford to do the latter could afford to buy a modern car. In fact, they could probably afford to buy several. Again, most of the cars being 10-20 years old would be perfectly believable, but extending it this far is ridiculous.

  31. Zak McKracken says:

    Not related to the game at hand but related to bad game-writing, so I thought I should drop this link here:
    It’s a game about being a writer on a game and realizing 6 months before release that you got it all wrong … haven’t played it (beyond the first few screens) but this may well be some help when trying to come up with ideas for what happened to Hitman.

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