Hitman Absolution EP10: Deputy Weld

By Shamus
on Apr 1, 2015
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

87 comments


Link (YouTube)

Behold! The first-ever episode of Spoiler Warning you can watch in glorious 60fps. To be honest, it looks the same to me. But people with younger eyes and faster brains will probably appreciate it. This is probably the biggest step up in quality since we moved to HD during the Fallout 3 season. Thanks to everyone who is supporting Spoiler Warning on Patreon. That money goes to Josh, and he spent it on the PC upgrades to make this happen. So we all win, really.

Or would be, if we weren’t playing this game.

I know we’ve been faulting this Hitman game for not having enough man-hitting, but the game isn’t very strong even when it finally stops screwing around and allows for the hitting of various mans. It’s been a while since I played the other games (and as I’ve said before, I’ve never finished any of them) but the hits in this game come off as infantile and patronizing. Just wander around and pull all the levers you find, move all the objects, and sabotage all the things. Your targets will kill themselves without you needing to think or plan.

But savor these hits, because it’s going to be a long time before we get any targets again. (And longer still before we get to interact with anyone germane to the plot.)

On the upside, this game is a lot more fun to mock than it is to play.

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Footnotes:



202020207There are now 87 comments. Almost a hundred!

From the Archives:

  1. Matty1monopoly says:

    Traci Lords is the name of Layla Stockton. She would kind of keep in line with the series’ characters with horrible secrets, since she was an underage pornstar, which is why she no longer does porn. A band called Sloppy Seconds has a song named after her called Comeback Traci.

    • Viktor says:

      “Underage pornstar”. So…rape victim?

      • krellen says:

        AFAIK, Lords consented to her work, but was under the age of consent in California when she started. I think she was 16.

        As a rape survivor, I have a serious problem calling a consenting 16 year old a “rape victim”.

        • Viktor says:

          She was a child. She’s not capable of consenting to sex at that age, which is why the statutory rape laws exist. Everyone is an idiot at 16, that doesn’t mean adults get to exploit teenagers however they want.

          • krellen says:

            16 is the age of consent in more of the world than not, and even in most of the US.

            Was she taken advantage of? Possibly. Does that make it “rape”? No.

            At the time of my attack, the act wouldn’t even have been called rape. Had my attacker been a woman, it still wouldn’t. I have serious issues with the definition of “rape” being extended to consensual activities. I have serious issues with the idea of robbing agency from people for dubious reasons.

            I was six. I was a child. We trust 16 year olds to operate half-ton machines of speed and death unsupervised. A 16 year old is not a child.

            Lords consented to be filmed. FFS, the reason she started doing it was to afford the abortion she wanted after having gotten pregnant from her (not overaged) boyfriend. She knew what she was doing. She was the highest paid person in the industry at the time. She might have made poor decisions, but they were most definitely an ADULT’s poor decisions.

          • Supahewok says:

            Sigh. I’d just like to point out that according to Wikipedia, she used a false ID that stated she was 22 when she started her career with nude modeling at the age of 15. I’d argue that the victims here were her partners that had sex with a 16 year old masquerading as an older woman. Is that not acting without her partners’ full consent? The distributors and publishers of her films lost millions because she acted in bad faith. I’m not gonna take a stance on the morality of porn, but in any other industry her breach of ethics would be universally reviled. Her choices may have harmed herself, but they harmed a great many other people too.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Because those two years certainly make someone more adult.I mean there literally are no dumb 18 year olds in the world.They are all smart,responsible adults.

  2. Bloodsquirrel says:

    “Hitman game for not having enough”

  3. PeteTimesSix says:

    So, wait, didnt Lenny have a standoff with 47 earlier?

    He even brags about outwitting “a bald guy”! And he still doesnt recognize 47, while talking to him, ABOUT him?

    Disguises are magic. Its the only explanation.

  4. Deputy Weld for the title, an old 50’s-style car in a wasteland setting where if you shoot vehicles they explode…

    Are we sure this part of the game wasn’t a desperate attempt by those working on it to make some Fallout DLC and secure jobs at Bethesda instead of being forced to complete Hitman: Absolution?

  5. Spammy says:

    So this is going to come across meaner than I’d like, but are the other Hitman games good? Is this like a Silent Hill type franchise where there’s one game that’s really good that everyone tries to emulate, or like an Elder Scrolls type franchise where the older installments aged poorly and aren’t easy to get in to?

    • Viktor says:

      Basically, 90% of the fans of “the franchise” are actually fans of Blood Money. Which is a very good game, that does hold up these days. Decent-sized non-linear levels with a lot of NPCs and moving parts where you have to figure out just how to combine moving parts to get your target dead without being caught. No real ‘right’ solution to most of the levels, you just figure out which solution works for you. Also cheap since it’s old, so if you try it and don’t like it or find it too hard, you can put it down with minimal loss.

      Pretty much every other Hitman game has ranged from ‘decent’ to ‘crap’. Play at your own risk.

      • Dev Chand says:

        Not true, a lot of the older fanbase actually dislikes Blood Money. The only reason it appears to be so is because during the long wait between Hitman titles, people who didn’t like Blood Money generally seem to have quit the franchise, while people who did got concentrated in discussion spaces throughout the internet. Blood Money has a lot of issues in my experience, and in all honesty it’s equal to the three older games in how flawed it is in my eyes. The one thing that stands out about Blood Money is that its level design is more consistent, but that also made it a bit more boring.

        • newdarkcloud says:

          I have to disagree. I played all three games in order, starting with Codename 47, then Silent Assassin, and playing Blood Money last.

          Blood Money has much better level design, and a significantly stronger emphasis on creative and interesting solutions to problems, encouraging improvisation and player freedom.

          Whenever Shamus calls a level “not a Hitman level”, that is not entirely true. A lot of the old games had levels where you had to stealth past bad guys to get to another location, without necessarily killing anyone. On top of how unforgiving they were if you made even the slightest mistake, they really weren’t as fun to play. (This is more talking about Codename 47, Slient Assassin was generally pretty good about this, aside from a couple of garbage levels.)

          • Dev Chand says:

            That’s your opinion. Blood Money theoretically had more ways of getting to a target, and did allow for some more experimentation, but in practice I found that a lot of the ways you got to kill a target were nonsensical, and there was generally one clean clear cut way to kill the target. That’s not even talking about how obvious and repetitive some of them were. Remember the chandelier bombing kill? Or the shove over railing kill?

            • newdarkcloud says:

              I only remember the chandelier drop because of the one level I used it in, the Opera House.

              As for the push over rails, I never used that in my playthrough. I see point where I could have, but I mostly used that to dump bodies.

              My tactics revolved mostly around the use of Fiber Wire and Poisons, stealing disguises by tranquilizing guards and sneaking around in plain sight. Every level, to me, felt like a unique and interesting puzzle that could be solved in many ways.

          • Jokerman says:

            You also had a rescue mission in blood money, with just optional targets.

      • Isaac says:

        “No real ‘right’ solution to most of the levels, you just figure out which solution works for you.”

        I disagree. One of the main problems with Blood Money was that often there was only one ‘right’ solution. For every mission there was always only one perfect disguise and perfect plan for the player to use. Absolution’s new disguise system tried to rectify this problem but unfortunately it only made this problem worse by making most of the disguises worthless.

    • Silent Assassin starts out really good but hits a serious snag with two Japanese levels. Those who played it know exactly what part of the game I’m talking about. It recovers and overall was a great game for its time, but is only considered decent these days. I’m still a fan of it, flaws and all.

      Contracts was good. A few of the levels were kind of stinkers but it had some great ones as well. The Hotel was an all time Hitman classic in my opinion. Especially since you can fiber wire a ghost. Twice!

      Blood Money was the best. With more fine tuning and tinkering they could have used it as a launch pad for a truly outstanding game series. They had taken the best stuff out of Silent Assassin and Contracts and tried to keep as few of the flaws as possible. It’s defiantly the most interesting of the series. I still play it from time to time and enjoy it to this day. One of my all time favorite games. If they kept working on the Blood Money model, adding and fine tuning it, they could have delivered some really special games. Instead, they chose to go a….different route.

      The story of the Hitman series is one of potential never fully met. Blood Money was the game that showed how close they were to realizing the potential of the series, but they abandoned it just as it was starting to really find itself.

      • I’m beginning to wonder if we don’t get more non-linear games like Blood Money because AAA devs can barely keep linear plots from unraveling into glitch-fests as it is without adding even more possibilities for players to break things. Coupled with hardly any QA for their output, it doesn’t seem surprising that player options even in games like this are being restricted more and more.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      First one was frustrating because of no saving,but still had some fun mechanics.2 was better,and can be considered a good game.Blood money was great(still is actually).

  6. Re: Rednecks that have never been to the South.

    Rutskarn’s mistaken in thinking that voice is native only to the South. There’s a very big difference between what’s often called the “Redneck accent” and a “Southern accent.” It doesn’t excuse all the other things they get wrong in this game, of course.

    For more on this topic (NSFW language warning), I’ll turn things over the language anthropologist David Cross for more on the all-pervasive Redneck Accent.

    • INH5 says:

      Also, there are some accents from certain places in the South that are very different from what people typically think of as a Southern accent. Speaking as a New Orleans native who gets annoyed whenever a TV show or movie is set in NOLA and has all the characters speaking in Dixie accents, when neither me nor any of the other New Orleanians I know sound anything like that.

      If you’ve never heard it, the New Orleans accent is similar to a Boston or Long Island accent. Apparently, the reason for that is that all of the Atlantic port cities got a pretty similar mix of European immigrants during the 19th century.

  7. krellen says:

    I’m getting deja vu. Did Josh play Absolution for a hangout once, and it was this level? Or did Rutskarn stream this level before?

  8. Henson says:

    Okay, I’ve got a lot to say on this episode. So, first: a controversial opinion.

    I actually like Lenny.

    Not Lenny as a person, mind; I like the fact the Lenny exists. I think he’s an interesting character study.

    On the one hand, he’s selfish and egotistical to the extreme, and worse, he doesn’t have the skill to back it up. He’s got his own gang, a gang that was obviously bought and paid for by his father. He’s every spoiled brat you’ve ever known. And yet, I can’t hate him for it because it’s really not his fault. He’s a product of bad parenting. And yes, while you can say that about pretty much any spoiled brat in fiction, for Lenny it’s strongly emphasized, party due to his obvious mental handicap, partly due to the way Wade treats him, party due to the very defensive and reactionary way he reacts to people challenging him (see: proving himself by threatening the nun). In ways, he’s like a dog that’s been kicked one time too many.

    This really gelled for me in the cutscene with 47. He may be egotistical, but not so much that he doesn’t know how much trouble he’s in; he thinks he’s a badass right up until the bad stuff actually happens. The situation makes him an emotional wreck, and I pitied him. And yet as soon as he’s behind cover with a weapon in hand, his ego comes right back, talking smack to 47, of all people. It’s a strange hair trigger that Lenny has, and it really shows how messed up his upbringing has made him.

    I don’t often see characters quite like this. It’s interesting.

    • When I see him, though, I can’t help thinking the writers were wanting a more evil version of Simon from “True Lies.” He was the guy played by Bill Paxton who was a used car salesman using the sportier models from his lot to trick women into thinking he was a secret agent and having trysts with him.

      The character tropes involved seem uncannily similar, apart from Lenny’s killing/swearing.

    • Ledel says:

      Do some people really not like Lenny as a character?

      The only scene with him that made me not like him is where he is holding Victoria hostage with a hand grenade. Yet, even that can be (somewhat) attributed to his overall character and him cracking under pressure.

      you can read a lot into him by the environment he is in. He’s the son of a gangster who has BBQ’s and eats pizza with the men his dad sent to protect him. You can almost see him growing up in this environment and just palling around with guys who sell drugs and kill people for his dad.

  9. Tizzy says:

    What the hell is the deal with the rattlesnake biting the dog? Did we really need to see that? Given that it looks completely unnatural, does it serve a thematic purpose?

    Also, what the hell is the deal with those title screens? They’re all “Part II: Something”, it’s super confusing. And unnecessary.

    • Henson says:

      The snake is 47.

      *SYMBOLISM!!*

    • Supahewok says:

      I think it’s just labeling segments of the game ina an Act: Scene structure. Act 2: Scene 3. Part II: End of the Road.

      Granted, its wholly unnecessary. Level titles were enough in previous games. As a matter of fact, I don’t even think the other games followed an Act structure very much, if at all. Just another symptom of the game designers trying to give Hitman a plot and failing miserably. (What plots there were in other games weren’t in the foreground much, you had to go looking for them within the levels. At least, that’s what I’ve been told, I haven’t played them.)

    • Trix2000 says:

      I actually had a similar thought about that scene with the… Sheriff?… tied up. We already know from the scene just before that the guy was gonna get called to do find Lenny… why do we need to see that call happen? It’s not like the extra scene had anything new to say (unless you count “THIS GUY IS INTO BSDM ISN’T THAT SPECIAL”).

    • Joe Informatico says:

      “The badlands is not like other places. It is lands, that are bad. So bad, that snakes will kill your beloved pets for fun. Or your babies. Or your redneck posse. Or your redneck posse’s babies’ pets. Also, that was in a movie I saw once on VHS and thought it was cool.”

  10. Henson says:

    Shamus joked about this, but this cutscene actually does something remarkable: 47 is eating.

    Previous games have always treated 47 like something not quite human: the clone origin, the barcode, the complete lack of expression, the flat tone of voice, the same suit with red necktie. He’s been beyond such ordinary biological things like digestion or hunger. I could never imagine him doing something as ordinary as eating, but there it is. It’s one of the first real indications that the game is trying to humanize 47 that isn’t part of the clunky ‘oh I feel bad about shooting Diana/being a hitman’ story. The old ‘show don’t tell’ rule works, I guess.

  11. I-Spy says:

    Something worth mentioning (unless I completely mis-remembered the scene): Lenny SAW Agent 47 when he was escaping with Victoria, Lenny knows his face, not just that damn bar-code that freaks everyone out.

    So why does the game let you just walk right up to him to set off the barber encounter?

  12. Supahewok says:

    Just because I know Josh is waiting to hear it, I can see a BIG difference in the video quality, and I’m only 15 seconds into the episode. Looking great!

    • MichaelGC says:

      Indeed! I wasn’t expecting to notice much if any difference, being rather old and crotchety, but my immediate reaction was very much a: “whoa; I can see through tiiime,” style o’ fing.

      Most impressive! Still, I hope Josh is blowing at least some of the funds on living essentials such as Fireball Whisky and gourmet cooking ingredient thingys! (I’m not much of a chef; I don’t know the technical terms…)

  13. MrGuy says:

    This episode really makes it obvious to me this game was supposed to be set in Texas. From the cowboy look to the rattlesnake to the desert to oil well, there are so many places where they had the opportunity to use throwaway background details to establish a setting. And while SOME of them aren’t totally INconsistent with South Dakota, none of them really SELL South Dakota. But they all sell Texas really well. Like the rattlesnake. There’s no real reason for that scene to exist other than “sell the location.”

    I suspect they wrote the game to be set in Texas. Then there was some reason that came up why they had to move it. Maybe the studio head is from Texas. Or maybe a name was too close to a politician or someone with clout. Maybe there is a Hope, Texas and they got mad. Something. So, very late in the process, they decided to move it. And they did a crappy job. They decided to change 2-3 lines of dialogue, the matchbook image, and a few title cards. But it was either too late or they didn’t have the money or it was too hard or they just didn’t bother.

    But there is about a zero percent chance this game was originally designed for South Dakota.

    • The Rocketeer says:

      I was thinking it looked a lot like Abilene, actually.

      • Supahewok says:

        I think its closer to Amarillo, personally. Basically, the Panhandle. Only place I know of in Texas where we have actual desert, other than a bit by the mountains in the western tip, near El Paso.

        Despite what popular media will tell the world, most of Texas is actually made of plains, with some hill country up by Dallas and more rain and some forests within 4 hours of the coast most of the way down the coastline.

        I think the Panhandle is where a lot of the oil wells are still at, but I’ve never been by Abilene, personally, so could still be some over there.

    • Tizzy says:

      Agreed: South Dakota just sounds weird. Plus, I can’t see why you would chose an obscure place that very few people have visited or seen in movies when you could have an iconic place like Texas (misrepresented or not: if this was meant to be TX, it feels pretty lazy and cliched).

      Makes me wonder what happened.

    • Gruhunchously says:

      Well, they did have one token scene set at Mt. Rushmore, so there’s that. Though who knows when that scene was included in the development cycle.

      On a side note, I do like how Dexter referred to the faces of Mt. Rushmore as ‘the founding fathers’, even though that technically describes only two of them.

    • There is a Hope, Texas. There is also a New Hope, Texas. There used to be a Texas, South Dakota, a steamboat town back in the 1800’s. Then it became Texas Cemetery because everyone in the town died supposedly. Local legend had it that all the town was deserted when all of the children died. Another legend said everyone in the town, adult and children, died of consumption. We used to go there for picnics and what not.

      South Dakota parent from the 80’s:

      “A whole bunch of people died here of a horrible disease over a hundred years ago, this will be a great place to take the kids.”

      • I live in Missouri, which seems to have the most unoriginal town-namers in U.S. history. One teacher I had said her own theory was that settlers named where they lived after places they wished they were living in, instead.

        We have Paris, Moscow, Mexico, Columbia, Versailles, etc.

        • Henson says:

          You’re not alone. I’m from upstate New York. We have our own Paris, Mexico, Rome, Syracuse, Ithaca, Vienna, Liverpool…

          • Tizzy says:

            Aren’t most states like this? Most of the ones I’ve lived in, anyway…

            • There are some names that are more common than others. I recall that Car Talk used to have a running gag that there was a Springfield in every state of the nation. Finally, they researched it, and (if I remember correctly) they found there were about 35 states with a Springfield. The most common name was Fairview, with over 50 of them across the U.S.

    • Spammy says:

      This whole section does really look like you could put it out near Marfa, Texas. And if it was near Marfa, you could have a level where Hitman has to sneak out into the desert at night and hit the Marfa lights. Can Hitman Hit something that is not a man?!?!?!

  14. Fawkes says:

    Why is Victoria in a schoolgirl uniform.

    Shamus talked about that aspect earlier, but I don’t mean it in the same way. Not ‘Why did they choose this fetish to dress her in’. I mean in a continuity way. Last time we saw Victoria, she was in Pajamas/Hospital clothes being taken by Lenny with 47 hot on their heels. How did they get her back into the same uniform she started the game with? And why? Wouldn’t it have made sense to keep her in the scrubs for their experiments?

    I had a theory that the schoolgirl uniform look was laziness. The devs modeled her as she would be after arriving at the church and just never made a version for pre-church. That made a lot of sense. But she isn’t wearing it at the church, she is wearing the scrubs. But now she is somehow back in the uniform for no reason. It’s baffling!

  15. Henson says:

    So when I did the Lenny mission, there was a guard sitting on the couch, facing directly towards the barber chairs. Unless distracted, he does not get up. I dressed up as the barber, led my target to his chair, incapacitated him through the button prompt, and the guard did not notice. There was a body lying on the floor, just taken out right in front of this guard, and he didn’t care.

    Oh, but he noticed the body as soon as I threw a wrench! That gets his attention! I guess he wasn’t watching the cutscenes.

  16. Neko says:

    Not only is that the Sheriff’s Domme in the video they’re watching, the Sheriff’s in there too! In fact, looking closer, it seems like the TV is showing bits of the later cutscene where the Sheriff gets a phone call about Lenny being kidnapped! It’s a magical TV that fortells the future!

    Although from what I can tell, in the grainy black-and-white version the Sheriff is wearing something distinctly more risqué than the t-shirt he has on in the actual cutscene. Perhaps this is how the cutscene looked like originally, but someone decided the ratings board wouldn’t approve and they had to tone it down. But the artist didn’t want to throw out all the effort of that lovingly modelled bondage outfit, so they hid the original cutscene in the TV footage.

    • Bryan says:

      You’re looking at now, sir. Everything that happens now, is happening now.

      What happened to then?

      We passed then.

      When?

      Just now! We’re at now now.

      …When will then, be now?

      Soon!

  17. BitFever says:

    I honestly kept forgetting this game isn’t supposed to take place in Texas.

  18. Hitch says:

    Just going off-topic on one of Josh’s comments. Mot, the Bolian, being the “best barber in Starfleet” had to be a joke. He’s not just bald — in the sense of having lost his hair or shaving his head — he’s an alien that as a species has no hair. We’re deep in Chewbacca defense territory thinking that a Bolian would ever take up hairdressing.

    Back to Hitman. I’ve never played any Hitman games. I’ve watched Rutskarn play a bit of earlier game(s). But this one really isn’t selling me on the concept. Gameplay seems to consist of wandering aimlessly through a level, trying to avoid being noticed while you interact with anything that you get a prompt for, hoping that one of your targets will come along and kill themselves for you.

  19. newdarkcloud says:

    You guys talked about how 47 could have smuggled Lenny out.

    At the beginning of the level, in the first part, Lenny and his gang park a car right outside a door. That door just happens to be the door right next to the barber chairs. If you, like me, sneak up on and subdue Lenny right before he gets into the chair, you have to drag him out that door.

    47 steals this car much like he stole Wade’s, in order to smuggle Lenny out of the area.

    And in an unrelated note, I’m going to continue the “This script wasn’t made for 47” line of thinking by saying that the “conversation” with Lenny in the South Dakotan desert sounds really weird, particularly when 47 says “Don’t. Stop.”

  20. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The ever growing list of stuff the developers of this game dont understand:
    Disguises
    Vision and perception
    Sneaking
    Police and fire department
    Fugu
    Reading
    Strip clubs
    Air vents
    Fuse boxes
    Map of the USA
    Bars
    Bar fights
    Game design
    Story writing
    The difference between their arses and elbows
    Face covering masks
    Peeking
    Rednecks
    South of USA in general
    Porn
    Barber shops
    Hot sauce
    Drugging food
    Bullets and their interaction with explosive things
    Sudbuing
    BDSM
    Deserts
    South dakota geography
    Rattle snakes
    Dogs

    To be continued

  21. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The first-ever episode of Spoiler Warning you can watch in glorious 60fps. To be honest, it looks the same to me. But people with younger eyes and faster brains will probably appreciate it.

    People rarely can notice such a smallish improvement.But they can definitely notice the downgrade.Look at the whole video at 60 fps,then go back and play it at 30,and you should notice that its a bit janky.

  22. Chris says:

    I think now’s a good time to bring this up:



  23. Daniel England says:

    I saw the background that you now have on the site on my small monitor and thought “Huh, I wonder what city that is…”
    Then I moved it over to my 1080p monitor and was like “Oh hey! It’s Cities: Skylines!” Very cool.

    Also, I am so glad I stopped playing this game after the train level. If I hadn’t quit then, I would have wasted more time and certainly quit by now. Ugh, I bought this game because I wanted to stealthily kill people. I vaguely remember watching someone play Blood Money when I was really young, and I was just amazed by all the ways you could complete your mission. I had only really played things like Zelda that usually only have one way of completing your objective, so it was really mind-blowing at the time. From what you guys have said about the previous games I can assume that Absolution really just doesn’t get it and that this isn’t a case of the formula becoming stale.

    Well, I kind of hope we’re almost done with Hitman. Part of me really wants Spoiler Warning to be a show that only looks at Perfect Games, Flawed Gems or Good Games No One Knows About. But analyzing the flaws in a game like this is still interesting.

    • Jokerman says:

      I was surprised when you said you were “really young” When you watched someone play BM, then i see it came out nearly 10 years ago now, which is even more surprising to me.

  24. Andy says:

    Rutskarn: When you have to pun, pun – don’t balk.

  25. BeamSplashX says:

    the thought of him in a cowboy hat peeking out of the box made me think “i’m 47! howdy howdy howdy!”

  26. Is no one going to ask why 47 had him digging that hole?

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