Hitman Absolution EP17: The Least Samurai

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

96 comments


Link (YouTube)

In a game brimming with stupid irritations, the scene where Victoria kills everyone but her captor is one of the most irritating and stupid. After building up her powers for an entire game, they finally reveal them just for the sake of a useless cutscene that accomplishes nothing. After failing to give our damsel any personality whatsoever, they finally give her a moment of screen time to reveal she’s stupid, useless, and overly emotional. I guess Dexter knew she was stupid, since he made no effort to protect himself from her and was completely unafraid of her even as she slaughtered his men. Apparently he knows he’s wearing plot armor?

It wouldn’t even be that hard to fix this: After she kills all the mooks, she fires a bullet right at Dexter’s cackling face without hurting him. The camera pulls back to reveal he’s on the other side of a bulletproof glass wall. It’s still dumb and contrived, but at least the damsel and villain don’t both need to behave like complete morons to make this scene work.

Look, I know it’s completely unfair to compare Hitman: Absolution to some dream game I have in my head. It can’t even succeed at the very shallow goals it set for itself, so asking for something thematically ambitious and mechanically complex is like asking Tommy Wiseau to come up with The Usual Suspects. It’s totally unreasonable and a recipe for disaster.

But you know what? This game is already an unreasonable disaster on many levels, so who cares? What are the writers gonna do? Have me stupidly captured by idiot villains in another dozen cutscenes? So let’s talk about what I wanted when the game started telling us that Victoria was a super-badass.

Why is Portman Thor’s girlfriend and not an action heroine? She’s got the fitness and acting skills (Black Swan) the nerd cred and name recognition (Thor) and experience in effects-heavy action. (Star Wars) I think she would’ve made a much more compelling Wonder Woman than Gal Godot.

I’m using Léon: The Professional as my reference point, which starred Jean Reno and a then 12-year-old Natalie Portman. I don’t know if I’d still like it today, but I remember really liking it in the 90’s. In the movie, Hitman Léon takes the young Mathilda under his wing and teaches her the assassination business. Another source of inspiration might be the irresponsible and quasi-abusive relationship between Big Daddy and Hit-Girl in the movie Kick Ass.

I’d steer clear of the “Dad” themes of Telltale The Walking Dead or The Last of Us and play around with an adult / teen relationship where a familial bond doesn’t exist. Instead I’d mess around with “Old and cautious” vs. “Young and Eager” duel of personalities. More of a Batman and Robin kinda thing. (Yes, I realize Batman and Robin are also infused with father / son themes at various times. But it’s a matter of degrees. Sometimes they’re just two really different personalities that provide a good contrast.)

Let’s call our leads Léon and Mathilda. You’d pick which character you wanted to use for each mission, and they would both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Léon is big and can disguise himself as other men. He’s good with large weapons like shotguns and automatic weapons. He’s strong enough to subdue an aware enemy in hand-to-handAlthough preferably without a dumb quicktime event.. By contrast, Mathilda is a lot smaller. She can hide in more places, can go through vents, and is less noticeable when sneaking around. She also has access to female disguises, although those will be fewer in number compared to the male outfits. Her small size will either make her rubbish with large firearms or just forbid the use of them outright. She can do silent takedowns, but if a guard is aware of her she won’t be able to take him head-on in combat. She’ll be slower at moving bodies but faster at sneak-walking.

More broadly, Léon would play like 47 and Mathilda would play like Sam Fisher.

This provides a pretty good Hitman-esque game where you have the additional option to play a particular level as either Léon or Mathilda. The other character will be your radio guide for character banter and plot points. Once in a while you might get a Léon-only or Mathilda-only mission if that’s required for player training or thematic reasonsOr perhaps give the player a soft limit and say they can’t use the same character for three missions in a row., but for the most part the player should find either character completely viable. The last mission would have the two characters working on a hit in tandem, with the player POV bouncing back and forth like in Max Payne 2.

But really, almost anything would have been better than what we got. I’ll even go so far as to say that this is a worse game than Kane and Lynch. K&L was dumb, nihilistic, and ugly, but this game is all of that plus a dozen other glaring problems.

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Footnotes:

[1] Although preferably without a dumb quicktime event.

[2] Or perhaps give the player a soft limit and say they can’t use the same character for three missions in a row.



2020202016There are now 96 comments. Almost a hundred!

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  1. Michael says:

    Honestly… Absolution makes me look back on both Kane and Lynch games more fondly. Sure they were garbage, but at least they were thematically coherent stories. They may not have conveyed what they were trying to do effectively, but they were so much smarter than Absolution.

    And saying that makes me want to throw up a little, but it’s true.

    • Bropocalypse says:

      Maybe that was the Devs’ plan all along.

    • Jokerman says:

      The only ways i would put that game above Absolution is story, Absolution is still the better game overall for me… its gameplay might be shit, and nowhere near what Blood Money was, but it is still better than the awful gameplay of Kane and Lynch, normally a 3hr campaign would annoy me, but with that game it was a blessing.

      • Michael says:

        I’m going to regret this… but… ugh…

        Kane and Lynch is a shoddy third person shooter. It’s what happens when guys like those responsible for Absolution try to write an homage to Heat. (It’s been awhile, but, as I remember it), everything pretty much worked. There was the idiotic party management controls, but that didn’t detract from the story the game was trying to tell.

        The characters were coherent and consistent. Kane made sense. Lynch made sense. Most of the people the were working with made sense. They behaved in a (roughly) rational way. Most of the characters were one-dimensional, and none of them were as sympathetic as the writers seemed to think they should be. But, the game didn’t have anything that even remotely resembled the sheer idiocy of every single character in Absolution.

        I may not like the characters in K&L, but at least they weren’t running on moon logic.

        Internally, the game was fairly consistent, until the weird tonal shift late in the game. So, you didn’t have a situation where the designers were saying, “we have a serious crime game guys, let’s let the player dress up as a chipmonk, and get accused of being a furry. That’ll be hilarious!” Or whatever that was with Victoria McGuffin’s freak out cutscene.

        Granted, there was the whole thing where it went from being a normal crime story to being about spearheading a civil war somewhere in Central America… but that’s nothing compared to pulling a guy into an ice cream murder truck and calling it subtle.

        EDIT: The controls were janky as hell, though. That, I remember.

        • Jokerman says:

          In my post there was meant to be a sentence to the effect of “While thematically it is much better.” That somehow got lost in my edits. It’s a shame they didn’t build on deadmen, and instead made Dog Days (Which is the game i was talking about with the 3 hour campaign)

          That game was ran on “moon logic”, with the gangsters, police and army all trying to murder these two guys who killed some guys daughter (accidentally) The scope was smaller and the gameplay was massively simplified.

          I sometimes forget that Dead Men wasn’t ‘That’ bad and can only think of Dog Days when the series is mention. The series could have been saved after the 1st game.

          • Michael says:

            Yeah. About the only thing I can say in defense of Dog Days without vomiting uncontrollably is that, at least the story was simple and straightforward enough, that we didn’t get crap like… well, Absolution’s plot.

            I get what the developers were going for with K&L2… and missed egregiously. It’s supposed to be a criticism of violence through overdose. Like Far Cry 2 or Spec Ops: The Line. But, the result is just an unpleasant mess.

            Also, the found footage motif… I think that’s literally the only time a game has come close to actually making me physically ill.

  2. Aaron says:

    here’s a game idea for you. you play as the assasins Mannfred and Uta from Archer, could be co-op. it would work perfectly…maybe

  3. Bropocalypse says:

    I like the incoherent babbling we get starting at about 25 minutes in.

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The ever growing epic titanic list of stuff the developers of this game dont understand:

    Disguises ; Vision and perception ; Sneaking ; Police ; Fire department
    Fugu ; Reading ; Strip clubs ; Air vents ; Fuse boxes ; Map of the USA
    Bars ; Bar fights ; Game design ; Storytelling and 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 ; PMCs ; Mesas ; Generators ; Elevators ; Proximity mines
    Mines ; Buildings ; Peoples reaction to car alarms ; Silence ; Fingers
    Nuns ; Assassin groups ; Interrogation ; Security ; Velvet ropes
    Laboratories ; Proper business practices ; Throwing stuff ; Threat evaluation
    Tattoos ; Faces ; Sexuality ; Aesthetics ; Caverns ; Chemicals ; Searching
    Line of sight ; Cake strippers ; Scientists ; Experimentation ; Human speech
    Mopping floors ; Hiding in plain sight ; Hiding in general ; Science ; Instinct
    Security systems ; Evidence ; Male Pattern Baldness (causes and cures)
    Lab Safety ; Bridges ; Extending bridges ; Handrails ; Building Codes
    Engineering ; Physics ; Gravity ; Zippo Lighters
    HVAC Systems (design and installation) ; Isotopes ; Necklaces
    Genetic Engineering ; Serums ; Sample collection safety ; OSHA Requirements
    Flags ; Decorations ; Computers ; Multiple screen setups ; Teenage girls
    Building layouts ; Radios ; Luchadores ; Illegal fighting ; Security checkpoints
    Holds ; Human strength ; Human anatomy ; Broken limbs ; Neck breaking
    Bobbleheads dolls ; RPGs ; Explosions ; Holsters ; Motel walls ; Debris ; Concrete
    C4 ; Electronic locks ; Lockpicks ; Credible threats ; Birthday parties ; Cornfields
    Scarecrows ; Electricity ; Water pipes ; Dialogue ; Detectives ; Helicopters
    Trial ; Corruption ; Motives ; Cause and effect ; Courthouses ; Prison doors
    Wooden packing crates ; Unconscious ; Judicial process ; Foreshadowing ; Pacing Gavels ; Suspicion ; Wigs ; Underground construction ; Prisson cells
    Prisons in general ; Chains ; Electricity ; Cell phone reception ; Villains
    Interrogation ; Surveillance ; Ropes in general ; Alarms ; The Agency ; Sivlerballers
    Previous hitman games in general ; Fan service ; Bullet wounds ; Car accidents
    Cisterns ; Ozone ; Fire ; Explosions ; Bottles ; Blood loss ; Lampshading
    Town layouts ; Connecting scenes ; Civilians ; Thigh wounds
    “Walk away from” scenes ; Blindness ; Humor ; Dialogue ; Twists ; Money
    Car alarms in general ; Fountains ; Human bodies in water ; Rain
    Reasons to pump water ; Gay men ; Smoking ; Stains ; Pottery ; Wooden stands
    Retinal scanner ; Elevator cameras ; Cell phones ; Delivery people ; Elevators
    Elevator sertvice hatches ; Elevator shafts ; Fire extinguishers ; Armor ; Decorations
    Carrying large objects ; Safety pins ; That whole thing with the girl ; Posing

    To be continued

    • Michael says:

      The list is starting to get to the point where you could accurately consolidate it to: “Life on Planet Earth” and “Everything Else.”

    • Jakale says:

      Consistency…aside from consistently aggravating to watch.

      You occasionally hear from writers about how characters will screw up an idea for a scene by reminding the writer that the character would not act this way or say those things. The Hitman writers do not appear to care.

      Dexter is either a cocksure, prancing jester or a man afraid for his life, and will flip back and forth almost regardless of the situation. 47 he worries about, but the girl who he has no control over who just killed almost all his guards? Not a smug muscle in his body moves to consider this could harm him. The head of the Agency he was so freaked out about when he thought they wanted him dead? Prance like an idiot about how he pretended to shoot the only leverage he had against them in front of them. He also will happily kill bystanders, but never kills 47 at the multiple opportunities he has while the latter is helpless in front of him.

      Dexter’s woman is freaked out by Dexter’s violent actions, mute arm candy, or confident seductress assassin cause the story decides to kill her. If she had a moment where we saw it was bravado to calm down Dexter(because he’s just so worth risking your life for), then that would give some sort of reason for this.

      Danny Trejulk is a magic superman that is impervious to 47’s abilities, despite being taken completely by surprise, or helpless on Trejulk’s own turf before 47, despite zero handicaps and a face to face confrontation.

      Head of Agency guy is never really what you expect from someone in charge of an international group of killers with his own personal army and informants, but sometimes he at least acts like he has a situation in control. The rest of the time he’s a flabbergasted, petulant child.

      Victoria is basically always helpless while we’re told she’s one of the least helpless beings in the world and the one time we witness her not being helpless, no one is afraid of her and she’s immediately subdued by a grab she got out of seconds before.

      47 is invincible, super strong, super stealthy assassin or idiot who can’t help but reveal his presence unnecessarily and is constantly discovered and defeated by his victims. That fits his player controlled self throughout the games, but doesn’t mesh with the what the cutscenes tell us and what the cutscenes show us.

      • Gruhunchously says:

        Of all of them, Jade seems to be the only one with any consistent personality- constantly perturbed by all the idiots she finds herself surrounded by while desperately trying to do her job despite them all. She, at least, I can sympathize with.

        Of course, she’s only in three or so scenes, so it’s not like she has a chance to do much or make much of an impression (aside from her legs). She’s just there.

  5. James says:

    Thinking on character switching and jumping perspective.

    GTA V does this, some missions have multiple people in the same job or whatever and it occasionally jumps between them sometimes its forced other times its optional. and despite some of the games failings this works. Now I’m thinking about this sort of mechanic or system used in a Hitman style game.

    They also did a perspective switch in DA:Origins three (one is guaranteed) times, and it worked sometimes.

    • DeadlyDark says:

      Death to Spies 3 wants to do this, with three different protagonists on same level. Sadly, in demo there is only one protagonist, and their crowd-funding campaigns failed. I’m sad now remembering that.

      On irrelevant note. I miss days when Agent 47 if was asked for name called himself “Tobias Reaper”. That was good name.

    • Thomas says:

      In terms of Shamus’ idea of multiple characters going through a level, I’m going to be honest, I remember the time in the 2000’s when this idea was much more common, and it was almost always bad.

      It just feels super artifical and the levels were never as fun for any one character when they had to be designed to be played by multiple.

      If its forced switching perspectives during a mission, maybe that could work because the designed constraints are tighter.

  6. Daemian Lucifer says:

    How I would fix that scene is:

    Dexter is dragging the girl to the chopper,and she stealthily gets her pendant from his pocket which no one notices but us.Then he gives her to some mook,and she flips out,knocking dexter on his back and killing a bunch of mooks.Then,when she points a gun towards dexter and is just about to shoot,she spasms and falls down,and the camera pans to show dexter with a remote,and he says “Yeah,after 47 escaped,the agency added some extra failsafes”.

    There,a scene that not only establishes her as a real threat,but also that the agency wasnt stupid and recognizes what they did wrong with 47.

    • James says:

      That could work, or they could drop the pedant and make her character closer to River from Firefly, but that would of course require giving someone a character and not a gimmick, and i don’t think these writers can do that.

      i don’t think i’ve been this disappointed by a writer since Mac Walter and Casey Huson, at-least they wrote some good parts as well as bad

      • Ivan says:

        Do we still have to call them writers? It’s at the point where chimpanzees banging on keyboards would be able to write a more coherent story than this.

    • Ledel says:

      Or at the very least, with the last guy she kills have some explicit blood splatter across her face and that’s what “wakes her up” and she makes the “Oh God! What have I done?” look. It’s easy because you just keep her model clean through the fight, have a quick-flash close up on her face when the blood hits her, and the scene plays out a little bit better. It doesn’t fix everything, but it tells so much about her character that this game has been sorely lacking all the way through.

  7. Gruhunchously says:

    “Это курам на смех”

    • DIN aDN says:

      I’ve not heard that one before. May I ask what it means?

      Many thanks.

      • Gruhunchously says:

        It’s from Firefly, Serenity specifically, in another instance where a young girl’s all-ass-kicking spree is stopped suddenly and unexpectedly. Only in Serenity there was actually an explanation for it.

        Not sure, but I’m told it translates roughly to “This is for chickens to laugh at”. Or, to put it another way “This is ridiculous”.

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Something that Rutskarn said last episode I didnt really notice then,but in here it just bothered me so much:The heavy weapons.From the very beginning,you were unable to conceal large weapons in a hitman game.Its what made it stand out so much more from all the rest.You couldnt just have a shotgun and a sniper rifle at the same time,because you could carry only one large weapon.And I think it was hitman 2 that introduced the suitcase for carrying sniper rifles stealthily.But here,at one point we see hitman carrying concealed 2 pistols,a big ass fire extinguisher,a submachine gun,and a sniper rifle.Its just…no.Nooo!This game actually regresses so far that its worse than the very first installment of the series.

    • James says:

      Its something i really really hated and felt i had to force myself to not pick them up, partially because i wasn’t going to use them and also because if felt wrong that i could conceal heavy weapons,

    • spleentioteuthis says:

      The suitcase gun definitely was in the first game.
      I believe it’s the very first mission that’s most straightforwardly played by getting the gun in a suitcase, shooting the target from a rooftop vantage point, and then using the very conspicuous construction lift right next to the park your target was in and walking past the scene while putting on your best “What gunshot? I didn’t hear any gunshot. I mean sorry, I don’t speak English, Chinese or any other languages. Also this suitcase has several angry skunks in it, I wouldn’t open it if I was you.” act.

      • utzel says:

        That was where I learned what a SPAS-12 is. I bought that gun to check out what it was when it was first available for the hotel mission (my favourite from the first game). It wasn’t until the civilians ran away in panic on the street and guards came running and shooting at me from the entrance that I noticed the big shotgun 47 was holding and went: “Oh!” :D

        While you couldn’t conceal a big gun, there was no limit to how many small ones your suit could hold. If you took out every guard in a level, the way I still play most of the sneaky games, the clanking noises while moving should have alerted everyone in a two block radius. But if it came to a shootout, you could just throw away the half empty gun and pull the next one from your assortment of 15 Berettas and 10 Uzis. Reloading? What’s that?

        • Michael says:

          The limit was 4 pistols and 2 SMGs, as I recall.

        • Dev Chand says:

          Also here’s this for fun: you could hide an MP5SD, which was easily longer than the Franchi PA3 (yes, that was the automatic shotgun in Codename 47, not the SPAS 12) and several rifles in your jacket, but not the shotgun and those rifles. You could even hide four of those things, for good measure!

  9. Artur CalDazar says:

    Huh, they made an interesting choice for the targets picture this mission didn’t they? Layla’s is from the “sexy” she pretends she is going to sleep with you and strips cutscene.

    “release the whale” that was a really good line.

    Ugh the scene of the girl killing all those mooks. In addition to being nonsensical, its badly shot. It might be the single worse bit of framing/composure/whatever the applicable film terms are I have ever seen in a game. It makes more visual sense as a nightmare flashback to another scene.

    • Cordance says:

      No one else thought of summon bigger fish at this moment?

      I know its an old out of the way reference to Darths and Droids, a spin off of DM of the rings but I thought someone might have thought of it.

    • guy says:

      Yeah, that scene is rather badly done. It pretty much completely failed to sell Victoria taking out a room full of armed guards even to me, and I’m very willing to accept that sort of thing. For one thing, when she was hitting people the animation made it look like she wasn’t even attempting to seriously hurt them; her attacks mostly hit limbs and didn’t seem to have any weight to them. And the camera made it obvious that the other mooks in the room were standing around waiting for their turn. They needed to tighten the zoom and speed everything up.

  10. krellen says:

    Just leaping in to say that Rutskarn’s portrayal of Harpo Marx as 47 was utter brilliance.

  11. Gruhunchously says:

    Wow, I can see what you guys meant about Layla doing a complete character reversal in this game. She literally went from freaking out over the murder of an innocent in her first scene, to being entirely complicit with the murder of another innocent in this scene. Unless one of these reactions was a ruse (which makes no sense), or she underwent some heavy off-screen character development, these two scenes are completely incompatible with each other. Were they both written by the same person?

    Okay, maybe the dominatrix wasn’t entirely innocent, but still, they way she died was completely unnecessary and undignified. I can’t see anyone with any kind of moral compass not raising some sort of objection about it.

  12. John says:

    How exactly does the scoring system in this game work? Your score is penalized for killing people other than your targets, right? And yet so many of the incidental characters are thoroughly awful people, presumably because the writers don’t want you to feel bad if you do kill them. There are some mixed messages here, is what I’m saying.

    If I had to play this game, I think I would put it on Easy Mode and proceed to kill everyone. But silent takedowns only, you understand. It’s classier that way.

    • Bropocalypse says:

      I guess the underlying message is “killing people is wrong even if they’re assholes, unless you’re told otherwise.”

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      You get penalized for killing them,but the penalty is offset if you hide their body before anyone spots it.So if you are stealthy and meticulous you can kill everyone and still end up on 0+.

      • newdarkcloud says:

        Actually, the penalty for an non-target kill exceeds the bonus for hiding a body. You can additional bonus points that can cancel out a non-target kill by performing the kill with a headshot.

        However, if you knock someone out, then hide the body, the bonus from hiding the body is exactly enough to cancel out the penalty.

        • It sounds like only someone with OCD would do that for every level.

          And come to think of it, finding an area where everyone has been knocked out and neatly put away does make one wonder if the place had been invaded by someone with OCD.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            The worst thing is:If you want to knock out/kill everyone on the level,you have to do it in a single go.Because if you reload a checkpoint,everyone resets.Again,reverting back to the first game,only slightly better(?) because the levels are smaller.

      • Syal says:

        On a related note, I love that throwing an unconscious person into water doesn’t count as killing them.

  13. Henson says:

    This cutscene has given me an idea for a Hitman game. For the gameplay and missions, it’s business as usual, with 47 given contracts and he assassinates interesting targets. The story, however, is taken from the perspective of an average joe, much like our sushi delivery guy, who has the absurd bad luck to keep showing up where 47 kills people. He moves from job to job, and they all inevitably end poorly. Maybe he finally puts out a contract on himself, so that when that darn assassin shows up, he can get his revenge!

    It would be hard to integrate the narrative with the player’s approach to missions (quiet vs. noisy), but hey, it’s an idea.

  14. Ledel says:

    So, at the beginning of this series I said I would try to find time to buy and play this game to try to give better comments as the story progressed (as I do with nearly all of the games Spoiler Warning plays). Yet, as this series progressed I felt less and less compelled to do so. This episode marks the point where I said to myself, “You know what, this game just seems so bad it’s not worth it. Even if my comments fall flat because they don’t fully do the game justice, it just seems so bad it’s not worth even the $5 it might be worth on a steam sale to try to play this game.

    I don’t think I would be able to have fun just replaying levels of this game seeing all the different hilarious ways I could take people out just because it’s pushing this story so hard. Every time I would play a level it might be fun, but it would be ruined by me reminding myself, “Oh yeah…my reward for doing this was another cutscene that broke my Hitman immersion.” My favorite part of games like the Hitman games are the replayability of the levels, and this game just looks like the developers didn’t put enough effort into allowing that. It looks almost like they just pushed that aspect onto the players with the online contract kills in their levels that players could make.

  15. Isaac says:

    The fact that Dexter’s men forcibly dressed up Skurky’s girlfriend in a school uniform carries some unfortunate implications that are pretty dark, even for this game.

    Ugh.

  16. Kian says:

    So, can we assume Good Robot won’t include the player being captured in cutscenes? ;) Hopefully Pyrodactil won’t mandate that you include that in.

  17. DIN aDN says:

    Can I just point out how odd I find it that the game counts knocking someone unconscious and then dumping them into a body of water as a non-lethal takedown?

    Edit: Oh wow. I was talking about the fountain there.

    • Bropocalypse says:

      It’s not lethal if you didn’t do it. That’s one of the many contrived and nonsensical rules this game uses.

      • MrGuy says:

        To be fair, this is sometimes one of those “you can’t win” situations (or, at least an “it’s very hard for you to win” situations) for developers.

        Recall the Dishonored or Ass Creed seasons where you can have a perfect approach to someone, get behind them, and knock them out, but then due to the animation glitching a bit, or the roof being not completely level, or him happening to fall on the skylight in just the right way, that he’ll fall down and die, and suddenly even though you did everything perfectly the game says “Nuh uh. He died so you’re a murderer now.” I think I also recall Josh hitting a knocked out guard with a thrown physics object at one point accidentally and getting blamed for his death.

        I suppose holding you responsible for everything that happens to individuals is more realistic (hey, it’s how murder statutes work), but it’s not always a decision that makes the game fun to play.

        That said, there’s a middle ground here. The obvious solution to that one case is not letting you dump bodies in the fountain in the firstplace.

  18. Henson says:

    Josh’s encounter in choking out the enemies instead of slicing them with his katana is due to the game’s really stupid mechanic. When you are hidden behind cover and an enemy is directly around cover, the left mouse button triggers the ‘subdue’ action regardless of what you think it should do. The game does not tell you this.

    I failed the hotel mission so many times because I assaulted a nearby janitor instead of throwing my distraction item like I intended. 47 looks like a complete ass when he blows his cover making such a boneheaded move.

    I really really hated playing this game.

  19. Victoria’s “kill everyone but Boss Hogg” cutscene makes me think someone on the dev team mistook River from “Firefly” for a grindhouse character.

    If I was feeling generous, I’d say that Victoria was originally to be portrayed as the ultimate killer but her abilities only kicked in when directly threatened. In this case, they were set off by Hazmat Guy. If they’d established that, and if Dexter knew that, him standing still and not making a move towards her would make perfect sense. However, it wouldn’t explain how she could get grabbed from behind in the end.

    • MichaelGC says:

      I was thinking along those lines too – and to continue being suuuuper-generous, you could say that the initial violent ballet all happened without conscious control. (It just kicked in automatically, because that’s how DNA works shut up la la la la not listening.) Then, when the moment passes and conscious control begins to reassert itself – e.g. when she looks down at her hands “as one might regard a gun that has been hanging on the wall for decades and has suddenly gone off and perforated the cat” – she loses access to her abilities pending a future training montage.

      That said, I’m pretty sure there is no way to non-rhetorically ask the question: “is such generosity warranted?”

  20. Feriority says:

    Did anybody else see Samurai 47 running around slicing people and imagine the enemies from the end of Tomb Raider? A whole game of that would be pretty entertaining.

    Now there’s yet another idea for a better game than this one…

  21. Spammy says:

    It would mean having to look up a cutscene from this game on Youtube, but I kind of want to find the whole Layla thing just so I can have the proper sequence of events in my head to imagine Layla going through the whole seduction deal while 47 is in the samurai armor and doing the hiding pose.

    • Thomas says:

      From the look of it you just walk through a door and the cutscene triggers, so I bet you could actually do that :p

      It’s a really hideous cutscene, just another example of a women getting all sexy for no reason immediately before violence. She literally takes off her clothes and then pulls out a gun and tries to shoot you. It’s identical to how the scene would work if she just saw you and then pulled out a gun and tried to shoot you, except with less clothes

      • Henson says:

        Well let’s be fair, it’s not for no reason; Layla is clearly trying to distract 47 with her sex so that she can shoot him when his guard is down. She blows it by shouting “Die!” at the end, and the whole sequence is one big trite cliche, and it makes Layla look really dumb for not understanding how asexual 47 is, but it at least has a reason.

        • Thomas says:

          It’s the shouting die thing that makes it for no reason. Considering that she’s just standing halfway in the room, telegraphs whats she’s doing and then pulls a gun from behind her back, it’s exactly as effective as pulling a gun from behind your back.

          EDIT: What I’m trying to say is that the timing is so bad its as good as no reason. In the end she took off her clothes because she wanted to achieve a “Look over there!” whilst she reached behind her back.

          Like if she used the seduction to actually get right next to 47 and try to stab him, or tried to get him to lay down his gun, or move, or put his arms around her, or she put his arms around him…

          All that makes sense. But she doesn’t do that. The only person who lowered their guard (or even moved or did anything at all) was her.

          You might argue that she didn’t have her gun readily available but then 1)why does she keep her gun in a place where she has to strip to reach it and 2) she was _waiting_ for 47, she was sitting there expecting him to come into the room.

          Just pointing the gun at the door would have been more effective than what she did

          • Henson says:

            Oh, it’s clearly poorly thought-out on her part, and definitely emphasizes how new she is to this whole ‘killing’ thing (she’s obviously not a killer, only trying to act like one, and is way out of her depth). But her stripping does have a reason, even if it’s a really really bad choice.

            I get what you’re saying, but your choice of words implies something very different. It’s the difference between ‘this character is making a stupid move’ vs. ‘the writer made this character do something that makes no sense’.

            • guy says:

              Uh, I did not get the sense from this that she was new to killing people. I mean, she suggests that she single-handedly take on a legendary assassin and Dexter appears entirely confident she is up to the task. Though it would fit with the general theme of her character apparently resulting from writing two entirely different characters and then deciding to give them the same model and voice actress and never comment on it.

              Hell, secretly being a pair of identical twins would explain why she slips into the third person.

              • Henson says:

                Hmm. Well, I suppose Dexter’s confidence in Layla’s abilities could be undermining the scene. He really should know better. Though I wonder if his own arousal might be clouding his judgement.

                And yes, the Layla here is a real 180 from the Layla we saw in the beginning.

          • Dev Chand says:

            Here’s another thing the developers don’t understand, how seduction works!

    • newdarkcloud says:

      Be very, very careful what you wish for.

      • The video is disturbing enough by itself, but the annotation at the start about reptilian shapeshifters adds that special touch of bonkers that makes you start wondering if the audience for this game isn’t as off-kilter as the devs…

      • Benjamin Hilton says:

        That was….So stupid…

        I, I can’t….

        I have lost my ability to even.

        • Thomas says:

          It does not get less stupid on repeat viewing. I just noticed that she seems to pull her gun out of her bra strap? I don’t even want to know how that was supposed to work. (They even show a shot of her ordinary non-gun-containing bra strap with no gun like 2 seconds before)

          • Benjamin Hilton says:

            So I haven’t played this game, but I got it during that last summer sale for like 5 dollars thinking that I would eventually play it…and now I feel like even at 5 bucks it wasn’t worth it…

            • A lot of us got it because a recent Humble Bundle contained Startopia, an actually good game.

              Unfortunately, it also came with the Kane & Lynch collection, Thi4f, and Hitman: Absolution.

              On a more positive note, it also had Deus Ex: Human Revolution, so there’s that.

      • MichaelGC says:

        We’ve reached a pretty pass when it becomes possible to say: “it made a lot more sense the way Josh did it.”

  22. Alex says:

    I agree with Shamus that the… perpetrators of this game do seem to have a misanthropic streak. I’m just not sure whether it’s a hatred of people in general that makes them think that murder is a perfect seasoning for any kind of entertainment or a hatred of the player in particular that makes them want to tarnish any non-murder-based enjoyment the game might provide.

  23. guy says:

    So last week I said,

    I’ll give the game this on Victoria: So far she has not been trapped in any situation I would reasonably expect her to be able to escape from. I mean, she was on a long road trip, but nothing about her has exactly radiated the capacity to single-handedly beat an armed gang leader in a fight or evade him in totally unfamiliar territory less than a day after waking from a coma and being too sick to walk.

    And I got the response,

    You’ll take back your words about Victoria fleeing making sense when you’ll see a later cutscene.

    This is that cutscene, and I am taking back my words.

    It made sense that she didn’t try to escape when it seemed like she was genetically special but not actually a trained assassin, because when we saw her endangered on screen it was in situations that would legitimately be problematic to escape from, like being grabbed by someone considerably larger than her with a grenade he seemed entirely desperate enough to detonate. But now that we know how dangerous she is, it is entirely reasonably to expect her to be able to escape at some point on the drive.

    They also didn’t set up this scene with her previous appearances. It’d be very easy to do with a few lines of dialogue where she commented on the tactical situation during the hospital assault. For instance, when going to the elevators she could mention that it’s dangerous to take the elevator because the attackers could shut it down to trap them and have 47 say that’s true but he can’t exactly carry her down the stairs while fighting. And have the voice acting make it clear she’s feverish and out of it to explain why she can’t escape on the road trip.

  24. James says:

    10 Million. Hes an arms manufacturer he has guns that are worth more than that. how bout instead of money he asks the powerful agency of assassins for well an assassination. Make them kill his rivals, uhhh hit a member of state in another country to start a civil war to sell more guns to them, something ANYTHING. Its sad I hope they go back to a more blood money formula in the future.

    • Ivan says:

      This game is so bad though, and so many steps backwards in every single way. The only thing I can honestly say might be an improvement are the crowds, other than that this game is inferior to its predecessors in every single way conceivable. I really have no hope that this reboot will result in any good games, let alone any good hitman games. Honestly they seem to have gone out of their way to make it as bad as possible.

      • Michael says:

        On the subject of the crowds? Two words: Marti Gras.

        • Ivan says:

          I was thinking of that when I mentioned crowds. It’s been a while since I’ve played that level but I suspect that absolution’s are superior. I don’t know, it might need a side by side comparison to find the difference, or some toying with to tease out what kind of logic they operate on, but from where I’m sitting they look functionally identical with absolution’s crowds being higher fidelity. Honestly I rarely hold up graphics as a significant improvement but in this case it is so hard to do crowds believably that I feel that improvement on that front is beneficial to the game.

          • Michael says:

            Yeah, I’m genuinely not sure how sophisticated the crowd AI was in Blood Money. It wasn’t a new system, and it does help to make the game feel different from most stealth games. But… eh.

            • Dev Chand says:

              I’ll save you the need to recollect how the crowds worked in Blood Money by saying this: they didn’t. They were pretty much just props that would react if you shot them. They don’t shield you from the police, from the assassins, from the gang members, hell from anything. Their AI path is pretty much just “Randomly move around streets”.

  25. Spammy says:

    No wait there’s another thing about the trade cutscene that’s ridiculous. Mr. Agency McRobohand gave him the money? Actually gave him the money? Didn’t put a tracking thing in the briefcase, didn’t just put fake wads of paper blanks between real bills, he just actually paid a clearly evil backstabbing guy in advance. Even assuming that all the guards around the helipad were Boss Hog’s the Agency didn’t have any plans or backup or anything for this situation?

    Why is everyone in this game so stupid?

    • guy says:

      Yeah, that’s also pretty stupid. I mean, the Agency certainly has that kind of money, but it is important that Dexter’s plan not work. They can’t let someone get away with extorting them because it would give other people ideas.

    • Henson says:

      I love how his assistant flat-out points out how dumb he just was for giving him the money. At least the other characters can recognize each others’ stupidity.

    • MrGuy says:

      That’s not the dumb thing. While the Agency IN THIS GAME has been binging on the stupid juice, that’s not how they’ve been portrayed before. If you’re a bunch of backroom dealmakers playing at “power behind the throne,” you make some deals where one guy brings the stuff and the other guy brings the money. And getting a reputation for pulling the double-cross in those situations will leave you on the outside looking in in a hurry.

      So showing up to make an exchange with an actual briefcase of real money, without a booby trap, tracking device, or explosive device, is reasonable.

      What’s unabashedly stupid is handing over the money without getting the girl in exchange. Umm…WHAT? Yes, I know Dexter pretended he was handing over the girl (by the way, that’s EXACTLY the kind of double-cross that gets you killed later). But he clearly didn’t bring the girl, didn’t hand over the girl, pretended to kill the girl. And you handed him the money ANYWAYS, on his promise to bring her by eventually? Like, when he feels like it, apparently?

      “What we generally do in this country is one guy brings the item, and the other guy pays him. No Ticky… No laundry!”

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