Hitman Absolution EP1: Totally Legit Chef

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Mar 11, 2015

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 112 comments

Link (YouTube)

It’s time to play the new Hitman game. Does it hold up to the legacy of the series? Or is it a dumb, shallow, tedious, gross, thematically confused, mechanically shallow, poorly written, hopelessly contrived, overly linear and occasionally ridiculous farce? If you’ve watched more than 10 minutes of our show, you already know the answer. But you’ll probably watch it anyway.

Also, it wasn’t until today that I realized that HK-47 was a reference to Agent 47. Because I’m apparently bad at pattern recognition.


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112 thoughts on “Hitman Absolution EP1: Totally Legit Chef

  1. Thomas says:

    It’s not a reference to AK-47?

    1. WILL says:

      HK-47 is CLEARLY a reference to AK-47, I’m assuming it’s the same for Agent.

      1. Henson says:

        Agent 47 is a reference to the fact that his DNA has 47 chromosomes instead of the typical 46. Why that last chromosome isn’t in a pair is a mystery to me.

        1. Muspel says:

          There are other creatures that have an odd number of chromosomes. The first examples that come to mind are mules with 63 chromosomes, since they’re a cross between two species (horses and donkeys) that have 64 and 62 chromosomes, respectively.

          While I’m not familiar with the science, Wikipedia says that this is why almost all mules are unable to reproduce.

          There are also a lot of chromosomal disorders that can result in odd numbers of chromosomes in humans, like Downs Syndrome.

          1. INH5 says:

            Yes, hybrids of species with different numbers of chromosomes have odd numbers of chromosomes, because sperm and egg cells only have half of the parent’s chromosomes. So when they combine, the result is a zygote with one or more single chromosomes floating around. This generally results in an infertile adult because, as I understand it, the cellular machinery that splits up the chromosomes to make the dna for sperm or egg cells has a nervous breakdown when it encounters a chromosome without a corresponding pair.

            So in theory, Agent 47 could have an extra chromosome with super assassin genes, which would also make him sterile, but that could be a feature rather than a bug since you wouldn’t have to worry about him making super assassin babies “in the wild.”

            I’m not sure if this would be a more efficient genetic engineering technique than just tweaking the genes in the chromosomes that humans already have, but whatever.

            1. PossiblyInsane says:

              Inserting another chromosome (presumably a smaller one made in a lab with desired genes) requires less knowledge of the human genome, as you only need to know what you’re putting in, not what you’re replacing, moving around, and the possible impacts thereof.

              Assuming you can reliably make and insert the chromosome, it does not need to be tailored to the subject due to differences in gene sequences that may make altering the subject’s original chromosomes more complex and involved.

              Alternatively, the game designers didn’t have a resident molecular biologist, and went with something uniquely identifying.

              (Technically speaking, you don’t need to be a hybrid or genetically engineered to have three chromosomes. 47 could just have one of the trisomies viable in humans. Admittedly, most of these do not prohibit reproduction, and tend to have mental and physical developmental effects, but still.)

              (Also, odd chromosome hybrids can technically reproduce, they just need to have a chromosomal abnormality during the meiosis/fertilization process that gives them either one extra or one fewer copy of the odd chromosome, depending on which species the hybrid is mating with, and the offspring will be of said species rather than the hybrid.)

              (Unless it’s a plant, because plants don’t really care how many chromosomes they have.)

              1. Humanoid says:

                So when Agent 86 married Agent 99, how many chromosomes did their kid have?

                1. Henson says:

                  46. They adopted. Though it was difficult to find a bald child with a barcode on back of his head.

              2. Grudgeal says:

                Inserting a new chromosome could cause all manner of messes to the human regulome. The ways in which the framework of different genes on different chromosomes up- and downregulating each other works is incredibly complex, and the new chromosome would have to somehow be able to be sensitive to the production of related genes on different parts of the genome while at the same time not producing any byproducts that would cause negative feedback in any other parts of it. For examples of how this works out in nature we have trisomy 21 (Down Syndome) and 47-XXY, Klinefelder syndrome.

                I suppose it could work if you knew *exactly* what kind of products you want and their exact dosages’ effects on the human body and was able to produce an artificial chromosome containing those and only those genes, at which point I’d argue you’ll probably be better off just engineering a hyperintelligent smallpox virus to be your assassin. It’d probably be cheaper, easier, and require less future knowledge of the genome that we currently do not have.

                Still makes more sense than MGS though. But not very much more.

        2. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Really?Um,werent there agents with lower numbers in the first game?So I guess agent 46 was special because he had 46 chromosomes?

          1. Shamus says:

            And Agent 36 is a meerkat.

            1. drmickhead says:

              Both hilarious and karyologically accurate! This Shamus fellow is going places.

          2. Henson says:

            So according to its wikipedia page, Agent 47 is the 47th clone in the 4th series of clones that all have 47 chromosomes. I guess this implies that there were 46 rejects before him, maybe? Or, there might be a whole slew of ‘less than 47’s out there, killing prize-winning chefs around the world.

            There are other clones mentioned, like a “Mr. 17” from Hitman 2, who I totally don’t remember at all, but nothing indicating that they have a different number of chromosomes. It seems that being the 47th clone and also having 47 chromosomes is a miraculous coincidence.

            1. James says:

              their actually are, in blood money you meet some of the earlier clones. Ok stab in the face and hide the body same thing in 47’s world.

              1. Henson says:

                I do remember the albino clones from Blood Money, but it’s not clear to me whether they are from the fourth series of 47 chromosomes, as 47 is, or if they are part of the first three series of clones.

        3. Grudgeal says:

          …Posting the lyrics to DEVO’s “Mongoloid” would be horribly inappropriate at this point wouldn’t it?

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            But funny nevertheless.And so,linky

    2. Lachlan the Mad says:

      It’s possible that HK-47 is a reference to Agent 47, and Agent 47 is a reference to the AK-47…

      1. The only way that HK-47 can be a reference to Agent 47 is if the KoTOR devs said it was.

        Just seeing patterns does not make it true.

    3. According to one of the KOTOR writers HK-47 was the name of his Billiards Team. The more you know….

      1. Felblood says:

        Ah, but the billiards team was, in part, named for the rifle.


    4. Mormegil says:

      I always assumed it was a portmanteau gun reference – HK for Heckler & Koch, 47 for AK-47.

      1. Rob says:

        I always assumed the HK stood for Hunter-Killer, as a reference to the mechs in the future scenes from Terminator.

  2. Phrozenflame500 says:

    Didn’t expect this game for a full season, but it’s a welcome surprise. I played Blood Money and loved it but didn’t buy Absolution because of all the poor reception.

    I’ll be interested in seeing the differences between the two.

  3. Viktor says:

    For the subtitle game: Graphics, Aim and Camera, Text Language. In that order. Though I admit I’m metagaming a bit, I don’t think Rutskarn would have asked if it was in the most obvious spot(Sound).

    Edit: The hell? I was right, in that it wasn’t in the most obvious spot, but of the 7 options on that page, I’d have put Hints as my 6th pick. Why, devs? Why put it there? 

  4. I love this series. Blood Money is one of my favorite games of all time. I also love Silent Assassin. I love stealth games in general. And I absolutely loathe this game.
    It is going to take every once of restraint in me from posting three thousand word rants about the millions of things that bug me about this game everytime you post a chapter in this series. It is such an ugly, misogynistic, badly designed game with some of the worst level layouts in the history of the series or games in general.

    I actually beat this game twice. Once, because I played every Hitman game to completion and felt I needed to. The second time, because I was wondering if I was being unfair to it and should try and accept it on its own terms. I hated it all the more after the second playthrough.

    The first thing that irritates me about this game. I guess you can call it the Cerberus Effect. At the end of Blood Money, the Agency was completely dismantled. The remaining assets were liquidized and split between Diana and 47. Now, in the previous games, you didn’t learn much about the Agency, but I sincerely doubt they were a private military with aircraft carriers and shock troops!

    A clone super-assassin with a bar code on the back of his head, I can buy that because video games. The Agency invading and burning an American town to ash in a major, militaryesque action I can’t. The game is filled with crap like this.

    BTW, I would like to nominate Blood Money for having the greatest tutorial ever designed. Not only do they introduce you to every game mechanic you will or may need in a fluid, well paced way, but they also introduce the situations that you would use said mechanics. It teaches you how to look at and read the situation and the possible solutions for problems and obstacles that you will come across. It’s brilliant.

    This tutorial, is okay. Better than some games, but not nearly as good as Blood Money.

    1. Tom says:

      Blood Money is well designed, but I ultimately rejected it for reasons of what felt like Bowdlerisation. Every Hitman game prior to that one has had 47 perform deeply morally ambiguous or sometimes outright evil actions; some voluntary, some coerced. Sometimes you kill bad dudes, sometimes you kill innocents. I loved Silent Assassin for the way it showed 47 grappling with the murky, unpleasant nature of his own existence, trying to rise above it and being dragged back. (This is a dilemma, however, because the later games have more polished, well tuned mechanics than earlier ones. For all that I love the writing in Silent Assassin, the AI is wayyy too twitchy. Every NPC you meet in the entire game is certifiably paranoid.)

      In Blood Money, I expect because it was made in a post-9/11 world and also moved events to American soil for the first time, I think they chickened out* and made sure that pretty much every assassination target from the tutorial onwards is an absolutely vile person whose removal from the world can only possibly be regarded as a positive good. This is actually one more reason the tutorial in Blood Money is indeed so great – the genius of the Swing King character is that it eases you into the assassination game very, very gently, in moral terms. Everything you see in the entire level as you approach the target makes it absolutely clear that, in every possible respect, his life is already over. The guy might as well already be dead, and it’s nobody’s fault but his own. The assassination itself is little more than drawing a line under that. Now, if they’d taken a Spec Ops kind of approach, and had your targets gradually become less and less clearly deserving of assassination as the game progresses from there, that might have made things a bit more interesting from a dramatic perspective. The game as written, however, removes much of the tension arising from the moral ambiguity of earlier instalments; agent 47 seems almost like a particularly dark superhero in Blood Money, not an assassin. Then again, maybe that was the direction they actually wanted to take the character in – maybe this is how 47 copes with the issues raised in Silent Assassin. However, even if that were so, an unavoidable consequence is that it significantly changes the “flavour” of the series, if not the mechanics.

      *I particularly dislike it when devs chicken out after already getting away with being controversial in earlier iterations of the same series – like the sex scenes in Mass Effect becoming much, much tamer in the sequels, for example. Why on earth would one capitulate after an outright win?

  5. Isaac says:

    The way you can divert attention from yourself by using the Instinct system is dumb. In order to make yourself less suspicious you have to do something (covering your face) that would make you even more suspicious? It’s so dumb!

  6. Ledel says:

    As another season starts with a game i don’t have/haven’t played, I must continue my tradition of finding the time to buy and try out the game to be better informed of the season.

    In all honesty I wouldn’t have expected a season of Hitman. It’s never seemed like a series that had strong enough story elements for Spoiler Warning. (I haven’t played the Hitman games, I’m only judging off what I’ve read/seen of the games)

    1. newdarkcloud says:

      This is the very first Hitman game to have a major focus on its story. As for the rest, you’re right in the story was never extremely important.

      As for the quality of Absolution’s story…. it’s terrible.

      1. Sleeping Dragon says:

        A fun season then?

        I have limited experience with the Hitman games but from what I’ve seen (rather than played) it seemed like they were at their best when doing mechanically focused puzzle maps rather than coming up with a storyline to tie those maps together.

        1. newdarkcloud says:

          That’s exactly the case, Hitman is best when it focuses on the gameplay. The story has pretty much always been terrible in these games.

          So, this should be an entertaining season, especially when latex nuns come out.

          1. Ledel says:

            The credits sequence alone seems to promise lots of fun commentary ahead for the week.

  7. PossiblyInsane says:

    This game has an odd tendency towards feminine faces with somewhat equine characteristics in woman that the game holds up as objects of beauty, even in cultures where such features are not usually considered desirable.

  8. Henson says:

    I’m making my way through the game right now, and so far, I see two major problems (among all the minor ones):

    1) Your goal isn’t so much to kill a target, but to progress to the next area. Levels are, as Chris mentioned, designed more linearly than laterally; it’s obvious that the designers care less about giving you a playground in which to complete a goal and more about herding you along their pre-determined path. This works fine in a game like Half-Life, but not for a game that should be, essentially, about solving one big murder puzzle. (I do like the ‘kill’ options it does give, like using sleeping pills, but they often feel inconsequential to me, like executing them is too easy or something. Maybe they’ll improve later on.)

    2) The game has contempt for its primary mechanic. Disguises are required in order to infiltrate private areas, but people who share your disguise will see through it fairly quickly if you stay in their line of sight for just a few seconds. The game doesn’t give you an opportunity to assess restricted areas because you’re constantly trying to avoid the gaze of everyone dressed like you (this is particularly bad in the hotel level). You have to wear disguises to progress, but the game doesn’t want you to use them.

    Honestly, it’s this second complaint that’s been making me hate the game so far. I don’t want to play ‘Operation’ with armed guards, I want to infiltrate and assassinate.

    1. 2 is the major problem with this game. It both requires and then punishes you for using disguises. Maybe the previous disguise system didn’t make much logical sense in some cases, but this new one was absolutely absurd.

      1. newdarkcloud says:

        That’s really the central problem of the game. If the disguise is not one of thee rare ones, it is only marginally better than just wearing Agent 47’s suit. You’ll still get detected if you don’t keep out of sight, but wearing a disguise gives you more time to before an enemy notices you.

        This pretty much cripples the disguise system, because you get significantly less use out of it.

        1. Jokerman says:

          So instead of walking around like a normal person, you have 47 dressed as a guard rolling from cover to cover like an idiot. Which is less suspicious apparently.

    2. Jokerman says:

      They see through you if you are dressed the same as 50 other guys… but not if you are the only Chef in the level, it’s so bizarre.

      1. Henson says:

        I can definitely see where they’re coming from; the cowboy guards might know who the other cowboy guards are on sight, but not recognize any of the janitorial staff. But yes, it also highlights the problem you mentioned.

        I feel like the designers wanted to fix the narrative dissonance of ‘no one is suspicious of the bald guy in costume with the obvious barcode on the back of his head’, but only mitigated part of the problem. In doing so, they created their own mechanical problem that I absolutely despise. I’d rather the narrative dissonance.

        1. But here’s the thing, they were suspicious, that’s what the stress meter was supposed to represent. I used to like to joke about Hitman 2. When you’re in disguise, the guards would turn their heads and look at you as walked pass them and say something in Russian. I like to think that they were saying, “did that guy have a barcode on the back of his head?”

          1. Jokerman says:

            I think people turned there head like that in all of the early games, it was pretty amusing when walking past a group and all 6-7 of them would stop what they are doing to stare at you as you walked by… even in the civilian areas wearing the suit, which backs up your theory… it must be the barcode :D

        2. Jokerman says:

          Agreed, i see what they were going for. It really fixed none of the narrative dissonance and made the game less fun.

          I think the real reason they did it was the more linear levels and the fact some levels are just A to B, they would be ridiculously easy using the old disguise system.

  9. Deadpool says:

    The whole Diana thing makes WAY more sense after you beat the game…

    1. Jokerman says:

      That fact she has a different ethnicity and accent makes less sense though…

  10. INH5 says:

    I always thought there was a weird tension between the disguise system of the Hitman series and the demands of the gameplay. In a third person game, you always want to make the player character visually distinctive, so there’s never any chance of the player confusing the PC with an NPC. So Agent 47 was designed to be instantly visible in a variety of outfits, primarily due to features like being tall, bald, and his famous barcode tattoo.

    But logically, these features should also make it difficult for 47 to disguise himself. And given that he was literally grown in a lab to be the perfect assassin, you would expect 47 to look more like the average dude, precisely so he could disappear into a crowd or easily disguise himself. In particular, while the barcode tattoo is good for reminding the player who they are by always being visible when the camera is to 47’s back (unless you’re wearing a big hat), it’s located on basically the second worst place on his body to avoid attracting attention (the first worst place would, of course, be somewhere on his face).

    It isn’t helped by the way the game actually handles disguises, often making them work much better than they should even for the most generic looking man in the world. The thing in Absolution with people in the same kind of outfit getting suspicious is a good idea, but like Shamus and co. say in this episode, there are issues with the implementation.

    On the other hand, one level in Hitman 2 makes the disguises not work anywhere near as well as they should. One level has ninja enemies in uniforms which completely cover the face. You would think that wearing one of these would allow you to walk around pretty much with impunity, especially in the parts of the level that take place outdoors at night during a blizzard, assuming that 47 could carry himself like a soldier which of course he could. But somehow every guard will immediately get suspicious and ask for your ID if you get within about 10 feet (this led to the amusing sight of me riding off in a vehicle at the end of the level while a guard frantically ran after it trying to check my papers). Also, the snipers in watchtowers will immediately shoot you on sight without so much as a warning. If there was any attempt at an explanation for that, I didn’t see it.

    So on the whole, the implementation is a mixed bag. I do, however like the little touches like in this episode the chef disguise lets you carry around a knife without suspicion. There’s also a level in Hitman 2 where you can disguise yourself as a firefighter, which lets you openly carry an axe around and also lets you bring guns through a metal detector without any extra suspicion, because of course all your gear would set that off.

    1. Eric says:

      I hated those three Japan levels. I loved every mission of Hitman 2 before that, but I usually ended my playthroughs of Silent Assassin after the first Japan level in the sushi restaurant.

      Come to think of it, I was pretty meh about the missions in the Middle East and in India too.

      1. newdarkcloud says:

        I think in a general sense, when somebody say that they love the Hitman franchise, what they basically is “I like Hitman: Blood Money”. It’s the only game in the franchise the most fans can get behind.

        Most agree than the first game is complete dogshit. Silent Assassin is alright, but as you note it’s a mixed bag. It’s a lot better than the first game was, but dear god it had it’s share of problems. Blood Money did too, but no where near to the same extent.

        1. Jokerman says:

          It was really well received though, I think people ignored the problems because the game is so unique. Contracts is really when the systems started to work properly.. and that game was seen as a disappointment… for some reason.

        2. Dev Chand says:

          I don’t think that’s really the case. I know Blood Money sold poorly among all the Hitman games, and when it released it was criticized a lot by Hitman fans. I think what happened is that people who were disappointed with Blood Money moved away from the franchise as there weren’t any Hitman games released in six years, and barely any hopes of a new Hitman game coming out. In those years, people who were fans of Blood Money ended up being more concentrated in discussion groups over the internet, whether it be forums, Youtube comments or news comment sections. Also those years built up a lot of anticipation when a new Hitman game was announced, which was probably why so many people found Absolution disappointing.

          If you ask me, I would say I enjoy all of the first four Hitman games for different reasons and in different ways depending on my mood. I haven’t played Absolution yet because it’s a bit too costly and I have comparitively slow Internet on my side.

    2. Humanoid says:

      The perfect assassin is one who does not know he is an assassin.

  11. tzeneth says:

    It looked like everyone missed Shamus’ laxative pun. I’m a little sad that there wasn’t a groan when Shamus said it would be “sh*tty.”

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I think that everyone just had it up to here with his crap by that point to even acknowledge it.

      1. Forty says:

        Cut it out with the cheesy comments.

    2. Galad says:

      Yeah, one of those few times I get a pun as I hear it, and the rest of the crew either doesn’t hear it or just dismisses it xD

  12. SpiritBearr says:

    Are you guys going to talk about the movie and/or the new movie. I know it isn’t your area of expertise but you’re going to have a lot of time to fill while waiting in bins and closets.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Hitman movie?You must be mistaken,no such thing exists.

      1. Galad says:

        It wasn’t that bad…

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Well ok,I was exaggerating a bit.For a video game movie,it wasnt as bad as many others.

          1. Henson says:

            “For a video game movie.” That phrase says it all, really.

            1. Galad says:

              As far as I remember it, and that’s not very reliable since it’s been a few years since I saw it, the only real gripe I had was 47 developping feelings for that hooker he hooked up with.

              Oh, and Russians talking to Russians in English, but that’s probably just me.

  13. This may be the first season of Spoiler Warning where I have to restrain myself from spamming the comments. I know it’s unhealthy, but part of me genuinely wants this season to be a bile-filled hate-fest.

    Hitman: Absolution did have one positive influence on my gaming habits: it convinced me to never pre-order a AAA game again. (I knew better even at the time, but allowed myself to be carried away by my fondness for the franchise. Lesson learned.)

  14. Is this cause there’s a new Hitman movie coming out?

    1. Humanoid says:

      I didn’t know there was an old Hitman movie…

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        There wasnt.If someone tells you there was,theyre a dirty liar and shouldnt be believed.

        1. Jokerman says:

          As a hitman fan… i kind of liked the first movie. People who go in expecting a faithful videogame movie are crazy, this one was dumb… and watchable and Olga Kurylenko.

  15. Daemian Lucifer says:

    That thing about someone finding a body 45 minutes later:It wasnt that bad in most of them.Only the first one,that had NO FUCKING SAVES EVER,had that stupidity literally happen.Frequently.

    It also doesnt help that first one had a plethora of events that happen exactly once in the whole level,and if you dont rush to them,youll miss the opportunity.It really was a frustrating dias game.

  16. DeadlyDark says:

    Some thoughts during the video.

    In Blood Money you can take man hostage and then knock him out and that counts as infinite sneaky way of non-lethal elimination. In addition to sedative-syringe, of course (and syringe have other uses as well, like poisoning of the food).

    As for missing newspaper debriefing… As I understand this, the reason not including it here was localisation troubles on other languages, which was numerous.

    As for Blacklist. Yes, SCBL rewards different approaches. But, Ghost score is higherm than Pantera and Assault, so if you ghost the mission, you get significally more money. And yes, I like SCBL, because, finally, a good stealth game (though, no Ironside, and plot not even as good, as early games in series), which significantly better than new Thief and Hitman. After Conviction (which I uninstalled after second level, which I usually don’t do) this was treat for me.

    Disguise system in Absolution still better, than in Silent Assassin (everybody extremely paranoid, no running, etc.). Sorry, but SA still the weakest game in the series. But idea of disguise system needs to be tweaked, I agree.

    I read somewhere, that there was some little scene that the letter she left him, that this metal dollar is payment for the new contract to protect the girl. Nice touch, I don’t know why they cut it from the game.

    As for rating of the games of the series, I’ll do this:
    1. Blood Money
    2. Contracts
    3. Codename 47
    4. Absolution
    5. Silent Assassin

    As for Absolution itself. Flawed, uneven, gorgeous, but I am not regreting playing game. Somehow.

    1. newdarkcloud says:

      You put Codename 47 ahead of Silent Assassin and Absolution?

      Not to say that SA and Absolution are particularly good games, but Codename 47 was, at my most charitable, an okay proof-of-concept.

      1. DeadlyDark says:

        I put Hong-Gong missions and Budapest baths in high regard. Definitely higher than HSA and HA. I do love these missions, and they even better in CN47, than their remakes in the Contracts. Other half of CN47 is weak, on that I agree. But, SA, I think it’s a weak game overall (Villa in the beginning was Ok, but rest of the game, I couldn’t care less), and Absolution… Uneven, questionable decisions, linear levels, and I didn’t have any moment of “This is awesome”, while I have those thoughts for HG and baths levels. Oh, and music in CN47 much, much better than soulless orchestral pathos in SA and grey nothingless in Absolution. And a small moment of having money system in CN47 unlike SA and HA definitely helps.

        Probably (I don’t know) this isn’t popular opinion, but I do have it.

        1. newdarkcloud says:

          That’s fair. I guess the mission I ended on (Boris’s assassination on the ship) really colored my opinion of the game. I’m also peeved at how one mistake could destroy up to an hour of work on one mission.
          Still, the Budapest mission was really good. And I do remember hating the Hong Kong assassination’s remake in Contracts.

          I recall Silent Assassin being a bit less frustrating in the general sense, in the regard. Though honestly, no mission in particular comes to mind as all that special.

          Absolution isn’t brilliant. In many ways, it sucks and I won’t defend it. But it does have some worthwhile additions. I think the Contracts mode in Absolution is some of the most fun I had with the game. And while I dislike the disguise system and linear levels, it has much better UI than most other Hitman games, with decent stealth systems.

    2. Jack Kucan says:

      I agree that Blacklist handled the multiple play styles really well. I liked Conviction, but Blacklist is a million times better.

  17. Nyctef says:

    I think there’s a fatal flaw in any plan Diana could have made that didn’t involve you killing her:

    You’re the god damn Hitman

  18. Josh, there is some frame stuttering/lag, is that from the capture or the game itself?

    It almost looks like the game is going “hang on a sex, let me load some more textures (freeze)”.

    If you have anti-aliasing on then maybe go down a little on that setting? (or even try with it off) to let the system breathe a little.

  19. The subtitle setting made no sense.
    It really should have been under Sound or Display IMO.
    A subtitle “mode” could have been under Hints (“All audible”, “All in range”, etc)

  20. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Im the new guy,ramsay.Cheff ramsay.

  21. That shower assassination cutscene made no sense.

    Especially considering (MAJOR SPOILER) it turns out she did not die, if faking her death then why take the risk of actually being shot, it’s obvious that 47 don’t mind taking her side and protecting (um is she their “daughter” BTW? It is implied in previous game(s) they had a relationship.). It would have made more sense storywise if 47 had a bodydouble in the icecream truck, pretended to take out the guards and shoot her and then ran of with the girl, that way Diana can move unseen (being dead) in the shadows. Sure it’s a “surprise” to the player when Diana turns out to be alive but it makes no sense. Also, 47 would not miss at such a short range and he’d go for a kill (head shot) instead. Is this a case of “Unreliable Narrator”? (looks at Rutskarn)

  22. The mechanics aren’t bad.

    Sneaking past, obscuring your face, disguises, fiddling/staring/reading while someone walks by (heck, Assassins Creed even uses the bench and crowd thing quite well).

    So as a mechanic it’s well implemented.
    But seeing Josh in as a unknown chef “assistant” duck walk with a knife held in a non-typical way stabbing way kind of breaks the immersion.

    I can’t recall if the previous games had the same issues or not though.
    Do the guards react differently on Hard when acting oddly like that? *scratches head*

    Another thing that strikes me as odd is that tattoo of 47, one would think a “master of disguise” would carry some ski colored cream around to hide that tattoo.
    And why does he never put on a wig.
    “A big muscular bald guy with a barcode tattoo on his neck” shouldn’t be that hard to spot right? ;P

    So the mechanics seem mostly fine the immersion has cracks and the story some odd choices in the way it narrates things.

    Should make for an interesting Spoiler Warning indeed.

    1. INH5 says:

      Regarding the tattoo: a better question is why the people who tattooed a barcode on their genetically engineered super assassin chose to put it in such a conspicuous location in the first place. Even if they really needed the barcode, and couldn’t just implant an RFID chip or something, it would make far more sense to place it somewhere that is usually covered by clothing.

      But I guess the character designers wanted something to make 47 stand out visually when they were drawing up concept sketches for the first game, and now it’s so iconic that the series is stuck with it.

      But you have a great point about wigs. The one good thing about being bald, disguise wise, is that it’s easy to wear wigs, but 47 never takes advantage of that.

      1. Peter H. Coffin says:

        RFID is readable at a distance and (it turns out) that distance is a A LOT further than the designers actually thought, so long as you don’t care about screwing up other radio-based systems nor are you trying to hide that you’re looking for RFID. That might turn out to be a bad thing for RFID-chipped assassins, and a good thing for finding your cat in the neighborhood.

        1. Suddenly I have an image of a guard near a bush.
          “Guard: Kitty is that you?”
          “47: Meow”
          “Guard: Must have been nothing.”

      2. Bropocalypse says:

        He should at least cover it with a band-aid or somethin’

        1. Henson says:

          Funny you should say that…

      3. Their research showed that many people would ironically barcode themselves, allowing Agent 47 to display his, thus hiding in plain sight.

        Also, it meant that if they ever needed to ID his remains, they could do so at any nearby grocery store check-out.

    2. Tom says:

      IIRC, in Silent Assassin the guards will rumble you in a matter of a few seconds if, say, walking calmly and unsurreptitiously whilst wearing a perfect guard disguise, you so much as carry your gun at the wrong angle compared to the others. In easy mode.

  23. Blake says:

    Seriously looking forward to this season.
    Played through Absolution myself, has a lot of fun moments, and a lot of stuff that irritates.

    I know a lot of the levels have super special awesome ways of taking out your targets, and I wonder how often Josh is going to go for that vs walking and and stabbing someone.

  24. sab says:

    Hooray, I always loved the hitmass episodes, can’t wait to see the new season.

    One minor complaint though: the soundmix could use some improvement. I sometimes found it very hard to focus on you guys talking over the NPCs. Since those are subtitled anyway, I’d rather have their volume turned down a bit.

    1. Tizzy says:

      I second that sound mixing suggestion.

  25. Fawkes says:

    After the announcement of what game this season of Spoiler Warning will be, and having just bought the Square-Enix 2 Bundle, I went and downloaded the game. So I will be playing along with this season of Spoiler Warning will be; which is a first for me. This will be fun.

    On topic however, while I could make a lot of similar points made further up, all very valid, I am going to just note the silliness of the cutscenes.

    I remember, when watching Ruts play Blood Money, or around that time when I looked up a lot of playthroughs thanks to Ruts, how important getting your suit back was. And while I don’t miss that as a mechanic, amusing as it could be, it is *very* weird when after leaving your suit way back with those guys on the balcony or with the gardener clothes, you somehow magically have it again for the shower scene. And it’s even more silly when you go from wearing a full on high-class chef’s outfit wielding to a knife to in a full suit with gloves.

    Does he just keep a couple of those in his ring like the Flash? Did he open the door, step in, and while Diana had her back turned undress, pull it out, redress then start the scene?

    I understand the reasons, it’d be silly (and hilarious) for some of the cutscenes. I imagine that emotional scene with 47 all dressed up in a Chef’s outfit, hat hovering over Diana as she bleeds out and pleas with him. Or if he was still back in the gardener’s outfit? Not to mention of course the waste of space with each of the rendered cutscenes. Still, when I showed my friend the next level, and I walked out of Chinatown as a cop and suddenly had my suit on in the cutscene, it was the first thing they noticed.

    Okay, one slight actual complaint. There’s this scratching Geiger counter sound that the game does when someone is staring at you, like if you’re a closet. Not sure when else, the game never explains it. But it happened in Chinatown, and these two guys both just stared at the closet, never moving, constant scratching sound in my ears that made me *sure* there was a bugged sound clip that was meant to be playing, or that my audio was messed up. I don’t get that design decision, beyond wanting to kill someone’s ears.

    1. “you somehow magically have it again” (the suit)

      Yeah, game mechanics clashing with the story (or cinematics rather).

      As it’s all in engine why not render what you wore (bloodstains and all if that is the case).
      Sure it would be silly with 47 in chefs hat trying to look serious in that scene, but it would be hilarious but also realistic.

      They could also just have shown 47 straightening his suit before entering the door (aka ending the mission), 47 is somewhat OCD so “having to wear the suit” might just make sense to him.

      It’s also possible his suit has kevlar threads in it *shrug* so it would be more than just clothes in that case.

      1. Bropocalypse says:

        Even if they’d switched back to the chef’s outfit at the end, I would accept it as a time limitation. They COULD have set these scenes up so he’s wearing what you chose, but didn’t have time to render it. I would have bought that. But the fact that you have the suit back AFTER the cutscene really strikes me as them not coming up with a better way to tutorialize the VATS-esque mechanic.

      2. newdarkcloud says:

        I’m pretty sure that these cutscenes are pre-rendered. At least on the console version, there was a slight, but noticeable difference in the visual quality of the cutscenes versus the actual gameplay.

        They made have been created with the game’s engine, but I am almost 100% sure that they are pre-rendered cutscenes.

  26. Peter H. Coffin says:

    Five minutes in and I’m sighing that there are no cliffs like that anywhere near Chicago, or really, anyplace around the Great Lakes. A steep shore is 20 degrees of slope a hundred feet down to a 10-foot wide “beach” of fist-sized smooth stones. This is all glaciated territory as little as 15,000-20,000 years ago.

    1. Tizzy says:

      Also, the vegetation looks all sorts of wrong.

    2. swenson says:

      Wait, I just now realized that was supposed to be near Chicago.

      Wat? I was thinking this whole time it was, I dunno, someplace out East.

  27. Tuskin says:

    Ah darn, I was really hoping for Wolfenstein, ah oh well, this is great as well.

    1. Jokerman says:

      I suspect Josh would veto that, going by the diecast.

  28. stratigo says:

    spoiler warning about events toward the end of the game:

    Diana’s not dead. they colluded to fake her death

  29. SlothfulCobra says:

    Here’s the thing about stealth mechanics: There’s not really a way to do them so they’ll be fun and straightforward and be realistic. The whole premise of being able to simply sneak past guards who have been trained to keep you out is implausible enough in real life that of course there’s going to be sacrifices of realism for the sake of the game as well as expediency.

    If you complain too much about that, you might as well be complaining about how in real life you put one foot in front of the other to move forward, whereas in a videogame you push the control stick.

    1. newdarkcloud says:

      And what makes it more strange is that, even in the game’s marketing, they seemed to be fully aware of how unrealistic the game’s disguise system is, despite making these changes that only make sense if you are trying to add “realism”.

      After all, the trailers included a cutscene of Agent 47 passing judgement in a courtroom, when dressed as a judge. BTW, you CAN do that in game. The judge is a unique costume, so like the chef, no one will recognize that the courtroom’s only judge has been replaced with a bald, noticeably more physically fit white dude.

      1. Grudgeal says:

        At some point they should just throw caution to the winds and include a scenario where 47 has to dress in drag.

        To impersonate a black woman.

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          To her closest friends and family.

      2. Jokerman says:

        Although this kind of strangeness is true of the rest of the series, in one level of blood money you can hold a wedding ceremony as the only priest there. Or take the disguise of a target (who should be known to the other targets) in the casino level, or that heaven and hell mission where to can fool a targets own girlfriend (you are wear a mask… but still…) as for this game, I think taking part in a cage match is weirder, surely everyone there should have known who was meant to be fighting.

        1. newdarkcloud says:

          Yeah, but Blood Money didn’t seem to have as much contempt with it’s disguise system as Absolution seems to.

  30. Yay new Spoiler Warning! Just in time to distract me from Sir Pratchett’s death (sob).

    Oh, and Shamus, the Bioshock playlist on youtube here is missing episode 5 found here.

    1. Tizzy says:

      That’s not really the way I was hoping to learn of this sad fact. I guess, I was hoping I’d never hear of it at all. But thanks for alerting us to it nonetheless; now, I feel like my youth is truly gone for good.

  31. Adam says:

    Subtitle Game! I picked (in order of descending likelyhood) Sound, Text Language, Graphics.

    I was wrong. REALLY wrong. Seriously, devs, wtf?

  32. In case it hasn’t been mentioned yet, may I put a shout-out to the long lost (I mean, I don’t know where he went) AuZZie Gamer’s playthrough of Hitman: Blood Money?

    I also want Rutskarn to use the “blow ‘im sky-MOTHAF***IN’ HIIIIIGGGGGH!” catchphrase at least once on this playthrough.

  33. Artur CalDazar says:

    This should be a good season. Absolution is a mixed game at best, and its also the second best game in the series if you ask me. This really is a series with only one game fans can agree is good.

    I played absolution a while after launch and it was the first Hitman game I played start to end, but it wasn’t my first experience, having played a level of hitman the day before and being a fan of Rutskarns streams full of his repeating “No witnesses” and “thats a lot of bodies” had made me quite familiar with the games.

    I actually remember back when they were making this game they were not going to get the old voice actor back to play 47. It seemed absurd to me, 47 hasn’t got enough going for him that I would get over a voice change. that voice is all there really is to keep track of.

    “Here is what it would be like to play agent 47 if he was really really stupid”
    That sums up so much of this game.

    I find the point scoring system more annoying. Its so abstract and unconnected to anything than replaying the game like its an arcade machine. It makes less sense and is more annoying, just like the new disguise system.

    I actually enjoyed the way that in say blood money things could go bad 45 mins into the level from something that happened close to the start. If it happened often I would be annoyed and if there was no way to salvage it I would be pissed but you can adapt so I feel it adds to the tension of “I need to hide this body well, but I dont want to be caught moving this body around”.

    “mixture of violence and fanservice” and in a way that makes no sense. I think the game was trying to go for something grindhouse but it only comes off as slimy.

    1. Dev Chand says:

      I don’t think that there is actually much of an agreement over which game is good. To me, it looks more like in six years, the fans of one game got concentrated in Youtube comments, news comment sections, forums and the like over the internet, while people who didn’t like that game and were burnt out on the franchise quit it. I remember even Blood Money was heavily criticized on release by many fans.

  34. WJS says:

    That shower scene just made me think “OK, so even if she wants to die, how did she know he wouldn’t simply shoot her in the head? No dying conversation for her then.”

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