Hitman Absolution EP12: Dexter’s Lab

By Shamus Posted Friday Apr 3, 2015

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 64 comments

Link (YouTube)

So then the animation glitches out and shoves the guard into 47. Then the AI glitches and goes stupidly hostile. Then the collision glitches out and won’t let the player escape the elevator. Then the game logic glitches and lets the player leave when foes are hostile.

Then the nuns. My goodness are those nuns infantile and infuriating. I know I keep saying this, but I’m not against games having same T&A in them. But this? This “fanservice as written by an adolescent” approach to putting tits in the game in unendurable. This is completely ridiculous, yet done without any humor, lampshading, self-awareness, or sense of fun.

Once you get to the lab, the level designers decide to take away your disguise and the keycards you’ve acquired. Then it shoves us into a simple linear “open this one door” situation. From there you enter an open area with a grand total of two disguises, so no matter what you do you need to be sneaking around like Splinter Cell instead of walking around like Hitman. Then it gives you an assassination target of someone you’ve never heard of, know nothing about, and have no reason to killI’m sure the briefing gives you a half-assed excuse, but it’s not like the story has set this up. It spent the last cutscene on the nuns., and in fact going after him should logically make it harder to achieve your real goal of rescuing the girl.

The environment design reminds me a great deal of Arkham Origins: The level designers just make “videogame levels” with no thought as to how these areas are used, how people would get around, or how they should connect to each other. It’s just random corridors.

This game is to Blood Money as Thi4f is to Thief. I know it’s supposedly the same studio, but it feels like a project given to a new team that had no interest or respect for the original work. This game is baffling.

But then Josh pushed the guy off a ledge so all is forgiven.



[1] I’m sure the briefing gives you a half-assed excuse, but it’s not like the story has set this up. It spent the last cutscene on the nuns.

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64 thoughts on “Hitman Absolution EP12: Dexter’s Lab

  1. Ledel says:

    When the lab showed all of those land mines in display cases, I was hoping that there was a case where 47 could hide by picking looking at a landmine the way he looks at pamphlets or computers. Yet it’s a trick by the developers because when he hides using the landmine it actually explodes in his face and kills him.

    I had the biggest grin on my face when that pretty much happened.

  2. Bropocalypse says:

    Rutskarn mentions the previous games having routes to kill the targets that the developers didn’t necessarily think of.
    In Blood Money, my most satisfying kill ever was on the vineyard level. I threw a mine up onto the balcony where the first target sits to play the cello. He came out to investigate the noise, and he was blown off into the river below.

    1. Dev Chand says:

      Except that sort of kill was pre planned. You can do the same thing just using a sniper rifle when he comes there. The only real difference is you didn’t spend a shot. So yeah, not a good example of a non developer made kill.

      1. Bropocalypse says:

        Does he? I’ve never seen him come all the way out on the balcony. Anyway I flung him through the air and down into a canyon without entering the building, I consider that special. :P

  3. I think this season of SW has had more viewer-predicted episode titles than any other in its history.

    …and puns, but given the material…

    1. Ilseroth says:

      Honestly I think the titles so far have been a real hit!

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Man,you just had to ruin it!

  4. James says:

    Very off topic but.

    https://twitter.com/Rutskarn/status/584132029677051904/photo/1 this happened, everyone this happened.

    I think this is why butskarn liked Hitman games, 47 is an Albino and Ruts is whiter then, the very whitest white wall painted white every day and then glossed over with extra white.

    1. All he needs is a black vest and we’d be all set for the adventures of a young Victorian-era Han Solo.

      1. Ventus says:

        Nyaw, you look just like the archetypal “cute-sy, younger one of the team” from every anime ever…!

        1. I’m thinking he should try cosplaying as Pidge from “Voltron.”

      2. Benjamin Hilton says:

        Ya know people keep saying John Carmack, But with the period clothing and the smirk I see a young Cary Elwes.

        1. I totally see that! Also, Ruts isn’t that pale (says the woman who’s got that pale ginger thing going but without the freckles due to Cherokee heritage).
          See, pale

  5. Phil says:

    So, the very beginning of the episode: “Mr Dexter just wants to prove a point about how safe these little bastards are.”

    Does that sound like J.K. Simmons to anyone else? IMDB doesn’t list him in this game, though.

    I was especially amused when later Chris mentioned Cave Johnson.

  6. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The ever growing list of stuff the developers of this game dont understand(damn,this became too long to give each item its own row):
    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 ; PMCs ; Mesas ; Generators ; Elevators ; Proximity mines
    Mines ; Buildings ; Peoples reaction to car alarms ; Silence ; Fingers
    Nuns ; Assassin groups ; Interrogation ; Security ; Velvet ropes
    Laboratories ;

    To be continued

    1. One more for the list:



      1. Trix2000 says:

        You know… at this point, it might be easier just to list the things they DO understand.

        …Of course, that would require knowing anything to put on it.

    2. Ledel says:

      See also: proper business practices; the level of threat an inanimate wrench presents; tattoo removal;

    3. IFS says:

      I hope they read off this complete list in the final episode of this season, that would be great.

    4. Bropocalypse says:

      I wanted to point out that South Dakota is a northern state, but then the developers didn’t seem to understand this either.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        What I mean by “south of the usa” refers to a bunch of southern tropes they put in the game,like deserts,snakes,rednecks,cowboys,etc.Not counting that they put those in the wrong location,even if they were to put them in the actual south they would still be out of place.

    5. lucky7 says:

      Don’t forget “What makes a face not creepy”. That gun store chick freaked me out.

  7. John says:

    So, nonsensical laboratory is, of course, nonsensical. I don’t know how or why any of these rooms or corridors connect to one another or what any of them are for. I guess I can forgive that for this particular level, since I’ve never visited the secret lair of a real mad scientist before.

    But I have had pretty much the same issue with all of the previous levels, too. And I have been in apartment buildings, hospitals, and barber shops before. These spaces make no sense given the purposes for which they were apparently built. It’s like the designers took a bunch of Doom levels, applied modern textures, and littered them with physics objects. Gah!

    1. Dev Chand says:

      To be honest, every level in this game besides maybe the introduction feels incredibly contrived and silly. They could easily fit into an abstract stealth game, an action shooter with an emphasis on nonsensical but grandiose set pieces, or even a nonsensical brawler like Marlow Briggs. It feels like they just made everything according to several themes, and forgot to make the design sensible.

  8. Syal says:

    I really want to see a Hitman: Absolution montage set to ‘Learning to Fly’ now.

    1. Ledel says:

      Or “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor”

      I just imagine during the “nothing wrong with me” lines it has a loop of Josh walking in circles to avoid detection.

  9. Kerethos says:

    I’m sorry Shamus but one push does not grant Absolution (the right to be this stupid). :)

    1. Trix2000 says:

      That is why you must PUSH ALL THE PEOPLE.

  10. Artur CalDazar says:

    The game actually gives some backstory to this scientist guy in the mine lab (is the only thing that dexter makes mines?). It isn’t pleasant. He has a peg leg and tests on bigs because when he was young he got caught in a pigpen for a long time and they ate his leg. So thats why he tests on them, as a kind of revenge?

    I don’t know why we are killing this guy, at all. I felt pity for the guy you kill in the first training mission in Blood Money, but hey, 47 is getting paid. This isnt a paid job so why do I want to kill this person?

    1. Because Hitman is bald and pigs are basically four-legged bald things. It’s symbolic… or something.

      1. Ivan says:

        The mine is the rattlesnake and the pig is the dog! it all makes sense now!!!

    2. Humanoid says:

      Hitman is a prequel to Amnesia: A Machine for Pig Butts?

    3. IIRC you can cause the scientist guy to fall down (into a pigpen again?) by breaking the glass floor he is standing on.

      Josh could just have used a “silenced” weapon and been done with it. *laughs*

  11. Chris says:

    Why in the actual fuck does Dexter have a huge underground lab devoted to the manufacture of landmines, a technology that was perfected over 50 years ago and can’t legally be sold to ANYONE?!

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      A huge underground lab in a building built inside the mountains.

      1. Mountains that South Dakota doesn’t have.

        1. Michael says:

          It starts to get kinda ragged in the western edge of the state. That said, the Black Hills do not look like that. If they’d said, “screw it” and stuck it in western Wyoming, then the geography would be fine. As it is… :\

    2. Bropocalypse says:

      I’m willing to forgive it just because it gives us a reason to play with them. If only the other contrivances of the game were beneficial to the gameplay as well.

    3. Not just land mines. Further down in the facility are other weapons, some of those tests can be turned into traps for the scientists.

  12. newdarkcloud says:

    The reason the game put 47 back into his suit for this mission is that this level technically spans two chapters. Each chapter starts 47 fresh, so they gave you the suit and default setup.

    This really makes you question why the previous chapter needed to exist at all. After all, it didn’t add to the story and the level design was completely uninteresting.

    1. Artur CalDazar says:

      They must be there for the contracts mode like Shamus said.

      Also contracts suck. Maybe I just haven’t found anything especially interesting but they are not super interesting. Either your target is the guy who sticks his head in the piano, or he isn’t. If he is then just do that, no need to think about it, and if he isn’t then there is zero need to do that.

      It feels like they are cut halfway between being for contracts and being a space you just move from A to B in.

      Again, its user generated so maybe I just had bad luck .

      1. newdarkcloud says:

        I honestly enjoyed making my own Contracts much more than I did playing other people’s contracts.

        When you make one, you get to choose a disguise and weapon. Depending on which stage and disguise you pick, it essentially let’s you play Blood Money with up to three targets of your choice. (As an example, use Diana’s House and bring in the Chef costume. Only the chef will notice you, and you can plausibly explain that in the Contract description.) Pick the right targets, and it can pretty fun.

        Playing another person’s Contract is less interesting, because you’re basically following in someone else’s footsteps. There’s no creativity or originality unless you’re okay with forfeiting some of the money from a Contract. After all, you lose money if you don’t match in both weapon and disguise when making a kill.

  13. I think Shamus and Mumbles could have a double act. Shamus shoves people to their deaths and Mumbles dines on the results.

    It’s too bad Fallout doesn’t have a “Gravity is a Harsh Mistress” perk or something.

  14. OK, I must comment on the nuns/assassins/whatever attire. If they were wearing corsets, totally explainable. I myself wear a corset when I know I’m going to be doing something that’ll stress my back (the right corset can make an excellent back brace and I’ve found mine to be far more comfortable than a brace), and heck, if there’s enough leather and steel boning in it you’ve got a makeshift bulletproof vest of sorts.
    The high heels, well, I know of one woman who is more comfortable in heels than flats due to the way her feet are made (and they are weird and unusual feet). This is not common, but hey, if you’ve never walked in heels you might think they aren’t painful cause if they hurt why would so many women wear ’em all the time? (I have no idea, I’ve never understood preferring to be hobbled just so my legs look longer). But for some reason, female heroes in heels is the norm, so they get a pass there.
    But leather or vinyl hotpants? FRACK NO! That is a wicked horrendous yeast infection waiting to happen.
    Now back to the video, to see what other horrors this game can come up with.
    I did love the ending to the week! And do pigs actually like human flesh, enough to eat someone’s leg while the person’s trying to stop them and why did they just eat the leg? There’s more meat in the midsection, and the most calories are in the brain (provided you can open the skull). Was the scientist guy put in some sort of trap where just his leg was in the pen or something? Damn it, developers, you might have thought that was just a throw-away little detail but that sort of thing can completely destroy immersion! (And might have destroyed mine if I had any to begin with).

    1. Henson says:

      I, too, don’t understand our culture’s fetish with high heels, or why some artists insist on having their female combatants wear increasingly impractical shoes. The most ridiculous instance for me was when one of the trailers for Starcraft 2 featured Kerrigan in conspicuous heels, despite the fact that she’s one of the Zerg. So stupid.

      As for the bondage nuns themselves, I was sitting on the fence regarding their leather suits at this point in the game: they’re kind of silly, but I’d only seen them for a tiny cutscene so far. It was only later that they completely made sense…

      1. High heels made sense when the streets were covered in mud so you’d wear platforms so your expensive shoes stayed clean, or when you’re trying to keep your feet in stirrups (aka cowboy boots).
        (hit enter too early)
        I honestly think that if every person who created an active woman in heels was forced to attempt to do the same actions in the same shoes, we’d have a lot more female heroes in sneakers (okay, and probably way more creators with ankle/knee/hip/back injuries because heels can and will injure all the above, just ask my mom who spent 35 years in them thanks to IBM’s dress code (she retired in the early 90s))

        1. Henson says:

          Cowboy boots have high heels? They look like normal heels to me.

          1. Ilseroth says:

            It isn’t necessarily “high heels” it is more that there has to be a pronounced heel with a place to put the stirrup. When I took riding lessons a year ago my boot/shoe hybrids thankfully had a deep enough groove that they let me use them, but sneakers were a no go.

        2. Catwoman*, 7 of 9, even Black Widow (though they at least aren’t stilettos) and most female agents in SHIELD.

          I’d understand if they felt the need for a given actor to look taller (i.e. Tom Cruise in Interview With The Vampire needed heels to not appear short next to Brad Pitt), but most of these women are doing action-y stuff in situations where they would expect to find heels a hindrance.

          * At least in the comics, she’s often shown wearing combat boots, but then again, thanks to Batman, EVERYONE in the DCU seems to wear combat boots.

      2. INH5 says:

        Note that many workboots and motorcycle boots have a heel that is 1-2 inches higher than the toe, so in some situations they can actually be practical. I know, because I bought some motorcycle boots on Ebay for a comic convention Starlord costume, they turned out to have about a 1.25” heel, and while they took some getting used to walking and even running in them feels just fine.

        I believe the reason is that a moderately high heel and a thick sole helps cushion your feet when walking, especially if you’re walking in mud or on uneven terrain, which you often would be with work boots. With motorcycle boots the intent is obviously to keep your feet in a comfortable position when riding.

        What isn’t believable at all is dress shoes with really thin stiletto heels being used as practical footwear. Trying to do anything strenuous with your feet balanced on so little surface area is begging for some kind of horrible injury. Even stripper shoes tend to have pretty thick heels because the wearer actually has to, you know, dance in them.

    2. MikhailBorg says:

      I’m an actor and costumer, and I’ve worn heat-trapping outfits ranging from the double-breasted wool jackets of the second Star Trek film to clothing in PVC and latex.

      No, you do not just hang around in outfits like that in environments such as the one shown. You wear that outfit just long enough for whatever presentation or film or whatever you’re doing, then you either change right out of it, or you head directly to the nearest room with high-efficiency air conditioning until you’re needed back on stage or set or whatever.

      And you drink lots of water.

      1. Spammy says:

        You may be an actor and a costumer, but are you a professional dominatrix assassin nun? So much for your credentials then.

        I didn’t mean that seriously.

        1. MikhailBorg says:


          Not professional. :D

    3. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Pigs will eat anything if hungry,even a struggling human.Why just the leg though,that I have no explanation for.Its stupid.

  15. boz says:

    This is completely ridiculous, yet done without any humor, lampshading, self-awareness, or sense of fun.

    I played this game years ago so I can’t remember the exact location. But there is an internal agency memo about how stupid those costumes are, somewhere in the game.

    1. newdarkcloud says:

      In the mission where Agency… um…. agents attack the hotel with them to try and kill 47, they comment that they’re unsure of why exactly they dress like latex nuns. They speculate that Travis trained them that way because he has some strange fetish, but no ones entirely sure.

      1. Gruhunchously says:

        I think it would actually be pretty funny if they had the nuns constantly complaining about how impractical and uncomfortable their outfits were, and making comments about how they want to kill 47 as quickly as possible so they can change into something else.

  16. Thomas says:

    I like to think that Agent 47 didn’t need to kill that Scientist, he was just completing map objectives like he normally does and realised that that person was too annoying to let live.

  17. Daemian Lucifer says:

    This “fanservice as written by an adolescent” approach to putting tits in the game in unendurable.

    I dont know if the nuns should be called fanservice.I mean technically they are,but there are no fans that find those serviceable.They are like Liefeld drawings,weird and crappy,thought to be cool only by the creator and no one else.

    1. Bropocalypse says:

      I don’t necessarily think it’s a matter of someone on the dev team having a fetish for latex nun dominatrix assassins, so much as botching the grindhouse theme again. Or, they feel the need to insert some sort of fanservice(if you can even call it that) but not understanding that making it scummier doesn’t make it more fitting than regular stripperwear. You might add ‘sexuality’ and ‘aesthetics’ to the list of things they don’t understand.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Yes,I will.Thank you.

  18. Hamilcar says:

    I have only seen the nuns in the trailer for this game back when it first exploded the Escapist.

    That being said, my opinion on them is that it could have been done right if the nuns were revealed to be wearing body armour, LBVs/LBEs and the works. That way it would be practical, cool and even a sexy fetish, for some out there, all at the same time. Easy fix.

  19. Joshua says:

    “My goodness are those nuns infantile and infuriating. I know I keep saying this, but I'm not against games having same T&A in them. But this? This “fanservice as written by an adolescent” approach to putting tits in the game in unendurable.”

    You’ve brought this up before. Out of curiousity, what *is* a good example of fan service done right in your opinion?

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