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Hitman: Absolution - the craggy thread


Mr. Gerbik
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I think it was a sensible idea to tweak the disguise mechanic because it was too far the other way in BM where a uniform would leave you undisturbed regardless of how close you got, how suspicious you acted, etc., but it sounds like this hasn't improved things at all. Why would the gardeners not recognise all the guards?

That Gamespot review seemed pretty good and basically confirmed the PC Gamer one. Has anyone seen a write up that properly covers Contracts mode yet? I'm wondering if that actually has much hope of improving matters. It sounds like the kind of thing that would be amazing with a proper level editor available to people but just being able to tag random different people in existing levels as targets seems a bit shit.

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Probably because you Lindelof'd it.

I've not seen a single example of that in the game. Maybe that happens if you play it on Easy, but on Normal and above the guards are pretty sharp-eyed. They might not spot you if you go close behind their back, but you'll get spotted if you enter their sightline.

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I think it was a sensible idea to tweak the disguise mechanic because it was too far the other way in BM where a uniform would leave you undisturbed regardless of how close you got, how suspicious you acted, etc.,

That was a good example of 'unrealistic' design being for the benefit of the game. Easily understandable and consistent rules are integral for an enjoyable experience in a game like this for me. It's the reason why I think Mark of the Ninja is the best stealth game in years, it's always perfectly clear on what your status is and what the consequence of any action will be.

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I think it was a sensible idea to tweak the disguise mechanic because it was too far the other way in BM where a uniform would leave you undisturbed regardless of how close you got, how suspicious you acted, etc., but it sounds like this hasn't improved things at all. Why would the gardeners not recognise all the guards?

That isn't how uniforms worked in Blood Money. There was some flakiness with how it worked, but some actions were always beyond the pale of suspicion (like being up high where you shouldn't be, or picking locks, that kind of thing). Some suspicious actions - like hanging around near balconies or in toilets or whatever - didn't result in suspicion when they really should have, but those were more AI limitations than anything to do with the disguise mechanic. Just like how it didn't count as a 'witness' if you were the only other person in a room and immediately sedated someone when they turned away from you, even though they'd seen you seconds before. Something to refine, but nothing to do with the disguises. A lot of disguises would result in increased suspicion if you got close, anyway - at least to yellow levels of alertness. Guards would rub their chins and watch you until you left the area again, often frustrating what you wanted to do. It worked fine most of the time and it sounds like Absolution's really getting away from what worked.

The most annoying thing about Blood Money's stealth was how, if you moved near an NPC in their sightline, they would constantly turn their head to look at you from that moment on. It made sedating some people really difficult and it looked ridiculous as they kept flipping their heads from side to side to catch sight of you.

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I think it was a sensible idea to tweak the disguise mechanic because it was too far the other way in BM where a uniform would leave you undisturbed regardless of how close you got, how suspicious you acted, etc., but it sounds like this hasn't improved things at all. Why would the gardeners not recognise all the guards?

Well this is the thing. You can be dressed as a gardener and be crouched behind cover right in front of two guards, and this apparently doesn't bother the guards. But dare to stand up and a gardener 30 feet away will get suspicious of you in 5 seconds. If a guard sees you repeatedly standing up and down in a guard uniform he won't get suspicious, because you never stay in his eyeline long enough. So popping up and down like a jack in the box apparently makes you less suspicious than just casually walking around.

While I wouldn't say that the disguise mechanic didn't need to be tweaked at all, I don't think it needed to be tweaked to the extent that someone in the same uniform would always view you as suspicious, even from huge distances away. Maybe if you were within 5 feet or so of them.

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When this turns out to be the best game ever I will laugh so hard, so hard. Did you know - I was at a party with the assistant producer of the game a couple of months ago. And that I play-tested it a bit last December? Yep, it's true.

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When this turns out to be the best game ever I will laugh so hard, so hard. Did you know - I was at a party with the assistant producer of the game a couple of months ago. And that I play-tested it a bit last December? Yep, it's true.

What was the snack bar like?

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Sorry, what?

Sorry. To Lindelof means to add the words LITERALLY and JESUS into everything. An evolving meme in the Prometheus thread in Film and TV, based on Damon Lindelof's alleged script doctoring contribution to what was a good original film script.

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Well, that's what I was asking a little earlier - I don't quite see how. It sounds like pretty much all you can do is mark 3 NPCs in the level as targets so it's basically the exact same level. There's not really any way you're going to turn one of the linear sneak from A to B using your special Beadle arm to compensate for disguises no longer working sensibly levels into a Blood Money level.

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What IO need to do is create a level editor like Far Cry 2s and let you design the layout of the level, what items to place and have available, which accidents you can cause. enemies to place, disguises and things you can use. Regardless of how this or any other Hitman game turns out I would really love to see something like that. Give the community the power as the absolute hardcore fans could come up with some really great/surprising layouts/encounters.

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Well, that's what I was asking a little earlier - I don't quite see how. It sounds like pretty much all you can do is mark 3 NPCs in the level as targets so it's basically the exact same level. There's not really any way you're going to turn one of the linear sneak from A to B using your special Beadle arm to compensate for disguises no longer working sensibly levels into a Blood Money level.

Ah yes, I just went back a read your post.

Also, the new disguise thing isn't bothering me in theory so far - it makes more sense that if there's a group of people a stranger suddenly appearing in their midst would cause suspicion. It will certainly make things harder though I would have thought.

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Hmm... okay so far. I'm not sure if it was my fault, but the kill in the first proper mission resulted in a QTE punch-up. The kill in the first mission/tutorial was in a cutscene. After those instances it was literally 'walk to exit HUD icon'.

The Chinatown mission has 12 solutions, so it might not be all bad. I don't know this for certain, it's not like I've done all 12, but the weird voice of God that talks to you told me that there are 12, so...

Gonna do one more mission and then I wanna play some Halo to be honest.

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That isn't how uniforms worked in Blood Money. There was some flakiness with how it worked, but some actions were always beyond the pale of suspicion (like being up high where you shouldn't be, or picking locks, that kind of thing). Some suspicious actions - like hanging around near balconies or in toilets or whatever - didn't result in suspicion when they really should have, but those were more AI limitations than anything to do with the disguise mechanic. Just like how it didn't count as a 'witness' if you were the only other person in a room and immediately sedated someone when they turned away from you, even though they'd seen you seconds before. Something to refine, but nothing to do with the disguises. A lot of disguises would result in increased suspicion if you got close, anyway - at least to yellow levels of alertness. Guards would rub their chins and watch you until you left the area again, often frustrating what you wanted to do. It worked fine most of the time and it sounds like Absolution's really getting away from what worked.

Blood Money's system was brilliant - it just needed tweaking to add some extra subtlety to it. The idea of people being suspicious of a stranger in their midst is fine if it means you just have to be wary around people in the same uniform as you. e.g don't run, don't loiter, don't let them see your face for too long. The "just act casual" part of Hitman was what made it so tense and rewarding.

But having them uncover you just for being in their eyeline too long is rubbish. Even then, just them being suspicious shouldn't mean your cover is suddenly blown. Have them follow you around for a bit or something, or perhaps go and talk to a single guard who will then be on the lookout for you. Even then they should never draw their gun unless you do something fucking outrageous.

So what actually happens if a gardener sees you dressed as a gardener for too long in Absolution? Does the disguise become worthless? Because that is totally shit if true.

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An I right in thinking that Contracts mode will allow players to create Blood Money style challenges for each other using the levels as a base?

According to the PC Gamer review, Contracts mode is very limited. It requires you kill people while wearing certain clothing and using a certain weapon, so playing the stuff you've cooked up is extremely narrow with little room for improvisation. And there's a corresponding lack of focus in actually creating contracts, since there's no real reason to pick certain NPCs as targets over any others.

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