Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hitman (2016) - Episode 21 - My First Mistake

Today, we take another look at Elusive Targets with "The Fixer".

The tricky part of an Elusive Target is that players can restart as many time as they want until they complete an objective.

IO allows players to restart because they want to offer them the opportunity to scout out the area and how the Elusive Target interacts with the otherwise established NPCs and routines. If they make a mistake during the approach, or if they learn some new information that gives them a new possible approach, they can even go back to the planning stages to account for it.

When the mission is just to kill a single target, this works just fine. This means that players are afforded the chance to plan and scout as long as they want, only sticking their neck out during the kill attempt and the escape. If players screw up before they kill the target, it's not a big deal.

However, throwing another objective into the mix changes this dynamic. Now, players need to decide on not just their approach to each objective, but also in what order they want to take them on. Once even a single objective (like retrieving the diamonds in this contract) is complete, restarts are no longer an option.

That's why I consider going after the diamonds so quickly to be my biggest mistake here. Out of the two tasks, killing the target was the more difficult of them. Even then, had I not picked up the diamonds, I would've still been in the clear to restart if things went wrong.

Because players can't restart after completing an objective, they need to assign and evaluate risk when more than one is in play. It counter-intuitively makes more sense to go for more difficult and risky objectives first, because if the player fails, they can always restart. Leaving the easier tasks for last minimizes risk. I'm not sure if IO intended to have the effect, and I'm doubly not sure if I like it, but that's the way it is.

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