Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Hitman 2 - Expansion - Haven Island Resort

This... has been a long time in the making. I haven't played a Hitman game on stream since July, over half a year ago. Although I had my reasons then, I can't deny that I've been wanting to play this level ever since it came out in September.

Nonetheless, I'm back and ready to improvise my way into another assassination.

(Apologies for the audio balancing/syncing issues. It will be fixed if/when I stream Hitman again.)

For those of you curious why this took so long, the simplest answer was raw file size. That's not a joke, either. I wanted to install Hitman 2 and play this mission way back in September, but I didn't have the over 150 GB required to install the complete package. It was something I often cited when discussions of bloated file sizes came up in my friend group, largely because it was such a big block that I couldn't overcome.

Two things changed in the time since, which make this run possible.
  • A friend of mine told me about WinDirStat, a free program that allows users to see what is taking up space on their hard drives so they can clear up files they might not even realize they have on their system.
  • More importantly, I discovered that Hitman is a ingeniously modular game that lets players install only the maps they want to play, and leave the ones they don't uninstalled.
That second was more important, because it represents a solution to a problem that I see cropping up again and again in the sphere of AAA gaming. File sizes are growing difficult to justify, and I am not the only person arriving at that conclusion. Little steps like this, which will allow the Hitman 2 Client to scale no matter how many maps and missions are added, dramatically reduce that problem.

Pivoting over to the mission itself, this is exactly the kind of experience that the Improvisation Run rules exist for. Despite making several huge mistakes and high profile moves, the run went remarkably smoothly and we were able to really test how resilient the underlying systems are. It was a blast to pull this off in this manner, for everyone to see.

Hopefully, there will be more chances to see the chaos unfold in future missions.

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