Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Hitman 2 - Elusive Target 2 - Bash the Fash

As I like to say, whenever you see a fascist, you should do their best to kill them, unless they'd get caught. In that case, find someone who won't get caught and have them do it for you.

With that in mind, of course I would try my hand at the new Elusive Target. Codename: The Revolutionary.

I tend to go into Elusive Targets with more caution than I ordinarily would, given that I only have one chance. While this often manifests in success, it also creates some pretty unwatchable footage. Here's the one-hour "scouting run" that lead into my final run.

Given my love for the Dishonored games, and immersive sims as a whole, I'm no stranger to randomized positions for key objectives. They can serve as effective tools both to make replays interesting, since the player still needs to discover which of the possible objectives is the "true" objective, or to disincentive tactics like save scumming.

Here in the Elusive Target, the obvious desire is to prevent a reliance on restarting the mission over and over until players can just figure out what to do through trial and error. Considering that the parameter that they only have one chance, which highly incentivizes that same behavior until the run is "locked in", this seems misguided. I'm not sure what IO was thinking there.

Furthermore, they also forgot that there needs to be a central "quest" to guide players to locate the target's position. As you saw in the scouting video, I spend most of my time just trying to figure out where he was, and I never even found the third possible location he could be. Much of that frustration could have been easily fixed by providing more clues in the environment (like letting details of the location slip onto the video).

Not a bad ET overall, but more frustrating than it had to be.

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