Greatest Tips Ever for Being Awesome at Hitman

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Posted January 31, 2017 by John Newby in Video Games

January 31st is a beautiful day. Not only does it bring about payroll for many companies; it also marks the release of Hitman – The Complete First Season. You may be saying, “wait, I thought that game came out last year? That one writer from We The Nerdy wouldn’t shut up about it!” Well, dear reader, you are technically correct. Hitman did come out in 2016, but that was the digital version. The version being released on January 31st is actually disc-based and includes the six main missions, three bonus missions, every Escalation Contract, and every upcoming Elusive Target. As an added bonus, IO-Interactive is also including the game’s soundtrack, a “Making Of” documentary, and some custom gear from Blood Money, AKA the best game in the series until now.

With this version of Hitman hitting store shelves, it seems likely that new gamers will jump in on the fun. This is an exciting prospect, but it does bring about an issue. You see, Hitman is a daunting beast to tackle if you have little to no experience with Agent 47, and it can be difficult to find your way through each mission without struggling. At least the game is still entertaining to play even when everything goes to hell.

Luckily, your good friend John is here to share some important tips for Hitman. I won’t show you how to pull off the perfect assassination and rocket to the top of the leaderboards, but I will make the journey slightly easier. Plus, you can trust these tips because I’ve spent an ungodly amount of hours on Blood Money, Absolution, and Hitman: Season One.

Without further ado, here are the Greatest Tips Ever for Being Awesome at Hitman (patent pending):

Rely on Instinct, Not Opportunities

One beautiful thing about Hitman is that it includes a list of available opportunities for assassination. You are immediately introduced to these during the Prologue/tutorial by way of little lightbulb icons. Serving as a pseudo-walkthrough, these Opportunities range from dressing up like a chef and poisoning a birthday cake to pretending to be a hooded prisoner. Each Opportunity is entertaining in its own right, but they quickly grow stale over repeated playthroughs. Once that happens, you are basically stuck trying to figure out how to liven up the experience while reaching Master Level 20.

Thankfully, Hitman combats this issue by including the Instinct mode that first appeared in Hitman: Absolution. Pressing RB on the Xbox One and R1 on the PS4 turns the world into black and white but highlights important objects with yellow and targets with red. Instinct mode also helps you differentiate between NPC’s by coloring hostile characters with a shade of orange. Basically, it’s Batman vision with some extra features. The cost requirement from Absolution has been removed, so you can switch between regular vision and Instinct at any given moment.

Instinct Mode

The best part of Instinct mode is that it can help you complete challenges for extra experience. You see, the Opportunities give you the main avenues of assassination, but there are multiple other options available as Challenges. Most of these are listed by name, but some can only be discovered through careful exploration. Using the Instinct mode will highlight important items than can be used in this journey. For example, Sapienza has a challenge involving the use of antique cannons. It’s easy to find the cannons, but tracking down cannonballs and gunpowder is very difficult. Instinct just makes the process easier.

Pick Up Everything

As I mentioned earlier, Instinct highlights everything important in the level. This brings me to another point: pick up literally everything. It doesn’t matter if it’s an apricot, a hammer, a brick, or an off-brand pop can. Everything can be used as a weapon or distraction, and many of the items play important roles in potential assassinations. The random wrench sitting in a toolbox? That can be used to puncture a gas barrel for explosive results. The wrench in the back room? That can be used to loosen a valve on a gas lamp. Even if you can’t find the perfect use for each item in your inventory, you can still throw them to knock out enemies or distract people. The point is that everything can be picked up and used purely for entertainment.

Knives are just some handy tools.

Just don’t pick up any items like battle axes, swords, or machine guns unless you are dressed as a soldier or security. This will make everyone oh so angry.

Always Smuggle Items

Unlike other video game protagonists (looking at you, Dragonborn), Agent 47 is impressively strong and can carry an unlimited amount of resources. He even manages to contain them in his finely crafted Italian suit while keeping that svelte appearance. However, 47 does have one drawback in that he can only bring three items into a mission on his person. One slot is dedicated to a handgun, while the other two are used for miscellaneous poisons, lockpicks, coins, machetes, etc. This poses a problem when preparing for a mission because quite a few are made easier through the use of more than two items.

Thankfully, Hitman has a helpful fix: smuggle an item into the mission. The handy dandy helpers at The Agency are more than willing to drop off an extra item or weapon in each level to make your hit easier, and they can hide it in more convenient places depending on the Mastery Level. Using the smuggle feature is the perfect way to hide a sniper rifle in the level for those trickier assassination attempts that force you to drop a sign on a enemy or do something similar.

Manual Save Like It’s 1998

One thing you will learn quickly while playing Hitman is that every assassination attempt could go horrifically wrong at a moment’s notice. NPC’s will wander in while you are dumping a body in a closet or throwing them in a wood chipper, causing chaos and running for the authorities; you will accidentally drop a chandelier at the wrong moment and crush a waiter instead of the target. Bad things happen often because the world is a living, breathing entity.

IO-Interactive helps you out by including a healthy checkpoint system that saves five different moments at a time. These are quite helpful for reloading an earlier moment after something goes wrong. Unfortunately, these checkpoints don’t always work out in the best way. I frequently had to replay a good 10-15 minutes because the checkpoint saved at a strange time. I’ll admit, this did occasionally get frustrating, but once again IO-Interactive thought of everything.

Hitman has a handy feature, much like the original Half Life, where you can save at a moment’s notice. Sure, it’s not exactly as streamlined as hitting one key on the keyboard and continuing on your way, but the manual save comes in handy more than you would expect. It’s the perfect answer to those “What If” moments that we have while playing a stealth game. You know, what if I made a Tuk Tuk explode while dressed as an exterminator? Or, what if I walked through a hospital dressed as a gardener while carrying a katana? Manual saves just push you to experiment, which is the best way to play Hitman. Plus, you can save five different moments at a time.

What if I killed Santa? Manual Save!

Be Comfortable Being Patient

If you are new to Hitman, the first thing you’ll notice is that (almost) all of the targets are wandering around oblivious to their impending doom. This lack of awareness may cause you to jump the gun and make a half-cocked assassination attempt, but DON’T DO IT! Hitman is so beautifully designed in that every character has a path that eventually sets them open for the perfect hit. You just have to keep an eye on them and wait for that opportunity. Don’t get me wrong; it’s definitely a time sink. You can easily spend more than 30 minutes just wandering around waiting for the perfect moment to strike, or you can simply throw a knife and run for your life. In the words of Jeremy Clarkson, “RUN AWAY!!!”

The benefit of waiting is that each target will spout lines of dialogue that help discover new assassination options. I’m not joking! They may also wander off alone into the brush or some random isolated spot for you to kill in peace. Fortune may favor the bold, but the patient assassins don’t get shot by countless security guards.

Hitman – The Complete First Season hits store shelves January 31st.


About the Author

John Newby

A random dude obsessed with coffee, blue heelers, and most nerdy things. Big fan of Star Wars, Borderlands, Arrow/Flash, and a whole lotta video games. The Saboteur is underrated, and Silverado is the best movie ever made.