Alas, the end of Hitman’s first season is nigh.
Ok, so technically, the first season officially ended back in October with the release of Hokkaido, but IO-Interactive has been cranking out new content basically every week. New Contracts have been featured, including a phenomenal Giant Bomb-themed disaster, and Elusive Targets have been popping up every month. It has truly been a wonderful first season for the newly independent developer, but that time is drawing to a close. IO revealed on Thursday that this month would mark the final Elusive Target of the season.
This news, while sad, does bring about the hope that season two of Hitman will soon be announced. It also brings to mind all of the cool moments from the previous 25 Elusive Targets. IO went to some very interesting places with the various targets and never shied away from mixing up the formula. Some Elusive Targets featured hidden agendas while others tasked you with using your detective skills. Others, as you will see below, were utterly insane.
Let’s choose the five best Elusive Targets from Hitman’s first season.
- Wen Ts’ai (Bangkok)
A dastardly figure, Wen Ts’ai formerly traveled the world writing scathing reviews of dishes and angering chefs at every stop. His vicious comments earned him the title of The Food Critic and resulted in a contract for Agent 47. While Ts’ai wasn’t the most evil Elusive Target on the list, he did provide a very interesting challenge. You see, the mission set in Bangkok (Club 27) had food strewn about a hotel that could be used to poison the aptly named food critic, but there wasn’t a set pattern for his stops. With limited items on hand, you basically had to guess when poisoning food. Of course, the poison didn’t actually matter once you found out that Ts’ai never actually tasted the food he critiqued. Instead of doing a quick “poison and run”, you had to find a more subtle avenue for assassination that didn’t alert his guards or result in dead civilians. I opted for an exploding duck thrown under Ts’ai’s corner booth in the hotel restaurant.
- Owen Wagner (Paris)
A brilliant hacker known as Protagonist, Owen Wagner was a very difficult target to track down. The only information given was that he was located next to a computer somewhere in the Showstopper mission. If that sounds easy, then you haven’t explored Paris at all. The fashion show takes up an entire four-story mansion as well as some outer grounds, so finding one target isn’t easy at all even if you have a red marker to follow. It also doesn’t help that the Elusive Target was hidden in a faraway attic room that basically was never used. I totally forgot that his secret hacker cave even existed and didn’t bother to look through half of the attic until I had explored every inch of that mansion. It took me roughly 45 minutes to track down Protagonist, but there was one huge benefit in that I was able to assassinate him while dressed as the Vampire Magician. Sure, there was a little bit of collateral damage with a couple of civilians getting in the way, but the mission was a success.
This Elusive Target may sound frustrating, but the reality is that I truly enjoyed having to explore little known areas of the mansion to find the hacker.
- Richard M. Foreman (Colorado)
Known as The Chameleon, Richard Foreman was a ridiculous con man that could basically impersonate any mark to steal money or nuclear weapons. Foreman’s skill lay in the fact that he didn’t have any true defining characteristics beyond impeccable acting chops. Basically, he was a little bland looking and could blend in anywhere. But what truly made this Elusive Target special was the fact that he was the first with specific instructions. All of the previous Elusive Targets let you just run in guns blazing if you wanted, but The Chameleon required a special touch. Instead of easily murdering Foreman, you were tasked with taking him out via an accident. Fulfilling this contract should have been easy considering Colorado’s farm setting and the sheer amount of hazards, but the actual hit was far more difficult. Foreman didn’t roam around the farm like other targets. Instead, he spent time with some hackers in the farmhouse as he prepared to impersonate a key figure in a heist. Pulling off an “accidental” hit was very difficult with all of the hackers and soldiers standing around, but it was doable. You just had to get creative.
- Ji-Hu (Hokkaido)
Possibly the most brilliantly designed Elusive Target, The Fugitive was undergoing facial reconstruction in the Hokkaido clinic when Agent 47 came to town. Unfortunately, Ji-Hu had no defining characteristics with which to find him, and he was surrounded by other facial reconstruction patients. Basically, the entire assassination attempt became a shell game. Shoot the wrong patient in the face, and the whole clinic would descend into chaos. And the best part is that IO randomized the entire mission so each player had one of four or five targets. I attempted to dispose of Ji-Hu twice (both successes) and each time he was in a different body. I learned this lesson the hard way during my second attempt. Thinking that I could speedrun the Elusive Target because I already knew his location, I ran out into the snowy courtyard, gun in hand, and shot the supposed target at point blank range. As it turns out, I had the wrong guy. I ended up spending the next 30 minutes killing random patients and switching outfits to avoid security before I finally found the correct target. My score was terrible, but the hit was a success.
The Fugitive was pure brilliance.
- Gary Busey (Sapienza)
Ji-Hu would have topped the list of Elusive Targets in any normal situation, but there is no denying the utter insanity of Hitman’s most special mission involving two semi famous actors. After a voting campaign involving both Gary Cole and Gary Busey, IO released an Elusive Target where you had to take out Busey but spare Cole’s life, but only after discovering mister Point Break’s location. Which is only known to Cole. You literally had to track Gary Cole throughout the glorious Sapienza level until he led you to a surprisingly calm Gary Busey. Once that happened, the games truly began.
Taking out Busey could have been an easy task if not for his constant bodyguards and random movement patterns. He simply didn’t follow a set path, so sitting in a window with a sniper rifle was out of the question, as was laying a bomb trap. Trust me, I know. I attempted the Gary Busey Elusive Target four different times on different consoles. Each version of the Hollywood crazy person was completely different after his confrontation with Gary Cole. I finally stopped attempting bombastic assassinations and instead chose to throw a pair of scissors at his head before running to the relative safety of a boat. Not the cleanest kill, but it sure got the job done.
I still have difficulty grasping the fact that I killed digital Gary Busey. It’s just so weird.
All of these Elusive Targets were fantastic, but will the finale top them all? Find out for certain later this month.