Hitman 2

Farewell, Ghost Mode!

Hitman5 - Farewell, Ghost Mode!
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I "joined the ICA" rather late, the first game of the series I tried was the 2016 reboot. However I immediately liked its unique mix of relaxed exploring of levels, stealth and action when things get hot. So the second entry in the World of Assassination trilogy was a clear purchase for me when it came out. I played all levels with the aim to unlock the maximum location mastery, especially so that I have it easier when elusive targets come around. While the locations from the previous game carried over, but progress didn't, I of course had to master these levels again.

So it happened that I never tried Ghost Mode. Before entering competition against other players I wanted to make sure to know all levels well enough, because I didn't even want to imagine how frustrating it would be if the opponent figuratively beat my ass while I have little idea what's going on. And then when elusive targets stopped coming other games caught my attention…

Well, then I read IOI's blog post about shutting down Ghost Mode and posts here on the subreddit that pointed out that you wouldn't be able to unlock the Phantom Suit after that. So I had a TODO to unlock the suit before time runs out.

This weekend I finally got around to trying out Ghost Mode. And sure enough, even though I knew the game rather well the first few rounds were pretty frustrating. Opponents were way more daring than I was. I always played singleplayer very carefully, ensuring I get clean kills, i.e. gearing up with good equipment, knocking out potential witnesses in the area and looking for the perfect spot to be unseen and having enough time to hide the body. Well, that meant I was way too slow for my opponents and stood no chance against them. So I had to learn the slightly different ruleset for ghost mode. The biggest change to me was that hiding bodies was rather unimportant. All that counts is the body isn't found within 10 seconds. Distracting a bodyguard just before killing their protegee can already be enough.

With time I got better and eventually managed to defeat my opponents. At some point it seemed to me like the game got frustrating for my opponents. Because I encountered a lot of people that ended up ragequittung. Which was also annoying to me, because I had a 100 kills count to complete for the Phantom Suit. With a lot of patience and going a bit easy on players that didn't seem to know the game(mode) well enough yet I eventually managed to unlock the suit though. Sweet 😊.

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Now I have just a few challenges left:

  • Suit only
  • Drown a target
  • Versatile Assassin (though that will be unlocked with the previous)
  • All accidents

I feel like some of the challenges are really only possible if you're not just playing against a "random" player, but someone who knows what you're trying to do, maybe even tries it themselves.

For example drowning, I once had an emetic syringe and stabbed a target. I wanted to wait for them to go to the bathroom and do my thing, but my opponent had other ideas and disposed of them quicker than my plan would've taken to come to fruition. Another time I had an opponent who wasn't as versed in the mode, so I had plenty of time. But on the equipment side… I though I could try the good ol' trick to open a faucet with a garden hose, knock then unconscious and drag their body with their face into the puddle. I still find it funny that you can drown people in a lil' puddle 😃. But, other possible witnesses didn't allow me to complete that plan…
I tried kicking people in Santa Fortuna from the pier into the water, or dumping a target off a bridge, but unfortunately these don't count as drowning. Probably because they get eaten by piranhas? Not sure… in Miami I never found a spot secluded enough to kick a target into the water, there were always people walking around too close.

In the end, did like Ghost Mode? Hell yeah! It's a refreshing spin on the game. Will I miss it when it's shut down? Almost certainly. Even though I didn't play it for that long, it was still very enjoyable if you played against opponents with a similar skill level.

TL;DR: Ghost mode is cool, too bad it's going away.

P.S.: If there's anyone that wants to tick off the remaining challenges with me it'd be greatly appreciated.

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