I like the very simple stories and characters offered by Hitman 2016 and Hitman 2. It's mysterious, elegant and hints at just enough conspiracy behind the curtains to keep you engaged. There's like 3 real characters throughout these games, two of them being 47 and Diana. Their "bond" is sort of the emotional core of the story.
Which is why I do not get how the devs didn't translate that into gameplay through the mission stories. I tried playing through the game on the highest difficulty the first time, because I really wanted to engage with the mechanics and try my best to pull of smart assassinations. But the fact that mission story objectives were disengaged, completely disrupted that. Because I still feel that these mission objectives are – especially for first timers – the funnest and most engaging ways to play the game. It's a problem that sometimes the objectives to achieve the end of the mission story are a bit convoluted and don't allow you to figure them out without a HUD.
A very simple fix for that would've been to have your handler, Diana, interact on your earpiece to suggest how to proceed with every mission story, instead of an objective just showing up. So instead of you hearing about how Helmut Kruger looks just like 47 and then suddenly an objective telling you to go intercept him, Diana could tell you to look into that and tell you where to go look for him. You'd get a hint from her (maybe introduce a mechanic every mission where you complete a side-objective to give Diana access to certain files, allowing her to give you more detailed hints about mission stories) and have to figure out how to complete the mission story.
I thought it was kind of a shame, because it would've:
- allowed me to go for a difficult first playthrough without the knowledge of previous playthroughs;
- integrated Diana, the handler, into gameplay (instead of her having only 5 lines every mission);
- merged gameplay and character development, showing us how well 47 and Diana work together;
- removed the necessity for mission stories to translate themselves into glorified objective markers, going against the core of what I feel makes these games so interesting;
- removed the mission stories sort of negating the free-form style the games have, by basically railroading 47 into a set series of objectives to complete;
- make the mission stories feel more like an achievement (due to the necessity of players still having to figure them out), instead of having it be an easier and pre-built way of completing the assassinations.
Thoughts? I'm sure I'm not the first to have felt like this.
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© Post "HITMAN’s greatest missed opportunity – the Handler" for game Hitman 2.
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