With Hitman: Absolution's new take on the franchise nevertheless having proved a big hit with old assassins and new, here's my top ten tips to be a hit in Hitman, and help you reach that coveted 'Silent Assassin' rank.
10) Possession is nine-tenths…
A good hitman is prepared for every situation – not least when you might need to distract an enemy, or knock them out by hitting them gently with a baseball bat. Always carry a random item in your jacket pocket, be it a brick, bottle or garden gnome – you never know when you might need a garden gnome.
Occasionally, enemy patrols might need to take a short rest break, or go indulge their smoking habit – this is the ideal time to sidle over, ask for a light (obviously not if he/she is relieving him/herself, you'd look a bit bonkers), knock out or kill him/her, and stuff the body into a recycling bin/wicker basket/trash can/sewer. One less opponent is a good thing, always.
8) Take the scenic route
Most of the time, the direct route isn't the best route. Look around your target's area – there's bound to be a sewer or a balcony or a ladder to climb – there's no need to rush in all guns blazing, take the scenic route for better scores – and usually more interesting ways to take down your target.
Agent 47 is a trained killer, bred from birth – and he knows what he's doing. Unless you're playing on the ridiculously hard 'professional' setting, you'll want to make use of his instincts – mark your targets, check their paths, consider your approach – and occasionally go nuts and point-shoot eight guys at once. Some consider using instinct to be cheating – I consider it to be badass.
6) Take your time
There's no need to rush, no matter how the game tries to make you hurry into a reactive kill.
Take your time with your approach, study the target's movement patterns, try to sneak into places you aren't allowed and seek out those interesting weapons and opportunities the developers tried to hide from you. You never know what you'll find, like a katana, or some rat poison… or a teddy bear.
5) Listen up
Listen to the conversations taking place around you. A surprising amount of information can be gleaned from loose lips, be it the location of a weapons cache, or an open air vent.
4) Leave no trace
Hide the bodies. Agent 47, conscientious fellow that he is, wouldn't leave litter lying around – he'd bin it, so be sure to hide the bodies of your victims (dead or unconscious). This will help your overall score, as well as keeping the roaming guards off your back that little bit longer.
3) Take a breather
Non-lethal takedowns are quieter than lethal ones. They also leave no blood trace, have a smaller negative impact on your campaign scoring, and help you meet that coveted 'Silent Assassin' rank. After all, a good assassin only kills his target, and his target alone.
Ignoring the fact that your opponents are idiots who can't recognise the tall, bald, tattooed man in their midst as a threat from the start, 47 is an expert at disguise and infiltration. Grab any and all disguises to infiltrate your target's location – you'll feel badass as you outthink your opponent, and you'll be able to slip away with ease afterwards.
1) Mercis Letifer
Hitman: Absolution is best played through three or four times. The nature of the levels allows for a huge number of ways to approach your targets, so be sure to improvise, take on the challenges set by the developers, or just make it up as you go along. I, for example, tried to kill every target set for me with a household object, such as a toilet plunger – more difficult than you'd think!