Freelancer Killed Hitman

Freelancer killed Hitman for me. There are so many things that are wrong with it. The latest update did not improve the game experience.

Complaint List:
01 - Hardcore - High Risk plus Mandatory Objective equals the Same Pay
02 - Arrange meetings do not count - PO fails every time
03 - Lost special leader jingle
04 - PO eliminate with unsilenced pistol epic - There is only 1 epic (0 legendary) unsilenced pistol that I never got. The vendors only had it once or twice. Prioritized other weapons. I’m missing 3-4 pistols and haven’t seen it in ages. Why have this as an option?
05 - PO use an explosive on safe - Can’t do this when there are NO locations with safes. Why have this as an option?
06 - Lost NPC silent pistols except Assassan’s
07 - Lose more M using the stock market than gained. Lost more often, often repeatedly, than the rare wins
08 - Less M from the Vault
09 - Knives in lockboxes gone.
10 - SA by any means does not work for me - not skilled enough nor have the patience to be flawless, especially in hardcore.
11 - There are many other unfavorable “Quality of Life” updates for freelancer
12 - Most important - Perfect Run Prestige Objective - All objectives completed (with Headshot Kills Only still active at exit) - Hardcore Campaign FAILURE - Objective review had all 4 objectives with green checkmarks - I was 2 missions away from completing the whole campaign!

I am DONE with Freelancer! The only HItman interest I have left are ETs and FCs.


These seem more like issues with things that aren’t working right in Freelancer and will likely be fixed someday. Not really qualifying as something to “kill” the game, I don’t think. Freelancer’s faults lie more in aspects of how it’s been designed to begin with: the annoying and unnecessary existence of the objectives, the incomplete inventories, the inability to use certain outfits, the lack of a save or restart option, the loss of tools due to failures… these things come closer to killing the joy of Hitman for me than bugs that are likely being worked on right now.


I’m sorry you lost your run to a bug & I hope they’re working on a hotfix but also Freelancer is good & I like it a lot


This series has a massive catalog of problems dating back to 2016 that have never been fixed.


I just find freelancer quite shite to be honest


I like the idea of Freelancer, but I find the execution gets extremely repetitive very quickly.

In most Rogue-Likes, a unique combination of random items creates a volatile experience against procedurally generated challenges. The longer you survive, the harder it gets! However, each time you make it further, you are rewarded with some kind of permanent boost that makes “starting all over” fun, different, or at least easier.

Hitman Freelancer is Rouge-Like… Like
Freelancer takes unchanging levels, selects a handful of targets from a limited pool, randomly assigns 4 objectives from a list of 80, and rewards players for grinding enough missions to afford a single item that is sometimes necessary to complete the aforementioned objectives. All of this is in service to unlocks for a role-play safe house and reskinned guns.

Freelancer is what happens when you hear the word “random” in Rogue-like and then stop listening, offering none of the intriguing, ever-changing, procedural gameplay that makes that model work (Hades, Risk of Rain, The Binding of Isaac).


Players often achieve the majority of a Story Mission’s Mastery from engaging, entertaining set-pieces that they want to experience. Dropping the catwalk chandelier on Novikov’s head is fun to do! Getting Ljudmila, Steven, and Tyson in a single room offers new possibilities! What little grinding might be at the end of a Mission Story can be sped up with quick-saves and reloads! And all of this is bolstered by beautiful levels, fleshed-out targets, rich dialogue, and entertaining supporting characters.

Meanwhile, in Freelancer, getting my 127th “Poison Target – Dart Gun” on the exact same Gardner in Bangkok has lost all meaning…

I don’t think Freelancer has “killed Hitman." The things I fell in love with in the base trilogy are still there! The Finish Line in Miami, or Showstopper in Paris, or Apex Predator in Berlin are wonderful playgrounds that offer intense replayability. When everything goes right, the WoA trilogy offers extremely rewarding gameplay. The bugs and glitches and odd choices can often be “overlooked” when you’re exploring all the engaging and rich content a level can offer.

Freelancer, in its current state, just gets very repetitive, very quickly. And Hardcore Mode is only worse. Hardcore Mode highlights and exaggerates the worst aspects of the WoA trilogy. It reignites every frustration the players have with bugs, glitches, the always-online model, and the punishing lack of saves and reloads.

With none of the polish and creativity from Story Missions to hide behind, Freelancer leaves every flaw exposed and bare. And this leaves players feeling cheated, or worse… like they’re not “good enough” to enjoy their favorite game.


Don’t have much to add to this because IMO it’s a really good post that I agree with across most of its points: very well written!

I think a lot of the issues raised could have been solved if Freelancer wasn’t so grindy in its Mastery/Challenge completion requirements. As Dapper says above, the bones of Hitman don’t allow for a true Rogue-like/-lite experience, and the fact that the Mastery/Challenge completions require INSANE levels of repeated playthroughs to achieve forces more repetition on the mode than it naturally has the gameplay life to sustain.

The WoA still remains the clear high water mark of the franchise but, like with the Sniper Assassin mode Mastery, there are clearly people at IOI who hugely overestimate Freelancer’s potential for longevity before the balance tips over the line from Fun New Mode to Choresome Second Job.


What you do here is just erm play some other content in Hitman? Food for thought.


I’m not a fan of Freelancer, as it’s basically a frustrating mix of Escalations and Elusive Targets. The Hitman gameplay mechanics and number of maps means it quickly gets repetitive, and I dislike how IO imposes these limitations and kill conditions, as I feel these go against the very nature of the franchise’s sandbox freedom.

However, I do love the Safehouse, and now that I’ve unlocked all of its areas, I have little motivation to grind through to Mastery Level 100. I may do it slowly over the course of the year for certain cosmetics and suits, but it sounds like a slog. It’s a shame the Safehouse is linked so closely to Freelancer, as I reckon it should have been it’s own thing. Ah, well.

So, yeah, Freelancer is fun in small doses, but I would have traded the entire mode for a new story map in a heartbeat…


I don’t get it. If you don’t like Freelancer, what’s stopping you from playing other content in the game? Those didn’t suddenly disappear or get locked behind Freelancer.


I ended with, “The only HItman interest I have left are ETs and FCs.” Those are rare. An ET is released to be played through once for easy SA, as I know them well enough. A set of FCs are released to be played through in one sitting, one or two hours depending on how I want to play. I played the main campaign completely several times already, especially for Just for Fun runs. There are no story objectives or unlockables left for me to do. I am not interested in speed runs or using the Muffin trick.

I don’t mind the grind for safe house gear. I don’t mind repetitive play as I do the same basic things in Dead by Daylight. I don’t like the changes IOI made to freelancer in what they think as quality of life improvements. Instead of making it easier for Mercers, especially double payouts for hardcore because high risk should have a high reward. The prestige system for gear doesn’t reward a deserving M increase to start all over. I don’t want to take a forever grind for gear just for a prestige trophy for the safe house 10 times. It’s not worth the repetitiveness of the same locations and taking out the same targets. I tried to achieve the Hitman achievement of defeating hardcore daily for 2 months straight now. I was upset at myself for trying to withstand a firefight. I was upset at myself for the holy shit moments where I pushed the wrong buttons in a panic. However, I spent hours in a more systematic way to complete my last run. I had some close calls. But I selected the best PO for me to complete my missions. I did everything correctly just to fail in the end. If it was normal mode, then the supposed PO failure would not destroy the contract. However, it destroyed my hardcore run. It’s the most disappointing aspect of the game. This is where I draw the line in freelancer. I failed because of Zero fault of my own. I know the mandatory PO for hardcore is the make or break for the contract. I may not get any favorable PO that best suits me. I do not want to retry hardcore for the hundredth time just to run into a similar scenario. It’s not worth it. None of the perks for freelancer is worth it. If you all love it so much, then I’m all for it that you continue to get your enjoyment from it. But for me, I’m DONE!

Freelancer breathed new life into a two-year old game (and a 7 year old trilogy) for no cost at all and it meant hours and hours of fun for me.

The bugs have not really meant a whole lot to me, as I have just avoided most of them. I hope they will be fixed, but I don’t expect perfection for no money.

Everything from the old trilogy is still in this enormous package of a game, for everyone to enjoy. Perspective is key.


It did. It’s challenging when I have to avoid the normal story NPCs routines to take out new targets. I love that I don’t have to get SA every single time, if at all. The showdowns are fun as I figure out the best way to remove lookouts and assassins to get to the leader. I don’t like not being able to hide suspects whose not the leader without killing them first. I have to kill and lose 1K every time to hide their bodies in lockers and creates. That in itself ruins SA. But everything is compiled that I used to deal with as I enjoyed freelancer despite the flaws. I refuse to play when I fail a campaign just by doing everything correctly. That took all enjoyment from me.

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Better take a break than frustration ruining your time.

Though the title of the topic still feels like an exaggeration.


To clarify my position, my only issue with Freelancer (which I think is a great and very welcome addition to the game) is the grindy ‘amount’ values of things that need doing for Mastery and Challenge completion.

I’m a completionist who wants to 100% the trilogy and while I have no issue at all with the nature of the tasks needed to gain Mastery and complete Challenges, I just think the numerical values they have arbitrarily chosen for some of those things are way in excess of the amount of time the mode will remain fresh and fun for. Similar to the Sniper Assassin grind where completing 100% of the Challenges didn’t get you even close to Mastery Level 20 and you just had to grind out 50 more identical SA runs to get the necessary XP.

The Freelancer content is great, but not “mandatory 100s of hours to unlock all Challenges”-great because it’s not a deep enough mode (which isn’t a criticism; it’s the Challenge requirements at fault rather than the gameplay.)


And all of which they are aware of and are either still being worked on, have been fixed but caused some other problem, or are not going to be fixed because they were deliberate choices or simply can’t be fixed without changing something they don’t want to change. Remember, IOI has simultaneously been working on new content and fixes and patches since the 2016 release, and can only put so much effort into repairs when the rest of the crew is working on new stuff getting ready to come out and further affect the things they were already working on, and that’s when they weren’t getting ready for the next game to drop that would make the work on the current game irrelevant. Now that there’s practically no new content coming to distract or cause new issues, they’re free to fix anything that can still be fixed for as long as they continue to support the game.

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Are you kidding?
Freelancer is something that brought me back to playing Hitman in general.
H3 was mnaah… let’s just get it overwith and finish the franchise. New Ambrose level in H3 was also like that.
Only when Freelancer started I was thrilled (to this day also) that I can play it. Similar rush like I felt playing first Elusive targets years ago.
Your complaints are tiny issues or irrelevant. As for game being too hard, that is not valid complaint.


Every procgen game is made up of smaller unchanging parts with random stuff layered on top to recontextualise them.

Tools that get wiped out & re-acquired are the random items, targets & objectives are the volatile challenges (as is syndicate/map choice if only people actually thought about that instead of using up all the safes & then complaining to the manager when they get the open safe objective), syndicates get longer & harder (yes you tend to snowball when you find certain items but that’s true of many roguelikes). Everyone hates these things by the way, every Freelancer thread is full of people trying to get them patched out, that’s what makes these discussions so depressing.

Freelancer is also crammed with rewards for future playthroughs - weapons, safehouse gear & crafting facilities, now prestige bonuses as well. Perhaps there are even too many rewards, as people seem to get caught up trying to collect everything to the detriment of actually having fun playing the game.

You say it gets repetitive, and I would agree, that’s why I put it down for a couple months to play something else. But I would question “extremely repetitive, very quickly”. How many hours did it take you to reach the point where you’ve seen the same target/objective combo on Bangkok 127 times, and how many hours do you think it’s reasonable to expect from literally any other video game


Your entitled to your opinion, but I absolutely love Freelancer. I think it’s a cool game mode showing us what 47 has been up to since the Hitman III epilogue, but also a good mode to tie us over until the next big Hitman game in years down the line.

You make Freelancer how you want as everyone has got their own ways to play I guess. Don’t let a couple of bad runs put you off playing. When I first started playing, I thought there’s no way in hell I’ll be able to get used to it. Now I’ve got used to everything and made everything sort of my own, I prefer playing Freelancer currently to the normal Campaign.

I do disagree with you slightly saying the new update hasn’t improved the Freelancer gameplay. There’s been many tweaks to the mode and a load of new features have been added, alongside many bug fixes and tweaks.


I managed almost 15 Campaigns in a row (without dying/ failing), and they never increased in difficulty, just reset back to the usual 3 non-alerted missions with 1-2 targets.

I wouldn’t call Prestige a “reward.” Prestige was clearly implemented to help speed up the latter half of Mastery by giving the player more XP and more Merces to get useful items faster. This was in direct response to just how grindy and reptitive Freelancer was/ is.

But yes, unlocking more equipment slots, shed poison, garage bomb, and grapes makes it easier to “start over.”

And, I actually really enjoy the Safe House! In fact, it’s practically the only reason I’ve played Freelancer as much as I have. It’s no secret that many diehard Hitman players enjoy the dress-up and role-play that’s become associated with the game, and I adore IOI for recognizing that and crafting a truly wonderful Safe House for us :relieved:

Across the series, I have 420 hours in H1, 37 hours in H2, and 391 hours in H3. That’s approx. 850 hours spread across 7 years. That averages around 30 minutes a day or 2.5 hours per week (obviously, that’s not consecutive).

I am currently at Mastery 92, have completed 87 showdowns, and killed 868 total targets. Before prestige, I had 3 million Merces. I would say I have put about 80 hours into Freelancer at this point (less than 10% of my time across the series). For many players, that is a lot of time! And, there are also many more players with well over 1000 hours across the entire trilogy.

I would say around Mastery 50 (approx. 30 hours in) is when the Grind of Freelancer truly gets bad. Before Mastery 50, safe house unlocks are pretty consistent! Through a campaign, you’ll get several! However, around Mastery 90, you’re lucky to get even one Mastery Unlock in a Campaign (even with the pittance that the newly added prestige offers).

The average AAA single-player campaign is about 6-12 hours of content. Perhaps you think 40+ hours is more than Freelancer deserves. And I agree! In my 80 hours, I haven’t achieved Mastery 100, Employee of the Month, or even got halfway to GOAT. Now, these are obviously “end-game” achievements for die-hard, committed players. And maybe there’s something wrong with enjoying Hitman that much.

But I don’t personally think Hitman is “any other video game.” I adore these games. I will happily sing their praises day-in and day-out. I rarely look at upcoming games, but when the new 007 game comes out, I’ll buy it and play it! I have never had more fun in a video game than playing Hitman 2016 for the first time. And while I definitely have my favorite missions/ maps, I genuinely adore and admire the entirety of the mission stories, from France to Romania. The level design, the detailed and fleshed-out targets, the dense lore and dialogue, and the wonderfully comedic supporting characters make the WoA trilogy truly unique and exceptional!

And this is why I seem so critical of Freelancer/ Hitman. If I didn’t care about Hitman, I wouldn’t post 1000+ words of critique and conversation about just one of its several game modes.

I am critical because I love and adore these games. And I think Hitman and IOI can do better. I want them to do better! I want WoA to be its “best self!” In my experience, Freelancer simply doesn’t live up to what WoA has offered previously or what IOI is capable of.

… … …

The safe house is really cool though :white_heart: Massive props to the level designers, they consistently knock it out of the park :heart_eyes: