Hitman future game mechanics

Hello Hitman forums. Hello IO, i am so pleased that your studio has managed to release Hitman 2 and keep this unique franchise going, Hitman 2 was great and you are an amazing studio!

No other series makes my brain fire with ideas more than Hitman… It seems it could be an endless series…

I just saw the ‘Noclip’ documentary on ‘the fall and rise of Hitman’ and have decided I will preorder any future installment of the series. As i think we all know that really all you guys need is MORE MONEY.

That being said…

This post is about what the Hitman series could grow into gameplay wise, what features I (and i assume others) would like ideally, but also contain ideas that hopefully are realistic to implement.

I am not a game designer, and game designers know better than anyone what will work, and what is possible. I am sensitive to the real world issues of budget, time constraints, gameplay balancing technical limitations.

I know that this topic has been covered before, but i have read a few lists, and I feel i have some new things to add, as well as some reasoning behind how to tweak some requested features to keep the game balanced, and to avoid feature bloat/creep.

We need to have a purpose to different features, and there needs to be a balance of power. between 47 and …well… everyone else.

If many of these features were implemented, i would think IO would need to do a couple of hefty training levels to reeducate the player…

I would say that my top priorities are probably the hardest to tackle…

  1. A.I

2 Agent 47’s abilities

  1. even more contrast in levels (tone, weather, size, enemy type, level specific complications)

I would say this list is in order of importance.

I also believe that IO’s needs to have the game appeal to a wide range of players should be considered. Some of my suggestions are quite hardcore…

My best way to accommodate this is to treat difficulty levels as a more fluid aspect…
(A bit like when you have auto selected graphic settings for PC games, but can then adjust to your needs)

Perhaps we have a base level of the game where there are the core mechanics that all players will experience… and then difficulty levels, but beyond that you can toggle individual aspects of difficulty right down to your play style.

BEFORE I START, THERE WILL BE THINGS HERE THAT CANNOT BE IMPLEMENTED, BUT YOU GOTTA SHOOT FOR THE STARS TO REACH FOR THE MOON RIGHT?
Plus for each suggestion I might make a suggestion to extend an example that goes perhaps a bit too far. But it is for the sake of fun.

Lets start with…

A.I.

  1. Guard/npc loops that feel a bit more loose…

there is a reason why we need to be able to see guard patterns, so we can plan.
But I would like to see a bit more complexity. One example is a guard in ‘Another life’ next to Janus’s house who smokes and sort of walks in a loose circle, it looks natural and it is never the case that he is either facing you or not facing you.

Add to that, a patrolling guard every so often may change route slightly, or stop somewhere they didn’t before. They may do something that makes your life harder, or perhaps makes it easier.
-smoke
-talk to someone

  • take a piss
    -make a call
    -check their weapon
  • tie a shoe

I could go on…

the idea here is to stop you being so assured that you can sneak up on a guard from anything more than a very short distance and know you will get away with it…

This means that for safety you would need to minimize the distance from which you sneak up on a guard to avoid unpredictability . But also a change in the guards behavior may actually benefit you, allowing you to alter a plan and go for it!

The theme here is the game gives AND takes.

( i would hope you could toggle this feature on and off)

  1. Guard Senses

I would like for Guards visual acuity to be increased…

It feels odd that you can sneak around a box right next to a guard, even when they are looking for you, and still be able to avoid their line of sight, in reality they would scrutinize the area, peek over things, and see you more easily in there peripheral vision.

Another example is when you are in a bush next to a guard and you suddenly pop up, but the guard’s detection works on a slow reaction time, and they go ‘?’ but decide there was nothing there…
It cracks me up, it’s funny, but not what you want to happen…

If the A.I. detection were to change so visual acuity and the range of things detected were more heavily based on distance, which controlled time to detection.

If you are in a restricted area, guard detection distance should be high, they should react quickly to anything.

If you are in a unrestricted area, detection reaction and distance is influenced by action severity…

-murder/ violence is high distance and high reaction time

-suspicious behavior is medium distance and medium reaction time

I also feel that a factor influencing this would be the level of suspicion already raised by your prior actions.

( All These things could be more or less depending on difficulty)

Guards should be able to see and react to shadows just like mirrors.

If 47 is sneaking up on somebody, the direction of lighting, the ambient lighting, the population of the area, time of day, should all come into play…

this creates new tactics…

-extinguish light sources to avoid creating a shadow

  • easier to sneak up on victim in a dark area
    -guards/ npcs more likely to turn around if they are in a state where they expect to be alone ( secluded area)
    -different levels at different times of day or with greatly contrasting lighting will have different challenges
    -what goes for the guards goes for us (we all see shadows)

All of the above extends to whether 47 is in shadow or is lit.

  • keep to a dark corner and you can keep hidden and surprise an enemy
    -turn off lights, shoot out lights
    (guards can turn back on, or toggle torches)

Guard sense of hearing and surfaces…

The surface you are sneaking/ running/ walking on should affect whether someone can hear you more…

examples…
(these lean towards people who are trying for a silent assassin mindset)

  • leaves (example of very hard surface to sneak on)
    your only approach is short distance sneaking with a sudden surprise to the target.

-Concrete (easy surface) you can fast sneak and easily surprise the npc

-area population dependent (like shadows) or ambient noise dependent
if you are in a public place then you are basically free to run up to a npc from behind.

gameplay ideas here are exciting… imagine…

-Creaky floorboards (nightmare)
you want to sneak up but they will know (it might not matter if alone, or you just shoot them)
instead you find a new approach…
or…

you raise the environmental ambiance in a non suspicious way

  • turn on a hoover to mask noise
  • (a bit far fetched) maybe use a hammer to nail the nails in advance (i am basically joking)

( i think sneaking should be graduated, fast sneak ,slow creep, each making different level of noise)

i want to explain more how increased senses of all types really can play into making the game better and more fun and not just more brutal, bear with me…

Also I think the idea of ‘ray traced’ audio on the next gen consoles is really exciting for sound in stealth games. (Unpredictability of whether an unintentional noise made by you will be heard, or making a distraction by hitting something to make a noise varies in success by how easily the material sound propagates)

Suspicion accumulation, localized…

I want to get across at least some of what i mean here…

I think it’s weird that in this game you can go running around, crouch loads, throw things around people, jump over stuff, run into people as much as you want in a public area (or indeed trying to run into a private area) and you just get a few glances and a “watch it!” or “weirdo!”

At it’s simplest i think that an npc should report your behavior and you are asked to stop, if you persist, you are detained or asked to leave and not return to the area.

How much trouble this gets you in depends on the frequency, your delinquency and the area you do it in, and the alert state of npcs in the area…

i also think that running for more than a few seconds when in a restricted area, or when an area is in a suspicious state that this should make disguises less effective, people question you or turn to look at you more often…

Imagine you did this in a public place in front of a policeman, or were reported by the public to a nearby policeman…

they may ask you to stop/ leave and comply or face consequences, like being detained ,or escorted out…

But they also radio nearby patrols and ask to watch out for your description, and to scrutinize your actions more, they are given your description… they ask them to do the same as they would do if they see you.

  • you must use disguise to shed this suspicion
  • not all disguises work as well, if the disguise looks similar to your own appearance (bald)
    (remember the ‘guards now looking for a suspicious bald person’ line form the older games?)
  • i think this provides a good solution to being able to constantly use coins etc as distractions

However… to help you…

I think you should be able to obtain radios or gain access to radio frequencies of different groups
( i don’t know about being able to pose as part of a group and lying/ spreading misinformation, that is very complex)

  • you can listen to what they know about you (your looks, your behaviors, your last known location)
  • you can listen to what they know about a place, an event. or target
  • you can find out about patrol changes, guard changes etc, guards going to the lavatory etc)

Guard memory…

Guards need to learn and remember and perceive more (holy grail of game A.I. really)

-If a door opens and there is nobody there, the guard should investigate, if they notice.
(if it’s a busy place then not, but if they expect to be alone then they should)
(basically is the area tagged as high population or low, high threat or low threat area)

If a guard sees you go round a corner to a dead end and not reappear in a timely manner they should investigate it…

this depends on…

-the status of the area, is it high population or low? did you go round a corner that becomes off limits?
-Are the guards already suspicious?
-Is this particular guard on their way to somewhere else or are they posted here watching over the area (if their posting is static they should certainly investigate)

( i do think this one is bloody hard, what if you disappear round a dead end and you shimmy up a drainpipe, or a ledge? Would the guard radio about you and ask guards to look out for your description?)
(like other features this could be toggled on or off)
(the game could ask you in the training levels if you want it on or off)

If two people go into a room with only one exit and purpose ( like a bathroom) and only one comes out… then a static patrol guard at the scene should investigate…

-if it’s a public place then they just have a look, if all looks fine they don’t do anything…
-if it is a private place or restricted area bathroom then they have a look, and they also look inside cupboards and containers to see if there is a body.
-they will then radio others to give a description of you at that time (disguise etc)

the above depends on
-public or private place
-level of prior suspicion

As someone else mentioned…

security cameras

  • destroyed cameras should be investigated
  • ideally the method of destruction controls level of suspicion…
  • shot cameras are high suspicion
    -if guards become suspicious, they post patrols to the camera location, or fix camera)
  • maybe if any cameras is disabled (depends if high threat or low threat area, then someone is dispatched to investigate/ fix (this could be a tactic so you can take their clothes, the power balance is addressed)
    -electrically shorted cameras are low suspicion (reason for some more tools)
    -suspicion accumulates if multiple cameras are inoperable.
  • destroying security tapes works only for removing footage already recorded of you, guards can still see what you do on cameras in the area. and be alerted to your activities.
    -this all encourages you to use better tools (rewards) or avoid cameras entirely

level of prior suspicion and threat level of area, and population level all come into affect (would one broken camera in a large level in a public place be investigated?)

i think i read that people complained and it was changed…

  • but i think security tapes should feed back to more localized security rooms

(if a whole level is a homogeneous place then maybe just one)
( if it is a collection of distinct areas then there are security tape rooms for each area)

  • also maybe some npcs record you on their phone, you then have to get them, get their phone and destroy it (i saw someone post this, sounded cool)

Sounds and npc-

-if you shoot an npc and they don’t die, they would scream in real life, they would suffer from their injuries and may bleed out and die… (to stop someone running to report you but without killing them, you could injur them to slow them, then incapacitate)

  • if someone sees you do something violent, or sees your violent intention, they should sometimes scream out, the scream should alert people nearby, either an npc who gets a guard, or a guard themselves…

  • coins and other distractions.
    ( i use coins a fair bit on SA runs. bit i feel shitty about doing it)

  • effectiveness of distractions is based on its weight, what it is thrown against, the ambient noise of an area.

-small sounds triggered in busy places should basically be ignored.

if you use a small sound in a quiet place or restricted space then it should get a guards attention, but only so they glance in that direction, allowing you to slip past.

if you trigger this sound repeatedly, the guard is suspicious that YOU are nearby, and actively looks for you in a careful manner, possibly asking for help, or to tell other guards to be more alert of suspicious sounds.

I think coins and the like should be re purposed as a last resort tactic. for example if guards are hunting you, you could throw something to make a sound, they quickly look towards the sound, allowing you to strike, or slip by…

I also think that carrying more than one coin on your person should make a slight amount of noise, making it harder for you to move quickly behind a guard in a quiet place without them noticing.

Larger sounds should work better as effective distractions, like ones we see now, like a hoover…

Or throwing a bust at a metal surface etc…

Guards who are protecting targets should not be able to be distracted unless using something big, like a crash, a scream. If they notice an overflowing sink, they should request for a janitor to come… ( you could take the janitors disguise though lol)
( this could be an optional setting too?)

on this front i think that 47 should be able to knock on surfaces. like a wall (this works the same as the way coins would work outlined above)

But also it is contextual… you can knock on a door (or even window) to get a nearby npc to open it, then you can do what you need to do, grab them, kill them, make as a human shield…

A controversial one…

Guards are part of units, if there is an area with a few guards, they are probably part of a unit,
if one guard disappears from the unit and doesn’t return in a timely manner, the other guards ask over radio about him… A guard from unit patrols on a new loop that expands the area to look for missing guard. (now there is a gap in the patrol, longer window)

After a while they give out the description of the guard, which makes you more suspicious, your disguise is now ineffective to guards from that unit if they see you at anything lower than long distance.

They may also replace the guard .

To combat this you must incapacitate all guards from that unit (units are small, 3 or 4 man)

this should perhaps apply only to places that are heavily restricted or small,
(maybe you could use radio to fake a check in. or even by forcing a guard to fake a check in)
Check ins in the group happen on a regular basis and you see a timer count down, to pass a check in, you must have the guard pretend all is ok, or you must change disguise because current is compromised

i can see the above idea being too hard to do and could understand it not being popular.

Guard patrol loops are distinct based on threat level

  • low threat
    -suspicious but cover intact (they know something isn’t right is all)
    -high threat (wide patrols, backup, snipers, targets moved to a secure and remote location)

As others have mentioned, npcs are alerted by blood, large amounts of blood lead npc to conclude violent act like murder, this immediately raises suspicion to high.

TARGET AI

-targets who are dangerous, will radio for help if see you, or scream out, or shoot or stab or try to do combat
( i have some ideas on this related to a more fleshed out combat system that people want to see)
ok phew… let’s move on to…

Agent 47 skills and abilities…

Garrote-
Let player control the speed and power put into using the garrote (we should have rumble on the controller for this)
let the player actually pull taught the wire…

If we want to kill our enemy very quickly then we put in lots of power quickly ( i am not sure of the control input here, maybe tap?)

This lets us do a quick but messy kill, there is arterial spray (this may ruin our disguise) and maybe even decapitation of our target (this leaves lots of blood)

it makes it hard to hide body without leaving blood trails.
But maybe we can clean ourselves and clean up blood (if we are in a bathroom or shower room, we can use taps and a shower to clean up blood)

Or we can do a more controlled fiber wire kill, it takes longer, the target struggles longer, but there is no blood, no mess, you can dispose of them with no trace, but you want to make sure you will not be in danger of getting spotted while putting in the effort (this takes maybe 25-30 seconds for someone quick like 47)

in order to make the above relevant next to subduing…
subduing to knockout doesn’t last very long… people can wake up after a few minutes perhaps 10 minutes (much more like real life)
-This makes sedatives more relevant if you want to knockout more people, and also limits how many you can knockout for the entire mission (this can change due to rewards, unlocks and upgrades)

quick mention (another hardcore feature)
if you grab a guard, and pull them over something or behind a wall perhaps they scream out, or you have to make it so 47 reaches out and puts his hand over their mouth first (this could be based on how well you time the grab)

-snapping someones neck takes much longer, and is not always guaranteed ( in real life it is very difficult to kill by snapping the neck), i would think that instead you snap the neck in order to paralyze someone , this means that they would need to be killed in order not to be a witness. You may need to sedate them.

I think sedating should take longer where the victim struggles, but it means they are unconscious the entire mission.

I think that the lockpick, fiber wire and possibly even sedative syringe should all be items that you always carry no matter your loadout.

(The above ideas regarding the fiber wire, sedatives, and subduing/ neck snaps, i realize are a delicate balance, and i am not so sure about all of this, i really want the fiber wire to feel more tense and prolonged , i hope others can help me out here with solutions)

Similar to the idea with using radios…

I would like 47 to be able to interrogate guards and certain other npcs (you could also have objectives to interrogate targets for info before killing them)
including
-item locations
-patrol locations
-target locations

  • secret routes
    -weapon locations
    -force them to check in to say they are ok or to ask a guard to leave their post to check a fake threat

I Would like to be able to make dead or unconscious npc look like they are asleep …

  • if they are in a public place this is easier, if they were already asleep then it is easy if they are still in same position
  • you could move them into a position, like propping up in a chair.
    ( there can’t be blood, nobody can notice you moving them)
  • npcs may check on them and try to wake them, depending on context or alert level.

Shooting npcs should damage them permanently, a shot in the leg, arm chest etc.
-If fatal they bleed out
(uh oh blood trails)
-you can slow them down this way

BUT the same can happen to 47 ( i don’t know about this)
-perhaps limit this, plus you can use items (upgrades, unlocks), to heal up)

  • you start leaving your own blood trail (double uh oh

let 47 approach close killing in more ways (more like blood money)
-fiber wire from above
-drop down on enemy
-splinter cell style stuff

Surrender can be one of two things, the fake surrender we have now, or being detained and taken to a holding cell/ secure room
( you then have a time limit to escape)

  • you can use this to ironically get closer to targets
  • you can get a security disguise
    -good chance to use some awesome new cqc abilities

I think thrown sharp weapons that are lethal should be based on how close you are to target, and not always kill them but just injure them
(wind/weather may influence this)
(i expect lots of disagreement here)

let 47 get upgrades like chaff grenades and radio frequency jammers
(use on cctv and radios)

let 47 reverse lockpick rooms, or use the key…
-to contain a witness (who may try to make noise though to get help)

  • to murder npc/target by forcing them into a room with, fire/gas/ electricity/ flooding etc)

bring back the free push mechanic (not just context)
-so you can push on stairs, or into something like a car, or train, or towards a railing etc)

let 47 recover item/weapons/tools from level and store them in his own basement/ shed like older games but expanded
(to manage items, lets make sure 47 always carries a realistic number of things on his person, so you really have to pick what to take, much as it is now)

Ok… next

Environment…

go between the tone of all the games, they all have great tone.

-Contracts style, dark, rainy, foggy, grim,
-Modern style, sunny, impressive, like sapienza

think of the best missions tonally form each game, they can all be bounced between each new mission.

but the reason is …
to use the setting as a primary focus for game mechanics
some examples…

  • a mission at night in heavy fog, its hard for them to see you, its hard for you to so them. But there are more patrols and flashlights.
  • a mission in heavy rain, makes it easier to make sound, easy to take enemies by surprise, and blood washes away quickly…
  • a mission in the snow, where anything not white stands out (but white blends in)
    -knocking people out in a cold mission and removing their clothes can kill them (maybe you can make them do this)

bring back a blend of military and civilian levels, the military levels from H2 silent assassin were awesome.

also in terms of environment, maybe not all doors can be lockpicked…

you get the idea…

Ok i am very tired and written this for hours…

a quick mention of somethings i hope the hitman community will discuss more…

briefly on disguises
-more women guards so you cant always gran their disguise, also those who are too different in body type to 47 so he cant fit their clothes, same with ethnicity (only sometimes this happens)

expanded CQC system- my thoughts…
use blunt weapons and knives in combat more than just for a kill, but trained enemy can try to block, but you can do quick buttons to draw a weapon, and end fight quicker if you get an opening by performing a move that gives you time to do lethal attack. Throws, chokes, blocks, bone breaks. Someone posted a picture of their HUD for an interactive CQC i thought was awesome…
Some targets can engage in CQC with you.

Return of the laptop from older Hitman games, with the briefing and photos of targets, ability to buy intel, and pick weapons from a arms dealer and your own hideout (could tie into challenges, rewards, unlocks)

Returning and expanded notoriety system- witnesses statements, bribes, evidence, repercussions

A conversation system- lying, fooling, gaining entry, distracting (i am so unsure of the scope of this, and don’t wan’t it to become unhitman like)

Equally unsure- involvement of emergency services, like police and ambulance/ medics (unhitman like?)

Guard personality- example, lazy guards who check things and investigate things less than others, o make mistakes…

Please remember i made this post to be both real suggestions and ideal or crazy suggestions for any theoretical Hitman game.

Thank you for reading if you did. Sorry for inconsistency in my writing and formatting (i just marathoned this post and it zapped my energy) and sorry if this didn’t need a new topic being made.

I had to get this post off my chest.

oh a couple more things-

-1st person, bring it back!
-look through keyholes- bring it back!
-Agent 47 makes makes sound when hurt- bring it back!
-objectives that when completed introduce new complications or level changes!
-areas cleared so that body bags can be dragged (area taken over by security “nothing too see here, move along”
-binoculars- bring them back!
-corner leaning and peaking- bring it back!
-bring back suspicion meter

  • from looking at older games, there were times when using heavier firepower had more uses, like targets who were bodyguards, you could walk in a room and take them all out,
    so more reasons to use heavy firepower!
    -newspaper- bring it back!
    -customizing weapons- bring it back!
    -47 striped tie suit- bring it back!
    -human shield- bring it back!

Please help me out with critique and fleshing out ideas.

Thanks!

OP needs to give his post more structure because I think there are some good ideas hidden in this wall of text but I can’t make it through the whole thing. :frowning:

Bumping this post because I would have an idea for a map opportunity. If we get a Po mission in North Korea, how about a military parade 47 can blend in? They do multiple stops in the map to do shots into the air, during which 47 can use the firearm to shoot wherever he wants without causing a panic. Besides the main target this could also be interesting for contract targets watching the thing from balconies.

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Not sure where else to post it, or if it’s already written in that wall of text, but I’d like to see more use of soundproof rooms. I don’t even know if they exist in the current games.

But anything like the Ether containment lab should be totally soundproof since it’s thick and airtight, the New York vault should be closeable and soundproof (Would be fun to lure people into there and slaughter them, but difficult in current circumstances), maybe just some certain basement rooms if you close the door should be soundproof, or maybe they should come up with a future map where a soundproof area is a very important gimmick

if you run out of ammo you should be able to throw your gun or beat npc´s with it, like it a hammer reskin

I expect season 3 to be mostly the same but with some subtle tweaks, which I am 100% fine with. As for what those subtle tweaks could be…

I love your dynamic lights idea, and of course more light based stealth in general. Not sure how feasible that is for a subtle tweak though, it’s a pretty big change. Most games, even stealth games like Dishonored, don’t do it. I presume that’s because it takes a lot of work (which means money). It would probably be my top want though, for season 3 or beyond.

AI tweaks will happen I’m sure, though to some extent stealth game AI is what it is. If it was super smart the games honestly wouldn’t be as much fun. I’d like to see the ability to cheese it reduced a little though, something they already did with Hitman 2 to some extent.

I’d also like more high quality non-target objectives like Sapienza’s virus or Mumbai’s “find the maelstrom.” That kind of spy movie vibe added a lot to the series for me personally.

i wish a garrota system like in Styx Master of Shadow - hold to kill and just a press button to non lethal neutralize. Сurrent abundance of action buttons on screen very annoying: grab, push,disguise, open\close. possible move this to the corner of the screen or disable in options? (sorry my english)

Personally, I have something, I kinda expected to see in HITMAN 2, but it didn’t happened.

A few “new” stuff for contracts mode:

I think it would be great, if we could add twist to a contract, like retrieve files from a laptop, look for a safe and get the documents from it, or get the tablet from the target. (or from an assigned npc)

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