Hitman levels and shifting perspectives


Through out the franchise we have been treated to more then 100 unique levels, meaning that there should be something for everyone. It also means that there are levels that didn’t quite fulfil our needs and either made no impact or it ended up as a level we can’t stand. Sometimes our perspective shifts over time and after replaying the level again. This can both change from better to worse or vice versa.

With my recent start of replaying of the WOA trilogy in one continuous experience, I had to replay a few levels that I disliked in the past. Two of them have turned from bad to worse, in this case it’s been Club 27 and Freedom Fighters. However that have also been other levels that have grown on me, one of them being ‘The Showstopper’ and especially ‘The Finish Line’.

The Miami set level didn’t awake anything in me back in 2018 and I haven’t played it since the first play through or The Undying Elusive Target. It was always a level I felt a great disconnect to, I always found that the divide between the fortress and the public area to be rather strange, robbing the level of all momentum.

That said with my recent play through, I also wanted to do something new and not just stick to the tried and tested method. I for once actually explored the bar and crowd area, something I normally have skipped completely by using the parking garage and tunnels to travel the level. For once I made it into the pit stop garages and Medical tent and the same can be said about the Kronstadt building, walking around the Expo area and the aquarium have enriched the level far more then I would have hoped to. It’s easily gone from a “meh” level to one of my favourite H2 levels.

I’m not convinced if the ‘Three-Headed Serpent’ will grow on me, so far it’s my least favourite mission in H2, that said before that ‘The Finish Line’ was a close second.

So now I ask you, how have your opinion changed on levels through out time, this can be all from the glorious Codename 47 to the dreadful Blood Money.

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I love you.

Anyways, I used to hate Plutonium runs loose, but it has grown on me over the years, its now my second favorite level of Codename 47.

Club 27 is still the worst Hotel Mission in the series, absolute Garbage, the only good thing are the esthetics of the Hotel itself, I’m a sucker for those Asia Locations.

Chongqing is one of the most atmospheric levels ever, sadly the Mission itself is kinda shit, especially the ICA Facility is uninspired and bland.
I’d preferred to kill some Triad Bosses, instead of… What we got.

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I really love Chongqing as a level, I just don’t like it as a mission. My grip isn’t with the I.C.A facility, I’m a sucker for that, it plays directly into one of my favourite horror trash tropes. Underground facilities and every time I seen one in a movie or a Resident Evil game I’m head over heels. That said what ruins that level for me is the run downed building that Hush hides in. The level sadly removed a lot of the action from the interesting parts of the level, the streets. Which is also why I find the Deluxe Escalation a lot more fun then the mission it self.

The same is true for Marrakech’s ‘A Glided Cage’ a great level, but a dull mission execution. Here the bonus level ‘A House Built on Sand’ is one of my favourite H16 missions overall.

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Might as well list every map and how I’ve changed my opinion since playing.

  • Paris is a timeless classic, and my opinion of this map is probably the most consistent. I’ve always loved it, even after playing it for so many hours.

  • Sapienza has gone down a couple of levels. I recently gave it a B tier. I’ve done all the challenges here, twice which is enough to send anyone insane. The magic has worn off

  • Marrakesh has gone from my least favourite from 2016 to joint first with Paris. The overall vibe and political stakes are a unique and welcome setting for the mission.

  • Bangkok has gone from a minor dislike to least favourite map in the trilogy over the years. When you try to SASO the mission, you will see the map for all it’s flaws

  • Colorado has grown on me a small bit. I’ve learned to appreciate it for what it is. That said, I tend to avoid this map because I’m fully aware of how restrictive it is to play

  • Hokkaido used to be the runaway favourite of 2016, but like Sapienza, the magic isn’t there anymore now that I’ve fully mastered this map. Still good, but dropped enough merit in my eyes to allow something like Marrakesh to shine through

  • My view of Hawkes Bay has ways been “we don’t need a tutorial level”. That said, the map is simply ok. Not much reason to play it so my perspective hasn’t changed

  • Miami has gone down for exactly the same reasons as Sapienza and Hokkaido

  • Santa Fortuna I used to hate, but upon giving it a second chance, the map became incredibly satisfying to play over time

  • I used to really hate Mumbai for the first year or so after H2 launched. But the more you play Mumbai, the more you discover. This is one of the reasons it’s secured an S tier in my eyes

  • Whittleton Creek ain’t bad. This is where I’ve stood on the map basically ever since launch

  • Man, I have a lot to say about Sgàil, but I’ll keep it brief. This map Really changed my perspective since it launched. I love Sgàil now, despite hating it when it launched.

  • New York is a simple, tight and expertly designed map that has always been consistently enjoyable.

  • Haven Island, is admittedly, one of my least played locations. That said, it’s s lot less fun to play now compared to when it released

  • Dubai is excellent in atmosphere. But the level design seems a bit more basic and straightforward than it seems. I can see myself ranking this lower someday.

  • Dartmoor is built to be concise and and focused. I like it for the same reasons as New York, so this may grow on me even more in the future.

  • On my first playthrough, I was getting lost in Berlin, yet I loved the complexity and yearned to master the location. I’d say I’m very confident now with Berlin, but like Mumbai, the more you play it, the better it gets.

  • My initial favourite of H3, the atmosphere is unreal in Chongqing, but the main mission itself is, lackluster to be honest. I will probably rank this lower someday because of the main mission

  • People seem to love Mendoza, but it’s never clicked with me. I find the atmosphere to be kind of… Dull? The design is quite basic, but not it a good way like Dartmoor. That said, I can easily see this climbing the ranks the more I play it

  • Romania is what it is, awesome for the first playthrough but that’s about it.

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I think you should follow your own words and replay HC47 up to BM and see if you’ve changed your mind on things :stuck_out_tongue:

Mumbai for me was one of the few levels that I started to enjoy more and more with time, it’s probably my Top 3 most played levels in Hitman 2016-2018.

Club 27 is the one that I rarely bother replaying, even for a simple casual run. Guess I don’t like the setting that much or that there is such a huge difference between the two wings of the hotel, one is too populated and messy and the other is tidy and barren (probably the mission took place during a pandemic :stuck_out_tongue: )

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I played Codename 47 and Blood Money as recently as last year. If BM was a level, I would place it lower than the Hitman 2 Christmas Flash game.

I’m quite confident when I bash Blood Money and that’s not likely to change. Yet this isn’t really the point of this topic, as much as I like to shit on BM. I’ll save it for a rainy day.

This is also my experience coming off the level, SASO is extremely limiting in this level. It can be done, yet you have to jump through multiple hoops that ends up breaking the immersion.

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I don’t think there was a single reviewer that talked about any of the three games in the WoA trilogy and didn’t mention Blood Money and how it has it’s roots in it. If you consider it that bad, then WoA is just as bad if not worse :stuck_out_tongue:
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Even the Devs said that they used BM as a ground base for WoA. Why would they use the lesser Hitman game for it? :thinking:

Well that is extremely subjective and there are plenty of reasons to dislike BM and on the other hand love WOA trilogy. All from difficulity level, level design, character portrayal, narrative and so on.

But as I already mentioned, this isn’t really the purpose of this thread. I made plenty of posts that explains why I rank BM as the lowest entry. You are welcome to seek them out.

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I think what they meant is that they take some of the better mechanics from BM (ex: accident kills), refine them in Absolution, and reuse them with better level design that follows what BM was trying to achieve (levels with lots of options and replayability).

Even if it is the lesser Hitman game, I think there’s still something they can take and refine from it. Just because it is considered bad doesn’t mean it’s only made with bad ideas.

(I still think BM is a good game pls don’t ban me Norseman)

Also, if you’re curious

One of Norseman’s posts about BM. I’ll try to find more if I can.

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This probably belongs in the Unpopular Opinions thread, but Bangkok really grew on me after some time. Yes, Ken Morgan is as interesting as a brick (I’m sorry), but I love the setting. I love the verticality, the cinematic yet player-guided entrance that other “cinematic” maps like Hawke’s Bay struggle to achieve, the colours, the disguises, and especially the kills for Jordan Cross. The one where you play the recording of Jessica Highmoore’s death and wait for him is one of my favourite Hitman kills, period. Plus, the map is great for contracts when used properly, even though it’s mostly filled with boring ones.
It’s really a shame people just don’t often see the great potential the map has.

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Finally, someone that thinks Bangkok isn’t worthless!

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It’s nice to know there’s at least two of us :stuck_out_tongue:
But yeah, I think Bangkok gets an unfair treatment when discussed on the forum. While Club 27 is far from being a good mission, it’s not the map’s fault, but rather the way the targets (specifically Ken Morgan) were designed. I think the bad taste that Club 27 left just stuck on the mouth of many, and just because of that one bad mission, Bangkok isn’t given a fair chance.

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H2’s Night Call is a level with a very simple approach and designed to ease new players into the franchise, in other words it’s a training level first and foremost.

The first time I played the level back in 2018, the setting and overall tone really impressed me. It felt like a more old school hitman level in terms of atmosphere, with a darker tone hidden inside the stunning beach house, it was everything I hoped H16 would embody. Sadly it took until H3 to truly dive into darker tones of the past.

It was a fairly simple level, enjoyable and more unique in it’s setting. But limited by it’s size and overall linear approach to it’s plot foundation.

With my recent playthrough of H2, my love for this level grew. I’m not pulled out of the levels forced story telling or it’s small and simple design language. Personally I love exploring the beach house and it’s overall architecture, like Whittleton Creek it proves that big isn’t always better. It might not be the most repayable level in this trilogy, but with H3 and this it’s the level that reminds me most of the past games.

With the recent Elusive Target ‘The Politician’ it cemented my feelings towards this level, that I find it highly enjoyable and a level I would love to play Contracts mode in this setting.

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I’d take 12 Levels like Nightcall over 6 Levels like Mumbai every day.

To be quiet honest Mumbai is one of my favourite levels in this trilogy, it’s the spiritual successor of ‘Temple City Ambush’ one of the best levels from the original trilogy. Walking around in the slums of Mumbai looking for the Maelstrom is exciting, also takin the role of the Kashmirian is a great way to get close to your targets.

Santa Fortuna on the other hand, that is a level that I find extremely disappointing.

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Yes Mumbai is a beautiful Level, but i find it almost overwhelmingly big and confusing.
I hope the next game will use Codename 47s formula again: 2-3 smaller Levels, 1 big Level and so on.

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One can only dream…

That is why I love the level, it’s like a maze. But it never becomes overwhelming in terms of exploring and there are many unique small alleyways, it believable as a real place buzzing with life.

I love C47 and H2SA’s approach with setup levels, working your way closer to the real target. It was very rewarding, when you finally made your way to the target. It felt a bit more earned.

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Don’t get me wrong I liked Mumbai but, playing it feels like a chore. The targets are too spread apart from each other in an already big map, where getting from one place to another can take minutes. Combined that with the maze-like slums and it’s easy to get lost in and spend a long time trying to get out (Minimap and instinct does help for this, but I prefer not to use them for navigation).

It’s not as bad as Santa Fortuna since I can always rely on the Kashmirian to get double kills (Dawood and Wazir and Vanya and Wazir) but they both suffer the same problem in my opinion. I have to agree with MrOchoa, it’s overwhelming and confusing to play. Maybe I’ll like it more when I know more about the level, but for now it’s one of my least visited maps compared to other maps in the trilogy.

Please have this back, maybe not for all missions (like how TOTT doesn’t have setup missions, unless Bjarkhov bombs counts) to lessen the workload of IO if they want this to happen.

mumbai is an absolute masterclass in how to design a hitman level, imho.

you people are going to make me make a thread about it. you won’t like me if i make a thread about it. it’ll be long. and probably boring.

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