Let's Talk About the BioLab (Spoilers)

So, in the thread on “cooler, more empowering sniping” I saw more than one comment on the BioLab, so I figure it’s worth a discussion.

So… I’ll frame it like this:

Question: What do you think of the BioLab?
Follow up: If you dislike the BioLab how would you improve it?

Question: More generally, what do you think about static non-target objectives (“go here, do this, leave”) in general?
Follow up: More generally: If you dislike the static non-target objectives, how would you improve them?

I’ll start out. (wall of text ahead)

I actually kind of like the biolab for what it is.
When I did it the first time I did get a sort of feeling of “aw, am I gonna have to go through all of this every time?”, but there’s enough variations on it, and it’s tied into so many other areas that it doesn’t get super boring, and you can sort of do it on the fly while going somewhere else.

I will admit there are things that could be better. For one, it should probably have been placed somewhere that’s not 100% directly tied to the villa. Many have mentioned that it sort of makes sniping feel less valueable if they still basically have to go in.
I don’t fully agree that the lab is "close enough"to give this feeling, but I can’t really say that moving it would have been a bad idea.

Another change I might’ve done is exchange the dongle for a case with a computer in it. So you could basically kill the virus without ever going into the lab. The scientist with the case would have to have a bit better security though.

For a static objective it’s fairly good.

On to the generalitities:
I understand that these objectives are often needed both for story telling reasons, and to make the level a bit more varied in style. They do sort of feel restrictive though, and if poorly placed they can suck the joy out of other aspects of the mission.
I’d suggest always adding a moving component. For instance an NPC that can be manipulated to achieve the same results as the static objective.

Say the objective is to steal a case with something in it, the locartion would be static, but you could also have another NPC steal it, either on a clock or triggered by you somehow (maybe you could find him / her and hive him/her a tip), only to the steal it back off them once they have it.

I also kinda feel like this is what the money was good for in BM. Just make the static objectives optional (but with good payout) and you’re done. Those who don’t want to do it don’t have to.

You guys have any thoughts?

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It’s ridiculous, but in a good way. The over the top narrative, that belongs in Hitman. It’s a fun break from the sunny coastal town. The city is a happy place, but beneath it there lurks a dark world. I like the idea, however the cave is not really me. The lab itself is cool though.

I would like being a more indoor kind of thing, like a real lab. Not just a mobile lab, but something more in the lines of Resident Evils Umbrella facilities beneath Raccoon City. That would have improved the the experience for me, i have always fascinated by underground research facilities in games and movies. The hole villa and research facility is like a nice homage to the Spencer estate.

I don’t think every level needs a non-target objective, but it adds the layers. It being not just about killing target A and B, but also there is an object that needs to be dealt with. In this case you can use it to lure targets into the area, or it gives you an new angle to infiltrate the lab from the outside.

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I think they should simply be optional.
For instance here, we could just assume no one Will Ever Be able to make the virus do what they want it to do once the targets are dead.
Or make one of the half-way unlocks a huge bonus to accomplish it real fast (I think the breaching charge really helps, just Go with that + a silenced sniper and, I’m not gonna spoil, but it Gets quite easy and fast).

The biolab is a bit disappointing. I was hoping it would Be bigger than that. I actually was expecting more from it than the mansion.

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The Biolab to me is extremely grating because you have to actually go there. I absolutely love the computer idea. This should be a thing.

The reason I hate going there is because it doesn’t allow for much flexibility at all if you do it last. Plane is the easiest escape. I’ve never actually even used the other exits besides the car in Escalations. I do it last because it is the easiest. Just pew and done. Or pew and crash and done. Or typing and done.

I definitely want a change. Computer case sounds damn good.

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I like the narrative aspect of the Virus. The contrast between the sunny vacation town and the engineering of a weapon that will topple the world’s governments and scales of power is amusing.

I strongly dislike going to the biolab, honestly I dislike it so much that it has kept me from playing much of sapienza or exploring the rest of the level.

I dislike it because it is strongly guarded. You practically are required to wear either a security or scientist disguise, but even for those types there are many enforcers in the area. This removes the lighter, fun exploration playstyle element which the fashion show and the town have. I enjoy walking around in public areas where I am actually allowed to be, plotting my schemes with none the wiser. In the biolab, I feel a constant sense of threat and I am reminded of the gameplay that I hated in Absolution.

Another thing which I dislike is everything about the area is so static. All ways of dealing with the virus involve entering the same area and getting (more or less) close to the virus. This gets boring.

This is all made worse by the fact that this is an episodic game. If it was just one of many levels I would rush through it and continue the next mission. In Sapienza, if you want to play the story mode you are required to go into this area over and over again.
It would be much better if the area and objective were optional.

The more I think of it, much of my objections are coupled to the episodic nature of the game.

Being asked to replay the same mission OVER and OVER and OVER again really makes me want to not play Hitman sometimes. The Biolab is chore for me.

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There is a very easy way to deal with the virus, without having to enter the quarantine zone. This is basically cuts out all enforcers.

Yeap. Well, actually there’s more than one way to do it without having to enter the quarintine zone. :slight_smile:

There are none that don’t require you to enter the actual lab though.

What’s the second? Other than the self destruction key?

I like the lab, although I feel its grating doing it everytime, even with the few variations of destroying the virus. I did think it was cool when I first done it and the set up is very bond-esque.
Off topic slightly but the Sarajevo Six guy for Sapienza was annoying as he didn’t do much and was stuck in the lab, which made me think more negatively about it.
I don’t mind static objectives as long as they aren’t in every level as they can become a chore. A good way to do it would be a case as you say, but someone mobile carrying it around ie. Someone carrying a virus capsule through Sapienza town. Would make it more interesting.

You can shoot the stalactite above the quarantine zone.

Personally, I don’t mind the lab but that’s mainly because of the remote-kill dongle. So I find myself always starting in the morgue to get it.

What I would love is if you were able to make it into the confessional, disguised as a priest to make the female scientist destroy the virus out of bad conscience. That wouldn’t be too far fetched and it would rule.

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You can just snipe it from a distance. The chemicals in the chamber will take care of the rest.

Come to think of it, I’ve also dropped a stalactite on it, though I don’t think you can get a proper angle on it without going deeper into the lab.

But it’s inside the mobile lab? Does it crush the hole building?. I’ll have to explore some more…

Just responding to the static objective question for now: I would love these if they are done in a way similar to Hitman 2’s Invitation to a party. You had to steal the static objective from a safe, but there’s a 3rd party out there, who will come after u when u took it. Would also prefer that the static objective isn’t too far removed from a target, so it all feels more cohesive.

You mean sniping the stalagtite above it?
That’s what I mostly do now, to keep thing bearable.

How I would improve the Biolab - to answer the original question - is by removing many of the enforcers from the area. I like enforcers as a way to keep the player on his toes, but I do not like sneaking around a hostile area. I think once you’ve been cleared by security and have the correct disguise you should be able to move around relatively freely inside the biolab.

To keep thing interesting, I would add other interesting things to the area so you have other reasons to go there. I would change one of the target’s basic routines so that it passes through the area. Silvio is supposed to actually work on this virus, so it makes sense that he would check up on developments, and would speak with some scientists.

I would also make the lab less isolated. The virus is just an objective but I think it would make the whole level much more flexible if you could also use it as a tool. For example, destroying the virus could bring Silvio downstairs to check out the damage. Or you could use the virus on Francesca (injecting it with her DNA). This is similar to the idea of adding a moving component to the objective.

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Are you referring to using a breaching charge on a door or actually using it to destroy the virus somehow? I would love to know, you can use spoiler tags please :yum:.

@Watson All your ideas are awesome being able to use your money to have someone do it for you is a very cool idea. The idea of having something mobile you can use to destroy it without going into the lab is also a very nice idea.

I really like the lab however I think it’s a bit stupid how it has all the doors with key cards but then there is a big massive entrance you can access from the ruins which isn’t that well guarded. I would love to have the option to not do the virus but it would affect opportunities in the level so it’s hard to implement for Sapienza. In future levels I would definitely like to see ways to bypass it if they add objectives like the virus in or probably just leave them out altogether. Saying that though I have gotten used to doing it and it doesn’t bother me too much anymore but it did at first.

This is brilliant! :blush:

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No, in the church there is a scientist, she holds a key. That key is tied to a self destruct console. It’s a fun infiltration option.

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I missed this post, now this is a creative way to destroy the virus! If only the developers had thought of that. You could spawn at the morgue quickly pick up the disguise from the church do the confession and then carry on with your mission without ever entering the lab. From the church it’s just a quick sprint to the drainpipe that leads you to the back of the apartments and straight into the mansion :slightly_smiling_face:.

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i resent having to destroy the virus every time, would have preferred a 3rd live target instead of a static boring objective

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I think that the BioLab is great. There are 2 things that I wish though:-

  1. When you destroy the virus by overheating it De Sanctis comes down to the lab and you can turn off the ventilation system to kill her. This is great because it seems to be a very poetic death for her, however it annoys me that it takes her so long to walk down there in slow motion. In my book she should sprint down there the same way Caruso sprints if he is locked down. That way you wouldn’t have to stand around for 5 minutes waiting for this very cool kill. This reason alone sways me towards simply fibre wiring her in her office on most of my runs.

  2. I prefer to destroy the virus by overheating it. It seems more “proper” and personal than simply plugging in a dongle on a laptop. I would love to be able to get to the hazmat suit area whilst wearing 47s suit. It would be great if there was a route there that didn’t involve throwing coins etc. Knocking out a scientist is what I currently settle for.