Ok, so here it is, I’m finally going to post a full and detailed breakdown of my methods in playing the Hitman games, which has led to some confusion and incredulity from a few members on here. I’ve referred to this set of rules, guidelines and standards as the Heisenberg Parameters of Perfection, which shall be hereafter referred to as HPP. I didn’t give the post that title so as to come off as less self-aggrandizing.
Note ahead of time that the following only strictly applies to the World of Assassination trilogy. While the same style of play can be applied to other games in the series to a limited degree, it is far less possible to adhere to them strictly in any game outside of WoA, so I only follow these religiously in the current games and that’s why I’ve posted it in this section. So, for those of you who have wondered why I play so weirdly and in such a restrictive way, here is your answer at last. The entries are hidden just because of how large this post would be otherwise.
Step 1: Decide your form of play. If you are going to go through and play like a slasher villain, or blast anyone in your way like John Wick, or attempt a speedrun, or anything of that nature, none of the HPP need apply to you. However, if you are going to be playing as though you are Agent 47, then the remaining steps will apply. I personally always roleplay as 47 when playing the main campaign story, contracts mode, or Elusive Targets, so whenever discussing such things, that’s when you’ll find me adhering to the HPP.
Step 2: Treat the game as if it is a real world. When you play through it, remember that when you kill your target, there is going to be an investigation afterward; fingerprints will be gathered, DNA samples will be collected, security footage will be checked, pictures will be taken, bodies will be examined, witnesses will be questioned. When adhering to the HPP, you must treat every action you take as if it could become knowledge to law enforcement after you exit the mission. As of the end of H3, 47 has never been captured by law enforcement (Cayne and Skurky don’t count), and they have no idea who he is beyond rumors and legends. Keep it that way. To provide an example: when playing the last mission of Patient Zero, a mission wherein starting with a suit that has gloves is impossible, picking up any items and then leaving those items should be avoided whenever possible. There’s no need for the authorities to finally have 47’s fingerprints or DNA from hand sweat to put into a database because you decided to leave a crowbar behind.
Step 3: Know your essential equipment and behavior. To adhere to steps 1 and 2 thus far, you should always stick to a specific loadout and behavior when starting a mission. Never remove the fiber wire from your inventory; always bring a Silverballer if you are in any version of a classic suit, or the ICA19 or Black Lily when in the map’s default suit; always wear a suit with gloves, and fully-fingered gloves at that; bring lockpicks whenever possible, do not use a crowbar to open anything if it can be helped (manhole covers are acceptable). If you are playing a mission that contains a beginning portion that starts without a gloved suit, then you may play that mission up to the point where you can restart the mission from a different starting point that is near where you started. Examples of such are mainly in H3; in Dubai, play the cinematic and move along the exterior of the skyscraper, and then after walking through the curtain inside, restart in the lobby in the suit of choice, giving the illusion that 47 changed into the suit you prefer instead of the default, then continue the mission as normal. Another is in Berlin, where you can play up to the elimination of Agent Price, then restart at the shack in the woods in the appropriate outfit, indicating 47 changed at the shack. Again, in Mendoza, after the meeting with Diana, restart in the parking lot, implying 47 changed somewhere out of view.
Once you have begun play, always walk, never run (the beginning of Patient Zero is an exception if trying to avoid the spread of infectees). Do not pick up any items to throw as a distraction except coins; if you do pick up objects that do not leave your inventory after use, such as wrenches, always try to place them back where you got them. Do not try to lure any non-target enforcer NPCs toward you by letting them see you. Always aim to achieve Silent Assassin rank.
Step 4: Choose your methods. Before you begin to play, either the whole campaign or a particular map, you need to decide just what kind of Hitman you’re going to be playing as. Are you going to flat murder the target, or are you going to arrange an accident or outsource? What equipment you choose to bring along, what items are found in the map that you can use, what disguises you can use, and who you can knock out and how, will all be determined based on this choice. You can try to be the same across the whole campaign, mix and match between missions (i.e. kill Ingram and Stuyvesant as direct murders, then kill Carlisle in an accident), but try to stay consistent when killing multiple targets during the same mission. Exceptions to this can be permitted if you kill a target with direct means using an item that you will not exit with, then killing the remaining target in an accident and planting the murder weapon near them, making it look as though they killed the other target and then just died in a tragic coincidence shortly afterward. An example of this could be: kill Caruso with the amputation knife while he’s watching his home videos, place the knife on De Santis’s desk, then electrocute her while she’s on a phone call outside.
Step 5: Accidents must look accidental. It’s not just how the target dies, it’s the lead-up and the follow-through. If you decide to use accidents on your targets, everything must be chalked up to coincidences and earn a shrug if it were looked at by investigators. The most important thing is to never knock out an NPC with force. Always use a tranquilizer dart, a sedative syringe or vial, or environmental knockouts like water puddles, banana peels, rakes. Never move the NPC once they’re knocked out. Do so in out-of-the-way places where the bodies won’t be found until you have returned the disguise to the bag, and always try to draw attention to the location once you are done, so the person can be found and revived to set things right. In-universe, it will be chalked up to the NPC getting careless and hurting themselves, or passing out from the heat or health issues. The NPC being declothed will be chalked up to them removing their clothing to cool off and not remembering, in relation to their reason for passing out. Only take disguises with fully-fingered gloves. If you are going for an accident run, and knock out an NPC without meaning to, reload from a save point if you’re in the main campaign; if playing a contract or an Elusive Target, and you do not wish to restart, abandon any plans of an accidental kill and skip to step 6.
Do not use keys to open doors; use lockpicks or wait for NPCs to open doors for you. Use stealth to climb pipes or window ledges to get in and open doors from the inside to come back through later if you must. Again, never use a crowbar, and also never shoot out a lock. If all else absolutely fails, use an exploding fire extinguisher or propane flask to open the door, but avoid if any other means exists. Using electronic keycards is unavoidable, but such items can easily be lost, so its still less suspicious. Also, do not disable security systems; accidents would be far less believable if security cameras and recordings inexplicably malfunctioned right around the time they happened, on top of however many people “passed out from the heat” might be found lying around. Avoid walking by security cameras, but if you must, dodge its field of vision and hug the wall. Again, if you absolutely must, use a fire hydrant or propane flask exploding next to a security console to disable it, but avoid if you can. Never shoot a camera or security console. If you disable a security console or destroy a camera, reload from a save point if you’re in the main campaign; if playing a contract or an Elusive Target, and you do not wish to restart, abandon any plans of an accidental kill and skip to step 6.
When instigating an accident, avoid using your own equipment to do so. Your own screwdriver or wrench is fine, but don’t use explosives next to a propane tank to make it blow up, and don’t use a taser in a puddle as an accidental electrocution; an investigation will find the remains of the devices and the story of it as an accident goes out the window. Avoid shooting objects to achieve accidents if it can be helped; use the winch controls to drop chandeliers instead of shooting the chains when possible; use wrenches to loosen valves to flammable gasses and screwdrivers for oil drums. You may use car batteries thrown in puddles, and you may use the Big One firecracker to set off gas or oil leaks if targets don’t smoke near them. If you must shoot oil or gas containers, try to use the tools to start the leaks first before shooting them; the odds of one bullet being found are less than two, naturally. As mentioned in step 3, if you use any items that are not expended after using them, place them back exactly where you got them from. This way, nobody notices any tools suspiciously going missing around the same time as an “accident”, and no one will think to examine those items to see if they were used to set up the accident. Gloves are essential in case investigators decide to make sure nothing was tampered with and check for trace evidence of someone messing with things they shouldn’t have, so no fingerprints or DNA will be found, and 47 will not have any residue on his hands. Avoid toilet drownings when possible, but they are allowable.
Step 6: Kill professionally. If you are going to do a direct kill, attempt to do so like a world-class assassin, always. Using this approach, you are free to use keys lying around to get into places, and to disable security consoles or knockout NPCs however you see fit, but still avoid shooting cameras if you can disable the system first, and always hide knocked out NPCs in bins and closets unless you knocked them out with methods described in step 5. Gloves are even more important in all suits when using this approach, as blood, gunpowder residue, and other contaminants that can appear on human skin for days will be in play. 47 doesn’t need that. With the exception of poisonings, never leave the target’s body lying around, even if it is in a place that nobody ever goes. You never know what you might mess up, or what bugs or glitches might affect that particular playthrough and let someone see the body through a wall, or wander into that room, inexplicably. No issue has ever been reported, to my knowledge, of bodies being found once officially hidden; it is an absolute off-limits area for busting your progress, so always hide the bodies unless they’re poisoned. If containers aren’t available, push bodies into water, off cliffs, or into incinerators and woodchippers, pressing the activation button immediately of course. When poison is used, be elsewhere; guards that aren’t normally enforces will become one really quickly while they investigate, and blending in when right next to the body does not work since H2, so after you administer poison, move your ass.
Try to always use firearms with suppressors when shooting a target to death, but if not an option, be sure you’re far enough away that either no one will hear the shot, or you can hide the body before responders arrive. If using a sniper rifle, naturally, you want to clear the area where you will shoot the target of any bodyguards before you set up for the shot, so a great deal of work will be involved with this method. The same applies to using explosives such as bombs and mines. For knives, try to bring along your own concealed knife, but a folding knife found onsite, or the rare combat knife, can also suffice; avoid kitchen knives, letter openers, scissors and unicorn horns, unless you are trying to insult the target somehow. Hitting the target in the face or head with a heavy object or punching them out, and then snapping their neck, can be fun, but for the most part you should keep to using the subdue function to set up neck snaps. You can’t go wrong with the fiber wire, and since virtually every disguise that lets you use another item like measuring tape or a stethoscope is a gloveless disguise, no reason to resort to these when you always have your fiber wire in your inventory.
And there you have it; the six steps that outline the playstyle that I’ve hinted at or talked about in part here and there in playthrough discussions. I’m sure I’m gonna get a lot of flak for how ridiculous this might sound, but bear in mind, I take these parameters absolutely seriously, and follow them almost exclusively as my means of playing. To follow these standards is to play as close to being Agent 47 himself as a player can possibly be. When playing the game in its story form, actively avoiding these guidelines would be a sign of an unserious mind.