The Ark Society - First impressions


#101

Q. Re: the Lie Detector Test…

While I was doing this, I answered ‘Truthfully’, but wondered what would happen if I had lied - wouldn’t my responses just come across as sarcastic, and the opposite (or Truth) be what I actually mean?

Has anyone done this yet?


#102

If you lie you get shocked, each subsequent question has Zoe take a step forward and increase the voltage. After three questions she will be standing in a puddle just lie again and she is zapped.


#103

Wait, i dont understand the Swan Dive exit? Why can you ask Constantin to follow you, why the kitchen, who is cousin winston?


#104

Or is the thing im missing here, following Targets and NPCS routes till the end? I havent done that since Sapienza


#105

This is a easter egg: cousin Winston is the butler you could trap in the freezer in one of the Lara Croft Tomb Raider games. So this Swan Dive is probably a reference to Lara Croft. :wink:


#106

It has an unlock method referencing Tomb Raider, the disguise of an Uncharted pastiche and an exit referencing Assassin’s Creed.:joy:


#107

oooh… Oh wow

Twenni Wan Mainus Wan


#108

I finished today my first (of many :p) playthrough of The Ark Society!!!
After 4 hours of exploration(silent assassin though:p) I have to say that this level surpassed my previously favourite(Mumbai) and is one of my best experiences ever in a video game!!
I loved it from the first minutes when I got the vibe of secrecy and mystery surrrounding the castle!!
I don’t know if it is mentioned before but the whole atmosphere reminded me a lot one of my favourite missions of Dishonored,Lady Boyle’s Last Party.I laughed a lot at some dialogues & cool references and I was kinda terrified on other creepy (loved the soundtrack!!) situations!!!
Overally the verticality of the level and the many little stories told within a ‘‘smaller’’ map shows me that IOI has perfected their level designing!!I hope the 2 new levels in Expansion Pack will be as good as this map!!


#109

This is not only one of the most impressive Hitman maps ever made.
It’s also one of the most original settings in all gaming.

Just like it was with Mumbai, where the attention to detail is so high you can almost smell the garbage seething in the sewer canals, The Isle of Sgail is somehow able to tell you its own story by way of voyeuristic tourism.

This was always part of the Hitman series, but with the technology and growing capabilities of Glacier Engine it is turning into an overt feature.

However, this is also something that at times feels overpowering against the main story. For example Providence is a cabal of kingmakers and powerbrokers, while the Ark Society is a Freemason-like clique of businessmen and academics, both groups brought together by a common operating figure - Janus.

As you immerse yourself in the “story” of the Ark Society and their activities, you realize their secrecy and their rituals is what allows them to pursue real world goals in isolation. Kind of like how you can only really make a decision with your friends, away from your parents and teachers. The decisions and directions you find scattered around the Ark Society event indicate that they are actually a quite progressive group. They support ecological and green energy ventures, even as Providence dabbles in the business of murder as well as amassing power and wealth.

Similar to the 007 film QUANTUM OF SOLACE, where an ecological corporation has links to a secret cabal, so it is that The Ark Society and Providence demonstrate the dotted line that links a car bomb killing to a zero carbon future.

And yes all that feels big, and immersive, and fun when expressed in this map.
So big, it tends to make Subject 6’s revenge agenda feel small and less significant.

At times I found myself wondering… In a world where every powerful person has made difficult and terrible choices and where we inhabit the role of a veteran assassin responsible for ending many lives… Do we really want to throw a wrench into plans to save the environment just so that Angry Lucas can have his revenge?

True. Soders was a threat to compromise the ICA in favor of Providence. But the operation at the Isle isn’t even an ICA sanction. “Our” agenda ended in Hokkaido by surgically penalizing the one man we wanted to punish and one associate. Soders’ offence wasn’t that he worked for “evil” Providence. His offence was that he was working for someone else when he is supposed to be working for us.

As it is when real life corporations go to war the goal isn’t always to eradicate the other. It’s usually a gut punch meant to say: “You’ll think twice next time before crossing me.” because as it is all organizations use each other some way or the other. Those MkII weapons you loathe so much in your inventory are paid for with Providence money.

This idea that almost everyone below a certain rank is innocent or blameless in a Hitman map is also a feature of the series, but it also means that agendas which seek to attack an entire group tend to fall flat. This isn’t like Dominic Greene’s gang in QUANTUM that directly pursued villainy to the point that their ecological corporation looked like a mere shell. Instead the Ark Society appears as a fully working think tank that wants to save the trees and colonize the planets - only three or four people on the map are overtly linked to Providence (and you can tell who they are because they’re the only ones not wearing fancy robes in restricted areas). Yet, our heroes seek to unsettle them all.

It is remarkably the same feeling as QUANTUM OF SOLACE feeling big and slick and exciting and sophisticated… only to learn that the climax boils down to stealing the water supply of a poor country that can never pay its ransom.

But the good news is whenever one steps onto the Isle of Sgail, especially outside of the main campaign, all of that fades into the background and you can just enjoy this impressive vertical castle sandbox. :slight_smile:


#110

It is an amazing level with great opportunities. design feels like dark souls as you make your way up the castle.

my only gripe is that the pheonix ceremony is not timed. in fact NONE of the many many events in this level are timed! Terrible decision and missed opportunites by IO. This level could have had so many more outcomes if even one or two of these events happened on their own. Please patch this in if possible


#111

I actually feared the ceremonies were timed due to the immense size. I guess IOI wanted to make sure players had more gameplay control. If you link all vertical floors laterally this level is MASSIVE.

Miami already suffers complaints over time expiring (albeit because that time duration is bugged) and that is a much smaller level.


#112

What intrigues me about the Ark Society is whether or not we are supposed to view it as fundamentally ‘evil’. The Washington twins are pretty foul - but the rest of the members just want to survive come a typical ‘end of society’ scenario - and are willing to pay a lot of money to do so. Parody demands that they invest ludicrous sums of money -but why must they even be secretive? They’re miles better than IAGO, who were buying some very questionable things, and they weren’t nearly so cultish.


#113

this is the case because SUMO made most of Sgail. SUMO has a tendency to not implement any timed events like this, same with Colombia


#114

Isn’t the race in Miami the only timed event in Hitman 2?


#115

I have seen on a couple occasions that the flag that signals the Maelstrom in Mumbai will be raised without your help.


#116

i don’t think so, although im not sure


#117

Can confirm 100% messed up my Barber Shop run because the Maelstrom went to see Naha and I ended up having to give 14 haircuts before he came out. :stuck_out_tongue:


#118

Miami much smaller than Isle of Sgail? Don’t think so buddy


#119

Ok, good to know! I don’t think it ever happened to me, or maybe I simply didn’t pay enough attention :stuck_out_tongue:

Also I wonder if Janus’ funeral in Sgail was meant to be a timed event at some point during development, because you get a picture-in-picture notification when the ceremony starts, even though you obviously know it since you’re the only one who can start it by talking to the harpist. And the fact that it takes several minutes after the start of the ceremony for Zoe to get to the coffin would have given the players more than enough time to reach the ceremony, even if they were at the other side of the map.


#120

Well… if you are up in the penthouse or tower and then the Phoenix ceremony starts… you have a long way to go if it was on its own timer.

Though I could be wrong. I’m a role playing guy so I like to hang around places and use stairs and doorknockers. :wink:

For me the castle feels massive at 10 vertical levels ( -1 to 8).