I think the discussion of the morality of targets is a pretty interesting recurring one and I think people are often a bit too absolutist about it. A lot of people are constantly claiming that all the targets in the later Hitman games are super evil and we need morally pure saints as targets just to show how eeeeevil assassination is but I’d honestly argue that we’ve had morally good targets already. Penelope Graves is an analyst turned against the system because of corruption. Cassidy, as much of an asshole as he is, is not really that bad. There are other targets that are less innocent but still sympathetic (Caruso, Cross, arguably Knox) and I think these are the kind of targets IOI should strive for.
I can think of three rough categories for targets, as of right now (discounting Graves)
- Completely sociopathic, no redeeming qualities. Sometimes memorable, depending on what their character is like. Rico Delgado, Strandberg, Zaydan, The Washington’s fall under this category.
- Apathetic, and generally involved in bad stuff but doesn’t seem to care. Not overly villian-y but we probably hear about bad stuff they do off screen. Robert Knox, Margolis and Novikov, Martinez, Morgan all fall in this category.
- Sympathetic but still morally bad characters. Cross, Caruso, arguably Knox. We know they’ve done morally reprehensible things but we can still sympathise with them at times.
Most targets are 1s or 2s. There should be more 3s. There shouldn’t be many targets like Graves, who are generally good, because they’re more boring than 3s and often better guarded. In my opinion, the occasional absolute villain is fine; Delgado was clearly a Escobar homage, Strandberg is just funny. However, I think they should avoid making too many of these targets. The Washington’s and Abiatti were just forgettable. I think the suggestion made earlier about having abiatti forced to run was a good one, and the Washington’s could definitely have been more rounded than just ‘aristocratic pricks’.
All in all, I think there should be a good look into target development as I think it was a bit weaker this time around, in Sgail in particular. However, IOI should absolutely avoid the innocent, pure targets many are suggesting. It wouldn’t be fun or interesting.