The Politics Of Hitman


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)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


Hey, i would totally be for more rounded, morally ambivalent targets, but done in a small scale, more intimately. “Embezzling businessman, targeted by investors, who really loves and takes care of his lonely grandma with an alzheimer and our action with have a consequences for her” kind of stuff. There are few moments like that already, but they feel very distant and not played out properly.

For example, i loved that Vanya has a acid attack victim working for her and if i kill Vanya, that servant girl will probably have a hard time finding good work elsewhere - which kinda made me feel things about that Vanya kill.


I feel Dawood was done well, especially with all this stuff coming out about Hollywood he perfectly caricatured it while still having some personality


Actually… that woman, Rima Shah… she is the one that took care of Vanya Shah after Vanya sufferred from PTSD after the disastrous Frances King raid so in a way Rima is the only one Vanya cared for. Which said something about Vanya Shah’s character.


I think Vampyr does this quite well, though I’m not sure how well it would work seeing as these stories directly affect Vampyr’s gameplay and you get a choice of killing whereas here we have to kill the targets whether we like it or not (of course you could see that as being the whole point but eh)


We killed Buddy and Pappy LeBlanc only because Margaux (?) wanted to gain their wealth, not because they where Gangsters, Rednecks, mentally Challenged or Conspiracy Theorists.

They were “innocent“ Targets, at least compared to the most Targets.


Could be that in order to kill him the client asks for him to be murdered infront of the grandma, to prevent the family from law stuff or something along those lines


I’d say the root of the ‘problem’ is that innocence is subjective. I don’t consider Graves all that innocent, she’s signed on with this crazy militia group. Why’d you do that? lol

Take Joseph Clarence for example, he seemed to be the victim of misfortune. Plus he’s in an awful spot when you confront him. 47 wouldn’t even go to the park if he wasn’t required to show him the picture, he probs would have just killed himself anyway.

But really, you can spin most characters into having their soft side and reasons for them doing the bad things they do.

Manuel Delgado, he’s only like that because he was born into it.

Hector Delgado is the most relatable NPC in the franchise (perhaps)

These are off the top of my head, I’m sure we could think of more given time.


Stuff like that sounds super restrictive and I really hope they don’t shoehorn story into gameplay any more than they did in Whittleton (even Whittleton was arguably too much)


Agreed, it does hurt gameplay, but maybe it could be just a challenge that pays out loads of exp? It is annoying replaying levels and not just being able to get to the hit


Could be that the hit requires you to knock her unconscious to intimidate her?


Still sounds not great. I don’t mind having these extra characters for story but they probably shouldn’t be additional objectives. That’s just my opinion though, I much prefer normal 2-3 targets and no objectives (or easily avoidable objectives like Sgail).


Fair point. Maybe just a challenge then, or little bonus to the end points


I haven’t played Vampyr yet, so i’m thinking Dishonored for example - they do it sometimes with just minimal means there, like a letter or graffiti on the wall. I would love to see more things in that spirit, little personal intimate nuggets, without it really affecting gameplay or introducing the choice system or stuff like that.

In Hitman, we hear about stuff we’ve done, about Jordan Cross, Delgados and so on, but it all just feels shallow, played out as a joke, a nudge, rather than something i can feel things about, like my action affected someone. The impact is missing. “Your actions have changed the world” - but i don’t really feel it, not on a big or small scale. Like, all that stuff is there, we hear chatter, phonecalls, TV broadcast… but somehow it doesn’t work?


Not very well, sadly. Sure there are a few genuinely good people, a few completely evil bastards and a many more somewhere in the middle. But while the concept was great, the results are lacking. You’re only choices are to kill someone or not kill them.

Not matter what you say to the NPCs, no matter if and how you solve their quests… everything remains the same. A real shame, since the characters were quiet interesting.

There is, for example a patient with a broken arm in the hospital. On doctor wants to treat him with the tried and tested methods. Unfortunately this means that his arm will never full recover and the man, who’s also a single father, is probably going to lose his job. Another doctor wants to use a new unorthodox method, believing that it will result in a fully recover. Of course, this treatment is risky and untested and could make things even worse.

There’s even a little quest where you have to recover an item and then decided which of the two doctors should get it. Yet, nothing ever happens afterward. The man with the broken arm will stay in the hospital until the game ends or you kill him.


Actually the original story IO almost went with was Margeuax wanted to kill Skip for sexually assaulting her, Hank for being Hank Muldoon and thus condemned to an incestuous marriage with no hope of opting out and wanted to kill Pappy to forcibly dismantle his gang.


Creating an account on a forum that’s all about the hitman games, only to talk politics and stir shit up might not be the way to go.

Somewhat relevant: i don’t feel any need to discuss politics on the forum of my favorite game. I got other places to do that.

Not saying people shouldn’t discuss those topics here, i just feel it’s somewhat misplaced.


^^^ Yes I recommend the above, going into ghost mode with only the information IOI gives you is certain defeat.

To veer this topic back on track, I would like to see another Amendment XXV style level.

That was difficult, target was very high profile as among the political elite in the U.S., and it just took some solving to figure out. A really good penultimate level.

Maybe adifferent country’s PM? or somebody of the same significance as the VP of the USA (or perhaps the president!!!)


I agree with your main point, @Jean_Claude.

As I said in my earlier statement, I don’t want Hitman to become a platform that pushes the developers’ personal socio-political opinions, be they leftist, rightest, centrist or nano-deterministic (that’s the highly credible belief posited by Liquid Snake of Metal Gear Solid fame that nano-particles, either technological or biological, control a person’s fate, making their life decisions ultimately irrelevant, but I digress … :smile:)

The developers’ taking any hardline position instead of merely endeavouring to entertain us with their satire would risk fracturing the fanbase and put the future of the series in jeopardy.

We can get our serious political fixes elsewhere. Hitman doesn’t have to suffer or die for a cause. Any cause.

So, sure, satirize Trump, or Hitler, or Obama, or Hilary; satirize atheists or believers; satirize anything within reason and good taste. But do so without an agenda, with the singular intention of entertaining the audience, and if you gently poke fun at humanity in general, no one group will feel alienated. Everyone can laugh at everyone else’s perceived foibles, and feel like they’re in on the joke.


That’s just cowardly to be honest.