not sure if this is the sort of thing you were after, but there’s a couple of things i’d like to see in a new hitman to shake up the formula a bit.
1 - mission structure:
i’d love to see a return of c47 and h2:sa’s connected contracts, but have player actions in one mission affect another.
imagine players selecting their contracts from an airport flight times board thingy. the overall structure of the game might look like:
- one cold open/prologue/training mission
- five selectable locations
- the final mission
now, at each of the main locations, 47 would be tasked with assassinating particularly hard to reach targets. business as usual.
however, like c47 and h2:sa before it, most of the locations would have something like 1-3 smaller, optional ‘set-up’ missions in discreet, bespoke sandboxes (think seafood massacre, invitation to a party).
on your first playthrough, completing these would open a final larger and denser sandbox (think mumbai or sapienza), though on replays you could skip the set-ups.
none of these set-up missions would be like absolution’s ‘get from a to b’ levels, but rather a multitude of objectives, including the usual assassinations, but also heists, sabotage, recon, resource acquisition, etc. additional intel and conversations in set-up missions could also hint at potential solutions/mission stories for the main mission.
while you won’t be forced to complete any of the set-up missions, completing their ‘mission stories/opportunities’ will have a determinable effect on the final big mission of each location.
for example: completing a set-up mission that requires you to hack into the main target’s off-site security system might mean the cameras in the final mission won’t work… but the target will increase the number of patrolling guards to compensate. something like that.
equally, completing smaller challenges or unscripted events in the set-up mission could also have an effect. for example: say you kill a dangerous (named) bodyguard who isn’t the main objective but makes an appearance in a set-up mission. they now won’t appear in the final mission to protect the target and potentially interfere with 47’s job… but doing so takes away a powerful opportunity and disguise.
you get the idea.
the aim here is to take hitman’s gamified manipulation of systems from just being in the in-game tactical arena and bring it into a meta-strategic layer as well.
2 - rivals:
this probably won’t go down well and is completely fanciful, but i would love to see the recent return of rival assassins systemised.
knowing how a mission works is important for speed runs and perfect playthroughs, so i imagine it as an opt-in modifier, but it could really make replays fresh.
early on, assassins will attempt to kill your target before you do, adding a potential time constraint. their appearance wouldn’t be scripted, but determined by rng.
if they are going to be in a mission, players would be dynamically warned by diana before it starts and given a brief explaining their background, methodology and (most of the time) what they look like.
there are a limited number of assassins, each with their own character traits and specialities. you can either eliminate/pacify them or simply avoid them and complete the mission before they do.
assassins would, however, have unique ai geared towards providing players with a challenge. in general, they would have shorter detection times, do more damage in combat, and see through all of your disguises. in addition, each assassin would also have a unique ‘personality’ (like pac-man!) that would determine how they react when they spot you, the tactics they employ in fighting you, etc.
for example: one assassin might always run away to a spot to ambush you; another won’t appear to react at all, leading you to a secluded spot where their partner is waiting to snipe you; another might just charge you with a melee weapon like a nutter; etc.
as the game progresses, the assassins could start being sent into any mission to actively hunt down 47.
as there are a limited number of them, and killing them means they are dead for good, you could just kill them when you see them and not have to deal with that assassin again. if these rival assassins were somehow connected to any kind of final mission, doing so would remove them from it.
however, players would be incentivised to either avoid or pacify them to receive rewards themed around each one (a cool sword and suit for the melee assassin, a sweet sniper rifle and case from the sniper, etc.).
as the game goes on, there might be opportunities to engage with them in unique ways with the assassin referencing your past skirmishes, mission performance and reactions.
(hell, they could even be player controlled a la death loop or dark souls )
i don’t think either of these would be likely. they present all kinds of different issues, from technical to gameplay, but as a basis for adding something (sort of) new to the mix, i think they’d be pretty sweet.