Hitman’s plots have rarely been the strong suit of the games, and as the saying goes, “A story is only as good as its villain.” Maybe we can look back at our old villains and learn something.
Codename 47 has 47’s creator, mad scientist Otto Wolfgang Ort-Meyer as the main villain. He sends 47 after the other four fathers before they turn on each other and 47 kills him.
Silent Assassin has Russian mobster Sergei Zavarotkov. He forces 47 out of retirement, has him do his dirty work and then goes after him.
Contracts’s closest thing to an actual antagonist is Police Inspector Albert Fournier, who is mates with the targets of Curtains Down and attempts to kill 47 twice.
Blood Money’s main villain is former FBI Director Alexander Leland Cayne, leader of rival assassination agency by the name of the Franchise, which goes after ICA agents. 47 strikes back in a few missions before Diana fake-betrays him, letting him slaughter Cayne and his gang.
Absolution’s villains are ICA division chief Benjamin Travis and arms manufacturer Blake Dexter. 47 spends the game chasing after Victoria as she’s handed from Dexter associate to Dexter associate, while avoiding Travis’s ICA forces.
Our new game has Arthur Edwards, the Constant of Providence, 47’s brother Subject 6, Lucas “the Shadow Client” Grey (I know he’s our ally, but he’s been a villain for ¾ of the game and he’s shady as hell), and the Partners, consisting of Marcus Stuyvesant, Carl Ingram and Alexa Carlisle, three random rich white people leading Providence. After we go after the Shadow Client for hiring us to sabotage Providence, we learn that Providence has been spying on us, prompting Edwards to make an alliance with the ICA. Four missions later, we betray Providence again and ally ourselves with the Shadow Client, and kidnap Edwards two missions later so we can go after the Partners. He escapes in another two missions.
So the Hitman series has had a mad scientist, a Russian mobster, a corrupt French police inspector, a former FBI Director, a ICA division chief and Texan arms tycoon and an enigmatic Illuminati representative as their main villains. All of whom, at one point or another, hired, manipulated or allied with the ICA. And all of whom, until the induction of Madam Carlisle, are white men. Ort-Meyer, Zavarotkov and Edwards (and the Shadow Client and the Partners, if you wish to add them) are figures from 47’s past, which while the other four are rather recent.
So what kind of villain suits Hitman best?
First of, they’ll have to get on the bad side of 47 or the ICA first. The easiest way to do this is to hire them under false pretences, but Cayne directly attacked the ICA and the Absolution villains went after 47’s ward.
Secondly, with the exception of Fournier and the Absolution villains, who spend their games chasing 47 around in circles, they’re all criminal masterminds. They spend the majority of the game playing the ICA like playdough before the ICA finds out and sends 47 after them.
Third, and maybe this is subjective, but they have to have some connection to 47. The villains of Contracts and Absolution came out of bloody nowhere, and Absolution’s gameplay was not good enough to save it.
So what do you guys think? What makes a good Hitman villain?