Wishlist : A New Protagonist

Now, before everyone starts to go on me. I don’t mean, or wish, to retire agent 47.

A bit of a disclaimer : none of this will ever happen. I know it. But I like musing about.

The Introduction

Allow me to illustrate my wish :

This is from the start of Dishonored 2. The game is a level based stealth/action game with an emphasis on NPC and environement manipulation and an even larger emphasis on replayability and mastery. Not the most alien concept around here.

Contrary to Hitman, Dishonored is in first person, in a fantasy world. Also, as a small detail, it’s mostly played with a pletora of magic/eldritch powers.

More importantly for this wishlist point, the game can be played as one of two protagonists. Emily, and Corvo.

Each have their own powers and abilities. And if the game will have the same levels, the same missions between them, the game experience and possibilities given are very different.
It’s actually rather interesting to look at. The gameplay variations are not that large, but they are enough to encourage a double playthrough of the game.

It works great for the game.

The Actual Point

This brings me to the actual wishlist post, best illustrated by the following mock-up :

(As a bit of an aparte, I’m actually rather proud of the mock-up. It’s like a dozen screenshots of the game menus and of other pictures blended together. The lettering was a bit of a pain to do, and the whole thing took me way too long to do, mostly because it was made on a phone. But I think it’s rather good, isn’t it. Nevermind…)

Now, I chose to illustrate here with Victoria.
One, because it’s surprisingly effective to find a symbolic representation for her (the isotope necklace), like the tatoo is for 47. Two, and mostly, because I love canon-welding.

Yes, the whole concept resides in a male/female protagonist dichotomy.

Obviously, there is no powers in Hitman. So I don’t really wish for a whole new gameplay experience here. Maybe a few tweaks here and there.
Maybe have the instinct exclusive to 47, and the point-and-shoot system for Victoria. It was in the beta in 2016 after all.

Much more importantly, and this is the reason I think the idea could be a genuine good one for the future of Hitman when IOI goes back to them. This would completely overhaul the social (and disguise) dynamic of the level. Without having to recreate a new one, from the map to the NPCs, passing by the items, the interactive props, and other intels.

The largest change is the lack of security disguise for a woman protagonist. At least in the current games. I’m partially writing this for a hypothetical future continuity. Mostly because the level are definitively not designed around this kind of possibilities.

Not only are NPCs not placed for it, but the one that are, are not placed in a intuitively discoverable manner. The joy of User Experience.
The other side of the carefully crafted coin of the current level design.

Could still work in the current trilogy though as a “completely stranger, rough, inhospitable and unhelpful missions, it won’t be fun”. A good challenge.

An Illustration : Dubai

To illustrate in practice with Dubai.

I will start by continuing on my previous point. Because surprisingly Dubai is in some place a counterpoint to it.

There are multiple places where distractions (fuse boxes, vacuum cleaners, radios, or simply the closest NPC to a corner when coined) will first attract a woman NPC. Some are even conveniently isolated near a hiding spot. (I’m sounding way too creepy and stalky here, isn’t it. It’s for a genuine pure reason, I swear).

Generaly speaking, Dubai proposes the usual disguises. All with a few easily identifiable and doable possibilities to put them on.

In addition to them, there are a bunch of new unique NPCs that would wield with them new and interesting gameplay. Both on cornering them, to use their disguises, and on their respective authorized areas.

Kelly To (the NPC talking to the Vulture, the one in yellow clothes) regulary drinks a water bottle that can be tempered with after some acrobatics. And she is one of the few NPCs from the public side of level 1-2 to have open access to the level 3 (penthouse reception, server room). Maybe even the penthouse. Even if I would presume that quite a lot of enforcers would exist for her disguise. It would be interesting in gameplay.

In an ideal scenario, this would arrive with new story missions. Maybe to showcase a different stance, a different personnality.

But if I go toward “this could be done in the trilogy”, well the mute protagonist trope exist for a reason.
Besides making use of the “they don’t want to hear you and you will be ignored as an individual with autonomy” to assassinate them is always a “fun” possibility to narratively explore.

Freelancer ?

I know it won’t happen. I know of more than a dozen reasons why it won’t. From the technical, to the workload, passing by the animations and the lack of return on investment from prototyping.

But, well… Freelancer might be lighter on the “the protagonist is talking” and “narrative is central to the level” side of things. It might be more toward pure freeform gameplay. It definitively is when 47 is independant and with only the ones he trust and close to him.

A certain character, now in her mid twenties, highly capable, close and trusted by 47 and Diana, with no ICA in her horizon, whose presence double the gameplay variations…

If any devs, community/communication manager sees it. Allow me to be subtle here.

Wink Wink Nudge Nudge

wink-wink-nudge-nudge

End

I have a grand total of none, zero idea of the technical side of this. Certainly it cannot be done in the current games. But in the future, integrated/thought on from the start of the game design, of the level, of the map, of the mission design…

What do you all think of it ?

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It’s tricky to add another character who plays almost exactly like 47 but personally, I’d much rather drop Victoria and instead have Knight and Stone as a two person team. This can create a play style that sets it apart from playing as 47. For the most part, they won’t be using disguises but can still have the option of sneaking in the shadows. You can also have one being stealthy while the other provides sniper support. It’s also more ideal for a run and gun playthrough.

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With the disguise system, it would be a huge addition to the gameplay and the applied strategy if we could play as a female agent. And since 47 often replaces specific characters during mission stories, a female protagonist would have to find other approaches with different people. I think we all know women who play roles on almost every map.

From the existing characters Victoria would be a good fit as she is also enhanced and offers much exploration of her character.

She might also need to be a different kind of a social chameleon. Being able to perfectly behave like the disguise owner might fit but lacks the humor of the game. But they can’t make her socially awkward as 47 neither.

I also think female guards offer new obstacles for 47 too as he can’t use their useful disguises if we see them in contract mode with fitting complications.

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It’s not fully impossible, even in the current installation, after all even IO prototyped it in Hitman 2 with Knight and Stone in Paris and Miami outfits, so clearly they wanted a sandbox with these characters,

I also think that the disguises would be a 47-only thing, because that’s what he does, and no one agent ever did that, but of course the female agent could always start the mission disguised, or find an outfit laying on the map, we know agents have access to disguises because well, Berlin exists

Although I’m pretty sure even IO considered having a female protagonist able to disguise (they had the idea ever since early 2016 already), it could still offer more challenge and change in gameplay if she can’t directly steal one from somebody

Female guards were also a thing in Absolution, so it could totally be brought back

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I like it. And it would be nice to bring back Victoria. She’s essentially 47 and Diana’s adopted daughter so for those who insist on a romantic connection between the two (:face_vomiting:) there ya go, easier to pretend now.

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The largest issue for a hypothetical implementation of all this in the current trilogy (or even “just” freelancer) is that a bunch of area are devoid of social stealth possibility for a different gender. The biker club/warehouse/roof in Berlin, the attic in Paris, both target’s house in Whittleton Creek… All of Colorado.

But that’s why I also mused about giving point-and-shoot to Victoria. To make those areas interesting with a particular gameplay tool. A contrast, a system, possibilities born from the intersection of level design and gameplay.

If I had my ways with it, I could even see a “guards are acceptable collatral for five stars rating, as long as no alert or body discovered outside of a point and shoot sequence” twist to the formula.

It would even be a nice call back to the more, shall we say, ruthless side of Absolution’s gameplay.


@Heisenberg I can assure you that my desire for fanarts and fanfics of 47/Diana and their adopted daughter had a minimal impact on my post. Like half of the reason, no more.

Click on the link, you will love it. :smiley:


@Luiluix I know it’s a bit of a tangent, but I always understood the relation between the ICA, 47, and disguises was that they are normal procedures, even on site procurement. But that 47 is the only one who takes them from the litteral back of people.

In the ICA facility, the tutorial, when you do it the first time, Diana says

“You put on his clothes. That’s a first”

But just before she signaled to 47 that

“As suspected, security won’t allow you onboard in your current outfit.”

So I think the emphasis is on HIS clothes.

If you look up, there is a disguise in a bag just next to the NPC. I think the normal procedure for any other agent in training, guided by their handler, would have been to take this one. Because who would be bold enough to do otherwise.

Turns out someome both bald and bold.

I don’t agree with that, I would even say Absolution was more ruthless about useless kills than WoA is, the rating was very much SA based and while WoA also is, it’s much more flexible than it used to be

Yes exactly, as I also said on my post, it’s likely that normal agents would either infiltrate the location with a disguise already on (Berlin is probably a good example, although I think they got themselves hired and got those uniforms from the Club themselves), or find them on the go,
and as you say, 47 is the only one who steals them from people directly (but also does the same as other agents e.g. starting disguises or clothing bags scattered around)

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I’d love to see this. I’ve actually mentioned this once on the Reddit, long ago. Was met with generally negative response, though it’s Reddit, so that was to be expected. I came to the same conclusion too, that Victoria is the best pick here. Bringing up anything remotely related to Absolution probably contributed to the negativity.

I’d like to see this more than any kind of co-op mode. I don’t think this game lends itself very well for co-op gameplay, but a female protagonist changes the game a good bit.

One possible issue - and the main reason I don’t think this will ever happen, is the near guaranteed backlash from Sarkeesianists. I can already see the shitstorm unfold on social media when “Hitman now allows you to undress unconscious women”. Because, you know, it’s only fine when it happens to men.